Barbados has a new female chess champion and she comes in the form of Harrison College student Gabriela Cumberbatch.
It all came down to an exciting last round at the Bridgetown Chess Centre where 3 players had gone into the round on 5 points from their 6 games. Leading on tie-break was womens' candidate master Katrina Blackman followed by Gabriella Cumberbatch and Donna Murray and it would have been one of these players that have eventually been crowned queen.
In the last and 7th round many might have expected the status quo to remain as all three players battled against lower rated opponents.
Blackman quickly downed Ishara Williams and Cumberbatch won from Emerald Medford of the Lodge by default. Most pundits would now have expected former champion Murray to school the young Pritika Kandamaran also of Harrison College, but the 12 year old lass had other ideas.
Kandamaran played a mature game as she was able to convert an early advantage of a pawn and with accurate play create a memorable upset.
This result however did not only turn out to be beneficial for Kandamaran, but she now also gave a helping hand to her school mate, as when the final results were in, Cumberbatch and Blackman were tied on 6 points, with Murray third on 5 and Kandamaran fourth, just ahead of Lydia Nurse of UWI on the tie-break, with both players on 4 points.
However because Cumberbatch had defeated Blackman in their head to head encounter, it meant that Cumberbatch had now won her first ladies crown on the tie – break. The former Massy United Insurance Girls Champion has now graduated to become the female national champion of Barbados.