Gray conquers chess board
Jamaica’s female national champion, Krishna Gray, won her final two matches to capture first place as the curtain fell on the second Margaret Prince Celebration Chess Tournament which was played over the weekend at The Chess Centre in Cavans Lane, St. Michael.
For Gray, going into the penultimate round on a four-way tie with former Barbados female champion Corrine Howard, Martinique female champion Camille Sauveur and Maria Thomas, her win against woman candidate master Sheena Ramsay, a former Barbados female champion, was the last real hurdle standing between her and the tournament title.
Gray then comfortably dispatched Guadeloupe’s national female champion Michelle Duboue in the final round to secure first place with 5 1/2 points and repeat for Jamaica the performance of her compatriot woman FIDE master Deborah Richards who won the inaugural Margaret Prince Celebration back in 2009.
Maria Thomas of Guyana took second place on the tie break with 5 points from Trinidad & Tobago woman champion Aditi Soondarsingh. Thomas drew her 6th round game against Martinique champion Camille Sauveur and finished with a win against Lydia Nurse, a student of Queen’s College.
Soondarsingh, the top seed, recovered from a sluggish start in the tournament to take third place with key round six and seven wins against current Barbados champion Katrina Blackman and former champion Donna Murray.
Howard, a member of the chess team in the UWI Sports Programme, was Barbados’ top finisher taking fourth place with 4 1/2 points.
Howard who led the tournament from the start unfortunately had to miss her last round game in order to catch a flight to attend a family funeral in Antigua. She won her sixth round game against Murray to be tied on first with Gray going into the final round.
Not being unable to play her final game, Howard found herself out of contention for the top three positions and it was only by virtue of a hard fought draw by UWI team-mate Blackman against Martinique’s Sauveur in the last round that gave Howard fourth place on the better tie-break from Sauveur.
Ramsay beat CAC Girls Under-14 silver medallist Gabrielle Cumberbatch of Harrison College in round 7 to end in sixth place with 3 1/2 points. Blackman, on 3 points, placed seventh with the better tie-break score from Nurse on 8th and Guadeloupe’s Duboue in 9th. Donna Forde was 10th with 2 1/2 points and Cumberbatch 11th with 1 point. (AH)