Taffin Khan makes successful defence of Senior National Chess title

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National Chess Champion Taffin Khan successfully defended his title for the second consecutive year after facing nine opponents in the recently concluded New GPC INC. 2024 Championship at the National Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue, Georgetown.

The top nine finalists who competed against the 2023 challenger Khan, included two junior players.

The top nine were FIDE Master (FM) Anthony Drayton, Justino Da Silva, Roberto Neto, Candidate Master (CM) Ronuel Greenidge, 2023 Junior Champion Keron Sandiford, Sachin Pitamber, Loris Nathoo, Kyle Couchman and Ethan Lee.

Khan faced off his best-performing challenger, Anthony Drayton, in a final round match which ended in less than 30 moves. The defending champion secured an early advantage by trapping his opponent’s Bishop and obtaining a decisive position.

Drayton conceded his loss to Khan on move 27, long before the endgame, usually with fighting Kings and few pieces remaining.

Khan also gained two wins automatically following a no-show by opponents Justino Da Silva and Roberto Neto earlier in the championship.

Second-place contender Drayton drew his matches with reigning National Junior Champion Keron Sandiford and seasoned player Ronuel Greenidge. Drayton’s match with Sandiford ended in an even Rook and pawn endgame that resulted in a draw.

The Greenidge-Drayton duel ended in 34 moves as a drawn encounter in the endgame. But Greenidge remained a pawn up when that match ended.

Khan obtained wins over eight of his opponents, but 21-year-old Ethan Lee was the ninth and only challenger who drew his match with the defending champion.

Sachin Pitamber gained 5.5 points. CM Ronuel Greenidge and Keron Sandiford took fourth and fifth place with 4.5 points each.

Loris Nathoo and Kyle Couchman finished with four points each. The eighth to tenth place went to Ethan Lee, Roberto Neto and Justino Da Silva, respectively.

The championship was contested in a single round-robin format.

“The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) wishes to thank New GPC INC. for sponsoring the event. The GCF would also like to thank the National Sports Commission for facilitating the tournament at the National Racquet Centre,” the GCF said in a press release.

“Games were live-streamed on lichess.org and view.livechesscloud.com under the guidance of Technical Manager and Chief Arbiter John Lee.”

The presentation of trophies and prizes is scheduled for a later date this year after the 2024 National Junior Championship concludes. Honours will also be presented to the top performers in the already contested 2024 Women’s Championship.

Meanwhile, the fourth and final Grand Prix competition will commence on June 22 and conclude on June 30 in the Open Category.

Persons wishing to join the Guyana Chess Federation can visit the website on guyanachess.gy.

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