Barbados’s top rated chess player international master Orlando Husbands returned to impressive form when he placed second in the master’s section of the Suriname Srefidensi Online International Blitz Tournament held over the weekend.
The tournament was played on the chess.com website with a time limit of five minutes with a three second increment for each player to complete their game.
Playing in a small elite field that included grandmaster Luis Lazaro Aguero Jimenez from Cuba, the highest rated player from Jamaica, Fide master Joshua Christie, along with the highest rated player from Suriname, Fide master Viashi Giasi and other top players form Trinidad, Guyana and Surinam, Husbands finished on 5 ½ points from his seven games to finish a clear second behind the eventual winner grandmaster Aguero Jimenez.
Husbands had lost to Aguero Jimenez in the key game of the second round and had to play catch-up for the rest of the event as the impressive Cuban showed his pedigree with some impressive play. Husbands’ wish that he would drop points would have been better directed to Saint Nick as the Cuban never took his foot off the gas as Aguero won all 7 of his matches.
Husbands kept up the chase with skillful victories over the likes of Christie and Giasi but accepted the eventual standings finishing with a draw against Anthony Drayton of Guyana in the final round. Pratul Panchoe of Suriname finished in third on 4 ½ points.
In the challengers section of the event, recent Barbadian Olympiad representative Justin Parsons placed a credible 16th from 52 players with four points from a possible 7. Parsons was in the hunt for a prize going into the final round but lost to Surinamese Krishan Bridjlal. Having started out as the fourth ranked player Parsons might have been a little disappointed at his overall finish.
The Challengers section was won by Imaan Kalidjo on 6 ½ points from 7 matches, followed by Kelvin Finkie (6) in second and Rajiv Ramsing (5 ½) third. All players being from the host country.
Chief Arbiter of the event, Kelvin Daniel of Barbados, was pleased with the sixty-plus players in the two sections who represented up to 9 regional countries from as far south as host Suriname to the north in regional chess power Cuba. Husbands will now join the Cuban grandmaster Aguero in a Caribbean team with the top two female players in the event WFM Kaslan Catherine (SUR) and Callender Jessica (GUY) to play a match against a Chinese team at a later date.