Since the commencement of the global COVID-19 lockdown, movements have been extremely reduced, gatherings have been halted and virtually all physical sports were paused, due to the breakout and the preventive measures being put into place for the safety of all, but not Chess!
Chess grew in leaps and bounds and took various dimensions since the beginning of the lockdown, and it could not get bigger than the events of the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, who has put together various invitational events for fans of the game to follow top players and learn, which showed the whole world how big chess can get during these trying times for many sports.
Over the course of the past few months, there have been several online tournaments that have kept chess players busy in Nigeria, as the Nigerian chess ecosystem led the way in online chess tournament organization, with cash prizes ranging from $100 to over $1,000. This made various African chess players look into immediately exploring how they could do similar events in their respective countries.
It all started on the 3rd of April with the E.D.D Online Chess Tournament, which was hosted with just over $100 and had forty-six (46) participants. This showed the Nigerian chess community a token of what was on the way. This event was won by veteran International Master Odion Aikhoje, with the handle Odirovski, on Lichess.org
Then came the April edition of Capa-Tal Online Chess tournament, which held on the 13th of April, and had over a hundred and twenty (120+) participants with prizes of over $300 up for grabs all in a couple of hours. With the good turnout of participants, this tournament showed that major chess tournaments could be held online.
Indeed it was this event that encouraged the sponsor of the Malogy Ltd Under 20 National Junior Chess Championships to venture into the online scene. The April Capa-Tal blitz event was won by the young and vibrant International Master Anwuli Daniel, who pipped IM Odion Aikhoje to the top by just two (2) points.
After this particular event, Malogy Ltd was ready to enter the fray with its Malogychess brand and there was no doubt about the direction with which they wanted to go. They came out with the first online invitational in the country in partnership with Orchid-Lekki Chess Club.
After this particular event, they hosted the very first three (3) day online festival, which captured the hearts and minds of a lot of Nigerian chess players. This festival was unique in its organization, as it hosted three (3) different variants of chess (Chess960, Blitz and Bullet), with the winners accumulating points over the three (3) separate events.
Now, in furtherance of their aspirations to continuously elevate the quality of Chess organization in Nigeria, Malogychess, led by FIDE Master (elect) George Lolomari, will be hosting an elite invitational event in the mold of the Lindores Abbey Invitational by Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.
The event will host ten (10) of the top fifteen (15) players in the Nigeria, together with a wild card and the sponsor himself.
The event also coincides with the milestone birthday celebration of the sponsor, who turns forty five (45) years on the 27th of June 2020. We at ACM wish him many more years of health, joy, wealth and many more victories on the chess board!
The 1st Malogy Online Rapid Invitational event is billed to hold as follows:
Date: 28th of June to 5th of July, 2020
Time Control: 10 minutes + 10 seconds added from move 1
Each of the players will receive an appearance fee, as they battle for glory and cash rewards.
This is an event you would not want to miss as a spectator, because the following players will be showing their chess prowess and several of them will be streaming their respective games:
IM (elect) Ajibola Olanrewaju – Papajio1
IM Anwuli Daniel – IM Daniel_Anwuli
FM Adebayo Adegboyega – Olarovfan
FM Akintoye Abdulrahman Abdulraheem – Dbestsmiles
IM Balogun Oluwafemi – Stuffings
FM Osunfuyi Abimbola – Abimbola_Osunfuyi
FM Oragwu Chukwunonso – Nonsopolo
IM Aikhoje Odion – Odirovski
IM Olape Bunmi – Micfel
IM Adu Oladapo – Dapsay
NM Ajele Rotimi – Ajele
FM (elect) George Lolomari – Majivsky
The scheduling and player profiles will follow in the coming days. We can’t wait to see how this novel experiment in Nigerian online chess plays out.
Get ready for the Battle of the Nigerian Top Dogs!