Women’s Chess Championship title in the balance

After six rounds of play, National Women’s Champion Jessica Callender is ahead on tiebreak with five points in the Diamond Insurance 2024 National Women’s Chess Championship.
The nine-round round-robin competition commenced last weekend at the National Racquet Centre with ten females vying for the coveted national title. Callender won against Treskole Archibald, Emma John, Sasha Shariff, Chelsea Harrison, and Parnita Kishun, but lost to Nellisha Johnson in the second round.
The second-round duel with the defending women’s champion and Johnson ended in checkmate to Callender’s King. Each player ‘castled’ their King on opposite sides of the board, and an intense struggle ensued. Johnson successfully mounted an attack on Callender’s King with her Queen and Rook invading the central files.
Callender’s defending Knight was captured in the onslaught, leaving the undefended King exposed to checkmate, and Johnson sealing the victory.
Young Aditi Joshi remains a force to be reckoned with, with five points after victories against Johnson, Harrison, Shazeeda Rahim and Emma John. Joshi drew with Shariff and Archibald in rounds three and six. The thirteen-year-old came out ahead of all her female counterparts in the qualifying tournament for the championship.

A scene from the Women’s National Chess Championship

An endgame struggle between Joshi and Rahim in Round Four was dominated by their fighting Kings and mobile pawns marching to become Queens. Joshi gained the upper hand by successfully ‘queening’ her pawn first to execute checkmate. With her lone monarch left on the board versus Joshi’s superior King and Queen, Rahim resigned, giving her opponent the win after almost 60 moves.
Johnson and Ciel Clement are tied with 4.5 points, while Shariff and Archibald are on 3.5. Joshi and Callender will clash in Round 9 this weekend in a battle expected to determine the winner of the 2024 National Women’s Championship. With three matches remaining for each player, it is anybody’s guess who would emerge as the winner. If both players end up with the same number of points, a playoff would become inevitable.
The tournament, sponsored by Diamond Insurance, continues on May 4th and ends on May 5th. The FIDE-rated competition is under the supervision of FIDE Arbiter John Lee. The young female players would get a chance to earn ratings depending on their success in winning the games against their rated opponents. Unfortunately, Rahim was unable to continue to compete due to unforeseen circumstances.
Games are live-streamed on livechesscloud.com. To keep updated with the tournament, visit chessresults.com for results and pairings. For more information, visit the GCF’s website: guyanachess.gy, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.