Junior players dominate Rapid and Blitz tournaments to close off 2023


Versatile junior chess players Sachin Pitamber and Kyle Couchman outplayed senior and junior players alike and emerged clear winners in separate Rapid and Blitz chess tournaments contested at School of the Nations during the last weekend of December 2023.

Thirteen-year-old Pitamber amassed eight and a half out of a possible nine points and won the first-place cash prize of G$50,000 in the Open category of the Rapid Tournament on Saturday, December 30, 2023.

FIDE Master Anthony Drayton earned second just under Pitamber with eight points and received the G$30,000 cash prize. Veteran player Justino Da Silva came in third with six and a half points; he received the G$20,000 prize.

The Best Female prize of G$20,000 went to 14-year-old junior Ciel Clement. This is a commendable accomplishment for Clement, who continues to improve her game.

In the U-20 category of the same competition, first place went to Ricardo Narine, who scored 7.5 points.

Sachin Pitamber (left), winner of the Open Rapid 2023, receives his prize from Gilbert Williams (Photo: Guyana Chess Federation)

The former Junior Champion was awarded a cash prize of G$30,000. Reigning Junior Champion Keron Sandiford also secured 7.5 points with second place on the tie-breaker; he was awarded G$20,000.

The third position went to junior player Alexander Zhang with seven points; he received G$10,000. Best Female in the U-20 category went to up-and-coming 13-year-old Aditi Joshi, who managed to hold her own against rated players; she received a G$10,000 cash prize.

On New Year’s Eve, the Blitz tournament saw repeated participation by some players. Young Couchman emerged as the winner, finishing with 7.5 points.

The fourteen-year-old was awarded G$20,000. Coming in second place was Sandiford, who also tied with 7.5 points and received a cash prize of G$15,000. Justino DaSilva defended his spot with seven points as he earned third place and G$5,000.

The Best Female Prize again went to Aditi Joshi, who received a G$5,000 cash award.

Kyle Couchman (left), winner of the Blitz 2023, receives his prize from Gilbert Williams (Photo: Guyana Chess Federation)

The Guyana Chess Federation executed several tournaments in the 2023 season for its male and female, junior and senior players to earn, maintain or improve their rankings.

The end of the year was no different for the organisers, and as expected, there was an excellent turnout of players to compete.

The events saw almost 30 competitive chess players vying for the top three rankings in the two One-Day chess tournaments.

For context, Rapid and Blitz chess games have the same rules as classical chess, but each player has much shorter time limits to score victories.

Chess players were each allotted 15 minutes with five-second increments and five minutes with five-second increments for the respective events.

Players in action during the final weekend of Chess in 2023 (Photo: Guyana Chess Federation)

The chess tourneys, sponsored by the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF), were organised by the Youth Committee of the Federation.

The GCF said in a press release: “The Board and Executive Management of the GCF sincerely thank all players, parents, members, supporters, and sponsors who made 2023 activities, events, and tournaments possible.

Special thanks to the School of the Nations for their support in providing the venue for tournaments and the GCF’s chess club.

The Federation looks forward to working with new and existing players to continue building a vibrant community of chess players. For more information on chess in Guyana, please check the website guyanachess.gy and follow the GCF on Facebook and Instagram.”

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