Mars wins 1st chess tournament of 2019

FIDE National Chess Instructor and the current University of Guyana Chess Champion Davion Mars steam-rolled the competition this past Saturday to win the first chess tournament of the year, with an astounding 6.5/7 points, finishing the event undefeated with six victories and one draw.
In the penultimate round, Mars, playing with the white pieces, held his nerve against the former National Junior Champion Saeed Ali in a thrilling ending during their encounter: Ali had two connected rooks on the F file aiding in the defence of his naked king on the kingside of the board with two disconnected pawns on

Davion Mars won first place in the open category

queenside while Mars had a Queen and Bishop, with two pawns on the queenside of the board and one on the kingside. Although the material imbalance was clearly in Mars’ favour, the time factor was greatly against him. Mars only had 22 seconds left on his clock to break down the defence of Ali’s well connected rooks, while Ali had two minutes and 35 seconds to try and hold his position.
Playing accurately under the incredible time pressure, Mars somehow managed to suppress the Black King’s mobility with incredibly accurate manoeuvring and forced the exchange of one of Ali’s rooks for his bishop which allowed him to deliver a Queen and King supported checkmate – all done with eight seconds left to spare on his clock.
His other opponents were Andre Jagnandan; National Player Chino Chung; Ronan Lee; Aravinda Singh and National Junior Champion Joshua Gopaul, who he had also beaten in the final of the 2018/2019 UG Chess championships, Mars’ only 1/2 point came as a result of his draw against newcomer Sidney Nelson, who had quite an impressive performance himself, finishing second in the senior category on 6/7 points. Even though Nelson plays in UG tournaments, this was his first-ever

Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) tournament, where he claimed wins over Chung, Gopaul and Ali, as well as Olympiad player Roberto Neto among others. The final

Sydney Nelson came in second place in the open category

results for the open category were Mars – first place with 6.5 points; Nelson – second place with six points, and Chung – in third position with five points. In the junior category, National Junior Champion Gopaul won first place with four points; second place went to Aravinda Singh, who also finished on four points but lost to Gopaul on tiebreaks, and third place went to Andre Jagnandan, who finished on 3.5 points.
The GCF is set to host another event this coming Saturday, February 2, at the National Resource Centre, which promises to be an even bigger event, with more exciting games, as it’s a 12-round Blitz event with a five-minute time control, sponsored by the President of the GCF himself, James Bond.