Saturday, February 18, 2006


by Olubunmi Adebola Dada

There may be dark clouds in the horizon but the sun will always eventually break through! Therefore let us continually celebrate our great chessplayers and worthy ambassadors of Nigerian chess.

In this first part of our series on the great ambassadors of Nigerian chess we take a pictoral look at some of our great ambassadors to the 30th World Chess Olympiad that held June 1992 in Manila, the Philippines.

( Please all players should feel free to send in photographs to
Mr Kunle Elegbede at or Mr Bola Dada at so that we can build up motivating stories around them for publication.)

From the viewpoint of the players the 1992 Olympiad must stand out as one of the
best outings in terms of their welfare. Kudos to Dr Victoria Ezeokoli
( president,NCF at the time) –another great ambassador not only of Nigerian chess but for the whole of Nigeria. (More on this great ambassador in a later article.)

We started by camping the players ( another first ! ) and inaugurated the Olympiad Trials which has stood the test of time to date. This marked a milestone in chess development in Nigeria.

The players to the 30th Olympiad were :
Tolani Owosina, Fola Akintola(im), Kenneth Odeh, Chiedu Maduekwe, Bola Dada, Thomas Oparaugo(im), Sylvia Chidi(wfm), Olivia Ugorji, Onajite Hugbo, Agharese Usuanlele, Oghenero Orumah.

All the players gave a worthy account of themselves in their games during this competition and the level of play continued an upward trend over the years amongst our players that justifiably resulted in Odion Aikhoje’s gold medal in 1998. (More on this great ambassador and his feat in 1998 in a later article.)

Outside the games, the 30th Olympiad will remain memorable amongst other things because : We were accommodated in the best hotel (which is normally reserved for the top players) : Manila Hotel, with chess royalty – the FIDE President, the then World Champion, Kasparov, etc.We were told that it is the hotel that
the US President stays when he visits the Philippines !

It was the first time that we had a serving Minister for Sports, in the person of
Chief Alex Akinyele
, in attendance. He was in fact representing the then Head of State at the Olympiad.

More on this Olympiad, especially the games, at a later date.

No comments: