Candidate Master (CM) Taffin Khan, WCM (Woman Candidate Master) Maria Varona-Thomas, CM Anthony Drayton, Davion Mars, Calvin Giddings and Chino Chung were all tied on two points apiece on Sunday afternoon, after the second round of the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) Senior National Qualifiers held at the National Resource Centre on Woolford Avenue.
Mars took care of Jaden Taylor in his first sitting then returned to dispose of Shazeeda Rahim later in the day. Giddings defeated Joshua Ferdinand in the morning session, and Joshua Gopaul in the afternoon. Chung’s first victim was Akili Theophil, followed by Rashad Hussain.
CM Taffin Khan, disposed of both of his opponents, Aravinda Singh and Roberto Neto, whilst CM Anthony Drayton, a former junior champion, defeated Joshua Gopaul, and veteran player, David Khan, to also stay among the front runners.
Gopaul also surrendered his second game to Calvin Giddings, while David Khan repaired the damage of his loss to Drayton with a win over Nellisha Johnson.
WCM Maria Varona Thomas benefitted from a bye in the first sitting, before extending her tally to two points in the second sitting by defeating Frankie Farley. Farley had won his first game against Andre Jagnandan, while Shazeeda Rahim won from Jessica Callender. Aravinda Singh rebounded from her loss to Taffin Khan with a victory over Kriskoff Persaud, who also surrendered a game to Roberto Neto.
The tournament is being contested in a round robin format, and will resume during the week. The organizers have advised that the current venue will be unavailable and they are scouting for a replacement before ascertaining the next day of competition.
Wendell Meusa, who recently secured his transfer from Barbados Chess Federation to the local entity, will aspire to retain the crown for the third time.
He has chalked up a FIDE rating of 1967, and is currently the highest FIDE rated local player.