Published:Thursday | February 13, 2014
The quarter-finals of the Magni-ficent Chess Foundation-sponsored National High Schools Chess Championships was nothing short of exciting. Two play-offs were forced after long struggles and the reigning champions, Campion College ‘A’, were eliminated during the competition at Kingston College on Saturday.
Campion College ‘B’ emphatically disposed of Kingston College ‘A’, winning
4-0, while Ardenne ‘A’ registered almost a similar win over Jamaica College ‘A’, dropping only half-point in their 3.5-0.5 victory.
Defending Corporate Area champions Campion College ‘A’ had a much tougher match against Calabar High ‘A’. After four hours, the match was tied 2-2, with Calabar winning on boards one and four and Campion College ‘A’ winning on boards two and four.
Speed Chess Play-Off
This meant a speed chess play-off had to take place. Shreyas Smith won the match for Calabar ‘A’ after a sterling performance against Jayson Lawson, winning the best-of-four 2.5-0.5.
Wolmer’s Boys’ ‘A’ and Ardenne ‘B’ also tied 2-2 and had to go to a play-off. Nathan Belinfante won the play-off for Wolmer’s Boys’ with a 3-0 sweep over Ardenne High’s Brian Brooks to set up the semi-final pairings.
Wolmer’s Boys’ will match wits against Calabar ‘A’ and Campion College ‘B’ will brainstorm against Ardenne ‘A’.
Meanwhile, the rural area section has reached the knockout phase.
The matches are: Old Harbour ‘B’ vs St Jago ‘A’, Iona High vs Glenmuir ‘A’, Manning’s ‘A’ vs Vere Technical, Old Harbour ‘A’ vs St Catherine ‘A’, Titchfield vs Denbigh High, Manning’s ‘B’ vs Glenmuir ‘B’, Clarendon College vs St Jago ‘B’, St Catherine ‘B’ vs Charlemont High.
The remaining matches are expected to be highly competitive, as many teams have very strong national players. There are newly minted St Jago ‘A’ National Master Alistair Walker, Calabar ‘A’ Under-18 champion Shreyas Smith, senior National Championships qualifier Horace Sinclair, who represents Ardenne ‘A’, while defending champions Glenmuir ‘A’ still have board two medallist Tahj Davis.
The championship continues today at Dinthill High and Saturday at Kingston College.