TOP 10 CLASSICAL RATED PLAYERS IN NIGERIA, JANUARY 2018
FM Kigigha Bomo remains the highest rated player in the country with a rating of 2323, and has been so for a few years running. IM Oladapo Adu has a rating of 2304 and comes in the second place, with the 2 time West African Champion owning a GM Norm, he bills to obtain the Grandmaster title this year and break the jinx that has left Nigeria without a Grandmaster since the creation of her Federation
While the latest International Master, who is the current West Africa Chess Champion and faced GM Magnus Carlsen at the Chess World Cup last year, IM Balogun Oluwafemi with a rating of 2278 is in third position.
FM Anwuli Daniel who had a boisterous 2017 is fourth on the list with an outstanding 66 rating points gained to put him on 2260. IM Olape Bunmi with a very impressive 2017 got himself up the ladder to 2244 in ratings hence making him 5th on the rankings.
IM Odion Aikhoje aka Odirov, is at 6th place with 2239 rating points. Ajibola Olanrewaju aka Papa is 7th on the table with 2223 ratings points, while CM Sorungbe Ademola popularly known as Captain Bamo with a rating of 2215 points is 8th on the list of the top players.
Young inspiring FM Abimbola Osunfuyi also known as (Young GM), has a rating of 2212, he won most tournaments in Nigeria in the year 2017 and has started 2018 with another Rapid tournament win, to kickoff the year. with an important 11 rating points hanging in thin air, which once reflected will push him to the 8th position, but until then, he retains the 9th position.
Tenth place goes to FM Fawole John Oyeyemi with 2212 rating points. A one time National Champion who gave prestige to the title and changed the meaning of being a National Champion, Fawolizzo, as he is popularly called, changed the face of the National Champion from being just a trophy owner to being an important figure in the Nigerian Chess Industry.
It is worthy of note that Ajibola Olanrewaju is the only untitled player in the top 10 list. The average rating of Nigeria’s active top ten is 2266 as at Jan 26th 2018. Nigerians are looking forward to some changes in the overall ranking of Nigeria on the FIDE ranking list, which I believe should soar higher than our Ugandan counterparts in the African Nation and a host of others around the world.
Top 30 players list in the country below
|4||Anwuli Daniel||FM||NGR||2260 (6.6)||2300||2209|
|9||Osunfuyi , Abimbola||FM||NGR||2212||2290||2209|
|10||Fawole, John Oyeyemi||FM||NGR||2211||2225||2091|
|11||Onovughe, Ochuko Emmanuel||FM||NGR||2210||2180||2157|
|17||Okike, David||NGR||2184 (8.4)||2161||2231|
|19||Dr Martin, Odum||NGR||2178|
|25||Abdulraheem Abdulrahman Akintoye||NGR||2153||2181||2098|
|30||Ogunshola, Ben||NGR||2143 (-10)|
Although, the Nigerian Chess Federation has specified the criteria for selecting players to represent the nation at the Olympiads, which is limited to the top 5 rated players in the country. Many Chess Players have different views about this criterion and hope it would be open to at least the top 20 players to show that they have what it takes to qualify.
FM Osunfuyi Abimbola opined that a trial for the top eight players and two wild cards to make a total of ten should be a good criterion in selecting the top five for Olympiads. That is what the likes of other African countries do e.g. Zambia to mention but a few.
IM Olape Olubunmi who has benefited from selection criteria also opined that trials for the top 10 players with two (2) wild cards making a total number of 12 players to play a single round robin would be better. He believes this would help players prepare well before the main tournament, for those who qualify.
Africa Chess Media would like to hear the opinions of Nigerian Chess Players or other African countries whose chess Federation uses the top five rated players as their criterion for Olympiads, if they would prefer Trials in round robin format for the top ten, twelve players including two (2) wild cards or a 9 round Swiss tournament among the top 20, to what the Federation uses?