Home Chess News DOA Sports Chess Tournaments – Qualifiers Emerge!

DOA Sports Chess Tournaments – Qualifiers Emerge!

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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An amazingly planned event felt the chills and thrills of the first. While the planning and execution of the DOA Sports Chess Tournament was nothing short of top notch, Nigerian U30 chess players showed why it is super important to get the word out about events early enough, and work with recognized figures in the chess industry.

Each of the four locations had number challenges even though more than sixteen (16) players had shown interest in the event beforehand. This did not deter the arbiters and organizers from giving their best given the circumstances.

As earlier reported here, the events happened concurrently in four (4) locations (Abuja, Lagos, Delta, and Cross River states), where the champions of each location qualifies for the Grand Finale.

Special prizes have also been graciously included by the Danhypro team, seeing that three (3) of the four (4) qualifiers are participants of their series.

Abuja Event:
Having only five (5) of the registered sixteen (16) players show up, the event in Abuja took an interesting turn. Six (6) players, over the age limit, joined in, with the permission of the organizers, to produce a spectacle, and what a battle it was.

In total, they had eleven players participate (five [5] under 30 and six [6] over 30). They played a 5 round Swiss event to determine the top eight (8). These eight (8) then went on to play the quarterfinals, semifinals and the eventual final.

Adamu Abdullahi during the Abuna Dahnypro U20 Chess Tournament| Picture Credit: Ogunsiku Babatunde

The event at this venue was the definition of veterans vs youngsters (which I believe is an aspect the organizers can look into). The final was a battle between Ijishakin Michael (30+ year old) and Adamu Abdullahi (U30).

Having played four (4) rapid games and two (2) blitz games, all ending drawn with exciting games, both players had the final battle in Armageddon.

Ijishakin Michael in action at the Abuja qualifier of the DOA Sports Chess Tournament!

Adamu had five (5) minutes along with the white pieces, and needed to win in other to become the Abuja champion. Ijish, on the other hand, had four (4) minutes along with the black pieces, and needed only a draw to become champion.

The battle was long, and hard fought; however, Ijish topped the youngster at the end of the day. Fortunately, Ijish only helped mold Adamu into the champion needed, as Ijish could not rep the zone (being 30+).

Adam Abdullahi in action

This means, Adamu will represent the zone, while Ijish gets compensation for putting up a brilliant show.

As was in Abuja, so was it in Lagos. Only nine (9) of the registered sixteen (16) players showed up for the event, and a decision had to be made. The arbiter decided to work with the first eight (8) players that showed up, while the last player had to watch from the sidelines.

Okhipo Bartholomew at the DOA Sports qualifiers

The eight players dove straight into the quarterfinals with lots casted. Okemakinde Toluwanimi, Okhipo Bartholomew, Matan Adebayo, and Salako Clinton pulled away from the rest and faced off in the semifinals.

Matan Adebayo at the DOA Sports qualifiers in Lagos

With some interesting play, Toluwanimi and Bartholomew faced off in the Lagos finals, while Clinton and Adebayo had to settle with the fight for third place. The brilliance, with which Matan displaced Clinton (2-0) in the third place battle, leaves one to realize how important events like these are.

Okhipo Bartholomew (white pieces) facing off against Okemakinde Toluwanimi (black pieces)

The first game of the final was an interesting draw, which showed the level of preparedness for the event. Fireworks erupted in the second game, when Toluwanimi smelt blood in the middlegame.

Okemakinde looking for a way to exploit the position against Okhipo Bartholomew in the second game

Bartholomew felt he had it covered, alas; he was losing an important pawn, heading into the king and pawn endgame. The superior pawn on the queenside effectively won the game for the Port Harcourt Dahnypro event winner.

Of the sixteen registered players, only eight (8) showed up at the Calabar qualifier. Like Lagos, they went straight into the quarterfinals, where the quartet of Adejoh Emmanuel, Obinna Udochukwu, Ateb Bob-Manuel, and Onen Innocent defeated their respective opponents (2-0) respectively.

The quartet went on to face themselves in the semifinals. It was a straight victory for both Adejoh Emmanuel and Obinna Udochukwu, who both got the better of their respective opponents in both games (2-0 apiece).

The final was always going to test the resolve of both players, and that much it did. It took a brilliant combination and oversight for Obinna Udochukwu to claim the first game. The young man needed only a draw in the second game, and he ensured that he did not take unnecessary risks, as he secured his draw and qualification, therewith.

Sapele, the city that hosted the Delta state edition of the tournament, had the same issues with the other three (3) venues. Most of the registered players did not show up. However, of the players that showed up, it was Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus who topped the others and emerged champion of the zone.

Eyetonghan Denyefa Callistus in action at the Abuja Dahnypro tournament

At the end of the various qualifiers, three (3) players, who have participated in the Dahnypro U20 events emerged champions of their zones. These players (Adamu Abdullahi, Okemakinde Toluwanimi, and Denyefa Callistus) will be representing their various zones at the DOA Sports Chess Tournament’s Grand Finale in Abuja, come the 22nd of May.

The Danhypro enterprise has therefore decided to provide travel allowances for the four (4) qualifiers from the four (4) zones. Furthermore, in addition to the Grand Prize of N350,000, a brand new laptop, inclusive of ChessBase training courses, would be awarded to the emerging winner of the Grand Finale.

Exciting times ahead for young players! Sharpen your chess sword (knowledge and understanding), make yourself available for tournaments and be sure to win amazing prizes.

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