The University of Lagos, UNIBEN & Chess in Slums Africa Triumph at the Ecobank National Schools’ Chess Championship

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Representatives of the University of Lagos at the Ecobank National Schools Chess Championship. Photo: Ecobank Nigeria

Over the weekend, the National Schools Chess Championship sponsored by Ecobank Nigeria, which held at the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) in Victoria Island, Lagos from the 24th to the 28th of May, 2024, was concluded with amazing and impressive performances. The Ecobank National Schools Team Chess Championship brought together an unprecedented 1,000 young chess enthusiasts from 250 schools across Nigeria, that involves primary, secondary, and tertiary school levels.

As the dust settled, a school from Ibadan, Dayspring, emerged victorious in the secondary category. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that their team consisted of players from a vulnerable children’s home. This astonishing outcome is an evident to the power of chess in transforming lives and bridging social gaps.

The event itself was a masterclass in organization, with Ecobank Nigeria and the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) working in harmony to create a world-class experience for the young participants. The venue, EPAC, provided an ideal setting for the battle of wits, with top-notch facilities and a conducive environment that allowed the players to focus on their game.

The final results of the championship saw the University of Lagos emerge as the overall winner, with the University of Benin taking second place, and Chess in Slums, Africa (CISA) securing third position. These institutions have demonstrated a commitment to nurturing the next generation of chess champions, and their success is a direct result of the investment they have made in their students. The representatives of each schools were awarded medals and trophies respectively and accordingly.

University of Benin took the second position at the event. Photo: Ecobank Nigeria
The representatives of Chess In Slums, Africa with their award. Photo: Ecobank Nigeria

The championship was a culmination of years of hard work and dedication from various individuals and organizations, including Chess Heights, Vice president of NCF (Prince Adewole Adeyinka), Tunde Onakoya, and the zonal championships. These pioneers have played a crucial role in shaping the narrative of Nigerian chess, paving the way for events like the Ecobank National Schools Team Chess Championship.

In conclusion, the Ecobank National Schools Team Chess Championship was a resounding success, and its impact will be felt for years to come. As we celebrate this achievement, let’s not forget to acknowledge the pioneers and game-changers who have helped shape the narrative of Nigerian chess!

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