Drayton victorious in National Open Chess Qualifiers

FIDE Master Anthony Drayton has proved once again that he is a force to reckon with over the chessboard.
FM Drayton emerged as the winner of the 2024 National Open Chess Qualifiers, which were sponsored by Ready Mix Concrete. Drayton racked up 6 points out of 7, placing him in the top position of the 40 players who participated in the competition held over the last three weekends.
Placing second was Justino Da Silva also on 6 points, but due to the tie-break systems in place, he came in second to Drayton. Roberto Neto secured third place with 5.5 points despite missing the first round. CM Ronuel Greenidge, Keron Sandiford, Sachin Pitamber, and Loris Nathoo, all finished on 5 points, placing fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Kyle Couchman and Ethan Lee ended with 4.5 points, earning them eighth and ninth place.

Justino Da Silva levelled with Drayton on points but finished second in the tournament

The tournament was not without heroic displays coming from some junior players who fought to dislodge their seasoned counterparts. Drayton drew his match with double-titled Under-14/Under-16 champion Sachin Pitamber in a tense rook and pawn endgame. Pitamber also drew with Loris Nathoo.
Justino Da Silva, second-place qualifier, lost his game to Under-14 girls’ champion Aditi Joshi.
Joshi also drew with seventh-place qualifier Nathoo.
Reigning Junior Champion Keron Sandiford also salvaged a draw with the much-experienced Candidate Master (CM) Ronuel Greenidge.
These top nine winners have qualified to challenge CM Taffin Khan, the reigning Open Chess Champion, in the 2024 National Open Chess Championship starting on June 1, 2024.
Other notable performers were Gilbert Williams, Shiv Nandalall, and Jaden Taylor, who also gained 4.5 points. Aditi Joshi, Ricardo Narine, Matthew Singh, Ciel Clement, Rashad Hussain, and Aquilani Swaminadha ended on 4 points.
The tournament was played at the School of the Nations and supervised by FIDE Arbiters John Lee, Anand Raghunauth and Irshad Mohamad. This qualifying tournament will provide much-needed Grand Prix points to the top players who are vying for a chance to qualify for the Guyana team for the 45th Chess Olympiad in Hungary later this year. The upcoming Championship and Grand Prix 4 will also add points to the players depending on their performances.
The Guyana Chess Federation wishes to thank Ready Mix Concrete for sponsoring the tournament and the School of the Nations for providing the venue.