Bajan Emar Edwards showed his chess prowess over the last weekend, where he finished joint first, but second on tie-break in the Antigua and Barbuda Ratings Development chess tournament played at the National Public Library, St. John’s Antigua.
Edwards finished jointly atop the 10 player all play all tourney with Nicolas Marchal of Martinique with 8 ½ points from a possible 9. He however lost the 2 game blitz playoff match to have to settle for second on the tie-break.
Although the two mentioned players greatly out rated their Antigua rivals who made up the rest of the tournament, both players looked suspect in their last round games. With everything on the line Marchal found himself cruising to what seemed an easy victory against promising Antiguan junior Matthew Bailey. However a number of exchanges allowed Bailey to reach an ending with opposite colored bishops and a rook, among a few pawns, being the pieces on the board. Marchal however saw a tactical combination which allowed him to win Bailey’s bishop and with it the game. Edwards was just as fortunate as he found himself under early pressure from Jerry Aska but was able to turn it around and eventually won the game.
Other last round results saw local battles where Seymore Nurse won from Jason Fleming, Chester Grant defeated McKala McLeod and Andre Warner captured the point from Igol Christopher. Three persons then finished in joint 3rd – 5th on 5 points. However of these three, Jerry Aska won the playoff from Nurse and Grant to place third and be the highest placed Antiguan player.
The tournament involved 8 players from the fledgling Antigua and Barbuda federation, along with one player each form Martinique and Barbados. It was an attempt to gain internationally rated players for the host country and was supported by the development arm of the world chess governing body CACDEC and the Continental Chess Association.