Young chess stars ready to shine at Youth CAC Games in T&T


Eleven Guyanese chess players landed in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday to vie for victory in the XIV Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Youth Chess Festival. The Championship will be played from August 21-26 at the Cascadia Hotel in Port-of-Spain.

The rhythm of play will be 90 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

Queen’s College’s Matthew Singh and former Marian Academy student Ronan Lee are competing in the Under-18 absolute category. Queen’s College’s Aniyah Couchman will play the Under-18 female category.

Alexander Zhang of Queen’s College and St. Stanislaus College student Italy Ton Chung will compete in the Under-16 absolute and female categories respectively. Queen’s College’s Kyle Couchman (brother of Aniyah Couchman) and St. Joseph High School’s Dominic Sam are in the Under-14 absolute category.

Siblings Ciel Clement of Queen’s College and Kaija Clement of St. Roses High School are in the Under-14 female category. Alexander’s brother Nicholas Zhang (Queen’s College) will play the Under-12 absolute.

Kateleya Sam from Mae’s Primary is the youngest on the team in the Under-10 female category. Head of the delegation accompanying the team is Marcia Lee, who also serves as GCF Secretary and Head of the Women in Chess Committee.

Roberto Neto also accompanies the team to coach the players throughout the tournament. He, alongside FM Anthony Drayton, also helped prep the team prior to their departure. Neto is an experienced national player and who has represented Guyana globally.

This event is FIDE rated and offers these young players not only the opportunity to put their skills to the test against the best and brightest players under the age of 18 across the region, but also the chance for those skills to be rewarded with titles and norms.

Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies will be awarded to players taking the top three spots in each category.

The top three CAC countries, based on total points, will also receive trophies.

Countries will earn points based on top five finishes in each category; a fifth place finish grants one point and first place rewards five points. As is typical for these events, the winners will be decided by the points obtained by each player.

The champions will be decided by who obtains the most points, and in the case of ties, winners will be decided by the implementation of a number of tie break systems. The nine-round Swiss system tournament will feature over 200 players from 15 countries across the Central American and Caribbean region.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Federation Sonja Johnson confirmed this, while stating that St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Haiti are fielding contingents for the first time, alongside long-time competitors such as Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados and Suriname.

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