2007 CMMB Caribbean Chess Championships

(Marval, Trinidad & Tobago)


AMON SIMUTOWE, African International Master, suffered an unexpected setback in the second round of the CMMB Caribbean Open Championships which opened on Wednesday at the Ambassador Hotel in Maraval. The 25-year-old Zambian chess star was held to a draw by Surinameís burly national champion Roger Matoewi in a game that dragged on for 93 moves.


At the end of round two, Simutowe was on 1.5 points together with Matoewi and Gilles Suez-Panama, national champion of Martinique. Leading the field of 31 players in the Open were Cuban IM Humberto Pecorelli, Cesar Ramos, national master of Venezuela and Dr Eddison Chang and Kishore Ramadhar of Trinidad and Tobago.


Ryan Harper, T&Tís national champion, was beaten by Ramos and joined 15 other players on one point. Among them was FM Mario Merritt who went under, in a major upset,  to rising 14-year-old junior Jayson Paul.


Simutowe may not have fully recovered from the tension of the US Open in New Jersey where he closely missed achieving his third grandmaster norm. However, he is looking forward to his next opportunity at the Euwe Memorial Tournament in the Netherlands next week.


The CMMB Open, attracting players from ten countries including several Caribbean states, Africa, Cuba and Venezuela, was introduced this year by the T&T Chess Foundation to coincide with the CMMB Caribbean Junior Championships now in its fifth year. The intention, says T&TCF president Edison Raphael, is to develop the Open into a major international event, attracting top players from more countries.


Speaking in a brief opening ceremony, Raphael disclosed that the two tournaments had attracted a total of 104 entries, 36 in the Open, 30, 27 and 11 in the Under 20, Under 14 and Under 10 respectively.


In the Under 20 division, the second round leaders were Brandon Wilson and Zachary Ramsay of Jamaica, Avikar Malgie and Ekaterina Naipal of Suriname and Kiran Maharaj of T&T. Among the Under 14s, Alex Jackman and Chad Barrow of Barbados, Rafael Guerrero, Jarryon Paul, and Vishnu Singh of T&T, and Phillip Bryce of Jamaica were the leaders. The Under 10s were led by three Surinamese youngsters, Carlos Dos Santos jnr, Alexander Kaffiluddin and Cavin Tjong Tjin Joe.


The eight found tournaments end with a prize giving function on Saturday.


~ Edison Raphael, Trinidad & Tobago Chess Foundation