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  Chess

All Set For Urban, Rural Finals

 
Claire Clarke, Contributor

Volume 2. No 10

The battles have whittled down the competitors to the final two schools in both the urban and rural sections of the high school chess tournament. Semi-final action last week delivered the finalists, and both defending champions have arrived to officially defend their titles.

Campion College from St Andrew, last year's urban champion, triumphed over another Campion team to secure their final berth. The all-Campion matchup ended in a 2-2 deadlock and had to be broken in a blitz play-off. They will be challenged by Camperdown from Kingston, where it was also a nail-biting match as their semi-final against Kingston College also ended 2-2 and was decided in blitz play-off.

The rural section sees a repeat matchup of last year's final as defending rural and all-island champion St Jago High out of St Catherine will meet Glenmuir High from Clarendon. To return to the finals, St Jago High trounced Titchfield High 4-0. Glenmuir's final step to the finals came from their victory over St Catherine High with 2.5-1.5 margin.

Looking back on our predictions from the Masters last week, from the rural side National Master Peter Myers was on point with the St Catherine High versus Glenmuir High matchup. It was close and Glenmuir's board one did fall to the high stepping Nathan Hinds. His crystal ball on the St Jago versus Titchfield matchup was off, though, as the final score of 4-0 from the defending champions was decisive and not a scrape through as he suggested it could be.

NM Ryan Blackwood got both his calls right. He expected a close call for Campion A and they had to fight off in blitz. He did not suggest there would have been play-off drama for Camperdown, however, but did pick them to win.

Teams in the urban finals:

Defending champions Campion College: board 1 Andrew Folkes, board 2 Jason Lawson, board 3 Sekani Boxill, and board 4 Rachel Miller (under-16 girls champion)

Versus Camperdown High: board 1 Shemar Morrison, board 2 Lamar Bent, board 3 Wayne Williams and board 4 Tewana Mellace

Teams in rural finals

Defending champions St Jago High: board 1 Alistair Walker (under-16 champion), board 2 Roderick Clifford, board 3 Akeel Henry and board 4 Jamie Cunningham.

Versus Glenmuir High: board 1 Andrew Ellis, board 2 Tahj Davis, board 3 Andre Nelson, board 4 Travoy Simpson.

All four schools here are no strangers to victory as they have all been champions urban, rural and all-island. The two doing battle in the rural section were there last year, and also met in the semi-finals in 2011 where Glenmuir won, so it should be an important return matchup for both teams.

In the urban section Camperdown last held this title in 2010; they want it back. Campion on the other hand have their eyes set on being number one and have depth of teams and talent.

ChessMate makes no calls for the urban and rural finals this year. But we ask you to go to the ChessMate Facebook page to pick your winners and say why.

Upcoming tournaments

Urban and Rural High School Chess Finals: March 2. Venue to be announced.

National Age Group Championships: February 23-24 (Under 10, 14 and 18) St. Hugh's Preparatory School Carifta Championship: April 4-8, 2013, Kingston Jamaica

Email feedback, send in your games or upcoming tournaments to yourchessmate@yahoo.com and join the facebook page chessmate. Claire Clarke is a former Women's National Champion, three-time Jamaica Women's team Chess Olympiad representative, trained journalist and editor.

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