Home Chess News 3 Rounds In – The National Sports Festival – Chess Event!

3 Rounds In – The National Sports Festival – Chess Event!

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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The chess event at the National Sports Festival, Delta 2022, started with a few hiccups. Venue was changed on the eve of the tournament, while arbiters also had issues among themselves.

However, after the first day was put under wraps, the second day started and ended with aplomb. Captains and coaches have been directed to send their round-by-round board orders to the tournament director (TD), and every challenge are being tackled as they arise.

The Open Event

Round 1:

With the teams paired based on the alphabetical order of their respective states, there were expectations that some small teams would cancel themselves out from the get go. However, small teams met mighty teams who had to be forced to take any form of draw.

Akinseye Abiola (Oyo) settled for a draw on his board

At the end, top teams, Oyo state, Delta state and Edo state only let off on one board, where they accepted a forced draw. They won the remaining three (3) boards convincingly, to claim a 3.5-0.5 win over their respective opponents.

Whereas, Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kwara and Osun claimed the maximum four (4) points of the possible four (4). While Adamu Richard Yohanna came out victorious against Okpongette Edidiong, in Akwa-Ibom vs Plateau, Akwa-Ibom went on to claim the maximum points on the remaining boards. This put Akwa-Ibom as the only team to achieve a 3-1 victory.

Uwana Eugene leading the lines of the Akwa-Ibom team

Furthermore, the duo of Imo and FCT narrowly defeated Abia and Yobe respectively (2.5-1.5) in a keenly contested match. Upcoming Nyiuma Tersee Ferdinand (playing for FCT) continued his solid performance from the U2000 section of the National Chess Championships, 2022, with an impressive showing against Uwe Okpo, which resulted in a hard-fought draw.

Round 2:

The second round produced some very interesting results that shook the knowledge of bookmakers. Although, Edo state had some issues with their board order, which resulted in their unfortunate 3-1 loss (after claiming a hard fought 2.5-1.5 victory) to Kaduna, this was just one of the interesting results of the round.

OKHIPO Bartholomew……the only round he played, was the disqualified round.

The biggest upset of the round came on the top board, where the super experienced Oyo team were evenly matched by a Bayelsa side looking to show that they are here to stop the stroll to the throne by their opposing team.

Onokpite Kennedy tried to draw from all the resources within him, looking for a water in the rock called Igolukumo Felix on the second board. Although, the game was the last to end, Felix endured a frantic late surge by Kennedy. This surge did less than little to dissuade Felix from his target of picking up a victory that he seemingly had in the bag, long before his opponent resigned.

Felix (L) and Miedo (R) at the venue for chess – National Sports Festival, Delta 2022

This resulted in only one of two draws in the round. The second draw came in the match between Kebbi and Abia state, where Uwasomba Obinna defeated his higher rated opponent.

Delta, Lagos and the FCT, joined Kaduna in securing 3-1 victories in their matches. While Bernard Anderson got the better of Olisa Tennyson in Imo vs Lagos, the duo of Madamori Oloruntobiloba and Abdussalam Abdussalam picked up important draws in Delta vs Kwara, and Akomaka Apollos secured the only win for Rivers against FCT.

Nesimeye Ejomafuvwe representing Akwa-Ibom

Osun overcame Akwa-Ibom (2.5-1.5) in a match that could have swung either way. Nesimeye Ejomafuvwe had a knight + bishop and pawns against Oladele’s rook and pawns in an endgame that was his to lose…….and he lost it, after playing only the wrong set of moves from a point. The curse of leaving chess playing for so long?

Oladele playing, while Prince Adeyinka watches his teammate overturn a seeming lost game.

The duo of Kano and Jigawa followed in the narrow wins (2.5-1.5) over their respective opponents. While Yobe was the only team to secure a (4-0) clean sweep of their young opponent, Kogi state.

Round 3:

Board Order strikes again! Unfortunately, it is the hosts that endured the embarrassing situation. Coaches were asked to send their board orders to the Tournament director before the start of the round, because of earlier issues. However, the coach of team Delta did not send to the posted WHATSAPP number.

Thus, the permanent board order was to be used. Meanwhile, the team had other plans, and sat in the way their supposed board order should have been. Therefore, they lost the round to the FCT 4-0.

Team Kebbi in action against team Cross River

Yobe and Kebbi also produced a solid performance and delivered a 4-0 knockout against their respective opponents. Ekunke Perez would have felt hard done by, as he held Shaapera Doorterna by the throat, and with the knife in hand, ready to nail his opponent to the sticks.

However, Doorterna survived by the share luck of time. Young Perez was flabbergasted to see his clock on 0.00, when he had everything going for him (the clock and the board). A lesson for the ages.

Anwuli Daniel has been leading from the front!

A fine finish from the duo of Anwuli Daniel and Akintoye Abdulrahman Abdulraheem gave Oyo state a narrow (2.5-1.5) victory over Edo state. However, 19-year-old Okemakinde Toluwanimi benefitted from the oversight of former National Champion, Balogun Oluwafemi, to claim an important win in Oyo vs Edo.

Kwara and Ogun state also claimed important narrow wins (2.5-1.5) over their respective opponents, to keep their team medal hopes alive. While every other team drew in the round.

After the first three (3) rounds, the trio of Lagos, Ogun, and FCT leads the Open section of the festival (chess) with 3/3 wins. While the big guns Bayelsa, Oyo, Delta currently trails.

Would we have a new team claiming the gold medal this year?

Or will Oyo make an incredible Comeback story?

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