Friday, March 13, 2009


With most of the top Nigeria chess players in Britain in attendance at the blitz and discussion forum in London, the event was very successful but for a different reason other than the blitz's competition which actually didn't take place.
Yes, top chess masters were in the house, but there was no fireworks .

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Having a sense of solidarity and camaraderie, chess players decided the forum for carving out a program for a Nigeria Chess Players Association, kind of an organization, was more important to them than using their energy competing against each other, at least on this occasion. A surprising turn of event indeed. These Nigeria-British chess players (NBC) do things differently don't they? Well, this is similar in some respect to the last Olympiad trial, but not entirely the same situation. This was a more cordial and well attended event going by the number of those who showed up at the gathering.

In the end, it was "draw no blood and take no prisoner" attitude of the whole event that is the true story here. A sense of commonality and a sense of duty is what was unmistakable in the atmosphere. At the back of the mind of the each participants was how to help bring Nigeria chess to an enviable place in the chess world. The gathering was therefore spent carefully debating and crafting out useful solutions to the problems of Nigeria chess.

The discussion was highly educative and intelligent from all the participants with so many possibilities revealed, which is the true array of the day. Sometimes you think you have heard it all; that there is nothing new that will surprise you again . Well, the London gathering actually disproves that notion. As you listen to Nigeria chess players debate each other and coming out with new ideas, then you realize there may be some light at the end of the tunnel here. Things may definitely become better for the Nigeria chess players sooner than anyone of us can imagine, going by the zeal and the ideas put forward by the participating chess players in London.

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left to right: Bola Dada and Sylvia Chidi, Yemi Aderele, Kunle Elegbede and the the group. Next is Francisca Okosun in black with Dr Femi Adebajo directly below. Below is Odion Aikhoje and Joseph Oladosu, the director of the Pan African Development Agency (PADA) - the venue of the event and Yemi Aderele again.

Pictures are compliments of Odion Aikhoje and Femi Adebajo.

Not to disappoint anyone though, there were some colorful moments with offhand blitz chess games. So did you think for a moment that you can separate chess players from the chess boards? That is an impossibility. There were some very interesting blitz games played with some of us getting whacked early in the day but free to try our luck again at other games. In all, it was friendly fire all around us and there was no need to panic, at least until some other chess tournament in the future.

Posted by PicasaStanding on the right is a wonderful man who is a teacher with Pan African Development Agency, Mr. Onajevale Omo-Ejakpovi and siting to the extreme right in Pink is another beautiful Lady who is a chess player based in London, Mrs. Joyce Ogodo.

The children also got busy playing many rounds of chess. All the kids got a medal each for participating at the event. This was done to encourage them to strive to do better at the game in the future. At the end of the day, it was agreed upon by all to hand over the Plaque to Odion Aikhoje, not by conquest, but by the mutual camaraderie's spirit that was the mood of the whole gathering. This is a rarity and a fun thing to experience among Nigeria chess players. So if you are looking for fireworks in the London event, it was not on the chess board, but in the discussion of how to improve chess in Nigeria.

Sitting in the extreme right picture on top with a lap top in blue is Mr. Olufemi Olabintan, an associate of the Pan African Development Agency.

A special appearance by a Nigerian Olympian, Mr. Dipo Ayoola was expected but this did not materialized. We wish Dipo well and hope to see him at a future gathering.

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And of course the pictures of the day before, planing for the event with the strongman Fela Bright, Joseph Oladosu and Fransisca Okosun at the agency.

Details of the discussion and more pictures will be made available as soon as we are able to put them together.

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