Cabralis in Trinidad Controversy

Trinidad Trinidad Trinidad

FM Keron Cabralis

Trinidad’s top junior FIDE Master Keron Cabralis left the recent CARIFTA Chess Games after filing a complaint about poor conditions. His ongoing battle with mismanagement has pushed the 16-year old star to the brink of retiring from chess.

In an April 19th article in the Trinidadian Guardian, problems were reported at the CARIFTA Games held at the University of West Indies campus. Quinton Cabralis, Keron’s father and past President of the T&T Chess Association, pointed out two issues…

the level of disturbance at the opening round of the tournament and the allegedly unconstitutional use of ad-hoc assistants by the Association to perform a number of functions at the tournament.

Citing the rules and by-laws, Mr. Cabralis pointed out that “the management committee must first approve any sub-committee selected before they can legitimately function on behalf of the T&TCA.”

Keron was competing in the under-20 section of CARIFTA and complained to the arbiters about the constant noise and chatter resonating throughout the tournament and close to his board. The organizers seemed overwhelmed and unable to quell the noise.

“Young children, in particular, were scampering throughout with no control, including up and down the stairs to the stands. It was a constant challenge telling people to be quiet, removing people from between the aisles, trying to protect the players in a terrible situation,” said the elder Cabralis.

With no help in sight, Keron settled for a quick draw against Kemp Lynch of Barbados and promptly withdrew from the tournament after his complaints went unheeded.

There are fears that he may abandon chess given his previous issues with local organizers. There may be a larger issue as the elder Cabralis has issued scathing comments saying that the T&T Chess Association has been “hijacked” by a “non-elected clique.”



  1. An unfortunate situation. While we in the Jamaican Chess fraternity are not placing blame or casting aspersion anywhere, we wish that whatever differences or difficulties exist will be settled quickly so that West Indian chess will benefit from young Cabralis’ obvious talent.

  2. I remember seeing this young man when Josh and I were down in Trinidad along with Daaim for the 2010 Caribbean Chess carnival. Daaim interviewed both of them after the competition. A very gifted and well-mannered young man indeed. While I don’t know all the particulars of what actually happened, I support him in making that decision. I’ve lost so many games in comparable situations. However, I hope you don’t relinquish. Take advantage of retrospection and re-evaluate. You have too much talent to make a lifetime decision based on one bad incident.

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