“Everything that has a beginning, must surely have an end”. This is a statement I picked up while watching the last chapter of the Matrix Trilogy, and fits into this bill, perfectly.
It has been a worthwhile time for each and every player of the zone 4.4, participating at the Individual Championship in Ghana, and from the lips of those who have been to other zonal championships since the inception of the zone, this has been the best so far, with Ghana setting the pace for other hosts who would bid to organize the prestigious event.
Towards Brunch, on Saturday, the special guest from Nigeria, Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohammed Kabir Ibrahim, on behalf of the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force, gave a Nigerian lunch to every participants of the championship, as we were taken to 18 Lane Restaurant at Osu, and we were all treated to lovely good Eastern Nigerian meals, so sweet that Ivorians were asking for the recipe and some Nigerians asked for more.Superb Nigerian Food for the bellyL-R: AGM Apemiye Austin, IM Balogun Oluwafemi, FM (Pa) Dave, CM (ASP) Atabor Job, IM Adu Oladapo, CP Mohammed Kabir Ibrahim, FM Anwuli Daniel, Ogunsiku Babatunde
The event was also used to celebrate CM (ASP) Atabor Job, who also confirmed his title with a victory on the day. The CP appreciated everyone for coming out to celebrate chess with the Nigerians, who were assured of the first prize on various fronts and eventually did more than just the first prize of both the male and the female sections.
At the end of this round, virtually every Nigerian finished with the full point, not without a fight from the opponent, who were also in it to win it, but from the point of who wanted it more, who had the experience and tenacity to go all the way, it showed in the way the Nigerians romped on the other Nationals in both the opens and the female sections that they wanted it more.
Going into the round, FM Anwuli Daniel knew that all he needed to win the championship and confirm his International Master (IM) status, was a draw in the last round, and even though he had a seemingly better position in the middlegame, he went for the safest bet in offering his opponent a draw, which CM Kamara just had to accept in other to gain valuable rating points from the 21 year old Nigerian.
The other boards that had Nigerian players secured straight victories, albeit, hard fought, because the other players gave it their best to secure something from the last round, but it was not to be, as these players did not have what it took to get the best of the situations, yet.
The major upset of this round, happened on board 18, where 1390 rated Tossa Thierry Ulrich defeated 1910 rated Oyama Ekok Oyama to end the tournament on the highest note he could have imagined, after being relegated to the lower boards for almost the entire tournament.
The female section had some interesting results, as the tournament was rounding off. Ofowino Toritsemuwa completed the routing of the tournament with a victory in the last round, ending the tournament with a whooping eight and a half (8.5) points of the possible nine (9), with her only half point loss coming at the hands of Ghana’s WFM Ayiku Angela, who literally lost her focus and concentration, after the draw against Toritsemuwa and Samson Peace, to lose back to back games in her final 2 games of the tournament.Maud Benson
A relaxed WFM Ogbiyoyo Perpetual was looking to put more pressure on Ofowino before the end of the last round, but Ghana’s youngster Maud Benson put a stop to her stomping, by forcing her to a draw in the last round and claiming her own Woman Candidate Master (WCM) title with four and a half (4.5) points of the possible nine (9). Dzaayem Vivian, Charles Glory and Samson Peace, were all victorious in the last round, which put them on or above six (6) points, which guarantees them the Woman Fide Master (WFM) title. In the same clime, Brume Omimi-Okoro was also victorious in her last game, which puts her on five (5) points of the possible nine (9) and literally qualifies her for the Woman Candidate Master (WCM) title in her first ever major tournament.
The ever lively Teta Thompson of Liberia, who was just thought chess recently, was the experience gainer of the tournament. Even though she ended the tournament with no points, she has vowed to go back home, learn more and come for the titles next year, wherever the tournament would hold. It would definitely be interesting to see the transformation that would happen with her in 12 months’ time.
As a result of the fine finish at this event, all things being equal, Nigeria would not just be adding more titles to her ranks, but improving on older titles, as you would see below:
|S/N||Name of Player||Title in View||Federation|
|1||FM Anwuli Daniel||International Master||Nigeria|
|2||Ajibola Olanrewaju||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|3||Abdulrahman Abdulraheem Akintoye||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|4||CM Oragwu Chukwunonso||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|5||CM Adesina Adeyinka||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|6||Akinwamide Oluwadamilare||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|7||CM Akinseye Abiola||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|8||Onokpite Kennedy||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|9||George Lolomari Erekosima||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|10||AGM Apemiye Austin||Fide Master||Nigeria|
|11||Winston-Onyiah Sasha||Candidate Master||Nigeria|
|12||Oluwadara Adegbayi||Candidate Master||Nigeria|
|13||Kone Daouda||Candidate Master||Cote D’Ivoire|
|14||Ofowino Toritsemuwa||Woman International|
|15||Dzaayem Vivian||Woman Fide Master||Nigeria|
|16||Samson Peace||Woman Fide Master||Nigeria|
|17||Charles Glory||Woman Fide Master||Nigeria|
|18||Omimi-Okoro Brume||Woman Candidate|
|19||Maud Benson||Woman Candidate|
Finally, West Africa would be producing her very first official Woman International Master, along with the youngest IM carrier in the zone 4.4, who are both candidates of the #GoForANigerianChessGrandmaster initiative put together by AGM Apemiye Austin. After this event, it is hoped that the initiative would get financial support to help train these West Africans for the both the African Individual Chess Championship and the Chess World Cup coming up in a few months.
This is the time to push for the 5th Black Grandmaster in history, because there would never really be a better time than NOW.