UG bag 9 medals at University Chess Games – Placed 3rd overall

By Timothy Jaikarran

The University of Guyana travelled to Colombia to participate in the XVII Juegos Deportes Universitarios Centro Americanos y Del Caribe Colombian Mayo 20-26 2019, as such the chess team bagged a total of 9 medals and 1 trophy. The contingent representing the university consisted of 4 males and 1 female.
Davion Mars gained 3/5 points in the male classical category to help the team secure 3rd place, his only 2 loses came against very strong opposition such as International Master Luis Blandon from Colombia in the first round rated 2243 and in the 3rd round to Gaviria Felipe rated 2066. Mars won the remaining games one of which included Jaimé Hernandez from El Slavador.
Andre Jagnandan stepped up to the challenge and held unto critical draws against a much higher rated Gonzalez Delgado Hugo Andres from Costa Rica rated 1871 and another lower rated opponent to add to the team tally, Sidney Nelson also amassed 2 points to bring the team tally up to 6 points securing third place in the classical senior male team category. Triston Carter did secure a draw against Andre Jagnandan in the individual category but was unable to score a contributory point in the team category.
In the Blitz category the team managed another bronze with recorded points by Mars, Nelson and Jagnandan. Mars drew against the much higher rated Jose Alexis Rivera Gonzalez rated 1835 from Costa Rica and won against Jose Valledres rated 1461 from Honduras. His team mates Andre Jagnandan recorded a draw against El Slavadorian Jaimé Hernandez and a win against a local to add to the team tally. Equally credible performances in the blitz category saw the team secure a third bronze medal after amassing 10.5 points collectively with individual board victories against the likes of Honduras, El Salvador and Colombia.
The lone competing female was Anicia Patterson who is the current UG Chess Champion. However, Patterson unable to record a point in any of the categories, as this was her first international exposure. Speaking with <<Guyana Times Sport>> Davion Mars stated that the team experienced bouts of sickness for much of the duration of the event as they were not accustomed to the temperature, since the conditions proved extremely trying for the team. Mars also noted that the team could’ve placed higher if they had converted some chances, relating that there were a lot of times when they had solid structure and a very good position, but fail to either save or secure a full point. However, they were still able to band together and fight their way to the podium.