The recent National Junior Chess Championships ended in a draw between top local players Ethan Lee and Ricardo Narine, who will now go to a playoff to decide who wins the championship title.
The National Junior Chess Championships were played in 9 rounds over the past five days at the National Stadium, Providence, Player’s Pavilion, where 10 players were vying for the title of National Junior Champion.
Ricardo Narine, Ethan Lee and Rajiv Lee all finished in the top position with 6.5 points.
Computerised tie-break systems were used to determine the top two players, Ricardo Narine and Ethan Lee, who will now compete in a playoff for the title. The playoff will consist of three games with 15-minute, 10-minute and 5-minute time controls. These matches are scheduled for 2 pm on Saturday.
Kyle Couchman had taken the lead after round 5 but the 12-year-old Couchman, who qualified in 9th place in the qualifiers tournament, was usurped from the top spot when he suffered a defeat against Ethan Lee and drew his matches with Keron Sandiford and Rajiv Lee.
Ethan, who won the National Junior Qualifiers just last week, struggled early on in the competition when he was brutally defeated in the very first round. However, he fought hard for an upward progression in the standings, only conceding two losses to Ricardo Narine and Matthew Singh and drawing a single match with Jessica Callender.
It all came down to the decisive final round where a win would have meant the coveted title of Junior Champion would go to Ethan. However, his opponent, Ricardo Narine, came out victorious by the end of their 3-hour match, where he won by checkmate.
Narine’s only losses were against Kyle Couchman and Keron Sandiford while he drew his match with Rajiv Lee. He defeated his remaining six opponents.
Other players who finished in the top five are Rajiv Lee (6.5), Kyle Couchman (6) and Keron Sandiford (5.5) who placed third, fourth and fifth respectively. Ronan Lee ended on 4 points, Sasha Shariff on 3.5 points, Matthew Singh and Jessica Callender on 2.5 points with Mayas Khan on 1.5 points.