International Master Oladapo Adu (2314) and FIDE Master Bomo Kigigha (2328) are among other eight players that will represent the country at the forth coming 42nd World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan later this year.
According to the statement from Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) yesterday, the duo alongside three other male players namely; the rave of the moment and FIDE Master Daniel Anwuli (2338), Candidate Master Adeyinka Adesina (2286) and Ochuko Emuakpeje with elo rating of 2272.
The five female players that qualified for the tournament are; Omolola Sadiku (1910), Deborah Akintoye (1856), Toritsemuwa Ofowino (1779), Olufunmilayo Akinola (1751) and Mandy Enarevba (1710).
The following top players however missed out in the Olympiad train namely; Adebayo Adegboyega (2271), Olufemi Balogun (2262), Odion Aikhoje (2253) and Ademola Sorungbe (2246). Some top female players that missed out are Omolabake Coker (1660), Sandra Aramide (1648), Doris Adebayo (1612) and Olabisi Rabiu (1609).
The tournament will hold in Baku, the birth place of former World Chess Champion, Gary Kasparov from 1st-15th of September this year and most pundits have seen the method of selection by NCF as a clear departure from the past when a traditional Olympiad trial hold sway.
However the Technical Director of the federation, Alhaji Bode Durotoye, explained that the qualification process of the team was based on the current FIDE rating list released on the 1st of June and the activeness of players in tournaments in a stipulated calendar year.
“In the past, we have invited players for either open trial or selected trial based on their ratings but we have realized that it’s more like a tournament that only produce winners by any means of a tournament rather that genuine form of individual players that will give the country a good representation at the biennial tournament,” he explained.
In the last two years, the Lekan Adeyemi led board in collaboration with the Chess Players Association of Nigeria (CPAN) has organized several rated tournaments which is unprecedented in the history of the cerebral sport in the country and players have been more active in the recent time to give way to selection based of merit over time rather that producing winners to the the tournament which most time is subjective.
NCF boss, Lekan Adeyemi also explained that with over 30 FIDE rated tournaments in the last one and a half years is quite enough to get get the best players put them in camp for training for a period of time before the Chess Olympiad.
“We need to get the players in camp before the event in Baku and based on the report from the Technical Committee all hands must be on deck to ensure good outing by the players. As a former athlete, I feel for all those who missed out but we can only be fair enough to everybody,” he explained.
Plans are underway to get the team in camp in mid August but the venue of the camp is yet to be decided as at the time of this report.