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Belize City Chess Grand Prix: Exciting Battles and Rising Stars

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Belize City Chess Grand Prix: Exciting Battles and Rising Stars

Belize Chess Federation

On June 24th, 2024, chess enthusiasts gathered at the Turton Library in Belize City for the highly anticipated 3rd Event in the Belize Chess Grand Prix. The tournament showcased the talent and passion of 26 players from various regions of Belize, including Belize City, Orange Walk, Cayo, and Corozal. The event featured four players from Belize's Top 10, making it a showdown of the country's finest chess players.

Belize City Grand Prix
Belize City Grand Prix Prizes


In the Open Section, the tournament kicked off with all the favorites emerging victorious in their round 1 matchups. As the competition progressed, one of the standout moments came in Round 2 when two stalwarts of Belize chess, David Martinez and Charlton Roches, faced off. The game between both players, who have made significant contributions to the chess community, ended with Roches clinching the victory.

Round 3 witnessed an intriguing battle between Rank #2 player Steve Flowers and Rank #13 Kenneth Perez. In their previous encounter at the Orange Walk Grand Prix, Perez managed to hold Flowers to a draw before clinching second in the tournament by winning their tiebreak blitz game. This time, Perez emerged victorious, defeating Flowers and entering Round 4 tied for first place with Charlton Roches and Maximilliano Novelo.

Round 4 brought another exciting matchup between Rank #6 Charlton Roches and Rank #7 Maximilliano Novelo. In their head-to-head encounter, it was Roches who emerged as the winner, further solidifying his presence in the tournament and going into the final round tied with Kenneth Perez.

Maximilliano Novelo vs Charlton Roches
Maximilliano Novelo vs Charlton Roches

The climax of the Open Section arrived in Round 5 when Kenneth Perez faced Charlton Roches. The winner of this crucial matchup would claim the title of the Belize City Chess Grand Prix champion. Perez, who had already secured the runner-up position in the previous Orange Walk Grand Prix, exhibited an outstanding performance and overcame the formidable challenge posed by Roches, securing a well-deserved victory and the tournament title.

Although Roches suffered a defeat in the final round, he managed to secure 3rd place and elevated his national ranking to Rank 3. Kenneth Perez, as the tournament champion, not only became the third player to qualify for the Grand Finale but has also accumulated the most Championship Points. His excellent performance raised his national ranking from Rank 13 to Rank 4!

Winner of the Open Section, Kenneth Perez
Winner of the Open Section, Kenneth Perez

The final rankings of the Open Section were as follows:

1st Place: Kenneth Perez - 160 pts

2nd Place: Steve Flowers - 120 pts

3rd Place: Charlton Roches - 120 pts

Final Standings - Open Section
Final Standings - Open Section

U-15 Section

In the U-15 Section, similar to the Open section, the early rounds witnessed victories from all the top seeds, setting the stage for intense battles among the rising stars.

Round 2 featured an exhilarating matchup between U-18 Rank 5 Nayven Quan and U-18 Rank 3 Mikael Carvantes. In their previous encounter during the Orange Walk Qualifier, Carvantes emerged as the victor. However, this time, Nayven held Carvantes to a draw, showcasing his improvement and resilience.

As the competition progressed to Round 3, promising newcomer Morgan Chavarria faced Mikael Cervantes but was unable to cause an upset, eventually losing the game.

Round 4 presented an important matchup between U-18 Rank 1 and tournament favorite Zeyad Godoy and Mikael Cervantes. The winner of this game would secure a comfortable lead heading into the final round. Ultimately, Zeyad Godoy emerged victorious, further solidifying his position in the tournament.

An unexpected upset also occurred in Round 4 when another rising star, Francis Martin (Who is competing in this first event and has only lost to Zeyad Godoy), defeated U-18 Rank 5 player Nayven Quan and cemented himself as a top competitor in the tournament!

The tournament reached its climax in Round 5 with two crucial matchups. Francis Martin, coming off a victory against Nayven Quan, faced U-18 Rank 3 Mikael Cervantes. After an intense battle, it was Francis Martin who emerged victorious, guaranteeing at least a top 3 finish in the tournament and showcasing his potential.

The final game was between Morgan Chavarria and the tournament favorite, Zeyad Godoy. With an impressive performance throughout the event, Chavarria needed a win to secure a three-way tiebreak match for first place among himself, Godoy, and Martin. The players engaged in an exciting game, which ultimately ended in a draw, securing Zeyad Godoy's second Grand Prix victory and his spot as the top seed in the Grand Finale.

Zeyad Godoy also breaks into Belize Top 10 ranking at #9 on the June 2023 Rating List.

Francis Martin Second Place
Francis Martin - Second Place

With Zeyad Godoy's previous qualification, the second-place finisher Francis Martin earned a spot in the Grand Finale.

U15 Section Winner Zeyad Godoy
U15 Section Winner Zeyad Godoy

The final rankings of the U-15 Section were as follows:

1st Place: Zeyad Godoy - 160 pts

2nd Place: Francis Martin - 130 pts

3rd Place: Nayven Quan - 100 pts

Final Standings - U15 Section
Final Standings - U15 Section

The organizers would like to extend special thanks to the Turton Library and the Belize National Library Service for providing a spacious and family-friendly venue for the event. The Belize Chess Grand Prix showcased the passion, dedication, and talent of the participants, while also highlighting the emergence of promising young players in the Belizean chess community.

To view current Grand Prix Standings, visit: Belize Chess Grand Prix | BCF

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