Emar Edwards of Combermere is the new Under-18 national chess champion, while Kyle Sandiford of Harrison College has become the equivalent in the Under 16 section. They both claimed their respective titles as the Under 16 and 18 championship came to an end at the St Michael School last week.
It was an exciting climax to the tournament as it all came down to the last round of the tournament to decide who would be the champions. Going into the sixth and last round, Renaldo Rochester of Queen’s College was in the sole lead with four and a half points with a number of players on four points and all of those were still in with a chance of taking a title. These were Kyle, Edwards, Segan Sandiford and Nitin Mahtani.
With everyone’s fate in his own hands, Mahtani defeated Leigh Sandiford and Edwards played an exemplary game to win from Segan, However it was the longest game between Rochester and Kyle that would eventually determine all final positions. Rochester playing the white pieces had built up an attacking position, but once again could not find the most forceful continuation and as his attack fizzled out, he duly capitulated.
With the above results, it meant that Edwards, Kyle and Mahtani all ended on five points in that order. As such Edwards had won the Under 18 crown, while Kyle was the Under 16 champion.
In the Under 18 section, Rochester was second on four and a half points and Xavier Odle third on 4 points. In the Under 16 section, Mahtani was second and Segan Sandiford third on four points.
Action will begin in 2016 on January 21, when the first qualifier for the 2016 national finals will commence and players will begin the task of seeking to dethrone current national champion Yu Tien Poon.