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Belize National Chess Championship Grand Finale 2023 - How? What? Where?

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Exciting Battles Await at the Belize National Chess Championship Grand Finale


Date: 26th August 2023

Location: George Price Center, Belmopan

Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm


The stage is set, the pieces are ready, and the minds are sharpened. The Belize National Chess Championship Grand Finale promises to be an exciting event as the finest chess players from across Belize gather at the George Price Center in Belmopan on August 26th, 2023. This event not only marks the culmination of the Belize Chess Grand Prix but also aims to crown the Belize National Chess Champion and the U-15 Chess Champion.


All players who have qualified for the Grand Finale have showcased their skill throughout the Belize Chess Grand Prix. We had over 90 of Belize chess player compete in Five qualifying events were held across the country with one in Cayo, Stann Creek, Belize, Caye Caulker, and Orange Walk. The wildcards were also selected through an online qualifier. We had at least one chess player from every district in Belize.


The participants who have earned their place in the Grand Finale have unequivocally demonstrated their exceptional skill and prowess throughout the course of the riveting Belize Chess Grand Prix. An impressive number of over 90 chess players engaged in spirited competition, engaging in five intense qualifying events dispersed across Belize, spanning Cayo, Stann Creek, Belize, Caye Caulker, and Orange Walk. The wildcard entrants were chosen through a difficult single elimination online qualification process, further amplifying the depth of talent that will be showcased. It is worth noting that every district in Belize was represented by at least one adept chess contender.



 

Open Section: Clash of Titans


The tournament will follow a Double Elimination format.

Players will engage in Best of One matches with a time control of G30.

*In the event of a draw, a 5+5 minute blitz tiebreak will be played.


Color Selection: The higher ranked seed will close their color for the game.




Leading the pack is Greg Vitko (CY), the Number 1 seed. Having emerged victorious in both the Cayo Qualifier and Stann Creek Qualifier, Vitko is a force to be reckoned with. Notably, he is the oldest player to qualify for this event at over 60 years of age, making his journey all the more inspiring. Vitko holds the distinction of being the #2 ranked player in Belize and boasts an impressive FIDE rating of 2295 at his prime.


Following closely is Kenneth Perez (OW), the second seed, and winner of the Belize City qualifier. He is ranked 6th in Belize and his formidable skills are bound to make him a strong contender for the title.


Luis Mendez Jr. (CY), the third seed, is a rising star in the Belizean chess scene. With consistent improvement over the years, he is currently ranked 2nd in Belize and aspires to elevate his game in this championship.


Michael Campos (OW), the fourth seed, stands out as the second-highest rated Belizean player in online chess. With a current ranking of 8th in Belize, Campos' online prowess could be his ticket to success on the physical board.


Jerome Sho (SC), the fifth seed, secured his spot by finishing as the runner-up in the Stann Creek Qualifier. Ranked 9th in Belize, Sho is determined to showcase his skills and establish his position among the top players.


Alfred Awe (SC), the sixth seed, enters the tournament with the most championship points and is the current top-ranked player in Belize. His aim is to solidify his position as the champion and further cement his legacy in Belizean chess.


Steve Flowers (BZ), the seventh seed, brings a wealth of experience to the event. A consistent top performer over the years, Flowers is currently ranked 4th in Belize and is hungry for victory.


Cristobal Campos (OW), the eighth and final player in the Open section, showcases his online expertise by securing a place as the runner-up in the online qualifier. Ranked 11th in Belize, he rounds off a strong field of competitors poised for an epic battle on the board.


Open Section Finalists
Open Section Finalists

U-15 Section: Rising Stars


In the U-15 section, young talents will shine as they compete in a single round-robin format with a time control of G15. This promises to be an arena for future champions to make their mark.


Format: Double round robin

Time Control: G15


NOTE: Format Change to a single round robin with G15


Zeyad Godoy (OW) stands as the number one seed in this category, having clinched victory in both the Orange Walk Qualifier and the Belize Qualifier. His strong performance in the qualifiers positions him as a formidable contender for the U-15 Chess Champion title.


Gregory Mc Gibney (CY), the second seed, brings his prowess to the table after winning the Caye Caulker Qualifier and securing a tied 3rd place in the Cayo Qualifier. He finished with the second highest championship points in the U15 section.


Omar De Shield (CY) holds the third seed, emerging victorious in the Cayo Swiss. De Shield showcased remarkable skill by securing a 3rd place finish in the Open section of the Cayo Qualifier as well with an impressive victory in a blitz tiebreak vs current Belize Rank 3 Luis Mendez Jr.


Francis Martin (OW), the fourth seed, qualified as the runner-up in the Belize Swiss. With notable participation in the Stann Creek Open, where he faced strong opponents including the Number 1, 2 and 4 ranked players in Belize. Martin aims to use his experience to his advantage.


Nayven Quan (CZL) claims the fifth seed, earning his place through the most championship points. He had great performances in the Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize Tournaments and is definitely one of the favorites.


Mikael Cervantes (OW), the sixth seed, stands out with the second-most championship points. He had great performances in the Belize and Orange Walk Tournament narrowly missing tournament victory, he is definitely a strong contender.


Jash Trejo (OW) and Miguel Pech (OW) secure their positions as wildcard qualifiers. Trejo's outstanding online performance earns him a spot, and Pech's victory in the online qualifying match seals his place in this promising lineup. Miguel Pech had a very impressive performance in the Orange Walk tournament tying for first but was unable to attend any other event. Jash Trejo, while he was unable to compete in any of our 5 qualifying events, has shown to be a very strong player at the Orange Walk Chess Camp. He is definitely a dark horse in the event.


U15 Section Finalists
U15 Section Finalists

Conclusion


As the chess pieces are meticulously placed on the board, the anticipation is palpable. The Belize National Chess Championship Grand Finale promises to be a day of strategic brilliance, fierce competition, and the crowning of champions. With seasoned players battling for supremacy in the Open section and young prodigies vying for the U-15 title, this event is a celebration of the intellectual sport of chess and a testament to the dedication of Belize's chess community. On August 26th, all eyes will be on the George Price Center as the chessboards come alive with the magic of the game.

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