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SLU Chess Team Member Wins Individual Gold at Championship


Benjamin Bok, a member of the SLU Chess Team, won the individual gold medal at the first European Pairs Chess Championship.

The championships, an official side event of the European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023, took place in Poland and wrapped up Monday, June 19. Bok represented the Netherlands in the event and was teamed up with Eline Roebers. The duo combined for 14 points and placed second in the team competition. 

Saint Louis University Chess Team member and Grandmaster Benjamin Bok sitting in front of a chess board wearing a blue SLU sweatshirt.
Benjamin Bok. SLU File Photo.

As an individual, Bok was the top individual performer in the open standings. He earned his top finish with back-to-back 2-0 victories over the eventual second- and third-place finishers. 

"I am very proud of Benjamin's recent successes," said SLU Coach Var Akobian. He has been working very hard and I am very happy to see this results. I am looking forward to working with him this fall."

The event featured a qualification round and a playoff round. The individual medalists were determined by the playoffs. The pair awards were decided by the final position of the players of each team after the playoffs. Eight points were awarded for first place, with the points descending for each finisher. 

Bok, a chess grandmaster, made his debut in 2016 for the Dutch Olympic team and participated in the two most recent World Cups.

At SLU, Bok was a member of the 2022 National Championship squad. Earlier this spring Bok helped the Billikens win the Collegiate Chess League (CCL) tournament. The season-long tournament culminated on April 16, with SLU defeating the University of Missouri. SLU is the first team in the CCL’s five-year history to win two championships.