The maiden edition of the southwest national tournament held at Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria was a fantastic tournament and one to reminisce about.
The tournament held at the Atlantis civic center Osogbo had over 200 participants cut across all races and tribes in Nigeria. As the participants came from, the North, east, west, and south regions of Nigeria. It is amazing to see that as much as the tournament is tagged a southwest tournament, all the six geopolitical zones were in attendance, this can only prove to you that the game of chess is widely loved and it also bridges the gaps of ethnicity.
The organizing team headed by the Nigeria chess federation’s Vice President, in the person of Prince Adeyinka Adewole, with Ofubu Samson, Awoyode Emmanuel, and IM Femi Balogun, organized this record-breaking tournament with a lot of tenacity and nearly perfect top-notch arrangements. The warm welcoming atmosphere of the city of Osogbo ushered all players, enthusiasts, and viewers into the well-decorated 1,500-seater capacity event hall, with a nostalgic ambiance. The tournament started on the 13th of April 2022 with the Blitz section and ended with the young lad Olisa Tennyson with 6.5 points, taking the first position while FM Bomo Khigiga and FM Adebayo Adegboyega took the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively with WFM perpetual Ogbiyoyo winning the prize for the best female blitz category and Mr. Udo Isang emerging as the best blitz veteran.
The opening ceremony commenced immediately with so many dignitaries in attendance, many chess players still talking about the opening ceremony as the best they have attended in decades and many even say, it is the most populated tournament since the previous Eko classics held nearly a decade ago. The opening ceremony started with a National Anthem rendered by Nzeako Treasure, followed by speeches from various dignitaries in attendance. The Chief organizer rendered his opening speech to welcome all to the tournament, he talked about the effort to inculcate the game of chess into the school curriculum as it helps pupils develop critical and logical thinking capabilities. The NCF Vice President reiterated that the tournament has come to be a yearly tournament and people should look forward to the next edition of the tournament. He immediately declared the tournament open and round one of the tournament started immediately with the team of arbiters in place.
The tournament which started on the 13th of April continued to the second and third days after which the fourth day, the 16th of April 2022, was declared as the rest day. The last two rounds of the 7 rounds swiss pairing tournament commenced at exactly 8:00 am on the 17th of April 2022 with the sixth round, while the last round started at exactly 3:00 pm, after which the closing, prize, and award-giving ceremony started with another set of dignitaries, notably the NCF board members sitting at the high table. The winners of the tournament were announced by the Chief Arbiter, Alhaji Durotoye and they are listed below ;
1. FM Adebayo Adegboyega. 6.5 pts
2. FM Ajibola Olanrewaju 6.5 pts
3. FM Kigigha Bomo 6 pts
4. Igwubor Kikosem 6pts
5. Etukakpan Leonard 6 pts
6. IM Olape Bunmi 6 pts.
1. Adeoti Bolaji 5.5pts
2. Oyepitan Joshua 5pts
3. Matan Adebayo 5 pts
1. Jessica Pelomoh 5 pts
2. FM Ofowino Toritse 4.5 pts
3. FM perpetual Ogbiyoyo 4.5 pts
4 Onoja Iyefu 4.5 pts
1. Erhabor David 5 pts
2. Odion Aikoje 5 pts
3. Dasaolu Rotimi 5 pts
1. Mufutau Waris John 5 pts
2. Sambo Joseph 4 pts
3. Ekunke Goodness 4 pts
4. Alagoa A Domo 4pts
5. Ekunke Perez 4 pts
With over 2.5 million Naira shared as cash Prize and the organization of the tournaments, you will agree with me that, it was indeed a record-breaking tournament and we look forward to the next Edition.