At the halfway stage of the 2014 United Inter-School Girls Chess Championship, three players sit atop the leadership board with a maximum three points from three games. These are Lydia Nurse and Jennifer Jiang of Queen’s College, along with Gabriela Cumberbatch of Harrison College.
In the third round over the weekend, Nurse defeated Treskole Archibald of Trinity Academy in a challenging game where Nurse had to use the full limit of her resources to achieve victory. Fellow Queen’s College student Jennifer Jiang won from Leandrea Cumberbatch of The Lodge School. Gabriela defeated Jahcinha Adams from the People’s Cathedral.
Sitting in second place on two points along with Archibald and Adams are Maria-Michaela Blackman (Frederick Smith), Azariah Johnson (Charles F Broome), Segan Sandiford (Queen’s College) and The Lodge School’s Aliyah Wilson and Shakera Nurse.
It would be expected that the eventual winner of the tournament will come from one of the young ladies who are on three or two points, and the next weekend should see a competitive set of rounds.
The featured matches will see Gabriela Cumberbatch versus Jennifer Jiang, while Lydia Nurse will have the black pieces against Jacintha Adams.
Meanwhile, Delisle Warner is Barbados’ newest international chess master.
Warner achieved the coveted status of international master in the recently concluded 2014 Sub-zonal tournament in Trinidad.
In the 55 player field, which included the top players from seven Caribbean countries, Venezuela and Ecuador, Warner held his nerve and defeated current Trinidadian champion FIDE master Ryan Harper in the critical last round match to reach his final position.
Warner entered the final round in third position on six points just a half point behind the leaders international master Miguel Munoz of Ecuador and Ariel Marachial of Venezuela. However Warner would be playing on board three against Harper and with all the permutations and combinations, the only one that favored Warner reaching the top three in order to gain the master title was a clear win against Harper.
Harper took the early initiative in the game and having built a slight advantage on the queen side, it looked like the Trini champ would roll up Warner. However Warner had other ideas and was not only able to withstand Harper’s attack, but was able to conjure up a counter-attack on the king side and after Harper slipped, it was Warner who went on to a memorable victory.
Interestingly with the two boards above him drawing , Warner jumped to seven points and second on the tie-break. With this result, Warner not only gained his international master title, he also qualified for the zonal tournament, the next tier in the qualification for the world championship by finishing in the top four.
Warner’s achievement means Barbados now has three international masters. He follows in the footsteps of masters Kevin Denny and Terry Farley. Not only Warner’s performance was a worthy effort, but the two other Bajan junior players, FIDE masters Orlando Husbands and Yu Tien Poon, both of The Lodge School, gave credible performances.
They finished 18th and 19th respectively after initially being ranked 24th and 25th.