national chess championships 2017


12 MARCH 2017

"ABOVE PIC: Krishna Gray (L) faces WCM Ariel Barrett in round 1 of the Play-Offs at the headquarters of Magnificent Chess Foundation.-- "

The top three finishers in the 2017 Jamaica Women's Championship are scheduled to battle for the national title in a double-robin Play-offs. These are defending Champion WCM Annesha Smith and former Women's champions WCM Ariel Barrett and Krishna Gray.

All three women have also represented Jamaica at the World Chess Olympiad. When the dust settled on the Women's event several weeks ago the three had ended on 6 points in the nine-player event, one point ahead of WCM Melisha Smith and WCM Adani Clarke who each finished on 5 points.

The original field was completed by Aulanni Kidd (3.5), Nickaylah Curwin (2), Ashanti Blackwood (1.5) and former Olympian Margoe Williams (1) who had to withdraw midway the event due to personal circumstances. In the first game of the Play-offs held at the headquarters of Magnificent Chess Foundation in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday March 11, Gray jumped to the front with an efficient victory with the white pieces against Barrett. Smith had a bye.

On Sunday March 12 the second round will pawn off at the same venue (10 am) with Smith having the white pieces against Gray. Barrett will have a bye. The 2017 Jamaica Women's Championship was sponsored by the Jamaica Olympic Association, the Sports Development Foundation, Christar Villas Hotel, the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Magnificent Chess Foundation. PIC: Krishna Gray (L) faces WCM Ariel Barrett in round 1 of the Play-Offs at the headquarters of Magnificent Chess Foundation.--


PGN Game

[Event "Jamaica Women Ch Play-off, MagChess"]
[Site "Mag Chess"]
[Date "2017.03.11"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Krishna Gray"]
[Black "WCM Ariel Barrett"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D04"]
[WhiteElo "1691"]
[BlackElo "1733"]
[Annotator "Wilkinson, I"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2014.07.14"]

{LET THE PLAY-OFFS BEGIN!!! These two players had ended the "regular"
schedule of the 2017 Jamaica Women's Championships on six points, the same as
the defending champion WCM Annesha Smith. This necessitated the Play-offs, the
format being a double round-robin, with the title now up for grabs. All the players had won the title previously. This clash was the first game commencing at 10:00 am at the
headquarters of the Magnificent Chess Foundation on a sunny Saturday morning.}

