Kurtis Chong looks on as Christopher Raphael receives his Orchard Hamper
from FIDE Master, Mario Merritt
National Under 14 Champion
Christopher Raphael took top honours in the Under 20 age group section at
the first leg of the Orchard Junior Chess Grand Prix held at Presentation
College, San Fernando last Saturday.
Raphael a form 2 student
of St. Mary’s College playing in his first tournament since winning the
National Championship in February ended the Orchard Grand Prix with a
perfect score of 5 out of 5 to take first place. His toughest game came in
the final round against Keron Cabralis of Arima Boys’ R.C. School who is
also Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 12 Champion. Cabralis playing with the
White pieces played the King pawn opening. Raphael responded with the
Sicilian defense. The game was closely fought until young Cabralis made an
unsound sacrifice of a knight for two pawns leaving his Queenside vulnerable
for attack. Raphael capitalized on this weakness to win the game on move 32.
Jane Kennedy and Cornelius Ramcharan were first and second runners up with 4
points each. Sixteen players took part in this section.
Prithvi Ramakrishnan receives Orchard Hamper from Fide Master Mario Merritt
In the Under 14 section
Prithvi Ramakrishnan of the International School of Port of Spain from a
field of 32 players won all of his games ending with a perfect score of 5
points earning first place. Ramakrishnan’s strongest challenge came from
Alpacino Smith of St. Anthony’s college in the final round. Smith, who was
the more experienced player, refused a draw offer from Ramakrishnan hoping
to win by the clock when the time allotted for the game runs out. With one
minute left on his clock to complete his game, Ramakrishnan played lightning
fast moves promoting his pawn to a Queen and delivering checkmate to Smith
within mere seconds of his sudden death time limit. Alpacino Smith had to
settle for second with 4 points with Joseph Gill of Fatima College in third
place also with 4 points.
Prasanna Ramakrishnan receives his 1st
place Hamper from Fide Master Mario Merritt.
Prasanna, younger brother
of Prithvi Ramakrishnan scored six out of a possible seven points and
finished ahead of 22 players to take top spot in the under 10 age group.
Prasanna, a pupil of Dunross Junior School lost his first game to Kellee
John of Christian Primary Academy who came in second with 5 points followed
by Johnathan Chong of Holy Name Preparatory School also with 5 points.
Participants at the Orchard Grand Prix in San Fernando
The tournament, sponsored
by Orchard was the first in a series of three events that would be held
throughout the country in support of the Trinidad and Tobago Chess
Foundation’s Chess train initiative in Port of Spain, South, East and Arima.