Tuesday, March 24, 2009



NM Rotimi Dasaolu or Adeoye Dasaolu (Dashe)
One bright day in 1995, a brilliant and a good-humoured Nigeria chess player came up with an idea that he hoped will give Nigeria chess players the opportunity to compete against each other on a regular basis, in chess competitions. The dream that he had then called " The friends of chess Tournament" is now 14 years old and counting with a plan to make it much bigger than it is now. That man is Nigeria National chess master, Rotimi (Adeoye) Dasaolu, an Old boy of Government College Ibadan (where Mathematics teachers better be sure of themselves in the class room whenever dashe was around or they will be ridiculed because of his sharpness in this subject) and a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria where he was one of his University "killer squad" chess team. Dasaolu is a strong chess player in his own right and a winner of many chess tournaments in Nigeria including the under 2000 category of the World Opens Chess Tournament in Philadelphia in 2002.

Just what is the big story here ? Well, if you ask any Nigeria chess player, they will tell you that what Sahara desert is to the Northern part of Africa is what chess tournament was in the Nigeria chess arena until the friends of chess series was born. Barren with no regular chess tournaments.
Yes, we had/have some chess tournaments in Nigeria like the Nigerian Breweries tournament, the defunct Nepa and the Augusto chess tournaments with the addition of chess in the Nigeria University games and the National Sports festival chess tournament, but those took place once a year or biannually and while they served very good purposes, after those events, there is really nothing to keep the chess players busy and active all year round. So the void that was created by the lack of chess tournaments in Nigeria (at least in the Lagos area which is the major hub of Nigeria chess players) was filled by the friends of chess cycle. That is the key story here.

At a time when a lot of stories come out of Nigeria about the nonpayment of FIDE dues and all other undesirable stories, this is the true story that ought to grab the headlines but has not really been reported widely. This is a story of a Nigeria chess hero and indeed the effort of Nigeria chess players doing something positive outside of their chess federation. Dasaolu receives funding for this project directly from Nigeria chess players home and abroad and then use this money as prize funds for the friends of chess series. So this is a story of the ingenuity of Nigeria chess players and their willingness to see that there is a regular chess tournament all year round in Nigeria.

When the friends of chess first started in 1995/96, it was not regular and was conducted on a yearly basis until the year 2004. But then they had what is called a National Friends of Chess in 2004. Unfortunately since then, there has been no national friends of chess since the last edition in Asaba, Nigeria in 2004. Dasaolu, the organizer of the event is hoping that with the support of Nigeria chess players, there might be one in 2009. Otherwise, the friends of chess series in the present format - rapid chess, is run like 9 /10 times yearly, more or less monthly on a Saturday of each month and it is restricted to Lagos State (and we are told it will be so for the foreseeable future). The series has been a huge

Perhaps the biggest revelation that came out of the Friends of chess series from Dashaolu is that the most successful player in this series is Adebayo Adegboyega who almost always comes first or ties for first whenever he plays and he has played in over 70% of them . This is an impressive performance from a leading chess master.
This is the connection between Rotimi Dasaolu, a chess player turned chess organizer and Adebayo Adegboye, a chess master who has played in over 70% of the friends of chess and has clearly dominated the event.

NM Adebayo Adegboyega (Small B)

Apart from the Friends of chess series, Adegboyega who graduated from the Geology department of the University of Ilorin with a first class Honors has also dominated the Nigeria chess scene for some time now . He has represented Nigeria at four Olympiads (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2008 ) and has won many chess tournaments in Nigeria. His performance at the last Olympiad is also very impressive.
Without any doubt, Adegboyega has the quality of a Grandmaster in the making.

We salute Rotimi Dashaolu ( popularly called "dashe") , the hero of the friends of chess event and Adebayo Adegboyega (popularly known as "small B" ) the undisputed champion of many of this series and the Nigeria chess players for sponsoring these event for the past 14 years.
We wish everyone the very best in their future quests

With this story here,we are hoping that the friends of chess series will receive the International recognition that it deserves from those who can help make it into a kind of a FIDE rated event and much more. By helping one area of the world and their chess effort, we are helping our global chess initiatives in the spirit of Gens Una Sumus (We are one people).

A 2007 Friends of Chess Tournament

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