By Kunle Elegbede
Chess players, Chess Organizers, Chess officials, Chess Investors and Chess friends everywhere:
Please permit me to introduce a unifying solution here in an attempt to try to tidy up the on-going debate about chess tournaments and chess players interest.
The on going debate is good and healthy for chess in our country. As an evolving chess nation, we will disagree on issues and we should if we must grow. Disagreement is the way to ensure a vigorous debate of issues in order to get things right. We are all good people and lovers of chess but we just happen to disagree on how to get to where we are going.
What then should we do? We must find common ground. Our common ground is to promote our chess players and chess in Nigeria. We can never go wrong doing this. A negotiated solution taking all the views of all the interest groups mentioned above into consideration is the way to do things if we want to archive the best results for chess in our country. I believe the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) should come up with a guideline that will harmonize the need of the chess players togetherr with that of the organizers/investors of chess in Nigeria.
I think we are at a cross road of chess development in our chess history and we should be excited about this instead of looking at it from a negative stand point. Ours is an evolving democracy where all views should be taken into consideration without the PERSECUTION OF THE CONTRIBUTOR. People and indeed chess players and chess organizers have the right to express themselves. They also have the right to be heard. Nigeria Chess players Forum is one of the ways that will always be available for them to express themselves without fear of repression or persecution .
1. In view of the above, can we afford not to ask hard questions from our chess organizers before we commit our hard earn money and time to a chess tournament? I don't think so. Top level Chess tournaments must meet the minimum requirements specified in the FIDE handbook.
2. Should we paint the good chess organizers and the crocked ones with the same brush? Of course not. We should encourage the genuine chess organizers and work with them to get the best results for our chess players.
3. Should we ask our Chess Federation the reasons our rated players are not listed in the new FIDE rating lists and much more? Absolutely. Chess players are not responsible for FIDE dues. It is the Chess Federation and the Nigeria Government that is responsible for this.
By asking hard questions, the chess players win. Based on these questions asked, the chess organizers also win by getting it right and establishing a good reputation for his tournament. Armed with the views of their restless chess constituency, the chess Federation also win by having more reasons now to demand for more funds from the government to carry out many projects. Asking Hard questions is necessary to stimulate growth. The chess community at large will be better for it. This is a "win win" situation for everyone involve.
So therefore, to the international Chess masters, Dapo Adu and Odion Aikhoje who have asked hard questions to chess tournament organizer like Chief Victor Iyanam who came out clarifying issues for the chess players and to those who left their comments on the web blog like Coach Benibo, Kenneth Odeh, Deji Ogunmoriyele,Yemi Aderele and Okechucku Iwu and others waiting their turn to contribute, we thank you all for your views. You are all part of our evolving democracy that is translating into chess development for our people. We will keep the dialogue open and take your views seriously. Personal attacks on individual/individuals is what we will not welcome. We all just have to work it out together.
We are winners whenever we get it right.