Results for the 1st qualifier saw Mario Merritt winning with Frank Yee and Cecil Lee also qualifying in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. In the 2nd qualifier John Raphael claimed 1st while Jerome Joseph (a returning chess enthusiast) and Kirby Hope went through. The 3rd qualifier is in progress and features Ravishen Singh, an Olympiad silver medallist and was one of the recent recipients of the Trinidad "Sportsmen of the Year" award. Former National Champion Christo Cave, is also participating in the 3rd qualifier, but Olympian Yogi Ramsingh has opted not to participate this year.
Despite the fact that both Cave and Singh have been deemed the favorites, both have been deterred by Andrew Bowles… Cave drawing and Singh losing! Singh also drew with Ian Ali. Harper assesses the strange state of affairs in the 3rd qualifier:
"Andrew Bowles as of last year stepped up his level of play a lot, he drew with Cave in the National Finals after throwing away his chance of winning the game. Currently on three points out of three rounds is David Jones. He is a well known chess enthusiast in Trinidad; he was our representative for Trinidad and Tobago in the FIDE meetings which took place in Slovenia at the Olympiad."
The National Championship will commence on the 10th of May and the 1st prize will be TT$2500. This year the championship will be held concurrently with the "Knights Open," a tournament of historic significance for Trinidadian chess players. Those who do not qualify for Nationals will certainly partake in this traditional event.
Posted by The Chess Drum: 8 April 2003