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Johnson, Singh to defend junior chess titles

The National Junior Chess Championships starts on Saturday at St Mary’s College, Centenary Hall on Pembroke Street, Port of Spain with Under-14 female champion Gabriella Johnson and Under-16 male winner Mahendra Singh both coming back to try and defend their respective titles.
The other reigning champions taking part will be stepping up to a higher age-group with Under-8 winner Athena Martin advancing to Under-10; Under-10 winners Sean Yearwood (Male) and Shemilah James (Female), both advancing to Under-12; Under-12 winners Mikel Martin (Male) and Della-Marie Walcott (Female), advancing to Under-14; Under-14 champion Joshua Johnson going up to Under-16 and Under-16 winner Javanna Smith moving to the Under-18 level.
The championships will see participants playing a maximum of six rounds on Saturday and Sunday and on January 11-12.
The tournament is expected to attract a wide cross-section of players, including many of the junior “veterans”, as well as some other promising participants from all over the country.
The registration fee for the championships is $ 40 per player and is payable on the first day of the tournament.
Registration closes at 9.30 a.m. on Saturday.
The organiser also advised players to pre-register by emailing pro@chesstt.org.
Prospective players must include the name, date of birth, category they will be participating in and a contact number and email address.
Meanwhile the Female Exclusive Mind Sports (FEMS) will be hosting their second annual chess tournament for girls only tomorrow at the Couva East  Secondary School, starting at 9.30 a.m.
The tournament, sponsored jointly by Oracle Engineering Company and Andy Mohan Welding & Fabrication Co Ltd, will move off what is expected to be a packed calendar for 2014, which includes Trinidad and Tobago hosting the Sub-Zonal for the first time and the national senior teams preparing for the World Chess Olympiad, which takes place in Norway in early August.
FEMS, this country’s only all-female chess club, has invited girls under 20 years to play in the open seven-round Swiss format rapid-play tournament with each game lasting a maximum of 50 minutes.
Prizes will be given to the top three finishers in Under-10, 12, 14, 16, and 20 categories with additional special prizes to be awarded.
The tournament is open to all female chess players and those wishing to pre-register can contact Aditi Soondarsingh at 703-6989 or Barbara Richmond at 473-7546 or Sandy Razark at 683-4439.
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