Paul and Pereira cop Petrotrin chess titles

Jayson Paul (right) receives his cash prize and winner's trophy from visiting Cuban International Chess Master, Humberto Pecorelli-Garcia...

TWO JUNIOR chess champions, Jayson Paul and Melissa Pereira took top honors in the Under-20 and Under-14 categories of the Petrotrin sponsored Junior Open Chess tournament held at the National Science Centre last Saturday. Paul, 15, the national Under-16 champion, and Pereira, 13, women’s national Under-14 title-holder, finished the five-round event on four and four and a half points respectively.

Paul competing in a field of ten players had to fight every inch of the way as he met strong opposition from Christopher Raphael, Kiran Maharaj and Sterling Ramroach.

They have been concentrating on their CXC examinations and are now making their return to the game.

Paul triumphed in a close fought game against Raphael of St Mary’s College in the third round but lost his encounter in the final round against Kevin Cupid of Holy Cross College.

The chessists finished in a three-way tie with Kevin Cupid and Christopher Raphael all on four points each, but Paul emerged winner via the tie-break. Raphael and Cupid came in second and third respectively.

Melissa Pereira


In the Under-14 section, contested by 23 players, Pereira of Bishop Anstey East ended in the top spot after playing unbeaten. Although she had a slight setback in final round, when she was held to a draw by Garth Williams of the Queen’s Royal College, Pereira outplayed her opponents demonstrating her steady improvement.

In second and third places were Mahendra Singh of Curepe Presbyterian School and Jonathan Chong of Holy Name Preparatory School with four (4) points each. In the Under-ten division, Joshua Johnson of Maria Regina Grade School dominated the field of 26 players in the seven-round contest. Johnson who won the first two competitions in April and May and ran second to Jonathon Paul of Diamond Vale Government in the third contest, reinforced his supremacy among the country’s junior chess players by winning the Under-ten division with a perfect score.

Behind him in second and third places was Ronnie Nelson of Arima Boys RC School with five and a half points and Jonathon Paul with four and a half points. A total of 47 novices took part in the event, with Hezron Melville of Diamond Vale Government winning in this category also with a perfect score of seven out of seven. One point behind was Gabriella Johnson of Maria Regina Grade School in second place and Jabari Lambert of Blackman’s Private School on five points in third spot.

The event was the final in a series of four monthly tournaments organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Foundation. The event became quite popular attracting an average 100 players.

They were intended to prepare young chess players for the Caribbean Chess Carnival, an international tournament, to be held at the Queen’s Park Oval, from August 6 to 10.

Joshua Johnson

Hezron Melville