Two new champions — National Master (NM) Andrew Mellace and Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Rachel Miller — were crowned in the 2014 Digicel National Chess Championships.
Mellace went into the final round leading by one point and needing at least a draw from his game against Shreyas Smith to claim the title. Following closely was defending champion Candidate Master (CM) Damion Davy on 5.5 points and in a must-win situation vs NM Russel Porter. In the end, Davy won his match, but still could not catch Mellace, who turned back Shreyas to finish on 7.5 points.
In third place was NM Daren Wisdom on six points who won his last round game against a struggling Miguel Asher. NM Malaku Lorne slipped into fourth on five points with a victory over WIM Deborah Richards-Porter.
The top-five of the Nationals will represent Jamaica at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. The fifth player for that team is not yet selected as the fifth and sixth placed finishers — NM Porter and NM Brandon Wilson, respectively — ended on 4.5 points each.
Rounding off the rest of the table was WIM Richards-Porter, NM Paul Brooks and Smith on three points each, while Miguel Asher finished on two.
Meanwhile, history was created in the Women’s Nationals as 14 year-old Miller became the youngest female to win the championships in Jamaica. She finished on 5.5 points, a full point ahead of her nearest rival WCM Melisha Smith.
With a win in the last round, Smith could have finished tied with Miller but she faltered against WCM Ariel Barrett and finished on 4.5 points.
Third place went to the dethroned champion Annesha Smith on four points and fourth and fifth went to Krishna Gray on 3.5 points and Ariel Barrett on 2.5 points, respectively.