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TIGHT BATTLE FOR NATIONAL LADIES CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

A tight battle has developed among three players in the Barbados Chess Federation’s 2020 Ladies National Chess Championship.

With five of seven rounds completed, a mere half-point separates the youthful front-running trio of Vanessa Greenidge, Hannah Wilson and Gaybrianna Moore.

The 15-year-old Greenidge, the top seed in the absence of five-time champion Katrina Blackman and 2018 winner Julissa Figueroa, leads the eight-player field with four-and-a-half points.

Wilson, 11, and Moore, who turns 16 next week, follow with four points to set the stage for an exciting finish over the final two rounds of games as a first-time champion will be crowned.

Greenidge, one of three reigning joint national Under-16 female champions, defeated Wilson in the opening round before she was surprisingly held to a draw against no. 6 seed Chanon Reifer-Belle in the second round of games at the Chess Centre on Exmouth Gap, Brandons, St. Michael.

A hat-trick of wins against Erin Mahon, Kiarra Eversley and Sierra Austin has given Greenidge a narrow lead ahead of Wednesday’s sixth round contest against no. 2 seed Moore, who is also a reigning joint national Under-16 female champion.

Wilson, the no. 4 seed and the current national Under-14 and Under-12 female champion, followed up her loss in the first round to register four successive wins, defeating Alesha Lovell, Reifer-Belle, Erin Mahon and no. 3 seed Eversley.

Moore lost to Eversley in the third round, but has kept on the heels of the leader with victories against Reifer-Belle, Mahon, Austin and Lovell.

Reifer-Belle holds fourth position with two-and-a-half points to complete the top half of the table of the round-robin event in a field that has attracted only junior (Under-20) players.

In the VEXX Tournament, which is being played simultaneously, six-time national champion, FIDE Master Martyn Del Castilho, veteran Cyprian La Touche and Cleveston Ifill share the lead with four points.

Del Castilho, the only player with a 100 per cent winning record, however, has the benefit of a rescheduled game in hand.

The VEXX Tournament, which is restricted to players who did not qualify for the National Championship, has also attracted eight players and will continue with the penultimate round on Wednesday with the  final round set for Saturday. (BCF)

Captions:

Top seed Vanessa Greenidge (left) and Hannah Wilson are battling it out for the Ladies National Chess Championship.

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fGaybrianna Moore is half-point off the leader and in contention for the title.

Six-time national champion Martyn Del Castilho (left) and Cleveston Ifill share the lead in the VEXX Tournament but the former has a game in hand.

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