Reigning national chess champion Martyn Del Castilho and 2013 king Orlando Husbands have notched perfect records approaching the half-way stage of the Barbados Chess Federation’s 2018 National Championships.
Del Castilho, a six-time champion and Husbands moved to maximum five points from as many games after dispatching of their opponents on Tuesday night in the latest round of games at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons.
It sets the stage for a showdown between the two top seeds in the sixth round on Thursday night in a game that is likely to have a huge impact in determining the winner of the 11-round Championships.
International Master Husbands, Barbados’ highest rated active player, scored wins against Jerome Harewood, Shane Maughn, Nitin Mahtani, Emar Edwards and Mark Lowe.
FIDE Master Del Castilho won against Justin Parsons, Allan Herbert, Akeem Cox and Richard Haddock, while benefiting from a default victory against Randy Bennett.
Parsons, a former national Under-20 champion, occupies third place on three and a half points, half point more than the versatile Edwards, a former national Under-18 champion who is also competing in the Monarchs of the Court Road Tennis Tournament a stone’s throw away at the Big Rock Arena on Spring Garden Highway.
Harewood and Lowe complete the top half of the standings with two and a half points each.
The Championships, which started on August 18, feature 12 players who booked their places from two qualifiers earlier in the year, and are being contested on a round-robin format. As defending champion, Del Castilho was not required to play in the qualifiers. The players are vying for a top prize of $1 000 and an airline ticket to the 2019 Central American and Caribbean Championships.
It is also the final preparation for members of the Barbados team heading off to the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia from September 23to October 6. (BCF)
Orlando Husbands (left) defeated Jerome Harewood in the first round. (BCF)
Martyn Del Castilho (right) won against Akeem Cox in the fourth round. (BCF)