Barbadian junior chess players have moved themselves into medal contention as they go into the final rounds of the ongoing 2nd CARIFTA Chess Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
The competition, which normally takes place during the Easter weekend was rescheduled this year to avoid a clash with the Pan American Scholastic Chess Championships in Trinidad and Tobago.
The competition is being played in three age categories: under 20 boys and girls; under 16 boys and girls; and under12 boys and girls.
Barbados is being represented in the under 12 by Kyle and Leigh Sandiford of Providence Elementary, in under 20 by Orlando Husbands of The Lodge School and in under 16 by the Caribbean’s highest rated junior YuTien Poon of The Lodge School and newly crowned Pan American Scholastic Champion Allon Richards of the Foundation School.
Barbados also has two female representatives, Lydia Nurse of Queen’s College in the under 20 and Gabriela Cumberbatch of Harrison College in the under 16.
Yutien Poon is poised to be on the podium as he leads his section on 5.5 points, ahead of Jamaica’s Alistair Walker 5 points, Trinidad’s Joshua Johnson 4.5 points and team-mate Allon Richards also on 4.5 points.
In the last round, a win or a draw by Poon against his archrival Joshua Johnson will give Barbados gold in under the 16 category. Allon Richards will have to fight to the very end for victory against Jamaica’s Alistair Walker to ensure that he gets into the medals.
Barbados also has medal chances in the under 12 boys with Kyle Sandiford on 5 points facing off against tournament leader Brian Diaz of Aruba on 5.5 points. However, five other players are also on 5 points, making the last round a battle royal for supremacy. Kyle being the higher rated player should fancy his chances against Diaz.
Barbados saw their hopes for an under 20 medal dashed when Orlando Husbands, defending CAC Champion and candidate master elect suffered his second loss of the tourney to Jamaica’s Horace Sinclair.Barbados’ participation in the 2nd CARIFTA Chess Championship in Kingston, Jamaica, was made possible by the United Insurance Schools’ Chess Programme and the Barbados Olympic Association.†The team is coached by Trevor Griffith and Hetty Wilson is the delegation head.†