Chess blossoms at Library
Winners of the Valentine’s Day Junior
Chess Classic with their trophies and prizes. Back
Row:Jabari Lambert, Maia Labastide, Adam Alexis, Kristep
Cassimire, Omari Waldron. Second Row: Daniel Bola, Jonathan
Miller, Safia Lambert, Azikiwe Hinkson, Jonathan Paul and
Jarryon Paul. Front Row: Ami Alexis, John Hill, Jonathan
Aboud, Justin Labastide and Keanu Seecharan. In front, five
year old Miahcel Taleb, youngest player in the tournament.
The National Library in Port-of-Spain will soon become a centre
of activity for the country’s junior chess players. A programme for
achieving this is being drawn up by the T&T Chess Foundation which
has, within recent times, held a number of events at the venue,
starting with an informal Friday afternoon playing room for its
“We have begun a series of monthly tournaments at the Library,”
says Edison Raphael, president of the Foundation, “and we are
planning to use this venue more extensively in the future including
the holding of lectures and seminars on the sport and other related
activities.” Raphael thanked the Library authorities for the quiet
and secure facility, which the Foundation hopes to use to expand its
effort to popularise the sport of chess among the country’s young
people. He was speaking to DOUBLE ROOKS after the Valentine’s Day
Chess Classic which was the second junior tournament held in rated
of age-groups as before, the contest was organised in six categories
in which players were more evenly matched according to the
Foundation’s ELO rating system. The one-day, rapid-play tournament
attracted a total of 56 youngsters with ratings ranging from 866 to
1600. They came largely from the Foundation’s three training centres
of Port-of-Spain, Arima and St Augustine, but also from San Fernando
and as far as Princes Town. Winners received trophies and cash
prizes. Four players finished the five round event with perfect
scores: Jarryon Paul of Fatima; Justin Labastide of Holistic
Primary; Jabari Lambert of Blackman’s Private School; Azikiwe
Hinkson of Diamond Vale Government.
The Valentine’s Day contest is the second Chess Foundation event
which brings the format for running junior tournaments in line with
international practice. The rating of players not only enables a
more equitable matching of participants in competitions, it also
creates another incentive for youngsters to improve their skills by
seeking to increase their rating.
“These monthly contests are part of the Foundation’s on-going
programme for helping junior players to advance their skills and to
enjoy the sport of chess which confers educational benefits as
well,” said Raphael. They are also a preparation for the Caribbean
Chess Carnival which comes off at the Queen’s Park Oval from August
4 to 9. This is the only international tournament held annually in
Trinidad, bringing together top players, both juniors and seniors,
from across the Caribbean region and beyond.
Section 1: 1st. Jarryon Paul (1513) 5; 2nd. Omari Waldron (1500)
4; 3rd. Prithvi Ramakrishnan (1537) 3.
Section 2: 1st. Justin Labastide (1237) 5; 2nd. Ami Alexis (1120)
4; 3rd (tie) Paul Chin Fong (1000) and Keanu Seecharan (1155) 3.
Section 3: 1st. Jabari Lambert (1094) 5; 2nd. Adam Alexis (1029)
3.5; 3rd. Maia Labastide (1022) 3.
Section 4: 1st. Jonathan Paul (1283) 4; 2nd. Kristeph Cassimire
(1392) 4; 3rd. Daniel Bhola (1289) 3.5.
Section 5: 1st, Azikiwe Hinkson (1000) 5; 2nd. Jonathan Aboud
(971) 4; 3rd. Jonathan Miller (928) 3.
Section 6: 1st. Michael Taleb (941) 4; 2nd. John Hill (1000) 4;
3rd. Safiya Lambert (972) 4.