Poon prevails

Yu Tien Poon took the Under-16 chess title.
Yu Tien Poon took the Under-16 chess title.

KINGSTON – Barbados has finished second to Jamaica at the conclusion of the 2013 CARIFTA Chess tournament in Kingston. Jamaica amassed the most points and also took home the best team title along with three of the six official titles that were up for grabs.

Trinidad and Tobago, the defending team champions from 2012, finished in third place. Trinidad hosted the tournament last year. In the unofficial title categories, Jamaica came close to a clean sweep securing seven of the eight titles that were available.

The official titles were in the sections absolute and female for Under-20, Under-16 and Under-12. The unofficial titles were in the sections absolute and female for Under-18, Under-14, Under-10 and Under- 8.

The five-day tournament was played at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. Regional territories in attendance included Barbados, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas the US Virgin Islands, alongside Jamaica.

Barbados’ Yu Tien Poon grabbed the Under-16 CARIFTA title after beating Jamaican Alistair Walker on tiebreak as they both ended on six points from seven games.

Jamaican victories were registered by Sheryas Smith who emerged the absolute Under-20 champion with a score of 51/2 points from seven rounds. Second place also went to Jamaican Horace Sinclair who was awarded the second place after also ending on same score as Smith. Smith is also the Under-18 absolute CARIFTA champion.

Smith’s victory represented a Jamaican title defence as last year in the inaugural tournament Jamaican master Stuart James won this section. James was present in the tournament but was clearly not in the same form as he was last year and he finished in eighth spot.

Abigail Wong secured another Jamaican win as she was crowned the female CARIFTA Under-20 champion with two points. Wong is also the Under-18 female CARIFTA champion.

Yet, another Jamaican title was secured by Rachel Miller who garnered five points in to be the female CARIFTA Under-16 champion. Miller is also the Under-14 female ChampionGabrielle Simpson won the female Under-10 CARIFTA title while Gordon Desouza got the absolute title in that age group. Amanda Lettman got the Under-8 female title, while Hamilton Brik was crowned the absolute champion in that age group.

Aruba’s Brian Diaz took home the gold medal for the absolute Under-12 category again beating Jamaica’s Jaleel Thorpe and Joshua Christie on the tiebreak.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Della-Marie Walcott got the top honours for the female Under-12 category also edging out a Jamaican on the tiebreak.††

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