Claire Clarke, Contributor
Volume 2, No. 9
Five FORMER all-island champions remain as the final eight teams in the rural and urban high-school chess tournaments are set to do battle this weekend following the results from the quarter-final games played last weekend.
Campion College A, Campion College C, Kingston College A and Camperdown A make up the mighty four in the urban section. St Jago High A, St Catherine High A, Titchfield High and Glenmuir High A are the top four from the rural section. Past all-island champions include St Jago, current defending champions Campion College (most crowned all-island champion), Kingston College, Glenmuir and Camperdown.
In the rural section, there were almost total blowout victories as the top teams surged into the semi-finals. Defending rural and all-island champions St Jago A registered a 4-0 victory over St Catherine B; St Catherine A went past St Jago C 4-0; Glenmuir A beat Glenmuir B 4-0; and in the west versus east matchup, Titchfield beat Manning's B 3-1.
In the urban section, the victories were not as potent. Campion A defeated Jamaica College 3-1, Campion C beat Wolmer's Boys 4-0, Camperdown A defeated Kingston College B 3-1, and Kingston College versus Campion College B ended in a tie which was won in play-off by Kingston College.
Semi-final matchups (rural)
ST CATHERINE A VS GLENMUIR A
St Catherine A's Board 1 - Nathan Hinds, Board 2 - Jerome Burford, Board 3 - Michael Henry, Board 4 - Garfield Coombs versus Glenmuir A's Board 1 - Andrew Ellis, Board 2 - Tahj Davis, Board 3 - André Nelson and Board 4 - Travoy Simpson. Glenmuir A play with the white pieces on Board 1.
National Master Peter Myers thinks this matchup might be too close to call. "It could be tough because of Hinds," said Myers. While Ellis has been a consistently strong junior NM, Myers favours Hinds in the Board 1 match because Hinds has been more active in the last six months.
ST JAGO VS TITCHFIELD
St Jago A's Board 1 - Alistair Walker (Under-16 champion), Board 2 - Roderick Clifford, Board 3 - Akeel Henry and Board 4 - Jamie Cunningham match up against Titchfield High's Board 1 - Carlo Lounges, Board 2 - Odain Chevannes, Board 3 - Michael Skyers and Board 4 - Darren Logan. St Jago plays with the white pieces on Board 1.
While giving St Jago the slight edge, NM Myers doesn't believe that this semi-final encounter will be a walkover for the defending champions.
"I expect St Jago to barely scrape through or maybe the game might go to blitz," NM Myers said. With the absence of last year's Board 3 player Matthew Blake, NM Myers believes the St Jago unit is weakened.
Semi-final matchups (urban)
CAMPION A VS CAMPION C
Campion A's Board 1 - Andrew Folkes, Board 2 - Jason Lawson, Board 3 - Sekani Boxill and Board 4 - Rachel Miller (Under-16 girls champion) meet their companions, Campion C's Board 1 - Srinivas Malladi, Board 2 - Sheanel Gardner, Board 3 - Jabari Hastings and Board 4 - Ricardo Smith. Campion C plays white on Board one.
National Master Ryan Blackwood, also coach of the Campion unit, is not making a call on the outcome of this matchup.
"It should be a close match. Not sure, though Campion A might have the edge." NM Blackwood is cautious on this prediction because Campion C have performed above expectations to be where they are now.
Camperdown A VS KINGSTON COLLEGE
Camperdown A's Board 1 - Shemar Morrison, Board 2 - Lamar Bent, Board 3 - Wayne Williams and Board 4 - Tewana Mellace will meet Kingston College's Board 1 - Shavari Fagan, Board 2 - Kishane Robinson, Board 3 - Yakum Fitz-Henley, Board 4 - Chadrick DaCosta. Kingston College plays white on Board 1.
NM Blackwood calls Camperdown for this match-up. He noted that the recent inclusion of Mellace, son of National Master and National Champion Andrew Mellace, on Board 4 is a disruptive plus for Camperdown.
John Powell results
The John Powell Memorial tournament was held over the weekend. The Open tournament was won by National Champion and National Master Damion Davy with four points from five games - no loss, two draws. Second went to NM Daren Wisdom, who also scored four points but lost one game. Third place went to David Bailey.
Other sectional prizes included the following class-rating prizes:
Candidate Masters (2100-2199): 1. Ian Wilkinson, 2. Miguel Asher.
Expert (2000-2099): 1. André Soares, 2. Michael Diedrick
Class A (1800-1999) 1. Mark Henry, 2. Kevin Merritt, 3. Kevron Campbell
Class B (1600-1799) 1. Nathan Hinds, 2. Tahj Davis, 3. Michael Henry
NB: Correction to last week's article. The third place winner for the girls Under-8 section in the National Age Group tournament was Bhoomika Kirpalani.
Rural high schools' semi-finals: February 16.
Urban high-schools' semi-finals: February 16, Kingston College library, 10 a.m.
Urban and rural finals: February 18-22. Venue to be announced
National Age Group Championships: February 23-24 (Under-10, 14 and 18), St Hugh's Preparatory School.
Carifta Championship: April 4-8 Kingston, Jamaica
Claire Clarke is a former Women's National Champion, three-time Jamaica Women's team Chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor. Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Facebook page Chessmate.