Schoolgirl Chantal is T&T’s new chess queen
she learned to play chess from her father about the age of three, Chantal
Fitzpatrick must have felt she was just learning another board game. The
fascination of chess, however, evbentually grew upon her to the extent
that she became determined to play it well.
the Providence Girls Catholic School student has progressed in that quest
is now demonstrated by her becoming T&T’s new ladies chess champion.
Chantal, daughter of noted veteran player Kenneth Fitzpatrick, won the
open national title by playing unbeaten in the seven round tournament held
at the RAND Credit Union building in Port-of-Spain over the last six
performance was impressive as she finished with a perfect score of seven
points. On the way, Chantal disposed of defending champion Aditi
Soondarsingh and a list of other strong players, Jayne Kennedy, Sinead
Furlonge, Arlene Blackman, Camille Chung and Lindy Ann Guiseppi.
she obviously shares her father’s love and enthusiasm for chess, Chantal
has not really played as much with him as would be expected; instead, she
attributes her skill in the royal game largely to the consistent coaching
she has received at the T&T Chess Foundation centre at Brabant Street,
playing with the children at the centre,” she says. “I became motivated by
their desire to improve and I found myself getting better and better from
the coaching of Cesar Ramos, Mr Raphael and the Cuban master Pecorelli.”
began playing in tournaments, her results also improved. She placed second
in the Sagicor Under 20 tournament in Barbados last year and won the prize
for the best Under 16 female player. Earlier this year, she captured the
T&T Under 16 ladies championship and has now made chess history by being
the first holder of that title to win the national open women’s crown as
well. She also represented T&T at the at the now notorious World Junior
Chess Tournament at Belfort, France.
Chantal is looking forward to again testing her skills against a strong
international field of juniors at the Miami Orange Bowl tournament at the
end of next month.
does she want to go in the chess arena? “Well,” she says, “I have been
thinking about a career in chess, but I’m not really sure. I am impressed
by the Polgar sisters and the heights they have achieved. But I still have
a lot of time to decide on my future. In the meantime, I’m going to
continue enjoying playing chess and see how it goes.”
several other young devotees, Chantal plays a lot of chess on the Internet
and uses the popular Chessmaster programme as another learning tool.
her chess ability assisted her studies? “I think it has helped me
generally to become more focused on what I am doing, also to think ahead
and to approach matters in a more analytical way.”
Sunday’s prize giving ceremony, T&T Chess Association PRO David Jones
noted that Chantal was not among the favourites in the tournament, but as
it turned out “she was the one handing out the licks.” If her devotion to
and progress in the game contiues, it seems that Chantal will have a lot
more licks to hand out.
Article by Carl Jacobs
©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited