Saturday, April 20, 2024

Barnett upsets Suki in Masters


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Mark Barnett scored the biggest upset of his short draughts career with a brilliant 1-0 defeat of idol and former world champion Ronald ”Suki” King on an evening of drama in the Henderson Layne Memorial Invitational Tournament on Sunday.

This dramatic victory by Barnett followed another major upset when former national champion Richard Grazette lost 0-1 to Hallam Hope.

Barnett’s win was equally impressive as King, like Grazette, was caught in a technically superb pitch of “double breaches”. Refusing to offer a draw, King laboured with four pieces, playing for a much-needed win against an equal number.

But to his consternation, Barnett came up with a gem in the last of two matchups, offering a piece and then sliding into a choice of two eats. As was the case with Hope, it was a career-best win against a vastly more accomplished player.

The award of the match to Barnett sparked applause for the emerging player, who stuck with his favoured 12-16 or Edinburgh opening.

Both Grazette and King desperately needed points to overtake leader Jack Francis, who will seek to complete victory in the Masters division tonight when he meets Hope in the 12th and final round at Christ Church Girl’s School at 4:30 p.m.

Francis is on 29 points, two more than King, Carson Farley and Rawle Williams in what has been an exceedingly competitive tournament.

Farley had a grand evening, defeating both Williams and Hope 1-0.

There is no doubt that Tyrone “General Norpe” Moore has dominated the Majors division and now eyes the Masters.

Reigning national Majors champion Moore defeated Wynell Neverson 1-0 and drew 0-0 with Anderson “Brickford” Hunte to reach an unassailable 33 points.

Michael Weekes is second with 28 points and Ryan Eustace third on 27.

Weekes defeated Carl David 1-0 and drew with Andrew Harris. Eustace trounced Victor Mayers 2-0 and sliced Rawle Nicholls 1-0. Harris and Eric Rice are next on 26 points each. (HH)


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