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Small wins The Bahamas’ national chess title

Byron Small won his first national chess title on Sunday, holding off players such as Valentine Cox and Cecil Moncur. Cox was second and Moncur finished third. FILE

National Master (NM) Byron Small was a late entry, but still overcame the odds to win his first national chess title.

The veteran player held off some of the country’s best players to come out on top in the 2017 Bahamas National Chess Championship which wrapped up on Sunday at the T.G. Glover Primary School. NM Valentine Cox finished second, and FIDE Master (FM) Cecil Moncur settled for third.

In winning the competition, Small took home the top cash prize of $500. Cox, the 2015 winner, claimed $300 for second, and Moncur took home $150 for third. Candidate Master (CM) Kendrick Knowles, the defending champion and a three-time national champion, finished tied for fourth with Woman Candidate Master (WCM) Polina Karelina. They were awarded $62 each. Karelina, from The Leadership Academy, also won the national junior title, succeeding three-time defending champion Philip Hanna Jr. Karelina last won the junior title in 2011.

The event was in a round-robin format over nine rounds. Individual games had a 90-minute time limit.
The players who qualified for the national tournament were Cox, Moncur, Knowles, Karelina, CM Nathan Smith, Edmund Deal, NM Franklyn Gibson, Chappell Whyms, Clive Stuart and WCM Daijah Johnson. Smith withdrew and was replaced by Small.

The drawing for the event took place on Saturday October 21, and round-robin play was held from November 2-12.

The 2017 Bahamas National Chess Championships was sponsoreds by the Lindroth Development Company Ltd. and the ​New Providence Development Co. Ltd.

Meanwhile, the Bahamas Chess Federation (BCF) will hold its next Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of officers on Sunday January 7, 2018. Elections will be held for the positions of president, first vice president, second vice president, treasurer and secretary. Nominations for those positions must be submitted by e-mail before Sunday December 10, 2017. To be eligible for any position, a candidate must be nominated by at least two full members.

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