Avian Pride Emerges as the 2023 Bahamas National Junior Chess Champion
November 4, 2023 - The Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Conference room witnessed intense battles and remarkable feats of strategic thinking during the 2023 Bahamas National Junior Chess Championship. With a record of 44 participants competing across various age categories, the championship provided a platform for young talents to showcase their skills in a 5-round Swiss format tournament.
The tournament began with the defending champion, Curtis Pride, Jr., making a strong statement by winning three straight games on board 1. His impressive performance garnered attention and raised expectations of a potential repeat victory. However, in round 4, Curtis was paired against Sohan Umesh, who had also won three consecutive games.
To the surprise of many, Umesh took an early lead and Curtis was unable to recover. Curtis concluded the tournament with a commendable record of 4 wins and 1 loss, a remarkable performance, but it fell just short of reclaiming the championship. Meanwhile, Umesh continued his winning streak, securing a flawless score of 5 wins and 0 losses.
The game between Curtis and Umesh in round 4 became the talk of the tournament, elevating Umesh to the position of a top contender for the championship.
While Curtis and Umesh garnered attention, Avian Pride quietly and calmly climbed the ranks, winning four straight games on board 2. In round 5, Avian found himself matched on board 1 against Huguesson Valcourt, who had maintained an undefeated record through four rounds.
In a breathtaking match against Huguesson, Avian faced an apparently insurmountable situation. With less than one minute on his clock and Huguesson still holding 7 minutes, the pressure was immense. However, Avian skillfully managed his time and made strategic moves under the watchful eyes of everyone at the tournament. In a stunning turn of events, with just 3 seconds left on his clock, Avian checkmated Huguesson. This sensational victory stole the spotlight from Umesh and marked a remarkable moment in the championship.
The Showdown for the Championship
With both Avian and Umesh finishing with 5 wins each, the championship was decided in a dramatic showdown between the two talented young chess players. Umesh fought valiantly, but it was Avian who emerged victorious in the decisive match, clinching the title as the 2023 National Junior Chess Champion.
Umesh secured the second-place position, while Huguesson Valcourt claimed third place in the highly competitive tournament. The 2023 Bahamas National Junior Chess Championship concluded with Avian Pride's impressive performance and his crowning as the new champion, marking a memorable day of strategic brilliance in Bahamian junior chess.
TOP 3 Places in Each Age Group
Winner: Caerwyn Turnquest
2nd Place: Liam Hepburn
3rd Place: Kymani Poitier
Winner: M'kai Fernander
2nd Place: Matteo Davies
3rd Place: Zayne Berry
Winner: Sohan Umesh
2nd Place: Mekayden Clare
3rd Place: Larell Hanchell
Winner: Avian Pride
2nd Place: Ocari Delancy
3rd Place: Ronnario Oliver
Winner: Huguesson Valcourt
2nd Place: Manan Pahwa
3rd Place: Kamori Rolle
Winner: Curtis Pride, Jr.
2nd Place: Victor Mikello
3rd Place: Zacchary Carey
The tournament was organized by Bahamas Chess Federation. Curtis Pride, Sr. was the Tournament Director. National Arbiter Angel Pride served as the Chief Arbiter and Fide Arbiter Elton Joseph as the Deputy Arbiter.