Seth, set to win Grand Prix Chess


SETH LALLA receives an Orchard Hamper from Tournament Arbiter Colin Bomparte following his victory in the 2nd leg of the Orchard Junior Chess Grand Prix

Seth Lalla, a Standard one student of Diamond Vale Government Primary School had a lot to celebrate when he advanced his lead by winning the Under 1050 category of the Orchard Junior Chess Grand Prix tournament held at the Nestle Sports Club, Valsayn over the weekend.

The second leg of the competition was enthusiastically contested as players fought hard to topple the leaders from the first leg of the tournament held two weeks ago.  Seven year old Lalla was the only player from among the 1st leg winners to retain the top spot. Lalla won the Under 1050 rated category with six points from seven games. Isaiah Hernandez of Richmond Street Boys’ School was runner-up with four points and Nicolai Birjoo of Blackman’s Private School who was nipped by Hernandez via the tie-breaker placed third.


Brian Dixon contemplates his opening move.

In the Under 1300 rated category, Brian Dixon of St. Mary’s College scored four and a half points to win the five round contest. Shivanan Maraj of Presentation College San Fernando and Dillon Kalicharan of Presentation College Chaguanans went to the tie-breaker with four points each with Maraj taking second place.  Andre Sims who had showed a lot promise when he won this category in the first leg had to settle for fifth place with three points following losses in rounds four and five. 

Three players ended the Under 1500 rated section tied on four points each. With the application of the tie-breaker, eight year old Rishon Ramlogan of Curepe Presbyterian Primary School took the top spot followed by Jonathan Wilson of St. Mary’s College second and Peter Sui (Home School) third. Ramlogan who placed 7th in the first leg last month played more confidently on Saturday as he positioned himself to ensure his share in the Grand Prix prizes.

Vishnu Singh, Trinidad and Tobago’s Junior Champion was denied the top spot in the second tournament in the Over 1500 category over the weekend. Singh who played unbeaten to win the Over 1500 category in the first contest, suffered a setback in the second leg when he dropped a point to Rafael Guerrero, the eventual winner in round three and was held to a draw by T&T’s Under 10 Junior Champion Joshua Johnson in round five.  St. Mary’s Guerrero, a form 6 student, earned a perfect score in the five-round event to win the category while Singh of Presentation College ended second with three and a half points followed by Jarryon Paul of St. Mary’s College third with two and a half points.


Rafael Guerrero at play

Saturday’s competition was the second of a three-part series of events organized by the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Foundation where winners of the three contests receive hampers of Nestle products. The event climaxes with the third and final leg on Saturday, November 7th at the same venue at the end of which the overall winners will be decided by an accumulation of their points from the three events. A fund of $10,000 is at stake. Cash Prizes will be awarded to the first six places in each of the four categories with additional special prizes to the top female players in each category.

Pictorial report:


Winners of the 2nd leg.

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