Last update: 05-Dec-2013 1:31 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Javanna Smith is T&T’s new chess champion
T&T has a new chess queen, 16-year-old Javanna Smith who won the Open National female championship tournament in fine style, dropping only half a point in seven rounds.
In the process, Smith, form five student of Holy Name Convent, ended the reign of Aditi Soondarsingh who has held the title for seven years. From the start, the tournament resolved itself into a keen race between the two. Smith held Soondarsingh to a draw and won the rest of her games, finishing with a total of 6.5 points. Soondarsingh, although she also played unbeaten, conceded a draw to Gabriella Johnson in the sixth round, finishing half a point behind Smith. Gabriella, younger sister to Under 20 champion, Joshua Johnson, took third place on five points. Tieing for fourth place were Najarah Rahaman and Della-Marie Walcott who both scored four points. These first five players will represent T&T at the 2014 Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, next August.
This year’s national female championship tournament is the first Open, ending the qualifying rounds of previous contests. According to T&TCA president Anderson Gordon, the change was made in order to attract as many as possible of the country’s female chess players to this premier event by which the Olympiad team is selected. It attracted a total of 13 players.
At 16, CM Javanna Smith almost qualifies as a “veteran” whose notable career at home and abroad shows a collection of honours and consistent progress to the top. At the age of ten Smith earned a bronze medal at the Pan Am championships, adding to the bronze he had already gained at the CAC Games in El Salvador. She represented T&T at three consecutive Olympiads in Germany, Russia and Turkey, consistently scoring the highest points on the team.
Last year, Smith secured T&T’s only women’s gold medal at the first Carifta Chess Championships held in Trinidad.
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