Exciting Start to Grand Prix Chess

Back Row from the Left - Marc Clarke, Nestle Representative and Edison Raphael, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Foundation. Winners of the 1st Leg - Second Row from the left: Rafael Guerrero, Jardel Dixon-Harry, Jabari lambert, Prasanna Ramakrishnan, Christian Ammon and Mahendra Singh (holding one of the Nestle Hampers. Front Row: Della-Marie Walcott and Seth Lalla.

Large turnout as Junior Chess Grand Prix kicked off this weekend. Ninety-two junior chess players cut short their Divali holiday to participate in the 2009 Orchard Junior Chess Grand Prix which started on Saturday at the Nestle Sports Club, Valsayn. The tournament is the first in a series of three events organized by the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Foundation.

The annual Grand Prix, the most popular, largest and richest junior chess tournament in the country, saw players from across the country, far as Princess Towne and Valencia competing in four rating categories, Under 1050, Under 1300, Under 1500 and Over 1500. In the Under 1050 category, Seth Lalla of Diamond vale Government Primary played unbeaten toping the field of 45 players with 7 points from 7 games. Second was Isaiah Hernandez of Richmond Street Boys’ Primary School with 6 points and Jardel Dixon-Harry of Newtown Boys R.C. School third with 5.5 points.

Andre Sims of Fatima College took top hounors in the Under 1300 rated section with perfect score of 5 out of 5. Jabari Lambert of Balckman’s Private School trailed with 4 points in second place and Della-Marie Walcott of Maria Regina Grade third with 3.5 points.

In the Under 1500 rated section Prasanna Ramakrishnan of ISPS won with full five points. His nearest rival was Christian Ammon who edged out fellow St. Mary’s College mate with the application of the tie-break system to break their 4 point tie.  Ammon took second and Wilson had to settle for the third spot.

Trinidad and Tobago Junior Champion Vishnu Singh of Presentation College, Chaguanas, despite dropping a half point to his brother who held him to a draw in their 4th round encounter, won the Over 1500 rated section with relative ease.  St. Mary’s Rafael Guerrero who fell victim to Singh in round 3 picked up the second place with 4 point and Vishnu’s brother Mahendra Singh came in third with 4 wins out of 5 games. Guerrero benefitted from the tie-break system.

The second leg of the series would take place on October 31st at the Nestle Sports Club, Valsayn. Points from each of the three tournaments in the series will be accumulated and used to determine the overall winners in each division of the Grand Prix tournament. A $10,000 cash prize fund is at stake. Cash prizes would be awarded to the first 6th places in each of the 4 sections. 

Pictorial Report:

Click here to view the Standing After 1st leg