After six rounds and two weekends of exciting play, all sections of the Grace Tropical Rhythms National Age Group Chess Championships produced new champions.
The tournament decides the National Chess Champions at the youth level for Under-8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.
Winning at the Under-8 absolute section was Kishan Clarke of Hillel Academy with 5.5 points. Second and third were Anthony Lyn and Krish Khemlani on five points each. The girls at the same age were Jhalia Troupe of Queen’s Prep in first, ahead of Jaya-Rene Richards and Alliyah Kirkland.
Under-10 saw Christopher Udeagha of St Judes Primary topping the section with six points, followed closely by David Thomas and Jhomoi Blake. Jhomoi did win the female category after a play-off against second-placed Amy Stephenson. Third in the Under-10 female was Raehanna Brown.
The hotly contested Under-12 section saw a return from Leighton Barrett of Ardenne High. He claimed the section with a perfect six points. Lontae Walker finished second and Adani Clarke was third. Under-12 female champion was Adani Clarke, while Nishani Clarke and Jhomoi Blake were second and third, respectively.
Rural Players Top Older Categories
While the lower age groups saw all Urban winners, the older age categories were all rural winners. Rural players took the majority of medals overall.
Top-coach Mikhail Solomon said: “I am very elated at this epic performance. The students have worked extremely hard and are well deserving of this noble accomplishment.”
He continued: “The sky is now the limit, we now press towards our goal of creating a new dynasty of strong chess masters at international standards.”
Under-14 absolute was won by Akeem Brown of St Jago High with 5.5 points. Second was Lontae Walker and third was Ramesh Watson. The female section was won by Ashley Rene Gregory with Rochelle Porter and Alliyah Yankana finishing second and third.
Michael Christie had to go through a play-off with his brother to capture the Under-16 title. This after both tied on five points each. Joshua Christie was second and Akeem Brown third.
In a similar manner, Sheanel Gardner took the female title after a play-off with Rochelle Porter. Third was Alliyah Yankana.
The highest absolute age category went to National Master Alistair Walker of St Jago High, after a slight setback, with 5.5 points. Second was Nathan Belinfante and third was John Lord.
WFM Rachel Miller won the Under-18 female section with a perfect six points. She was followed by Sheanel Gardner and Adani Clarke.
Internationally titled players FM Warren Elliott and IM Jomo Pitterson were the arbiters of the event which had over 300 participants from across the island.