Barbados’ reigning national triple-crown champion Orlando Husbands pulled off two victories to move to the top of the standings after the third day of the inaugural FIDE Americas Caribbean Cup Chess Championship.
The 22-year-old International Master, who was held to a draw by Jamaican Shreyas Smith in the third round on Saturday night, defeated Trinidadian FIDE Masters Ryan Harper and Kevin Cupid on Sunday to emerge as the front-runner on four-and-a-half points after five rounds of competition at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort.
Husbands, fresh from retaining his national standard title with an impressive 100 per cent winning record, was half-point ahead of four challengers – 16-year-old Trinidadian FIDE Master Alan-Safar Ramoutar, Barbadian International Master Terry Farley, St. Lucian Reginald Martyr and Trinidadian FIDE Master Isaiah McIntosh.
Ramoutar, the CARIFTA Under-16 Open gold medallist for the past four years, and Farley, Barbados’ national champion in 2006, joined Husbands in recording two victories on Sunday. Ramoutar, the no. 5 seed, won against the Suriname pair of Woman FIDE Master Catherine Kaslan and Pratul Panchoe, while Farley, seeded at no. 3, defeated veteran Trinidadian Frank Sears and local boy Akeem Cox.
Martyr, one of two leaders after the second day, was forced to settle for two draws on Sunday in his games against fellow joint front-runner Cupid and Smith while Mc Intosh, the no. 2 seed, won against Barbadian Candidate Master Bryan Prescod and drew with Smith.
Cupid and Smith were in joint-sixth on three-and-a-half points with eight players, including locals Prescod, Cox and Kemp Lynch following on three points to complete the top 15.
With the approach of Tropical Storm Dorian, the start of Monday’s sixth round was provisionally brought forward by an hour to begin at 9 a.m. while the evening round is likely to be cancelled.
Under the original schedule, the last two rounds of the nine-round event are scheduled for Tuesday.
The inaugural FIDE Americas Caribbean Cup, which is being hosted by the Barbados Chess Federation, has been introduced by the Confederation of Chess for Americas to fill the gap of high-level international events held within the Caribbean region.
The event has attracted 33 players, including 18 overseas entrants from seven countries – Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Suriname and Aruba. They are vying for a total prize fund of US$10 000 including a top prize of US$2 000. (BCF)