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 c6 4. Bd3 Qc7 ({A few years ago, one of Russia's
long-time stand-outs developed his queen's bishop very early and prevailed -}
4... Bg4 5. c4 e6 6. Nbd2 Nbd7 7. Qb3 Qb6 8. O-O Qxb3 9. axb3 Be7 10. h3 Bf5
11. Bxf5 exf5 12. Nb1 a6 13. Nc3 O-O 14. Bd2 Bd6 15. Rfc1 Rac8 16. Ne1 Ne4 17.
Rc2 Ndf6 18. Nd3 g5 19. Rac1 Rcd8 20. Be1 Rfe8 21. Ne2 Nd7 22. f3 Nef6 23. Bf2
Kg7 24. Nc3 Kg6 25. cxd5 Nxd5 26. Nxd5 cxd5 27. b4 Nf6 28. Nc5 Re7 29. b3 h5
30. Nd3 h4 31. Re1 Rde8 32. Rec1 Nh5 33. Rc8 Rxc8 34. Rxc8 {Rakhmanov,A (2602)
-Jakovenko,D (2713) Khanty-Mansiysk 2013 0-1}) 5. Nbd2 Bg4 6. e4 $146 {My
database says this is a novelty. Could this really be so ? Two decades earlier
White chose a different route on German soil and lost -} (6. c3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 e5
8. dxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5 10. Nb3 Bd6 11. h3 Bd7 12. Bd2 c5 13. Be2 O-O 14. c4
dxc4 15. Bxc4 Ne4 16. Bc3 Nxc3 17. Qxc3 Bc6 18. Qxe5 Bxe5 19. Nxc5 Bxg2 20. Rg1
Bxh3 21. Nd3 Rfe8 22. Rg5 Bf6 23. Rc5 Rac8 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Bd5 Rd8 26. Nf4 g5
27. Bxf7+ Kxf7 28. Nxh3 g4 29. Nf4 Bxb2 30. Rb1 Bc3+ 31. Kf1 Rd7 32. Rb5 a6 33.
Rb6 Be5 34. Kg2 Ke8 35. Kg3 Bc7 {Ritscher,J (2320)-Voigt,M (2235) Hamburg 1997
0-1 (89)}) 6... dxe4 7. Nxe4 Nd5 $6 ({The start of a bad plan, Black is OK
after -} 7... Nxe4 8. Bxe4 Nd7 9. O-O Nf6 10. Bd3 O-O-O $5 $11) 8. O-O (8. c4
$5 Nf6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Re1 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 O-O-O 12. h3 $36 {with the advantage
to White.}) 8... Nd7 9. c3 e6 10. Neg5 N7f6 11. Re1 Bd6 12. h3 Bh5 $1 (12...
Bxf3 $5 13. Nxf3 O-O 14. c4 Nf4 15. Bf1 c5 {with any result possible although
White might have a slight pull with the bishop pair.}) 13. Ne4 Be7 14. Bd2 O-O
(14... O-O-O $5 {was possible and would have led to interesting play.} 15. Ng3
Bg6 16. Bxg6 hxg6 17. Ne5 Bd6 18. c4 $36) 15. Ng3 {Krishna's Queen's pawn
opening, reminiscent of a Colle set-up, has given her the more pleasant
position.} Nf4 16. Bxf4 Qxf4 17. Nxh5 Nxh5 18. Re4 Qh6 {The queen looks quite
strange here.} ({I prefer the "Sicilian" move -} 18... Qc7 {and now if} 19. Ne5
Nf6 20. Re1 Rad8 {and Black looks fine.}) 19. Qb3 Rab8 20. Ne5 {[#]} Rfd8 $2 {
[#]} ({This was the chance to bring the awkward, "grim" knight from the "rim".
} 20... Nf4 21. Bc2 Bd6 22. g3 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Nd5 {and the battle rages.}) 21.
Ng4 ({All White's pieces are well-placed after} 21. Rae1 $1 {and now if} Rd6 {
the Computer recommends the prophylactic -} 22. g3 $1 $18 {and Black is
struggling to find good moves.}) 21... Qg5 22. Re5 {Ariel's queen is looking
more and more uncomfortable.} Qh4 23. Rae1 Bd6 $2 ({Ariel is solving her
problems after} 23... Nf4 $1 24. R5e3 {and now} Bd6 $13) 24. R5e4 $6 ({Krishna
maintains the advantage with -} 24. R1e4 $1 Nf6 ({Black cannot grab the
exchange due to the precarious position of her queen -} 24... Bxe5 $4 25. Nh6+
gxh6 26. Rxh4 $18) 25. g3 Qxh3 26. Bf1 {and the enemy queen is trapped.}) 24...
Nf4 $1 {[#] Finally.} 25. R4e3 $2 {The wrong castle.} ({The position was very
delicately poised. To maintain the balance Gray had to find -} 25. Bf1 {and now
} Bc7 26. Ne5 Qh6 $13 {any card can play.}) ({Moving the other rook was also
better than the text-move and preserved the dynamic tension although after -}
25. R1e3 Qg5 26. Rg3 Nxd3 27. Rxd3 h5 28. Ne3 Qg6 {It is Black with the
advantage as, inter alia, White's Re4 looks clumsy.}) 25... h5 $1 {Very
strong! In just a couple of moves it is Black who is now better.} 26. Nh2 Qg5
$5 {It is hard to criticize this move as Black still has at least a slight
advantage. Nonetheless, Ariel would have taken a huge advantage and avoided
the result to come after -} (26... Nxd3 $1 27. Rxd3 Bxh2+ 28. Kxh2 Qxf2 $17 {
Black has nabbed material and has winning chances.}) 27. Rg3 $1 {Snuffing out
Black's opportunity.} Qf6 28. Rf3 h4 $2 {Positionally bad. This cedes control
of the g4-real estate and allows the Nh2 steed back from passivity. Barrett
should have immediately unpinned her most powerful piece with 28...Qe7 or 28...
Qh6.} 29. Ng4 $1 Qg5 30. Bc4 b5 31. Bf1 Bc7 32. Ne5 {[#]} Rd6 $4 {A big
mistake with time pressure looming and a move that will determine the fate of
the encounter. Black is fine after -} (32... Bxe5 $1 {getting rid of a
potentially terrible enemy piece.} 33. Rxe5 Qh6 34. Qa3 Rd7 {and things are
still hot.}) 33. Re4 $1 $18 {Blessed with tactical acumen Gray strikes
immediately.} Nh5 $4 {Tumbling further down the precipice. Still losing but
more stubborn was -} (33... f6 {arguably the "only" move.} 34. Rexf4 fxe5 35.
Rg4 Qe7 {and to maintain serious winning chances White has to find -} 36. Qc2
$1 {and Black can counter -} Rf8 {but it should not be sufficient after -} 37.
Rxf8+ Qxf8 38. Rxh4 Qf5 39. Bd3 Qg5 40. g3 $18) 34. Nxf7 {Black now suffers
major haemorrhaging.} Qg6 35. Nxd6 Bxd6 36. Rxe6 {[#] Gray assumes pole
position in the Play-Offs.} 1-0

2017, March 12
Jamaica Chess Federation


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