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GAICO Chess Grand Prix off to a thrilling start

Adrian Roopnarine and FM Anthony Drayton lead the points table on 3.5 each after the first weekend of the Grand Prix chess competition; the first in-person tournament in years.

Anaya Lall (left) vs Oyeyipo Oluwadare

Over-the-board chess returned after two years last weekend with some of Guyana’s top national players competing aside from up-and-coming stars in the sport in the first Grand Prix tournament of 2022.

The intense competition got underway with the first four rounds played on March 19th and 20th as players of all ages vied for a spot on the national team to represent Guyana at this year’s FIDE Olympiad in India.

The Olympiad is an international biennial event for the sport where hundreds of countries send their best players to face off. This year’s edition was moved from Moscow, Russia to Chennai India. The new date is yet to be announced.

Adrian Roopnarine and Fide Master Anthony Drayton are currently leading the points table, tied on 3.5 points from four rounds.

Roopnarine racked up wins against Italy Ton-Chung, Pooja Lam and Ethan Lee, and drew his match against FM Anthony Drayton.

AFM Davion Mars (left) vs FM Anthony Drayton

A tense struggle between FM Anthony Drayton and AFM Davion Mars took place on board 1 in round 4. The two showed their vast experience in the opening and their creativity in the middle game. Advantages were held by both players in an extremely imbalanced endgame.

Both players' time had been drained after 4 hours of struggle, and the game was held afloat only by the 30-second increment gifted per move. Mars' time had unfortunately elapsed before he could move, declaring Drayton as the victor in the most gruelling game of the weekend.

Oyeyipo Oluwadare and Keron Sandiford are currently leading for the juniors on three points each.

Chelsea Juma is leading for females on 2.5 points after drawing her match with Jaden Taylor and defeating Arysh Raghunaugth and Italy Ton-Chung.

Chelsea Juma (left) vs Italy Ton-Chung

The remaining four rounds will be played on March 26th and 27th. Action will kick off at 9 am on Saturday at the Guyana National Stadium.

After the tournament on Sunday, trophies will be awarded for the best female player in the tournament, as well as the top male and female junior players.

Trophies and cash prizes will be offered to the top three finishers in the tournament while medals will be given to 4th to 10th place.


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