Meusa suffers upset defeat to Neto but remains top of National Chess Championship


Despite enduring an upset defeat at the hands of Roberto Neto during the sixth round, Candidate Master Wendell Meusa has maintained his lead in the GAICO sponsored National Open Chess tournament that is intended to crown a national champion for 2022.

Tiny inaccuracies by Neto gave Muesa an early advantage. The middle game progressed evenly with Muesa making a material sacrifice, as well as a mistake, which turned the game from a possible win to a draw.

Neto was able to convert to a win after Muesa once again blundered.

Neto was able to capitalise on this, resulting in Muesa resigning shortly after. Muesa has already defeated number two seed FM Anthony Drayton, who won the Qualifier, and defending National Champion CM Taffin Khan.

The reigning champ has a good chance of making a comeback if Meusa suffers any further defeats since Khan currently stand just half a point behind Meusa with 4.5 points.

Frankie Farley and Ethan Lee are on four points each, with Drayton and Neto on 3.5 points each.

Nellisha Johnson

Meanwhile, in the KFC Guyana sponsored Women’s Nationals, Nellisha Johnson, Sasha Shariff and Pooja Lam are currently tied in the top position on five points each after six matches.

Johnson’s only defeat so far has been against the defending Women’s champion Sasha Shariff. She convincingly won her game with Jessica Callender, a laborious three-hour match.

Minor inaccuracies by Callender give Johnson the advantage from the beginning. Although the two players had equal material during the middle game, Callender’s position had weaknesses, which Johnson took advantage of.

Shariff and Lam have not yet lost any matches, but drew their games against each other and number two seed Callender, who won the Qualifying tournament. Adia Alphonso and Maliha Rajkumar follow closely behind the top three players on three points each.

The Open and Women Nationals are being run concurrently at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, and will end on Sunday (May 29).

The top finisher in each tournament will be named National Champion and Women’s National Champion respectively.

Additionally, a point based system, inclusive of results from the Grand Prix Tournaments, as well as the Nationals, will determine the 10-member team to represent Guyana in India at the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad in July/August this year.

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