Swaminadha, Sam win DeSinco National U12 Chess Championships

The DeSinco Limited National Under12 Chess Championships were held on January 28 at School of the Nations, with 25 excited children competing.
The tournament saw keen competition among the top players who were all vying for a chance at the national titles.

Girls’ Under12 champion Kataleya Sam receives her prizes from Jessica Callender

Seven rounds of play were contested under a time control of 20 minutes per player, with 5 seconds added to the clock after each move.
Aquilani Swaminadha took the Under12 Open Championship title with 5.5 points. He defeated his counterparts Jacob McDonald, Joseph Prendergast, Javier Davenand, Julian Mohabir, and Arush Ramnarine. His half-point came from a draw in the fifth round against 11-year-old Nicholas Zhang.
Swaminadha also won the prize for the Best Under10 player.
Zhang went on to claim second place in the competition. While he scored the same points as the champion, he was ranked below Swaminadha owing to the Buchholz tiebreak system, which takes into account the scores of the opponents that a player has defeated. The player with the highest total Buchholz score (the highest sum of the scores of the opponents that the player has defeated) is ranked higher.
In third place for the Open category was McDonald on 5 points. Also on 5 points were Jeremy Cole, Mohabir, and Ramnarine who came in fourth, fifth and sixth in the competition respectively, as they all played extremely well.
Their positions were also determined by the Buchholz tiebreak system.
The Girls’ Under12 champion is Kataleya Sam, who finished ninth overall in the event, with 4 points. Her losses came at the hands of Mohabir, McDonald, and Zhang.

Prize winners after the National U12 Chess Championships

She also took home the prize for Best Under10 female player.
In second place for the girls was Chelsea Harrison, and third place went to Skyler Gurchuran. Both nine-year-old girls finished on 2.5 points each.
Seven-year-old Landon Mohabir, the youngest player in the tournament, earned a prize for his exceptional performance, gaining a trophy as the Best Under8 player. He finished on three points, having defeated Harrison, Ethon Marks, and Lucas Smith.
Notable performances came from Prendergast, Adam Rahaman, Veer Persaud, Francis Thomas, and Shaheem Khan, who all finished on 4 points.
The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) is very pleased with the performances of the players, most of whom are part of the training programmes provided by the body.
The tournament was supervised by FIDE Arbiter John Lee and National Arbiter Jessica Callender. The GCF expressed immense gratitude to the management of the School of the Nations, who generously provided the venue for the hosting of the tournament. School of the Nations also provides the GCF with the opportunity to hold its weekly chess club for school-aged children on Saturdays.

Under12 champion Aquilani Swaminadha receives his prizes from Jessica Callender

The GCF also extended its most sincere appreciation to its sponsor, DeSinco Limited, for its unwavering support in the development of chess in Guyana, particularly at the youth level. It said it could not have held the championships without its assistance and looked forward to continuing the partnership in the future.
The next tournament on the GCF calendar will be the Under14 Nationals, which will be held in February and will be announced soon.