A Decent Opening For An Historical Event
In my 10 years of attending chess tournaments in Nigeria, I can say categorically that I have not witnessed an opening ceremony of an OPENS TOURNAMENT like the South West National Chess Tournament. The opening took place after the BLITZ COMPETITION and was graced by distinguished dignitaries such as: The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) Secretary – Mr. Dapo Akinyele, along with several board members of the NCF, namely; Professor Raymond Ogunade, Alhaji Dr. Bode Durotoye, Mr. Austin Apemiye, Dr. Olusegun Olomola (who also is the Chairman of the Osun State Chess Association), Hon. Awope Adebisi (Deputy Chairman, Osun State Chess Association) Dr. Donald Onyekwere, Hon. Azeez Olayemi Lawal (commissioner), Director General of Sport – Rotimi Dunmoye, Mrs. Ajiboye Titi – Assistant Director of Program, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), and Mrs. Ajayi Yemisi.
The hall was filled with colorful decorations and serenity, of course, with the beautiful 200+ faces all dressed in the customized Tees provided by the organizers.
The ceremony was opened with the National anthem, led by Miss Treasure Nzeako; a fine chess player and singer.
The tournament kicked off shortly after the fantastic speech by Prince Adewole Adeyinka (Vice President of Nigeria chess federation)
THE OPENING SPEECH OF THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE SOUTHWEST CHESS TOURNAMENT HELD AT ATLANTIC CIVIC CENTRE, OSOGBO. OSUN STATE.
Your Excellency Mr. Governor of the state of Osun, her excellency, the wife of the governor of Ondo state, the president of Nigeria Chess Federation, all other protocols duly observed. I welcome us all to this very rare and great occasion that brought all chess players in Nigeria to Osogbo, the capital city of Osun state. As we all know, chess is a game that involves deep cerebral demands that have been around for a long period of time but was popular amongst the elite of the nation and that has for long hindered the growth of the game in the country as it seems abandoned to the elite alone. However, the recent boom noticed in the game of chess as a result of the Netflix series named “Queens Gambit” has called the attention of old and young, poor and rich to the possibilities the game can offer ranging from becoming a professional player to entrepreneurial opportunities like coaching, chess academy, streaming and all other to mention a few. The game has accorded many opportunities to the less privileged in the society and has restructured or remolded their lives to such that brings them to the realization that “sometimes where you are is not where you belong” as in the case of Fiona Mutesi, the popular Queen of Katwe.Prince Adeyinka Adewole
In Nigeria, we all can see what Tunde Onakoya (the CEO of chess in slums Africa) has done with the kids at the creek of Majidun and those kids under the bridge of Oshodi.
Such is the life-changing opportunities that the beautiful game of chess can offer us.
Also, the cognitive improving abilities inherent in the game of chess is the reason for the recent call to take chess to schools, that is, including chess into the curriculum at schools will help the kids to improve in their logical courses like mathematics, physics, quantitative, and the rest. It also helps them in Life where they will make critical decisions and learn to live by them, which the game of chess mirrors so well.
I use this opportunity to call on the state commissioner for education and commissioner for youth and sport to inculcate the game of chess into the school curriculum in collaboration with the Nigeria Chess Federation.
Now back to the southwest chess tournament, I welcome all participants once again to this tournament. You are all enjoined to take this opportunity to view the historic and aesthetic values Oshogbo is known for and play the game of chess to the best of your capabilities.
This tournament promises to be a great one and such that you look forward to next year as it has come to be an annual tournament. We thank all our sponsors, organizer, arbiters, and all that has come to grace this occasion and ensure this history is made today. Big kudos to the organizing committee; Ofubu Samson (Zlater), IM Femi Balogun, Rotimi Dasaolu, and Awoyode Emmanuel (Rabbi). Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare this tournament open
The Blitz Event
The blitz competition was a fascinating event, and a prove once again that the younger players are solid players, who no longer need to be ridiculed, another observation from the blitz event would be that, a player’s blitz strength/rating can be different either stronger or weaker, than their classical rating.
Seventy-three (73) players participated in the blitz tournament including International Masters and Fide Masters, oh yeah! And myself…
I decided to play in the blitz event for a taste of the fun, did well against my first two opponents who were FIIDE MASTERS but, I couldn’t keep it up, I finished the tournament with 1.5 points out of 7games. Well, that’s no surprise…
Olisa Tennyson (2133) clinched the Blitz Championship ahead of Veterans and International Masters, FM Kigigha Bomo, and FM Adebayo Adegboyega tied second. However, the Nigerian youngest IM (elect) Okeke Issac finished fourth.
The SW National Chess Tournament Kicks Off
At exactly 4 pm on Wednesday 13th of April, the first round of the South West National Chess Tournament (classical event) kicked off with the usual Swiss pairing method, where the lower-rated players face off against the higher-rated players, the games weren’t a bad watch at all, as all the players held there own to prove that they are well prepared for the tournament.
At the end of the first round, we had the veteran, International Master Olape Bunmi analyze his game against Adeyemo Stephen Feranmi