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Apr 19, 2010

Stann Creek players one move ahead at Chess Olympiad

chess 1The annual Chess Olympiad was held on Saturday in the capital city and by all accounts, the event was a major success. Over a hundred players participated in the intense competition that is growing popular among youths. According to Program Director of the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation, Ella Anderson, this year’s top performers came from the Stann Creek District which took first, second and third place in the team competitions. That southern district also claimed first place in three individual categories. Jovel Chiac won in the under eight age group, Lloyd Augustine triumphed in the ages nine and ten category and Javier Lisbey was the top player for ages fifteen and up. Anderson told us more about the Olympiad and its purpose.

Ella Anderson, Program Director, Belize National Youth Chess Foundation

“It was an extremely successful event because the Chess Olympiad, as we always plan it, is supposed to be a national event and that’s what it was. We a had hundred and forty active players as well as forty older players that came from all the districts. In addition there were many, many spectators that came to see it because it wasn’t just a chess tournament, it was really like a celebration of art and creativity. There were so many interesting things that all the districts brought with them.”

Delahnie Bainchess 2

“What is the overall aim of this annual Olympiad?”

Ella Anderson

“The main goal is that we want the kids to be involved in the academically challenging and socially appropriate activity and we want to reduce the crime; to get the kids off the streets because usually if kids have nothing to do then they’re looking for something else. Now, the Olympiad is not a one day event, it’s something that kids working together through the whole year. So Olympiad happened Saturday and already they’re talking about how they will prepare for the next event. We’re not only talking about few kids, it’s all the kids in the country who play chess, which is around eight hundred, nine hundred right now and they all participate in the local weekend camps or the local tournaments or they travel from one district to another to play each other during the year, they learn new techniques.”

Click here for full results from the 2010 Chess Olympiad.

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