St Jago top PCJ schoolgirls' Chess Championship on debut

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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First-time participants in the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Group/Dr Hope Anderson National Schoolgirls' Chess Championship, St Jago High School defied the odds to walk away as champions for the 2017-18 season.

St Jago took sole leadership of the Championship after registering a mild upset over defending champions Campion College in round three. This was Campion's first loss since the championship was restarted two years ago under the PCJ's sponsorship.

Going into the final day, the St Jago team was atop the standings on six match points when they faced the very experienced Wolmer's High School for Girls. In a calculated move, Wolmer's put their more experienced players on boards two and three, thus avoiding St Jago's dangerous Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Adani Clarke on board one.

This strategy paid off as Alliyah Yankana and Rochelle Porter secured solid wins on boards two and three for Wolmer's, to win the match despite their board one, losing to WCM Clarke.

Wolmer's moment of triumph did not last long as the defending champions Campion College defeated them 2.5-0.5 points in the next round. This left St Jago, Immaculate and Campion as the only teams with a chance to win the championship, each tied on eight match points.

The final round saw a direct clash between Immaculate and Campion, while St Jago would take on Excelsior High. In what was a relatively easy match, St Jago won 3-0 to finish on 10 match points and Campion defeated Immaculate by a similar scoreline. This left St Jago and Campion tied atop the standings on 10 points each.

St Jago were declared champion due to the direct encounter tiebreak which meant the winner of the individual match between the two teams would be ranked higher. This means St Jago were first time champions on debut, with Campion taking second place and third place going to Wolmer's.

The tournament was renamed last year in honour of many-time Jamaica National Women's Chess champion and former Jamaica Chess Federation secretary Dr Hope Anderson, who passed away in 2016.

The Championship was sponsored by the PCJ and its subsidiaries Wigton Windfarm Limited and Jamaica Aircraft Refuelling Services Limited.

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