Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chess Olympiad 2009

Chess Olympiad 2009- First Rated Chess Event in Belize

Congratulations to all the participants and their coaches and countless number of volunteers who made this event such a success!

Olympiad is over and we are looking now towards next year event. At the Olympiad there were 120 players present, from all the districts of Belize: 100 players who competed and 20 kids who were alternates and therefore were there to support their teammates. All the players including alternates were rated players, who received their first rating at the district tournaments this year. Rating is an internationally accepted system of estimate of the strength of the player, based on his performance versus other players. As the result of the Olympiad, we are ready to announce the highest rated players in Belize:

8 and Younger: Gabriel Cocom, Cayo

9 and 10 years old: Joshua Chiang, Cayo

11 and 12 years old: Nayir Marin, Corozal

13 and 14 years old: Alfred Awe, Stann Creek

15 and older: Wayne Huang, Cayo

The youngest player at the Olympiad was Gabriel Cocom, only 6 years old, and the oldest was 18 year old and all players regardless of their age showed skill and ability to concentrate while making decisions on the best course of action in the game.

In the spirit of the BNCYF events, there was a medieval castle in place, and his Majesty King Arnold and Her Majesty Chess Queen Evita present. Upon entering the Tournament Hall, all the team captains were greeted by the Royal Chess Dignitaries: Honorable Simeon Lopez, Mayor of Belmopan, Deborah Sewell, GM At BNE Charitable Trust, Luis Manuel Lopez, Ambassador of Mexico to Belize, Honorable Ramon Witz, South Cayo Area Representative.

This was the first in Belize official rated tournament. The tournament rules and the rating system was approved by BNYCF as well by Belize Chess Federation and was implemented at all the district tournaments within last few month, where the selection of the players was made.

All the district tournament had a purpose of learning experience of playing according to the tournament rules, proper use of chess clocks and notation( writing down moves of the game). At the Olympiad all players 11 years and older were required to notate 2 rounds. Notation is extremely important skill for the development of the chess players: ability to notate makes them chess literate and therefore gives them access to the games of the famous chess players for studying, as well as analyzing their own games and learning from their mistakes.

Below you will see the pictures from the tournament and we hope that you will get an idea that it was not only about winning- it was about creativity, pride in their own team, sportsmanship and of course fun! Enjoy the pictures and we hope to see you at other chess events!

This was the most feared team -from Stann Creek- they entered the Hall proudly carrying the Traveling Trophy from last year:

We wish you could see the performance of Stann Creek: not only exceptional banners, but also masks and their own selection of music for the entry.
As a coach, I have to be honest with you, I believe that Stann Creek sets up new standards every year with their creativity and chess skills.They were truly Knightmares of all the coaches. We all were so impressed last year by their performance, that we all worked extra hard in an attempt to be able to match their level. Stann Creek leads us again to the new levels of creativity.

Toledo's visual aids were used as part of decorations of the olympiad hall, and their banners were matching the skills of stann creek players:

Another amazing quality banner carried by the most accomplished HS chess Player: Wayne Huang
Alternates proudly entered the hall together with their teams:
Best Visual Aids at District events Award
Toledo Chess Association
Best Team Presentation Award
Stann Creek Chess Association

Sportsmanship AWARD
Section 8 and under: Miki Yanai, Royal Infantry Team, Belize district
Section 9&10 years old: Carissa Sabido, Royal Advisors, Belize
Section 11&12 years old:Rajel Villafranco, Princess Pawns, Stann Creek
Section 13&14 years old: Luis Tut, U-Knighted, Stann Creek
Section 15 and over: Ian Avilez, Supreme Pawns, Stann Creek
The Longest Game Award
Section 8 and under: Youngmin Gomez, Belize vs Christopher Perez, Corozal, 44 mins game!
Section 9&10 years old: Richard Beane, Cayo vs Irene Perez, CorozalSection 11&12 years old:Leyma Coc, Toledo vs Shelmadine Pop, Stann Creek, 55 mins game
Section 13&14 years old: Adrian McLaughin, Belize vs Lucienne Bacab, Cayo, 53 min game
Section 15 and over: Glenford Pop, Cayou vs Jose Tobar, Belize, 58 mins game

Overall Winning Teams
First Place: Knights of Cayo, 17.5 points. Players from Bishop Martin and GPC( George Price Center)
Second Place: Bishops of Cayo, 15.5 points,players from St. Barnabas and Bishop Martin schools
Third Place: Supereme Pawns, Players from Stann Creek Ecumenical HS
Traveling Trophy for the 1st place Team went to Knights of Cayo:
Individual Awards
8 and under:
1st place: Jeremy Chiang, Bishops of Cayo, GPC
2nd place: Gabriel Cocom, Knights of Cayo, GPC
3rd place: Jovel Chiac, Blazing Bishops, Maya Mopan, Stann Creek
4th place: Kiederre Loria, Chess Vipers, San Narciso, Corozal
5th place: Jaheed Palacio, Rooks of Cayo, GPC
6thplace: Damian Andrews, U-Knighted, Solid Rook, Stann Creek

