New Year Opener: Ezeanya, Ojikutu, Bello and Suraj triumphs at Kaduna State Chess Festival 2022

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Winner—Ikechukwu Ezeanya receiving his prize from Kaduna State Chess Association Secretary Mrs. Gloria Adamu

In collaboration with Kaduna state chess players, the Kaduna state chess association organized the maiden edition of the Kaduna state Chess Festival. The tournament served as the new year opener for a chess competition in Nigeria.

The maiden Kaduna state Chess festival took place at the media center of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on January 3, 2022. Kaduna, the crocodile city, hasn’t seen a large turnout in the audience of chess players after the conclusion of the first northern chess championships organized by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, held over five years ago.

The festival had a rapid time control of 15 minutes and three categories:

  1. Open
  2. Under 16
  3. Female

A total of eighty (80) participants attended the tournament. Players from neighboring FCT Abuja who participated in the festival include Deputy Chief Arbiter—Samuel Ojikutu and Yinalanah HumphreyYemi Owowa, Takeet Olayinka and others.

This lack of chess tournaments has restricted chess players to their local clubs in suburbs and online platforms.

Under 16 Winner—Hussain Suraj receiving his prize from Deputy Chief Arbiter and player—Samuel Ojikutu

However, the Kaduna state Chess association put together a rapid and blitz tournament over the new year’s holiday. 

Winner of the female Category—Jessica Bello receiving her prize from 2021 Abuja Chess Champion, Adejoh Joshua

A plethora of national chess players was on show at this event. Newly married Ikechukwu Ezeanya came out tops in the rapid event. Samuel Ojikutu won the blitz tournament, while Jessica Bello triumphed in the female category.

The tournament had a total prize fund of ninety-seven thousand and five hundred Naira (N97,500).

Rapids Final Standings| Blitz Final Standings

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