Davy cops fourth National Chess Championship Title


Davy cops fourth National Chess Championship Title

Saturday, March 03, 2018

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The 2018 National Chess Championship of Jamaica ended recently at the Christar Villas Hotel, with FIDE Master (FM) Damion Davy capturing the title for the Absolute section.

This was Davy's fourth hold on the title, which he won in 2011, and jointly in 2012 and 2013.

Davy took the lead from round four of the 11-round championship and never looked back, eventually ending undefeated on 8.5 points, two points ahead of his nearest rival Candidate Master (CM) Shreyas Smith, who ended on 6.5 points. Also ending on 6.5 but finishing third and fourth, respectively, on tiebreak were FM Malaku Lorne and National Master (NM) Paul Brooks. NM Stuart James rounded out the top five on six points.

Despite Davy securing the title before the final round, the rest of the field continued to fight hard through to the end, as they sought to secure a place on the national team which will participate at the 43rd Chess Olympiad later this year in Batumi, Georgia.

The 2017 champion, CM Shreyas Smith, couldn't reproduce his performance of last year, after suffering unexpected losses to schoolboys Raheem Glaves and NM Akeem Brown early in the tournament.

CM Smith fought until the end however, with his final game against NM Paul Brooks also being a tricky affair. The game constantly swung in each player's favour due to time trouble experienced on both sides, along with positional complications. After four hours and 38 minutes and 69 moves, both players agreed to a draws in what was the longest game of the final round of the tournament.

After a lacklustre start, with only one point after five rounds of play, FM Malaku Lorne made a remarkable recovery with a late surge which saw him scoring a near-perfect 5.5 points from his last six games, to finish tied in second place. His final game against NM Brown displayed his passion for an aggressive game and accurate play, all with a calm demeanour despite the stakes at hand. This final victory put FM Lorne in third place on tiebreak.

The sponsors of the 2018 National Chess Championship included Sports Development Foundation, Jamaica Olympic Association, Christar Villas Hotel, and Magnificent Chess Foundation.

The final standings for the championship is as follows:

1 FM Damion Davy (8.5 points)

2 CM Shreyas Smith (6.5 points)

3 FM Malaku Lorne (6.5 points)

4 NM Paul Brooks (6.5 points)

5 NM Stuart James (6 points)

6 FM Joshua Christie (6 points)

7 Raheem Glaves (5.5 points)

8 CM Duane Rowe (5.5 points)

9 NM Kevin Merritt (5 points)

10 NM Akeem Brown (4 points)

11 NM Andrew Wallace (4 points)

12 Malik Curriah (2 points)

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