FIDE master Martyn Del Castilho won the first qualifier for the 2016 National chess championship after a dramatic final round was completed at the Bridgetown Chess Center recently.
Heading into the final round Del Castilho and Orlando Husbands both had 7 points from 8 games, but Husbands was ahead on tie-break since he had defeated Del Castilho in their head to head match. Most pundits would have expected that both players would have overwhelmed their lower rated opponents although Husbands faced a slightly tricky outing against former school mate Bryan Prescod.
As fate would have it, Del Castilho played his cards safe against Emar Edwards and it was only in the ending when Edwards became unstuck did Del Castilho garner the point. Next door however drama was unfolding as Prescod was playing Husbands tough and when the later made a blunder, Prescod seized the opportunity and went on to score the upset victory which allowed him to finish on 5 and a half points and finish fourth and gain a direct birth to the national finals.
Finishing in third was international master Delilse Warner who defeated Michael Barker and veteran Othneil Harewood swept Richard Haddock to finish 5th, on 5 points and gain the last automatic qualifying spot for the finals.
Other result saw Donna Murray, Mark Lowe, Nitin Mahtani and Corie Elcock, while Allon Richards drew against Lawrence Depradine and Cody Sargeant drew Yeshua Hill.
The top 5 standings were
Rank Name Score
1 FM Del Castilho, Martyn 8.0
2 FM Husbands, Orlando 7.0
3 IM Warner, Delilse 6.5
4 Prescod, Bryan 5.5
5 Harewood, Othneil 5.0