Femi Solaja

The maiden edition of all female chess tournament got underway on Tuesday in Ibadan with 27 players on parade at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium complex in Ibadan.

The event, according to the Tournament Director, Babatunde Ogunsiku, is part of efforts at improving the level of the game among female players in the country.

“Rating level of our female players on FIDE chart is relatively low when compared with their male counterparts. This explains why an event like this is a step in right direction as a way of encouraging them to be the best among their peers in both continental and world level,” he remarked Tuesday night in a telephone interview.

The event is organised by chess enthusiasts under the aegis of ‘Just Chess Venture’.
All notable female players from all the states of the federation are participating at the tournament among whom are Toritsemuwa Ofowino, Akintoye Deborah, Doris Adebayo, Peace Sampson, Olufunmilayo Oyegunle, Labake Coker and Amarachi Agiri among others.

The event will climax on Sunday with attractive prizes to all the deserved winners. A special celebration is in place for the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, who will attain the Golden Age same day.

On Saturday, FIDE Master, Adegboyega Adebayo, will engage 20 of the participating players in a simultaneous chess exhibition display.

As at the time of this report, Akintoye, Adebayo, Ofowino, Sampson and Omishogbon all had perfect scores after the first two rounds on Tuesday.

The event is a combination of Swiss and knockout pairing. The first five rounds would be used to select top eight players that will go into the knockout phase stating from quarter finals.

While the remaining players will continue with the Swiss pairings and complete the mandatory eight rounds for the four remains prizes.