National Sports Festival Saga
Some of the things that went down at the NSF EDO 2020
Good morning house. I'm sorry again I didn't show up for the meeting. I had a lot to say. But I also had an online tournament. I'm currently doing very poorly in the tournament though so I might as well just say my mind now.
First, it is important we tell ourselves the truth if what we truly want is progress. Yes we were not in form, we were always fighting and Coach Ann made a few decisions during the festival that I would not have made but we cannot deny that team Delta (Female) was simply not strong enough to deliver. All teams have their fights. Players question the decision of their coaches in all the states I know. But at the end of the day, water would always find its level. The fear of team Delta was simply not enough to bridge the gap this time.
The average rating of team Delta was 575. That of Oyo was 1776. This our game is not ludo. Ratings may not be the perfect way to measure chess strength, but it is the best we have for now. Nonso and Emmanuel M felt what I'm talking about at the last national championship when it was like Oyo was playing against the rest of the country.
Some people would obviously disagree with me and argue that we had what it took but my question to you is how many of these people attend tournaments? They would come up with all manner of reasons why they can't attend. But imagine if they knew for sure that they would be the strongest players in the tournament, they wouldn't think twice before showing up.
I believe that our expectations for this festival were just too high and unrealistic. I personally didn't think we would go to the festival and not come back with stone but I knew for sure that team Delta would not smell the team Gold. Female chess in Nigeria has really stepped up. Two weeks training once every festival would no longer work.
In summary, I believe team Delta was not strong enough. The solution therefore is to either bring in strong players or to train the ones we have. But as I'm sure Bros Ejenavi would agree, option 2 is not easy at all. Even the logistics na wahala. Cos it would probably involve coming to Asaba or having online lessons. Whichever way, story go dey.
I think I saw somewhere on this group that Bunmi Olape trains his female team. That is not true. He gets the best among the tournament regulars, and watches them do their thing.
I have also read that "Toritse avoided all the stronger teams in order to protect her perfect score".
I'm not even sure how to respond to this. The only round I avoided was round 5 because I was sick and struggled to play round 4. I don't know if Bayelsa is one of those "stronger teams" all I know is that we beat them 4-0.
The other two states (Oyo and Lagos) were not my doing. I begged coach to play. I told her if protecting my medal is what you want to do, then these are the states I should play cos Lagos board 6 (Adaramaja) was on perfect score. Same with Oyo board 4 (Perpetual). And if she wanted to make deals, these people would jump at the deal. And if going all out was the plan, then I should definitely play cos I'm sure of my board. The alternative was very uncomfortable cos the other people on my board would play more games than me. Meaning that if I draw any of my 2 remaining games, I wouldn't even get bronze. Which was what eventually happened. The stakes were higher for me. I definitely didn't want that.
It's funny cos they said I avoided board one at Abuja. As if I selected the board order. Now I played board one and they said my opponents were not strong and that I played weaker teams. The same weaker teams we could not beat.
I have also read that Toritse didn't share Her winnings during the last festival even though some players lost games in deals for her.
Nothing Musa no go see for gate.
Team Delta finished with 24 points at the Abuja festival. I brought 8 out of that 24 points. I think I have earned the right to say that I worked more than any body else for the team medal we got the last time. The fact that someone who got a team gold from that tournament was the one passing around this fake news is very impressive. It is well.
To clear all doubt sha, let me just say what happened. I was on 6/6. The lady on Plateau board 2 was on 5/5. Chinyere (Lagos) was on 4/4. And we met plateau. It was time to beat the lady chasing me so I could rest. Some people on this group passing around all this nonsense about Toritse made a deal with plateau to give the lady chasing me her board so that Toritse would continue playing. Hopefully she would lose at some point. This is the deal I'm supposed to be grateful for.
I have seen first hand what these people shouting for unity are capable of. All I can tell them is if it is true that they really want the good of the team, they should look in a mirror and start from there.
As for the deals in Benin, the only one I'm aware of was the deal Coach wanted to make with Imo. I told her my board is guaranteed and if she has money to give to anybody, she should give it to me. She said she is not giving anybody a dime. So I went to play. Later Coach Ben came to me asking "what's happening on this board". I told him I'm playing my game. And he left. I was confident I was going to win but even if I wasnt, I would rather not owe anyone in team Delta precisely because of all these kind of talks.
Finally, I see that number one on the list of recommendations from the meeting is that "All winnings by members of the Delta contingent should be pooled and shared amongst the team.... this would also build team spirit.
Lemme just set up a position. Imagine that a lecturer walks into a class and tells his students. The exam you would write at the end of this semester would be graded specially. All your scores would be pooled and the grade from the average score would be given to everybody in this class. My question now is, do you think the students would perform better or worse than b4? I wonder what happens when there's no reward for excellence. I suspect the best students would perform worse than before cos there's no point. And the average students would do even worse cos there's no "reward" for being average.
Apologies to the person in particular that came up with this idea. I think it would be counterproductive.
I'm sure a lot of people on this group has been waiting to hear what Toritse thinks about the "Sharing". I DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THAT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT.
And if the Delta State Sports Commission feels I can no longer be of service because I'm too greedy, I would happily turn in my resignation.
Thanks for your time. I know this was a long read. I just needed to get this of my chest. Hopefully I can still fight for 5th place in my tournament.