The seven-round National Chess Championships continued yesterday and will conclude today at the National Resource Centre, Woolford Avenue. In the senior category, after the third round, Taffin Khan leads with 2½ points, while among the juniors, Joshua Gopaul and Ghansham Allijohn are leading by 2½ points each also. Both Championships are wide open since the winners cannot as yet be determined. Today’s final two games will decide the title holders.
The favourites in the senior category, Anthony Drayton and Wendell Meusa, trail Khan by 1 point and ½ point, respectively. Outsider Loris Nathoo created two upsets when he defeated Drayton and Ronuel Greenidge, two of our local Olympians. Nathoo was earlier beaten by Meusa.
A new vitality is expressing itself with the hosting of the two chess championships. Chess players are happy. It is my belief that the numbers for chess will increase substantially within the year. Chess players have been deeply stirred by the understanding that at last things are moving in the right direction.
In international chess news, American Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana is leading the Candidates Tournament with 3 out of 4 points in Berlin. Caruana outplayed Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik in a Petrov defence game during the fourth round. That round also produced a win for Armenia’s Levon Aronian against Sergey Karjakin, his first of the tournament.
The tournament is a double round-robin which features 14 games for each player. It ends on March 28.