Maharaj impresses in Orchard Junior Chess Grand Prix

Kiran Maharaj 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 26th May 2007.

Kiran Maharaj – Winner Orchard Grand Prix Under 20 Section

Maharaj a form 4 student of Trinity College (East) ended the Orchard Grand Prix with a perfect score of 5 out of 5 to take first place. His toughest game came in the third round against Esan Wiltshire of the Queen’s Royal College who is also Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-18 Champion. In a tense duel that went down to a rook and pawn endgame, Maharaj recovered from a pawn deficit but missed an opportunity to take a decisive advantage. In desparate time trouble however, Wiltshire made a decision to advance his passed queen pawn up the board towards the queening square. Maharaj countered, forcing an exchange of rooks, and blockading the pawn with his king to thwart Wiltshire’s ambitions. The game ended when Maharaj’s opponent ran out of time. Wiltshire and Kevin Cupid placed second and third with 4 and 3 points respectively.

In the Under 14 section Keron Cabralis, National Under-12 Champion who attends Arima Boys’ R. C. School, emerged winner from a field of 33 players. He won all of his games, ending with a perfect score of 5 points to take the top spot. Cabralis’s strongest challenge came in the final round from Rafael Guerrero of St. Mary’s College. Guerrero who is also National Under-14 Champion had to settle for second with 4 points with Prithvi Ramakrishnan of the International School of Port of Spain (last year’s winner of the event) in third place also with 4 points.

Keron Cabralis – Winner Orchard Grand Prix Under 14 Section

National Under-10 Champion Ronnie Nelson scored six out of a possible seven points and finished ahead of 24 players to take the top spot in the Under-10 age group.

Ronnie Nelson – Winner Orchard Grand Prix Under 10 Section

Ronnie, a pupil of Arima Boys’ R.C. School lost his 4th game to defending champion Prasanna Ramakrishnan of Dunross Junior School. Prasanna came in second with 5.5 points and narrowly missed out on winning the tournament for a second time when he stalemated his final round opponent while in a winning position. Jonathan Chong of Holy Name Preparatory School also scored 5.5 points and finished third. He defeated Prasanna in round 5 to take sole possession of the lead, but was overtaken when he lost to Ronnie in the final round.

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 training initiatives in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Curepe and Arima.

This is the second year that Orchard is supporting this event which has given young chessplayers invaluable opportunities to develop their chess-playing skills, learn important life skills and have fun at the same time.