Barbadian FIDE Master Justin Blackman put in an almost flawless performance to emerge as champion in the Caribbean Blitz Online Chess Tournament last weekend.
Blackman, the reigning national blitz champion, won the event by securing six-and-a-half out of a maximum seven points to claim top honours in the 15-player field.
The 28-year-old was comfortably clear of his nearest rivals as second-placed FIDE Master Joshua Johnson of Trinidad and Tobago and third-placed Candidate Master Casanova Sanches of Suriname both finished with five points.
For his performance, Blackman has earned free accommodation for the 2021 Sub-Zonal Championships in the Dominican Republic.
“It was a pretty good tournament. I don’t think it was that easy. I got six-and-a-half points out of seven, but there were some close calls. Overall I would say there was a good level of play,” Blackman said.
“My plan was to always play in the Sub-Zonal. We don’t know when it will happen but to get free accommodation will be a cost saving.”
Blackman, the only Barbadian competing in the event, defeated Sanches, Trinidadians Amadeus Singh, Allan Monroe and Courtney Lee, Angelo Evens of Haiti and Edgardo Almedina of Puerto Rico. The only game he failed to win was his fourth round contest against Johnson which ended in a draw.
The tournament was contested in the fast-paced blitz format where each player is allotted three minutes plus two seconds for every move.
Blackman was Barbados’ best player at the 2018 over-the-board FIDE Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia and was also part of the national team that competed in the recent FIDE Online Olympiad.
The Caribbean Blitz Online Chess Tournament was part of a series of online tournaments organised by the Confederation of Chess for Americas in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (BCF)
Barbadian Justin Blackman was the champion in the Caribbean Blitz Online Tournament. (BCF Picture)