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NCF picks Adu, Kigigha, Agbazue, others for Chess Olympiad

By Onyinyechi Agwubilo
27 July 2018   |   4:20 am
The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) has listed Bomo Kigigha (2317), Dapo Adu (2299), Bunmi Olape (2252), Oluwafemi Balogun (2275) and Anwuli Daniel (2267) as the country’s representatives...

The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) has listed Bomo Kigigha (2317), Dapo Adu (2299), Bunmi Olape (2252), Oluwafemi Balogun (2275) and Anwuli Daniel (2267) as the country’s representatives in the 43rd World Chess Olympiad scheduled for Batumi, Georgia from September 23 to October 6, 2018.

NCF President, Mr. Lekan Adeyemi yesterday explained that their qualification was based on their respective FIDE ratings, which is a clear departure from open trials.

Chosen to fly the country’s flag in the female section are 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.

According to the technical committee chairman, Alhaji Bode Durotoye, 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 would 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 would 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.

International Master, Dapo Adu (7th cap) and FIDE Master, Bomo Kigigha (4th cap) are aiming to bring back the nostalgic performance of the male team, which they led to claim first position in category E at the 2012 edition in Istanbul, Turkey.

International Master Bunmi Olape will also be making his seventh appearance at the 13-round Swiss event pairing.