Candidate Master Wendell Meusa has held on to the lead he attained last weekend in the Open National Chess Championships with the defending National Champion closing the point gap between them.
In spite of a Round six upset but Roberto Neto, CM Wendell Meusa still leads the Gaico Sponsored Open Nationals as the only player on five points.
Tiny inaccuracies by Neto gave Muesa an early advantage. The middle game progressed evenly with Muesa making a material sacrifice as well as a mistake which turned the game from a win to a draw. However, Meusa made a blunder which Neto capitalised on, resulting in Muesa resigning shortly after.
Muesa has already defeated no. 2 seed FM Anthony Drayton, who won the Qualifier, and defending National Champion CM Taffin Khan.
The reigning champion has a good chance of making a comeback if Meusa suffers any further defeats since Khan currently stand just half a point behind Meusa with 4.5 points.
Frankie Farley and Ethan Lee are on 4 points each, with Anthony Drayton and Roberto Neto on 3.5 points each.
Meanwhile, in the KFC Guyana sponsored Women’s Nationals; Nellisha Johnson, Sasha Shariff and Pooja Lam are currently tied in the top position on 5 points each after 6 matches.
Johnson’s only defeat so far was against the defending women’s champion Sasha Shariff.
She convincingly won her game with Jessica Callender after a laborious three-hour match.
Minor inaccuracies by Callender give Johnson the advantage from the beginning. Although the two players had equal material during the middle game, Callender’s position had weaknesses which Johnson took advantage of. After trading off pieces, Johnson queens and played a principled end game leading to her victory over Callender.
Shariff and Lam have not yet lost any matches but drew their games against each other and no.2 seed Jessica Callender who won the Qualifying tournament.
Adia Alphonso and Maliha Rajkumar follow closely behind the top three players on 3 points each.
The Open and Women Nationals are being run concurrently at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence and will end on Sunday May 29.
The top finisher in each tournament will be named National Champion and Women’s National Champion respectively.
Additionally, a point based system inclusive of results from the Grand Prix Tournaments as well as the Nationals will determine the ten member team to represent Guyana in India at the 44th Fide Chess Olympiad in July/August of this year.