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Keron Sandiford wins Junior Rapid Champion title

- Ricardo Narine, Ethan Lee, Pooja Lam secure prizes

(L-R) Ethan Lee, Keron Sandiford, Arbiter Anthony Drayton, Ricardo Narine, Pooja Lam

Nineteen year old Keron Sandiford ended 2022 on a high note, securing the top prize in the Under 20 End of Year Rapid Chess Championship sponsored by the Guyana Chess Federation.

Notably, Sandiford has long excelled in the fast-paced format of the game; finishing as the top Guyanese player at the FIDE Online Rapid World Cup in 2020.

He ended the recent U20 Rapid Championship on 8.5 points after nine rounds, with his only draw resulting from his clash with Oluwadare Oyeyipo.

Keron Sandiford

In second place is reigning National Junior Champion Ricardo Narine who ended the tournament on 7 points. Narine lost to U14 and U16 Rapid Chess Champion Kyle Couchman and eventual winner Sandiford.

Ethan Lee also finished in third place on 7 points, just a half point ahead of Couchman who came in fourth place in the tournament. Lee was ranked in third place due to a round three loss against Narine, resulting in a tie-break by direct encounter. His only other loss came in round four against Sandiford.

Taking home the prize for best female was 2022 National Women’s Champion 14 year old Pooja Lam, who also finished in fifth place overall among 24 participants in the event. She ended the tournament on five points; only losing to Kishan Puran, Ricardo Narine, Ethan Lee and Keron Sandiford.

Pooja Lam accepts her prize for best female from Chief Arbiter Anthony Drayton

Also on five points were Emmanuel Primus, Nicholas Zhang, 2022 U12 Champion Alexander Zhang, Kishan Puran, Rolex Alexander, Italy Ton-Chung and Micaiah Enoe.

Winners received cash prizes of $30,000, $20,000, $10,000 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively and the best female received $10,000.

FM Anthony Drayton was the tournament organizer and chief arbiter for the tournament. Drayton recently took up the post of head of the Youth Committee within the federation.

The next one-day Rapid Tournament is set for January 2nd, 2023 and is open to players of all ages. Players will once again compete in nine rounds under a time-control of 10 minutes per player with a one second increment after each move.

The top player in the event will receive $50,000 cash. Second prize is $30,000, third prize $20,000 and the best female will be awarded $20,000.


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