Trinidad & Tobago takes 1st CARICOM Chess Classic!

The 1st CARICOM Chess Classic took place in Georgetown, Guyana, a nation with a rich chess tradition. Guyana was previously a regional powerhouse with a number of strong masters. More recently, the federation has rejuvenated and has launched an initiative that will bring shades of the old Caribbean Chess Championships from decades ago.

The Barbadian veteran FM Philip Corbin played in those 70s tournament and 50 years later, he is competing again. Another legend graced the halls as FIDE Deputy President and five-time former World Champion Viswanathan Anand observed the festivities.

CARICOM Chess Classic in action!
Photos by Guyana Chronicle

The inaugural CARICOM tournament attracted participation from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and St. Lucia. Trinidad and Tobago, led by FMs Joshua Johnson and Quinn Cabralis, the twin-island nation, scored 18 team points. Barbados and host Guyana came in second and third with 14 points. The tournament was closer than it appeared. Trinidad & Tobago beat host Guyana 3.5-.5 when the tournament winner was still in doubt.

Trinidad & Tobago – 1st Place

Trinidad & Tobago flash trophy at CARICOM Chess in Guyan
Trinidad & Tobago flash trophy at CARICOM Chess in Guyana

The Barbados Team, comprising Emar Edwards, FM Phillip Corbin, WCM Katrina Blackman, and Hanna Wilson, took home the third-place prizes.

Guyana’s Team Two scored a victory over Dominica 3-1 in round nine. Keron Sandiford and Kyle Couchman drew with Nigel Francis and Nicholas Goldberg, while Sasha Shariff and Aditi Joshi defeated Zahidu Henry and Ayani Casimir.

Guyana – 2nd Place

Barbados – 3rd Place

Team Photos by Guyana Chess Federation

The tournament may be an inspiration for the region has many of the younger federations will get an opportunity to play outside of their small communities. Guyana’s Taffin Khan gained 8.5 points, while Zara La Fleur from Trinidad and Tobago gained nine points in the nine-round round-robin competition, making them the top scorers in the week-long event.

The  tournament was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and  Sport, Texila American University, ENet, Exxon Mobil, Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd., Guyoil, KFC, Topco, New GPC Inc. Rouge Salon and Spa, Platinum Investments,  Optique Vision Care, Sterling Products Ltd., Marics & Co. Ltd., Regency Mall,  Semekiah Supercentre, GSK Inc. GuyCan Inc. and Icon Investments. 

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

CARICOM came into being on 4 July 1973 with the signing of the Treaty of Chaguaramas by Prime Ministers Errol Barrow for Barbados, Forbes Burnham for Guyana, Michael Manley for Jamaica and Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago.The Treaty was later revised in 2002 to allow for the eventual establishment of a single market and a single economy.

CARICOM evolved from the West Indian Federation (1958) and Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (1965). There are 20 members with 16 million citizens in the regional group.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana

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