The curtain has fallen this week-end on the Rotary Curepipe Junior Chess Championship 2017 and after 6 rounds of hard fought chess Samuel Genevieve (St Joseph) beats out the challenge of Gyanesh Digumber (RCC) to win the title with an undefeated performance of five wins and a draw in six games. However the competition did not start well for Samuel as in his first round encounter he was completely lost against Vagish Andhin (Lycee Labourdonnais) but he escaped with a draw after Andhin stalemated him.Samuel went on to rack four consecutive wins before facing the leader Gyanesh Digumber in the decisive last round.A win was imperative for Samuel to bag the title on home turf and he went all in,sacrificing a piece to hunt Digumber monarch on the king side.Tragedy struck for Gyanesh as he had the opportunity  to play b6 which would untangle all his  undeveloped pieces on the Queenside and consolidate for a win with the extra knight but he missed that move and Samuel crashed in with his attack to win the game.Luck favoured the brave and Samuel Genevieve can look on this hard fought title with pride. Gyanesh could not follow on the footsteps of the previous RCC winner Mrinal Ramsaha and had to content himself with the runner-up spot on 5 points,he surprised the field by winning three times with the Scholar's mate trap and he was gracious in congratulating the winner saying the better player won.

In the other categories Stephanie Lee You Voon (LCQB) made a late dash to pip Charlotte Labour (Pierre Poivre) to the Girls title.Stephanie had a bit of luck in the 5th round when she drew with her college mate Uvika Essoo in a completely lost position only to be stalemated.In the final round she faced Day One leader Amarb Hida (IPS) and managed to win while her closest competitor Charlotte Labour had the bad luck to face the experienced Vagish Andhin. Charlotte lost the game after a big fight and this handed the Girls title to Stephanie Lee You Voon who finished on 4.5 points and third overall, a great achievement considering the mixed field.

The Under 12 category title went to 9 year old Kenji Ng (IPS) who scored a very creditable 4.5 points in such a tough field. Kenji secured his title by defeating a close rival ,Keertisingh Dabee (RCC) in the last round and he looks to be a very promising chess kid. The runner-up spot  in this Under 12 category went to Siddharth Luchmiah (RCC) , a late entry who started badly with a loss but put on a strong finish to prevent  Amarb Hida from making it a complete sweep for the International Preparatory School of Mapou.

The unluckiest player must be fifth placed player Vagish Andhin on 4.5 points and out of the prizes as on paper he was the most experienced player of the field,having represented Mauritius at the World Youth Championship in Durban (South Africa) in 2014. However he was derailed by the stalemate draw he made with winner Samuel Genevieve in the first round and to add insult to injury he fell to the Scholar's mate tactic of Gyanesh Digumber in the fifth round.

On 4 points we note with interest the good performances of Emmanuel Cabot and Gregory Augustin from Renascence college and Jayeprokash Aveenesh from Abdool Raman college who managed to finish ahead of the players of their more fancied rivals of  RCC and St Joseph. The Raghubar brothers Drishan and Madhav from Robinson Govt School also put on a good showing on 3.5 points and if their school join the incoming Chess In Schools program there is no doubt that they will have to be followed in future events. The overall performance of the LCQB girls were encouraging ,particularly that of  Stephanie and Uvika and this bodes well for a future Olympiad female team.The MCF congratulates all the participants and hopes to see them in future events in 2017.

In their closing speech the President of the Rotary Club of Curepipe thanked the MCF for their support at this event and the participants as well as the parents who were eager to watch the performances of their children in this challenging tournament.The MCF is grateful of the sponsorship of the Rotary Club Curepipe to this Chess Championship and stands ready to collaborate with them on any other future activity such as a "Chess Teachers Seminar".

Final Standings