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Stann Creek Qualifier Kicks Off Belize National Chess Championship Cycle 2024

Updated: 5 days ago

On Saturday, 8th June 2024, the Ecumenical Junior College hosted the Stann Creek Qualifier for the Belize National Chess Championship Cycle 2024. The event brought together 13 players from Stann Creek and Cayo Districts, including participants from Spanish Lookout, Independence Village, and Placencia.

Belize Chess
Start of Round 1

Among the favorites were Rank 9 Jerome Sho and Rank 27 Marric Elijio. Notable players included former U-13 Champion Kris Sanchez, Tony Sho, rising stars Joseph Koop and Jan Sosa, and 67-year-old Jim Banks.

Due to the limited number of players, the U-15 section was merged with the open section.

Event Highlights

  • Round 1: In a surprising twist,13-year-old Blane Benedict scored an impressive win over Marric Elijio.

  • Round 3: Jim Banks defeated tournament favorite Jerome Sho and now becomes the favorite to win the event.

Jerome Sho vs Jim Banks
Marric watching the Jerome Sho vs Jim Banks game
  • Round 4: In the longest game of the round, Banks beat Joseph Koop, leading the tournament going into the final round.

Jim Banks vs Joseph Koop
Jim Banks vs Joseph Koop

In Round 4 we also saw matchup between the two top seeds Jerome Sho and Marric Elijio. Elijio was fighting for revenge for his defeat at lasts years tournament to Sho. Despite having a better position at one point, Sho proved to be the better player again and won the game.

Round 4 also saw the important U-15 Matchup between Jan Sosa and Blane Benedict. In the clash Jan Sosa prevailed and guaranteed himself the Stann Creek Qualifying spot.

Belize Chess
Players getting ready for the final round
  • Final Round: The final round saw several unexpected outcomes. Jerome Sho lost to 13-year-old Blane Benedict. Benedict had an excellent event securing victories over both top seeds. Newcomer Stefan Sosa achieved an impressive win over Marric Elijio. The last game of the tournament was between Joseph Koop and Tony Sho, A win by Joseph would set the stage for a SIX player tie for second place while a win by Sho would secure him second place in the event.

It was a hard fought game however eventually it was Tony Sho who prevailed in the game and secured second place in the event.

Winner - Jim Banks
Jim Banks qualifies for the Challengers Tournament

Final Standings

1st Place: Jim Banks (SC) - 160 Pts

2nd Place: Tony Sho (SC) - 130 Pts

3rd Place: Jerome Sho (SC) - 100 Pts

Joseph Koop (CY) - 100 Pts

Stefan Sosa (CY) - 100 Pts

Mr. Jim Banks secures his qualification for the 2024 Challengers Tournament.


U-15 Section

Jan Sosa
Jan Sosa - U15 Winner

Winner: Jan Sosa (CY)

Jan Sosa qualifies for the 2024 Junior National Championship!

Jan Sosa (CY) - 160 Pts

Special thanks to Marric Elijio for his assistance with the venue and providing chess sets, Mardi and Jerry Collins for assisting us with additional chess sets and Ecumenical Junior College for providing us the Venue for host the event.

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