12-year-old Raehanna Brown makes history

Friday, October 12, 2018

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The Queen's Preparatory Open Chess tournament had scores of participants from more than 30 schools vying for prizes in six main categories — Open, Under 8, 10 and 12, Beginners and Hunt the King.

The Open section, which featured high school students and adults, ended in a four-way tie among Nicholas Lyn, Raheem Glaves, Carson Thomas and Raehanna Brown. In the end it was Brown who copped first place on tie break.

“I am feeling really elated about my accomplishment. This achievement has motivated me to push even harder and aim further to achieve my dreams of becoming a grandmaster,” noted the beaming winner.

Brown, a second form Campion College student and member of R&D Chess Academy, has become the youngest female chess player to win an Open section and only the second female in Jamaica's 40- 'plus'-year chess history to do so.

So what's the secret? “It is not simply a case of talent and smarts. Doing well and achieving what she has done at her age is primarily a result of her love for the sport, fuelled by hard work, dedication and strong parental support,” noted her coach, WIM Deborah Richards-Porter.

In the Under-12 section, Jaden Shaw of St Andrew Prep and member of Chess Whiz Kids Academy proved too much for his competitors as he cruised his way to a perfect six points. He was closely followed by Gabriella Watson (second) and Kofi Sutherland (third on tie break).

The Under-10 category was won by Harrison Prep student Corbin Harvey. The Royale Chess Academy pupil made a clean sweep and claimed all six points. Second and third places went to Michael Graham and Zaina O'Connor, respectively.

Teammates Jayden Gregory and Mark Wignall, both of Bright Beginnings Educational Centre, shared first place in the Under-8 category. The two conceded one point each to both end on five points. Third place was a four-way tie, but Dedipya Sunkara was awarded the accolade on tiebreak.

The Beginner section was dominated by brother-sister duo Victor Okpivbe and Kathryn Okpiavbe, both of Jessie Ripoll Primary, while third place went to Joshua Miller.

Aundre Chang Jr claimed the Hunt the King section, while Ava Dabdoub and Dominyk Harris had to settle for second and third, respectively.

The tournament was held on Saturday at The Queen's Preparatory School and organised by R&D Chess Academy.

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