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Rowe reclaims Jamaica Open title

Published:Saturday | November 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Top contenders in action at the recently-concluded 2010 Jamaica Chess Open (from left): eventual winner, Super National Master Duane Rowe; World Fide Master Deborah Richards, National Master Ryan Blackwood; and National Master-elect Daren Wisdom. - Contributed

Super National Master (SNM), Duane 'Rossolimo' Rowe, was in top form when he recaptured the 2010 Jamaica Chess Open, held last weekend at the Medallion Hall Hotel.

Rowe, a graduate of Cambridge University, was unable to defend his title last year due to work commitments overseas.

However, the SNM made an emphatic return to local chess, topping the competition with a solid 5.5 points from a possible six, including important wins over National Master Andrew Mellace and National Women's Champion, World FIDE Master, Deborah Richards.

Rowe secured the championship in the penultimate round, after a critical draw with long-time rival, National Master Russell Porter, who,had to settle for second place with 4.5 points.

New national master

Newly-crowned National Master, Ryan Blackwood, also finished with 4.5 points, but was relegated to the bronze medal based on tiebreaks. Richards, who led the national female team to a record-breaking performance at the World Olympiad in Russia last month, was adjudged the best female player.

The prize for best junior player was awarded to the rapidly-improving Calabar High student, Shreyas Smith, after he produced impressive wins over veterans Samuel Lamont and Terence Lindo.

In the amateur section, University of Technology's Kenroy Smith and Wolmer's Boys' Miguel Asher both finished on top with 5.5 points. However, Smith was awarded the gold medal after ousting Asher on tiebreaks. Okolo Callendar finished third with 5 points, having suffered a fifth-round loss to Smith.

The event was sponsored by the Medallion Hall Hotel and Magnificent Chess Foundation. The next event on the calendar is the 2010 Frederick Cameron Open, to be held from November 27-28 at the University of the West Indies' Old Library.