Tournament results show....T&T juniors dominate Caribbean chess scene
and Tobagoís young chess players are emerging as the major force in
Caribbean competition, as the results in recent regional tournaments are
showing. Our players have dominated both the Sagicor Open Junior
Championships held in Barbados at the end of last month and the CMMB
Caribbean Junior Championships which took place at Bishop Anstey High
School in Port-of-Spain last week. T&Tís emergence is seen in the fact
that our youngsters have won more prizes in these contests than the
players of any other country.
T&Tís junior chess players who represented the country at the recent
Sagicor Open Championships in Barbados together with T&TCF coach Kurtis
Chong (back row left). The team included Christopher Raphael, Justin
Salloum, Kevin Cupid, Joseph Gill, Keron Cabralis, Esan Wiltshire,
Marcus Joseph, Kiran Maharaj, Jayson Paul, Chantal Fitzpatrick, Sterling
Ramroach, Prasanna Ramkrishnan, Jarryon Paul, Prithvi Ramakrishnan,
Alpacino Smith, Javanna Smith, Vandorf Smith, and Kyle Lynch.
only hope that these two tournaments will grow in stature and
participation, bringing together more and more young people from more
and more countries of the Caribbean to compete in a sport that can
ideally serve as another platform for fostering amity and unity among
the peoples of the region.
of friendly rivalry which existed among junior chess players at both
tournaments bodes well not only for the future of the game in our little
part of the world but also for the active nurturing of a common
consciousness within the youth of our various societies. Chess, because
of its intellectual and creative appeal, because of the camaraderie
among its devotees, because of the admiration it inspires for those who
play it well, is perhaps uniquely suited to building bridges among
different peoples, more so among those of a formative age.
last few years, the annual Sagicor Open has demonstrated the truth of
this by establishing a healthy rivalry between the junior players of
Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. At the CMMB championships, organised
by the T&T Chess Foundation, this friendship was a delightful and
encouraging feature of the event, especially since it was expanded to
players from Jamaica, Suriname and Curacao.
Double Rooks after the prize giving function, Edison Raphael, president
of the Foundation, said he was pleased with the cooperation of chess
associations of participating countries, especially of Suriname and
Curacao whose juniors were playing in a T&T tournament for the first
time. ďWe have been promised even greater cooperation for next yearís
contest which we hope will be an even bigger event, with more players
and countries taking part.Ē
fortune would have it, the tournament has found a sponsor, Caribbean
Money Market Brokers, who are only too happy to support the Foundationís
effort in developing the event as the premier contest for junior players
in the region. Ram Ramesh, CMMBís CEO, told Double Rooks that his
company sees this as fulfilling part of its social responsibility as the
largest brokerage firm in the region.
Sagicor Open, T&Tís players took the lionís share of prizes,
particularly in the age groups. Overall, the tournament was won by two
Barbadians, Martyn Del Castihlo and Justin Blackman with T&Tís
Christopher Raphael placing third. In the U-16 and U-12 categories, all
the prize winners were Trinidadians, Justin Salloum, Kevin Cupid, Joseph
Gill, Keron Cabralis, Prasanna Ramakrishnan and Jarryon Paul,
respectively. Among the U-14s, Joseph Gill and Keron Cabralis took first
and second prizes, with Alex Jackman of Barbados taking third. In the
U-10 category, Prasanna Ramakrishnan was tops with Jarryon Paul second
and Omari Teka of Barbados third.
performance of T&Tís players was even more impressive at the CMMB
championships where they captured all of the first prizes among a field
of 87 competitors. The U-20 category saw an exciting race up to the
finish, with Marcus Joseph, the national junior champion, FIDE-rated
Allan Munro and rising star Justin Salloum sharing first place with 5.5
points each from the 7-round event. They each collected a cash prize of
$1,300. Half a point behind them were Shardul Paricharah of Curacao,
Shamel Howard of Barbados and Brandon Wilson of Jamaica.
In the U-14
division, national U-14 champion Christopher Raphael played unbeaten to
finish with a winning score of 6 points. Raphael conceded draws against
Barbadian Ňlex Jackman and T&Tís Rafael Guerrero who placed second and
Jarryon Paul edged out Omari Teka of Barbados by half a point to win the
U-10 section with 6.5 points. Rosangela Dos Ramos of Suriname ended in
third place with 5 points, followed by Prasanna Ramakrishnan and Xavier
Mansour of Barbados on 4.5 points each.
Fitzpartick, national U-16 champion, won the prize for the best U-16
player while Ňvikaar Malgie of Suriname took the award for the best U-16
male. Special prizes for the best male and female U-12 players went to
Prithvi Ramakrishnan and Yanna Lopez. Melissa Pereira received a special
prize for the best female player among the U-14s.
constantly improving performance of T&Tís junior chess players must be
credited to the consistent and structured training programme of the T&T
Chess Foundation which is expanding its coaching activities to different
part of the country.
Article by Carl Jacobs
©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited