Home Africa Report The Danhypro Under 20 Chess Tour: Winners Emerge!

The Danhypro Under 20 Chess Tour: Winners Emerge!

by Ogunsiku Babatunde
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In a very eventful day 2 of the Danhypro U-20 Chess Tour, Asaba, winners emerged, players were sad, a few were joy filled, and even though she was the best female player of the tournament, Jessica was distraught with her general game play.

Jessica in action

Round 6:

In an all important game for Afolabi Emmanuel on board 1, he employed the Anti-Nimzo Indian opening against Okeke Isaac. He played the opening to perfection, making Okeke use most of his time to think about each move. Unfortunately, for Emmanuel, Okeke is super good with managing time pump, especially when he gets time added to whatever he has.

Afolabi Emmanuel taking on Okeke Isaac

Taking his time to think about each move was to work on the psyche of his opponent, which makes his opponent think they can make him lose on time.

This idea worked well on Emmanuel; as soon as he saw that the time was less than 30 seconds, he probably thought Isaac was not seeing the best moves. On the contrary, Isaac made some of his best moves during this period.

Afolabi Emmanuel during his game

With both players putting up a fight on the top board, Isaac’s better understanding of the endgame eventually showed up, and he finished off the game in brilliant fashion.

An impressive day 1 saw Pelomoh Jessica score an impressive four (4) points of the possible five (5). This pits her against Emmanuel Idara on board 2, and she came out of the game not giving much away in the opening.

Emmanuel Idara giving up nothing against Pelomoh Jessica

An interesting battle of ideas ensued in the middlegame, and the free moving twin bishops of Idara proved more valuable to Jessica’s knights. At the end, Idara secured victory and kept the pressure on Okeke at the top of the standings.


There were two (2) major upsets in the sixth round, and the delivery was with precision, by the underdogs.

Matan Adebayo

The first upset was in the game between Matan Adebayo and Suleiman Azumi. Azumi employed the King’s Indian Defense (KID) with force, while Adebayo was going for the kill with opposite side castling.
In a game of opposite side castling, the player with the fastest, accurate attack mostly wins the game.

Superman Azumi in thoughts

This must have been ringing in Azumi’s head, as she poured everything she had at the white king, which castled to the queenside. Instead of attacking the kingside with h-pawn and g-pawn pushes, Adebayo went for a centerboard attack, which proved too slow for the position.

Azumi converted and was on her way up the ladder. Meanwhile, Adebayo had to find a way to regroup in the next round, as his hopes for a top ten finish got a negative blow.

The stare on Ekunke Goodness’ face here, though….

The second upset of the round came in the game between Ekunke Odey Goodness and Okemakinde Toluwanimi, where both players came into the round with two and a half (2.5) points.

Okemakinde Toluwanimi was trying to close up the position from the get go, while Ekunke Goodness was looking for ways to attack the position at every given opportunity.

Ekunke Goodness’ thinking face!

The attack eventually paid off, as Goodness was able to find the right moves on a consistent basis, which pushed Toluwanimi to make some minor bad choices that led to the ultimate loss.

This was a huge booster for the young boy. We pointed at him as one of the players to look out for in the nearest future (if given the right means to evolve and develop further).

Round 7:

The seventh round pitted Olisa Tennyson against Okeke Isaac on the top board in a repeat of the fifth round at the Abuja edition. During the Abuja edition, the game ended in an interesting draw, and fans were looking forward to how the game would play out this time.

Okeke Isaac

Tennyson chose to start with the Tartakower variation of the Caro-Kann defense, which is an interesting line to run with. Trading off rooks on the open e-file was the true beginning of an exciting game; Isaac invited Tennyson to capture the knight on g3 after playing h3, and Tennyson obliged where he could have improved his position a bit more.

Olisa Tennyson

Isaac further provided questions for Tennyson to either move his king to defend the h-pawn or weaken his position further by moving his g-pawn forward. Tennyson chose the latter and eventually saw why his initial g6 push was a wrong move.

Isaac was calm in his conversion of the game, making very good use of his twin bishops, as he gave away a pawn for an attack on the pinned knight that can not be protected. Seeing this, Tennyson duly resigned and went to rest in preparation for the next round.

Emmauel Idara defeated Suleiman Azumi on board 2, while Eyetonghan Callistus was unable to overcome the barrage of Iheanacho Emmanuel, and they both agreed to a draw on board 3.

Emmanuel Idara

Salako Clinton inflicted more heartache on Pelomoh Jessica in a painful loss to the young lady, while Afolabi Emmanuel bounced back from his loss to Isaac in the previous round.

Round 8:

The penultimate round had Eyetonghan Callistus come back to the top board after keeping his distance.

Eyetonghan Callistus

He chose the Queen’s Gambit variation, which Isaac decided to employ the exchange variation of the opening. Although, Isaac had some opening advantage, heading into the middlegame, he made a few inaccurate moves that balanced the game. This ensured that both players shared the point after agreeing to a draw.

On board 2, Salako Clinton held Emmanuel Idara to a draw, as Afolabi Emmanuel got the better of Gabriel Israel to keep up with the top players who drew their games.

Salako Clinton

On boards 4 and 5, Olisa Tennyson and Keyi Lucky Musa defeated their opponents to keep their fight for a top 10 finish alive.

However, Pelomoh Jessica bounced back from her double losses on the day to defeat debutant, Idahosa Amos in what was an important victory. Suleiman Azumi, on the other hand, was unable to overcome the “challenge” called Thompson Richard, but lost in fine fashion.

Debutants Idahosa Amos and Gabriel Israel | Watch Out!

The duo of Okemakinde Toluwanimi and Ekunke Goodness also fell to Akinbodewa Adebayo and Onoja Iyefu respectively. A first for Adebayo, but Onoja has now done the double on Goodness, seeing that she defeated him during the Abuja event.

Round 9:

The final round of the tournament had a lot of possible outcomes. Let’s look at a few of the ifs:

Contenders for the trophy!

If Isaac lost and Idara won, Idara would win the tournament outright.

If Isaac lost and Idara lost, both Isaac and Afolabi Emmanuel would tie for first place. However, Isaac would take the trophy, because of his better tie break.

If Isaac drew and Idara won, they both tie for first place.

Ultimately, if both Isaac and Idara win, then Isaac would win the tournament outrightly with half a point ahead.

Keyi Lucky Musa in action

The battle on board 1 was fought in France, as the Poulsen variation of the French game was employed by white, while black chose the Classical variation of the opening.
It was a battle of ideas in the French and it was interesting to see how both players went about it. However, once Isaac sees a sac, he does not miss it.

Okeke Isaac finding the moves

This was how he got the first pawn up with a capture on g6, which was very well inviting. After the queen exchange, Lucky was unable to hold on to his pawn chain on the queenside, and Isaac took full advantage of it.

The endgame was as precise as would be expected of a master player, which he is. Isaac won the game on the kingside, and with the victory, he became the first under 20 player to win the Danhypro Chess Tour back to back, as well as the first player to win the event without tie breaks.

Emmanuel Idara tore Afolabi Emmanuel apart in such a way that Emmanuel knew that he had some work to do in order to defeat national top players.

Emmanuel Idara claims Second spot

Olisa Tennyson also broke Eyetonghan Callistus in the battle for second place. With both players on five and a half (5.5) points, a draw was no option for either player, and Tennyson was the better player on the day, claiming the full point and third place therewith.

In a game that was looking good for arguably the best female player of the tournament, Pelomoh Jessica was playing some of the best chess of her career at the Danhypro Chess Tour, Asaba. She was having a good game against Chima Mount Zion, only to forget herself during time pump and allow her flag to fall.

Chima Mount Zion facing off against Pelomoh Jessica in the final round

This allowed the winners between the other girls look at catching up. The only one to take up that opportunity though, was Onoja Iyefu, who defeated Olowe Iyanu in the race to the top of the female standings.

Onoja Iyefu calmly converts against Olowe Iyanu

Suleiman Ayisha should have also caught up with the other ladies, unfortunately, she was unable to overcome the battle ready Omesu Miracle. They settled for a draw when both players held their ground at were not swayed by what the other threw at the position.

Iheanacho Emmanuel in action

With a final round win, Ekunke Goodness remain the undisputed under 14 champion of the Danhypro Chess Tour.

The top eight (8) players of the Asaba event have now been given the opportunity to play at the Danhypro Invitational. A special invitation was extended to Ekunke Perez, in what would be a classical event. This is an event that would have national masters with a 2000+ Fide rating facing against the youngsters from August 13th to 15th, 2021.

Representatives of the Juniors at The 2nd Danhypro Invitational Chess Tournament

The 2nd Danhypro Invitational Chess Tournament will have nine (9) Juniors facing off against nine (9) Nonjuniors.

They will play nine (9) rounds, where all the players get to face each other in a classical time control of sixty (60) minutes with a thirty (30) seconds increment from move 1.

The event will have a prize pool of N500K, and it will be Fide rated.
Venue: Pedachess Academy, Ikorodu, Lagos.

Confirmed Nonjunior participants so far:

  1. Udeme Edet, 2180
  2. Oluwadurotimi Lapite, 2149
  3. Roland Dieyi CM, 2135
  4. Martin Odum Dr., 2131
  5. Raphael-Mary Ogosi, 2116
  6. Bamidele Oluwalasinu, 2078
  7. Theophilus Caiafas, 2063
  8. Ifeanyi Okonkwo, 2044
  9. Tajudeen Oyeneyin, 2004

It is good to note that the average rating of the Nonjuniors stands at exactly 2100. The Danhypro enterprise is proud to be the driver of this type of event.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage. See you soon.

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