Amanov, Mellace star in chess

Mesgen Amanov receiving his award from Alex Tasker of Digicel.
Mesgen Amanov receiving his award from Alex Tasker of Digicel.

Grand Master Mesgen Amanov of Turkemenistan and Jamaican national champion Andrew Mellace captured the titles of Heroes Day Masters Champion and Heroes Day Candidates Champion respectively as the Digicel Heroes Day International Chess Festival concluded on Labour Day at the Amaryllis Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.

Amanov, the highest rated player in the tournament, finished on 7 points, ahead of former Barbados national champion, International Master Kevin Denny, and Fide Master Ryan Harper of Trinidad and Tobago, who both ended on 5.5 points. Amanov entered the last round only needing to draw to secure victory, which he quickly secured entering a very even endgame position.

Amanov’s road to the title wasn’t all smooth running as the Caribbean masters fought valiantly holding him to several draws. He also suffered a defeat at the hands of Kevin Denny and narrowly escaped with a draw when Jamaica’s Fide Master Shane ‘the magician’ Matthews miss-played a winning end game.†In the candidates section, Jamaica’s Andrew Mellace ended on 7.5 points, ahead of Trinidad’s Kevin Cupid, and Barbados’ junior players Candidate Master Orlando Husbands and Bryan Prescod all on 7 points.

Trailing in 5th place was the veteran from St. Philip Othniel Harewood, who ended on 6.5 points.†Mellace entered the final round with an unassailable lead, but was also hoping to maintain his unbeaten record when he lost to a determined Bryan Prescod. However, with only one loss and a draw in nine rounds, the Jamaican national champion would be proud of his outstanding performance.

Other prize winners were Corinne Howard, the most outstanding female; Guyana’s Anthony Drayton and Christopher Boyce of Barbados who tied for the under 1600/unrated prize.†The Heroes Day Chess Festival is held annually at this time of the year in honour of the 10 National Heroes of Barbados. The tournament was sponsored by Digicel as well as Neal & Massy and Royal Bank of Canada.††

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