9 and 10 years old:
1st place: Joshua Chiang, Knights of Cayo, GPC
2nd place: Ricahrd Beane, Bishops of Cayo, GPC
3rd place: Brent Coombs, Bishops of Cayo, Bishop Martin
4th place: Ivan Pixabaj, Blazing Bishops, Silk Grass, Stann Creek
5th place: Juan Coy, Knights of South Toledo, Crique Sarco
6thplace: Lloyd Augustine, U-Knighted, Sacred Heart, Stann Creek
11 and 12 years old:
1st place: Nayir Marin, Chess Vipers, San Narciso, Corozal
2nd place: Silvano Pau, Knights of South Toledo, Little Flower School
3rd place: Kris Sanchez, Knightmares, Holy Angels, Stann Creek
4th place: MArco Lui, Checkmaters, St Francis Xavier, Corozal
5th place: Jamir Sanchez, Knights of Cayo, Bishop Martin
6thplace: Cezar Gonzales, Rooks of Cayo, St Barnabas

13 and 14 years old:
1st place: Alfred Awe, Supreme Pawns, Ecumenical HS, Stann Creek
2nd place: Fitzroy Chan, Knightmares, Holy Angels, Stann Creek
3rd place: Jouharra Jou, Muffles College, Orange Walk
4th place: Clifford Coleman, Rooks of Cayo, Ontario
5th place: Akeem Jenkins, Knights of Cayo, GPC
6thplace: Gilbert Parham, Knightmares, Holy Angels, Stann Creek
15 years and older:
1st place: Wayne Huang, Crazy Chess Club, BCS, Cayo
2nd place: Triston, Guzman, Supreme Pawns, Ecumenical HS, Stann Creek
3rd place: Huei-Neng He, Crazy Chess Club, BCS, Cayo
4th place: Ian Avilez, Supreme Pawns, Ecumenical HS, Stann Creek
5th place: Juan Vernon, Royal Elephants, Youth for Peace club, Belize
6thplace: Nicasio Sam, Knights of South Toledo, Indian Creek, Toledo

Best Female Players
Section 8 and under: Miki Yanai, Royal Infantry Team, Belize district
Section 9&10 years old: Kennia Francisco, Princess Pawns, Stann Creek
Section 11&12 years old:Carisa Thomas, Corozal Chess Stars, Corozal
Section 13&14 years old: Jouharra Joy, Muffles College, Orange Walk
Section 15 and over: Teresita Pau, Toledo Supareem Queens, Toledo

First BNYCF certified Chess Coaches:
David Martinez, Belize District
Brian Chun, Stann Creek
Jose Teul, Toledo
David Coombs, Cayo
In order to become certified coaches they had to attend series of training sessions, as well as pass practical and theory chess examination and to demonstrate their ability to not only know chess rules, but ability to convey that knowledge to others.
Chess Personalities of the Year Awards:
Adinaldo Requena
Rudolfo Shal
Stann Creek:
Debbie Chun
Brian Chun
Humberto Sanchez
Reymur Ake
Anita Azueta
Carlos Lotiff
Mrs. May
David Martinez

Chess Principal of the Year Award
Evagrio Bol, San Vicente School
Stann Creek:
Francis Humphreys, Ecumenical High School
Gilberto Perez, San Narciso School
Joyce Shaw, St Barnabas Anglican
Mrs Torrez, St Joseph SchoolThe pictures below will make you a believer of chess as an educational and motivational tool: see the concentration on the faces of all the players, thinking about their moves. Ability to concentrate at one particular task and not get distracted until they finish the game, is definitely something that all of us, educators, want to develop in our childred. Chess does it!

Seeing this girl, Betty Bul from Toledo, who had experience last year to play US women Champion Jennifer Shahade at the simul, reminded me of the conversation that Jennifer had with the girls at the summer camp. She said that when she was young and just started competing, she was not doing too well at the tournaments, until she found the way not only to try her best at playing, but also enjoying it, having fun after the tournaments were over. Jennifer told the girls that she believes that enjoying being at the tournaments, and have fun after the games are over is very important. Well learned lesson, see for yourself:
Art section was very popular as well as the puzzles section

Cayo team :

Skittles area or practice area, where Richard Beane and other coaches were providing mini lessons between the games. Of course those coaches were hoping that their teams would win the tournament, but it didn't stop them from doing an excellent job as Skittles area directors- they worked on improving skills of players from all teams.

Play offs for the 1st place in the 13&14 years old section: