By Michael Benjamin
Former junior and senior chess champion, Taffin Khan, defied the skeptics with a scintillating performance that netted him an overall 6 ½ points and the championship trophy when the curtains came down on the Guyana Chess Federation (GCF)/Trophy Stall Open Chess Championships at the National Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue, yesterday afternoon.
The experienced player was just ½ point shy of his nemesis, Wendell Meusa, who was leading the tally on 3 points when activities resumed on Saturday. Khan then scored a decisive victory over Meusa before replicating the feat against Drayton. He continued his trek yesterday morning with a win over Loris Nathoo before disposing of Gabriel Ferrer.
Maria Thomas also chalked up two wins over Loris Nathoo and Meusa on Saturday. She returned yesterday morning to defeat Davion Mars but stumbled at the final hurdle to Drayton. Had she won this game she would have forced the organizers to resort to the tie break system to determine the overall winner. Drayton had prevailed over Frankie Farley on Saturday but lost to Khan on Saturday. He also added the scalp of Kristoff Persaud to his resume yesterday morning.
Davion Mars won from Ron Mootilall on Saturday morning and then Kristoff Persaud in the afternoon session. Errol Tiwari also won from Jessica Callender before adding the scalp of Ron Motilall to his resume, also on Saturday.
Rashad Hussain forfeited his game on the penultimate day to Jason Wills by walkover but bolstered his chances in the afternoon session with a win over Allijohn. Hussain also benefitted from a bye after Mickle failed to show up for his game. He then played Nathoo to a draw.
John Wong enjoyed a victory by default after Aslam Hussain failed to show for their encounter, while Kristoff Persaud also benefited by default after Roberto Neto arrived late for their game, also on Saturday morning.
Yesterday morning, Khan started his day with a win over Nathoo before disposing of Gabriel Ferrer; the latter player had earlier defeated Farley.
Meusa rebounded with a win over Tiwari and Davion Mars during yesterday’s sessions before Tiwari also conceded his final game to Farley. Ghansham Allijohn and John Wong played to a draw before the former player benefited from a walk over to Ron Mootilall.
The players received their prizes upon conclusion of the tournament. Trophy Stall, of Bourda Market, the City Mall and South Road, was the sponsor of the tournament and donated several beautiful trophies for the respective winner and runners-up. President of the Guyana Chess Federation, Irshad Mohamed, functioned as the Tournament Director with assistance from Ryan Singh.
The final points tally reads Khan (6 ½), Thomas (5 ½), Meusa (5), Drayton (5), Tiwari (3), Mars (4), Ferrer (4), Nathoo (4), Frankie Farley (4), Allijohn (2 ½), John Wong (2 ½), Mootilall, Neto and Mickle (2 points each).
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