Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
World Chess Olympiad veterans, Bomo Kigigha (2317), Dapo Adu (2299) and Bunmi Olape (2252) with Oluwafemi Balogun (2275) and Anwuli Daniel (2267) have all qualified in the open section and will represent Nigeria at the forth coming 43rd World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia from 23rd September to 6th October, 2018.
According to the President of Nigerian Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, their qualification was based on their respective FIDE ratings, which is a clear departure from open trials.
In the female section, the Nigerian players who qualified include; Precious Agbazue (1902), Oluwaseun Assa (1881), Chinyere Chukwuemeka-Ehirim (1871), Deborah Akintoye (1853) and Eloho Ogbiyoyo Perpetual (1830).
Interestingly, all the representatives in the female category will be making their debut at the biennial tournament, the Chess Federation chairman, Technical Committee, Alhaji Bode Durotoye, explained that the board was very sensitive in the selection and affirmed its decision to stick to the conventional norm, instead of an abridged selection format that will pave way for another round of mini-trial that could throw up unnecessary distraction.
“Everybody knew that after the last edition of the event in Baku, Azerbaijan, the qualification process for this edition will be the same global standard practice that we have been using since 2014 in Tromso, Norway.
“We have been fair to all but it’s unfortunate that it turned out that all the women that will represent the country are first timers and if they are not good they won’t be in top five,” he pointed out.
The forth coming event will be the return of the duo of International Master Dapo Adu (7th cap) and FIDE Master Bomo Kigigha (4th cap) aiming to bring back the nostalgic performance of the male team when they led the team to claim first position in category E at the edition held in Istanbul, Turkey 2012 and same year the female team largely debutants came third in the same category.
International Master Bunmi Olape will also be making his 7th appearance at the 13-round Swiss event pairing.
Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos