On Saturday, The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation, held its 6th annual CHESS OLYMPIAD at the UB GYM in Belmopan. 140 of the best youth chess players in the country participated and Brent Toombs of OXA Productions helped us out with this story on the grand event.
Monica Bodden reporting
As per tradition, the Chess Olympiad started with a rush of fanfare and pageantry but once the opening was done all the bells and whistles were hushed and the players were left to the beauty of strategic silence of their game. Black versus white within the confines of 64 squares - a battle of mental might.
Ella Anderson - National Programme Director, BNYCF
"We really see the best players from all the districts because the idea of the Olympiad is that all players who want to participate have to go through the qualification tournaments in their district and then the best 24 players from each district qualify to play here."
This year the tournament directors are kids whoíve come up in the programme
"A lot of our junior coaches qualified now to be the tournament directors so this is the first Olympiad when we have four of our players who studied with us, learned how to play the game and today they are working as Tournament Directors."
Coleen Tate, Tournament Director
"I started playing chess when I was eleven years old, I basically grew up with them for six years of my life doing chess and more"
"Coleen is incredible because she puts so much positive energy in what she's doing."
And itís not just chess, this yearís theme is wildlife:
Gillian Kirkwood - Belize Wildlife Conservation Network
"It absolutely makes sense to teach the children to have compassion for animals to have respect for each other, respect wildlife and to send a message to the children because these are the ambassadors for our future. If we can start with the children at a very young age, understanding the wildlife's rule and regulations and how important it is to leave the wildlife in freedom - then the children get that message and they get it through chess."
- In the team event, 1st place went to Stann Creek district and 2nd place to Orange Walk.
- For the Individual results, in the 8 and under category, 1st place went to Heizen Loria, form Corozal
- For the 9 and 10age range, 1st place went to Aaron Tamay from Corozal.
- In the 11 year old range, 1st place went to Gilbert Tescecum, of Toledo.
- First for 12 year old was Vincent Hulse, from West Cayo.
- For 13 and 14 year oldís 1st place went to Jerome Sho of Stann Creek.
- And for 15 year oldís Steve Flowers, of the Belize district was first.