Leigh Sandiford of Providence school is the 2015 Massy United Insurance Under 12 national chess champion.
Leigh achieved this goal over the weekend at the St. Michael school as he swept all and sundry before him to win all six of his games and to finish atop of the 46 player field. The reigning Under 12 Carifta Chess champ was in good form and was always in the lead throughout the event.
Going into the final round last Saturday, Leigh was a half point ahead of Azariah Johnson who sat in second on four and a halfpoints. In the game which was for all the marbles Azariah tried valiantly to secure the victory that would see her claim the coveted title, but it was to no avail, as Leigh played accurately to win the game and take the crown.
This then left five players who were on four points to scramble for the rest of the spots on the podium. Out of these 5 players, three ended up sharing 2nd to 4th position all on five points. These were Azari Gittens 2nd who won against Joshua Millar, Aaron Haynes 3rd on tiebreak who won from Jadyn Gill and Tyson Holder 4th who defeated former under 10 national champion Pritika Khandamaran.
This was an extremely pleasing result for Tyson Holder who has only recently entered competitive chess.
Following the top four were Azariah Johnson and Alan Lynch who both finished on four and a half points. Azariah won the prize for best performance by a girl.
A large bunch of players followed these on four points and included Jadyn Gill, Tyrell Brathwaite, Yeshua Hill, Joshua Millar, Eric Lashley, Nathan Russel- Griffith, Gaybrianna Moore and Vanessa Greenidge.
The winner of the Under 8 championship which was incorporated in the Under 12 was Daniel Lashley who finished a point ahead ofSkye Brito.
The overall Under 12 champ Leigh Sandiford will be joining the Under 16 Carifta champion Yu Tien Poon and the Under 20 Carifta champ Orlando Husbands in Colombia over the coming week as they carry the national flag at the 2015 Pan American youth chess championship.