CARICOM Chess: Guyana moves to second after four rounds

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The intense competition of the CARICOM Classic Chess Team Tournament has resulted in Trinidad and Tobago being in the lead with four match points, while Guyana Team One is in second place with three match points.

After two days and four rounds of grueling competition, members of the Guyana Team 1, CM Taffin Khan, are on four points, FM Anthony Drayton and Shazeeda Rahim are on 3.5 points, and Jessica Callender is on one point.

Guyana Team Two members Keron Sandiford and Kyle Couchman are one point each, Aditi Joshi is on .5 points, and Sasha Shariff has yet to come off the mark.

In round three, Guyana Team One faced off against the St. Lucian team. CM Taffin Khan (2000) defeated Arvin Nicholas (1745) of St. Lucia by trapping one of his knights while placing his opponent in a bind.

Khan proceeded to capture more material, and the St. Lucian resigned after a weaker position. Anthony Drayton and Shazeeda Rahim defeated fellow St.Lucians, Justin James and Chelsea Wahid, respectively.

Guyana Team Two against St. Lucia (PHOTO: Guyana Chess Federation)

Callender (1585) went down to St. Lucian Tris-Ann Richards (1693) following a few inaccuracies that resulted in a losing position. Guyana Team One won the round against St. Lucia.

Guyana Team Two played against Jamaica, resulting in a loss for Guyana. Keron Sandiford and young Aditi Joshi both drew with their opponents Nathan Hinds and Krishna Gray, respectively, while fourteen-year-old Kyle Couchman and Sasha Shariff both lost to Justice McDonald and Adani Clarke.

Shariff resigned from her opponent, WCM Adani Clarke (1905) when their match was at the endgame stage.

The female Jamaican player secured extra material and a passed pawn, which eventually would have been promoted for a win.

In round four, Guyana Team One played against neighboring Suriname, while Guyana Team Two played against St. Lucia.

FM Anthony Drayton (1936) defeated Suriname’s Jason Yeung (1978) in their Round 4 clash. Drayton overwhelmed his opponent by winning material, but he finally clinched victory with a runaway outside passed pawn, which the Surinamese was helpless to stop.

A brilliant display by Guyana’s Shazeeda Rahim (1559) sealed the fate of her opponent, Maylee Tjong Tjin Joe (1611) of Suriname.

The two female players with a passed pawn each successfully promoted them to formidable Queens, but Rahim gained the upper hand with a pawn thrust by attacking the monarch of the Surinamese. With checkmate looming, Rahim’s opponent resigned.

CM Taffin Khan defeated Surinamese Shaief Chashawa (1786) with extra pawns, creating a decisive advantage from promotion.

Sasha Shariff (1567) finally went down to St. Lucian Tris-ann Richards(1693) in the endgame with pawns and Kings remaining on the board. Shariff’s shattered pawn structure contributed to her loss, and Richards’ extra pawn and her aggressive King in the fray prevented a winning response from Shariff.

Guyana Team One against Suriname (PHOTO: Guyana Chess Federation)

Although in a promising endgame position, National Junior Champion Keron Sandiford (1741) blundered his game and resigned to St. Lucian Arvin Nicholas (1745).

Round four resulted in a win for Guyana against Suriname 3-1 but a loss for Guyana Team  Two against St. Lucia.

A noticeable feature of many matches was the struggles during the endgame. Most tournament participants concentrated their fighting chess during the final endgame stage when it became safe for the Kings to join the fight to win.

Barbadian International is supervising the CARICOM Classic Team Chess Tournament.

Arbiter, Kelvin Daniel. Guyana’s John Lee, who is assisting, is broadcasting boards one to 12  live on https://guyanachess.gy/caricom2024/caricom-2024-live-games/ for viewership at home.

Lee is also creating the webpage designs and managing the tournament website: https://guyanachess.gy/caricom2024/.

Local National Arbiters Kim Shing Chong, Odit Rodrigues, and Ricardo Narine are assistant Arbiters for the week-long tournament. Trinidadian Sandy Razark and Guyanese Marcia Lee are the female Arbiters. Razark is also the CCA representative visiting for the tournament.

Games continue on Thursday, March 7, with rounds five and six.

Rounds seven and eight will be contested on Friday, followed by the final round on Saturday.

The Guyana Chess Federation thanked all its sponsors for their generous support towards the CARICOM Classic Chess Tournament, especially FIDE, CCA, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, ENet, and Exxon Mobil.

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