Alina L’Ami of Romania is the winner of the masters section of the 2014 Digicel sponsored Heroes Day chess tournament recently held at the Grande Salle of the Barbados Central Bank.
L’Ami scored an amazing nine and a half points from a possible ten, as she showed a level of play vastly superior to the other five players present in the double round robin tournament, where each player would have to play each other twice, once with the white pieces and once with the black ones. L’Ami has been a past under-ten world champion and is currently married to top Dutch grandmaster Erwin L’Ami, a player ranked in the top 100 players
of the world and brought this vast experience to the board.
When L’Ami defeated current Trinidad champion FIDE master Ryan Harper in the last round for the second time, it was a mere formality as she would end two points ahead of Grandmaster Mesgen Amanov of Turkmenistan, the defending champion from last year. Mesgen finished off the tournament by defeating local boy FIDE master Delisle Warner, but could finish no more than second.
Warner had a relatively good tournament finishing on four and a half points to place third and gain valuable rating points from the event. The highlight of Warner’s performance was his defeating the top ranked local player international master Kevin Denny, not once but twice in the same event.
Finishing in fourth spot on four points was Barbados’ international master Terry Farley. Farley had a chance to slip into third spot with a victory in the last round against Denny, if Warner had faltered. However, even as Warner faltered, Farley himself succumbed to defeat in the last round and could move no further up the final rankings.
The top ranked local, master Kevin Denny had an auspicious outing, trailing at the back of the field for most of the tournament, but was however able to crawl out of the cellar position in the final round when he defeated Farley. In that bottom dwelling position was Trinidadian Harper who finished on two points, a mere half point adrift of Denny. Harper’s results continued a run of poor performances at the beginning of this year after a strong 2013.
In the challenger’s section of the tournament, current national champion FIDE master Orlando Husbands won the event with eight points from a possible nine. Winning his final game against Corie Elcock, Husbands finished strong continuing his current fine run of form at recent events.
In second place was Gilles Suez-Panama of Martinique who finished sevem and a half points as he closed out the tournament by defeating Kevin Cupid of Trinidad in the last round. Third on the tie-break, also on seven and a half points was top junior FIDE master Yu Tien Poon. He defeated fellow Lodge schoolmate, Justin Parsons in the last round to catapult himself up the final rankings.
A large group of players finished in joint fourth in the prizes on six points, these were Bryan Prescod, CARIFTA under-16 champion Allon Richards, Cuba’s Roberto Castillo, veteran Othneil Harewood and David Jarett of England. The best under 1600 rating prize went to Parson and Kyle Sandiford, while the best ladies prize went to current ladies champion Donna Murray who scored a commendable five points in the 44 players’ field.