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The two defending champions in the Karl Sealy Memorial National Senior Chess Championship crashed to defeat in the first round of games last weekend.

Othneil Harewood, the defending Over-65 champion and Neil Yarde, last year’s Over-50 winner, both lost to lower rated opponents when the championships pushed off last Saturday at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons.

Harewood, the first president of the Barbados Chess Federation when it was established in 1981, lost to Cyprian La Touche while Yarde went under to Mark Lowe.

Both defending champions, however, bounced back to score victories in the second round on Sunday when Harewood won against Anthony Earlam and Yarde defeated David Linton.

Due to insufficient entries, the Over-65 and Over-50 categories have been merged to form one competition but there will be prizes for both age-groups.

After two rounds of competition, Lowe, Michael Barker and BCF president Allan Herbert lead the 11-player field with a maximum two points.

The Championship is being played as part of the National Senior Games in association with the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs.

During a brief opening ceremony, Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde made the ceremonial first move to get the championship under way.

The third round of games will be played on Wednesday and the final two rounds will be on Saturday and Sunday. (BCF)


Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde making the ceremonial first move in the game between defending Over-50 champion Neil Yarde (left) and Mark Lowe. (BCF Picture)

Michael Barker (left), one of the early leaders, defeated Cyprian La Touche in the second round. (BCF Picture)

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