FM Joshua Christie claims second Grand Prix Tournament


FM Joshua Christie claims second Grand Prix Tournament

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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After a brief hiatus from the local chess scene, FIDE Master (FM) Joshua Christie returned to claim his second Jamaica Chess Federation (JCF) Grand Prix title at the 2019 NM Dr Harold Chan Open, held recently at Liberty Academy.

The St Jago High standout finished undefeated on five points, which included notable victories against Candidate Master (CM) Kevin Merritt and CM Stuart James. This victory, along with his recent Masters Knockout title, have propelled the young master to the number three spot on the local ratings list, and to the number one spot on the FIDE (World Chess Federation) ranking list for Jamaica.

FM Christie has also qualified for the 2020 National Absolute Chess Championship by virtue of his current first place ranking in the JCF Grand Prix.

Second place went to National Master (NM) Nathan Hinds, who finished on 4.5 points. With this commendable performance NM Hinds surpassed the 2000 elo mark on the FIDE rating list and will be awarded the CM title, once ratified by FIDE. Third place was a tie among three players who finished on four points each. After tiebreaks, FM Shreyas Smith was adjudged third, Christopher Lyn was fourth, and NM Akeem Brown finished in fifth place.

The Best Female Player of the event was Raehanna Brown, who finished on 3.5 points. Woman Candidate Master Adani Clarke and Ashanti Blackwood finished in second and third places on three and 2.5 points, respectively. Other sectional prize winners included Jaden Shaw – Under-12; Raehanna Brown – Under-14; Angelus-Seren Mcdonald – Under-16; FM Joshua Christie – Under-18; Michael Christie – Under-20.

FIDE Under-1600 Section

Ardenne High School's Justin Watts had a memorable tournament as he won the section undefeated on six points. Second place went to CM Anthony Lyn, who finished on five points. Third place was a tie among five players who finished on 4.5 points each. After tiebreaks were utilised, Kemari Stephens was third, Jaheim Smart was fourth, Nickaylah Curwin was fifth, Antonic Chung was sixth, and Christopher Davis finished in seventh place.

Nickaylah Curwin was declared the Best Female Player ahead of Amy Stephenson and Arielle Mckoy, who finished on 3.5 points each. Other sectional prize winners included Aaron Mckoy – Under-8; Jaheim Smart – Under-10; CM Anthony Lyn – Under-12; Antonic Chung – Under-14; Kemari Stephens – Rating Class Under 1200; Justin Watts – Rating Class Under 1400; Nickaylah Curwin – Rating Class Under 1600.

JCF Under-1300 Rapid Section

Stella Maris Prep student Ksenia Spaulding recorded her first major tournament victory after defeating Jahvier Smart in a final-round finish. Even though both players finished on five points, Spaulding was declared the winner on tiebreaks, while Smart was relegated to second place. In addition to finishing first, Spaulding was declared the Best Female and Under-10 player, with Smart claiming the Best Under-8 Player prize as well. Armani Dixon finished in third place on 4.5 points. Tsahai Clarke and Kylee-Jade Reid-Bennett finished in second and third places, respectively, on three points for the best female prize.

The tournament was dedicated to NM Dr Harold Chan, who passed away in 2017. Dr Chan was a former five-time national champion and vice-president of the Jamaica Chess Federation.

The tournament was made possible by the sponsorship of the Sports Development Foundation and Magnificent Chess Foundation.

—David Rose

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