The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, will on Thursday at the Ikoyi Club, Lagos launch the second edition of the NCC Tennis League Cup which offered over N25 million in prize money to winning teams last year.
It introduced 30 weeks of tennis to the Nigeria tennis calendar and there is every indication that the number of ties will double this year.
The launch which will take place at the tennis section of the club will feature draws for the 2016 edition, challenge matches by the top national players and a luncheon for invited guests.
Although the package and entries are yet to be unveiled, there are indications that the prize monies will be significantly increased in line with the promise of the Executive Vice President of the Nigerian Communications Commission, sponsors of the league, Prof. Umar Dambatta.
According to Director of the International Tennis Academy which originated and handles the project, Godwin Kienka, “the NCC Tennis League has been largely responsible for the significant rise in the standard of tennis in Nigeria with seven players now ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Chess Masters Set for Millionaire Championship
The 2nd edition of the much anticipated Millionaire Chess Championship gets underway from today with all the notable chess players in the country lined up for participation at the Chevron Recreational Center, Gbagada Lagos.
As expected, it will be a fierce battle among the top ranked players to pick the sole winner of an all-expense-paid trip to USA and participate at the forth coming Millionaire Chess Open in Atlantic City, USA in October.
International Master Bunmi Olape who won the maiden edition and was part of the galaxy of chess stars that participated in the main event held in Las Vegas last October will no doubt have stiff opposition from the emerging rank of players who are aiming to dislodge the old order.
“It was a unique experience last year in Las Vegas and I will be glad if I can win again but knowing fully well that the road to glory just like in the last edition will be tough but I am equal to the task,” he responded in a telephone interview last night
Top players like International Master Oladapo Adu, Bomo Kigigha, Abimbola Osunfuyi, Daniel Anwuli, Adeyinka Adesina, Ochuko Emuakpeje, Adebayo Adegboyega, Ademola Sorungbe are among players likely to be part of the event.
According to the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, “the event is an initiative of Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) which also intends to put promising chess players on the continent to play at tournament on the global level aside the regular World Chess Olympiad and annual World Chess Championships,” he remarked.
However, only players registered with African Chess Federations are eligible to win the satellite ticket to the Millionaire Chess Open in Atlantic City which will come up from between October 6th and 10th this year.
Aside the main event, there are also side tournaments such as top two finishers in the youth category will qualify to represent Nigeria at the World youth 2016 Russia and African youth 2016 South Africa but the players need to be members of Nigeria Chess Federation prior to July 10, 2016 in order to be eligible.
In the prize made available last night, the second placed player will receive a cash prize of N50, 000 just as N40, 000, N30, 000 and N20, 000 would be available for third, fourth and fifth place winners respectively.
Consolation reward of N10, 000 each is also on offer for 6th-10th placed winners are on the card just as Best Lady will receive a cash prize of N30,000 and N20, 000 for runner up while best junior player will take home N10,000.