Dirk Austin of Barbados blazes field in T&T International!


Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) are tropical islands known for cricket, carnival, steel pan music, and soca (not necessarily in order).  The Trinidadians boast of having the best cricket player (in Brian Lara), the best carnival, and the best music. They may be right on all counts, but maybe the "Trinis" were still reflecting on "Carnaval" when Dirk Austin of Barbados descended upon T&T turf. The T&T International Open took place at the Crowne Plaza in Port of Spain, the capitol. Austin, who played board two for the national side in Istanbul Chess Olympiad, took the tournament by surprise by besting a strong field of IMs and FMs.

The tournament favorite were a trio of  Venezuelan IMs led by Julio Ostos and accompanied by Cristobal Blanco and Sarai Sanchez. The tournament also included Trinidad's 
FM Mario Merritt, and Puerto Rico's FM Luis Sosa. Barbados is home of "Bajun Titans" FM Philip Corbin (not playing) and FM Kevin Denny, but it would prove to be Austin's tournament. En route to his blazing 6-1 performance, he defeated strong players such as FM Denny, IM Blanco of Venezuela,  and Trinidadian, FM Ryan Harper. The tournament was very competitive as each of the stronger players seemed to be beating each other paving the way for Austin's break away to the finish line.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 19 April  2001

Dirk Austin of Barbados. Copyright , Jamaican Ambassadors Academy.

Dirk Austin