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13-year-old Barbadian chess champion places in top 5 at FIDE | Loop Barbados

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National ladies national champion Hannah Wilson finished a creditable fifth place in the Girls’ Under-13 category at the FIDE World School Chess Championship in Panama.

The Queen’s College student narrowly missed out on securing a first global medal for Barbados when the eight-day event concluded on Saturday.

Wilson, who was seeded at no. 6 among the 34 entrants, finished with six points from nine rounds after stumbling in her final three games.

The 13-year-year-old, the early front-runner after winning her five games, cemented her lead in the standings by extending her 100 per cent record in the sixth round when she beat top seed, American Woman Candidate Master Omya Vidyarthi.

Defeats in the next two games against lower rated opponents left Wilson needing a victory against no. 2 seed Sofia Araya Mayorga of Costa Rica in the final round to ensure a medal but she was unable to clinch the win.

After her impressive string of victories, Wilson lost in the seventh round to Quispe Vizcarra of Peru and also went under in the eighth round against Gurvanbaatar Urangoo of Mongolia.

In a tournament that produced a fair share of upsets, Urangoo, the no. 17 seed, won the gold medal with seven and a half points, while her countrymate, no. 11 seed Bayarsaikhan Khulan – who Wilson defeated in the fourth round – took the bronze with six and a half points.

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Mayorga finished second with seven points as four of the top five seeds placed outside the first five.

Wilson, who was crowned as the youngest Barbados ladies national champion in April, was aiming to secure a podium finish for a third straight international competition after her success of last year when she won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Youth Festival and a silver at the Pan American Youth Festival.

The FIDE World School Chess Championship, which was staged for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted 489 players from 37 countries. It was contested in six age-groups – Under-17, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11, Under-9 and Under-7.

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