International Master, Dapo Adu
By Femi Solaja
The trio of World Chess Olympiad debutants, Nonso Oragwu, Femi Balogun and Yinka Adesina showed tenacity and brilliant display in middle play as they emulate Bomo Kigigha to give Nigeria 3.5-0.5 win over boastful Aruba in the sixth round of the tournament Monday night.
The victory was Nigeria’s biggest win so far in 11 round Swiss-event pairing and thus moved the male team to the top in category E while their opponent who where in the second position now slide further to seventh in ranking.
Kigigha showed the team the path to victory on board one with a quick win against Candidate Master Croes Octavio (1915). The Nigerian played in black side of Pseudo-King’s Indian defence variation and after the early development of minor pieces, the Nigerian sacrificed his Knight for a Rook and further increased the tempo on c file on move 20 to win a Knight in the middle play exchange and brought the game to a ruthless conclusion with the Rook sited on seventh rank on move 31.
The win was the tonic for the rest of the debutant with Adesina brushed aside fighting Quintin Seijp after 42 moves. The Nigerian played in white side of Queen Gambit declined and in the early exchange of centre pawns, he seized the control of the game with a Bishop pin on move 14 of Bf5 to win a Rook.
Further exchange of Queens enabled the Nigerian chess master to sustain the advantage till the end of the game.
While on board two, Oragwu extended the country’s win to three with a long end game against Jose Pesqueira (1986) but Femi Balogun failed to sustain his slight advantage against Pablo De Mey (1882) to give the Arubans a consolatory half point of the day.
In the female section, the Nigerian still maintain its inability to earn a match point so far in the tournament with another 2-2 score line with Zimbabwe. The brilliancies of Tobi Olatunji and Nsisong Asanga had given the country a two point lead on top boards against Melisa Zengeni and Colletta Wakuruwareiwa respectively.
The South African nation rallied back with wins against Funmi Akinola on board three when Rhoda Masiyazi won in along end game situation while Oluchi Dikeocha had her first baptism in the global chess event as she cracked from the easily to Matilda Zengeni.