The DanhyPro Chess Academy has blazed the trail for junior chess in Nigeria. Apart from raising the prize standard given to teenagers in tournaments, the Dahnypro chess tour added icing to the cake by creating an atmosphere of healthy professional competition for the junior athletes to practice consistently.
A big kudos to the parents, who were courageous to allow their children to travel across states to participate in the sport they love. The grand finale of the DanhyPro Chess Tour took place in Ikeja Lagos state. A total of 106 players from Anambra, Abuja, Gombe, and other parts of Nigeria were recorded. Like the previous edition of the Dahnypro chess tour (DanhyPro Port Harcourt Tour, DanhyPro Abuja Tour, and DanhyPro Asaba Tour), the finale was also a 9 round rapid tournament of 15+10sec per player. But the Lagos edition was of a completely different thrill. There was an excellent display of talent and wits from players who are not much known or seen in tournaments. Even 6year and 7year old kids played dexterously. It is safe to say that chess will be highly competitive in Nigeria within the next 5-10years.
The two-day tournament ended with six players on seven points, three players on 6.5, thirteen players on 6points, five players on 5.5points, twenty-one players on five points, nine players on 4.5points, eighteen players on 4points, six players with 3.5 points, and twelve players on 3points! These results affirm that many young stars are more motivated than ever before, putting in hard training. If we keep them encouraged with tournaments with good rewards, there’s no telling how soon we discover the first Nigerian Grandmaster.
Final Ranking after 9 Rounds
|3||Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus||7,0|
|4||Chima Mount Zion Kenechuku||7,0|
|6||Alagoa Ayebaenemibarakere Domo||7,0|
|9||Ebalu Oko-odion Deron||6,5|
|13||Suleiman Azumi Ayisha||6,0|
|15||Omesu Miracle Chinyere||6,0|
Oluwatobiloba Job lifted the trophy as the winner of the Danhypro Lagos Chess Tour with a gold medal and the sum of a hundred thousand naira (N100,000) after being inactive from competitive chess since 2019. The 19-year-old student of the University of Lagos came back on board to test his skills one more time. And he even fascinated himself with the result, clinching the championship with 8 points, defeating seven opponents, including Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus (2014), and drawing two games.
The runner-up was none other than the “Anish Giri” of the Danhypro Junior Chess Tour, Olisa Tennyson. The young man who has proven to be one of the most consistent junior players in the Danhypro tour finished the Lagos edition with 7.5 points out of a possible 9, winning a silver medal and the sum of 50,000.
Olisa, who had always finished within the top 5 ranks in all of the Danhypro chess tours, was crowned the second-best overall performance of the Danhypro Junior Chess Tour and was rewarded with the sum of seventy-five thousand naira (N75,000) and a silver medal.
Another stellar performance was that of Okemakinde Toluwanimi. Though he didn’t make the top 5 rankings this time, his remarkable performance in the first two editions of the tour earned him enough points to win the third-best overall performance in the Danhypro Junior Chess Tour walking home with an extra seventy-five thousand naira (N75,000) naira to his Lagos tour winnings.
After winning the Asaba Tour, joint first in Abuja Tour, and third place in the Port Harcourt Tour, Okeke Isaac, was crowned as the DanhyPro Chess Tour King, a title which earned him an extra 150,000 and a big trophy to add to his collections.
One thing we noticed about the DanhyPro Junior Chess Tour organizers is that they were genuinely in the business of motivating the junior players to be the best they can be. This time around, Danhypro extended extra support to the juniors who finished the Lagos tour with 7points and above by giving them free accommodation for the upcoming one-week Opens tournament, the 1st IGP CHESS TOURNAMENT to take place in Ikeja, Lagos.
|3||Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus||7||23000|
|4||Chima Mount Zion Kenechuku||7||23000|
|5||Alagoa Ayebaenemibarakere Domo||7||23000|
|9||Ebalu Oko-odion Deron||6½||10667|
|10||Matan Adebayo Oludayo||6½||10667|
|15||Ekunke Iyambe Perez||6||2778|
|17||Olowe Iyanuoluwa Glory||6||2778|
|18||Akpan Michael Edward||6||2778|
|20||Ubong Augustine Ifiokobong||6||2778|
|BEST GIRLS PRIZE|
|13||Suleiman Azumi Ayisha||6||11650|
|15||Omesu Miracle Chinyere||6||11650|
|20||Olowe Iyanuoluwa Glory||6||11650|
|BEST UNDER 14|
|Ekunke Odey Goodness||6||20000|
|Nwankwo Victor Chibuikem||5||3000|
|Ebalu Oko-odion Jed||5||3000|
The closing ceremony was fabulous! It was a beautiful view with a hall full of over 100 beautiful faces, all happy and demonstrating good sportsmanship after the tough battle against each other. The high table was graced with the presence of the president and vice president of the Nigeria Chess Federation in persons of DIG Sanni Mohammed and Prince Adeyinka Adewole , veteran Mr Oluwaseyitan Olufemi, Mr Lomomari George.
“As chess players, we are charged with the responsibility to excel,” said Mr Oluwaseyitan Olufemi who was once Nigeria’s junior champion and has represented the country at different international chess tournaments. He also encouraged the players to not only excel in chess but also excel in their academics.
Mr Oluwaseyitan Olufemi commended the level at which junior chess in Nigeria has grown; “I remember in the 80s there were only about 10 of us in the professional chess field and here we are with over 100 talented youngsters in the same hall”. He then concluded by asking the juniors to put in more work as talent alone can not get you to the utmost top. He encouraged the juniors to train harder and they will get to their dream destination someday.
The NCF president gave the juniors good news that got them excited in his short speech; “the Nigeria Chess Federation will do everything possible to support the juniors, as there are already plans for grassroots chess. Therefore, keep up your good work, keep polishing your skills, and you will be provided platforms.”
The NCF president referred to the nice treat and recognition given to Toluwanimi Okemakinde who won the 264 RECREATION ABUJA UNDER 20 CHESS TOURNAMENT in Abuja. He then concluded with a piece of advice for the juniors “ensure to apply your chess talents in the daily activities you do because you are an ambassador.”