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Close battle on in Senior National Chess Qualifiers

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Candidate Master (CM) Taffin Khan, Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Maria Varona-Thomas, CM Anthony Drayton, Davion Mars, Calvin Giddings and Chino Chung ended the first day of the Guyana Chess Federation’s Senior National Qualifiers on two points apiece at the National Resource Centre, Woolford Avenue, at the weekend.

Mars took care of Jaden Taylor in his first sitting then returned to dispose of Shazeeda Rahim later in the day. Giddings defeated Joshua Ferdinand in the morning session and then returned in the afternoon to win from Joshua Gopaul.

Chung’s first victim was Akili Theophil, while he also won from Rashad Hussain. CM Taffin Khan disposed of both of his opponents, Aravinda Singh and Roberto Neto, while Singh won from Kriskoff Persaud.

Anthony Drayton, a former national junior champion, defeated Joshua Gopaul and veteran player, David Khan, to also stay among the front-runners.

Gopaul also surrendered his second game to Calvin Giddings, while David Khan repaired the damage of his loss to Drayton with a win over Nellisha Johnson.

WCM Maria Varona Thomas benefitted from a bye in the first sitting before extending her tally to two points in the second sitting by defeating Frankie Farley. Farley won his first game against Andre Jagnandan.

The tournament is being contested in a round-robin format and will resume sometime during the week. The organisers said that the current venue will be unavailable and they are scouting a replacement before ascertaining the next playing days.

Wendell Meusa, who recently secured his transfer from Barbados Chess Federation to the local entity, will aspire to retain the crown for the third time. He has chalked up a FIDE rating of 1967 and is the highest local FIDE rated player.

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