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Bayelsa Born Chess Prodigy, Deborah Quickpen, Set to Play Chess Master and Guinness World Record Holder, Tunde Onakoya

Deborah Quickpenny
Home » Sports News » Bayelsa Born Chess Prodigy, Deborah Quickpen, Set to Play Chess Master and Guinness World Record Holder, Tunde Onakoya

The Nigerian chess community is buzzing with excitement as it prepares for an extraordinary event. On Tuesday, June 11th, 2024, in Lagos, seasoned Guinness World Record holder and founder of Chess In Slums Africa (CISA), Tunde Onakoya, will face off against Nigerian chess prodigy and National Women’s Chess Champion, Deborah Quickpen.

Tunde Onakoya’s Recent Feat

Tunde Onakoya recently made headlines by breaking the record for the longest chess marathon, playing for an astonishing 60 hours nonstop under the bright lights of New York City’s Times Square. As a chess champion and child education advocate, his accomplishments continue to inspire many within and beyond the chess community.

Introducing Deborah Quickpen

Deborah Quickpen is a rising star in both African and global chess circles. At just 12 years old, she has already made waves with her exceptional talent and numerous achievements. Currently ranked No. 1 in Nigeria and No. 4 in Africa across all female age groups, Deborah is the youngest person in Nigerian chess history to hold the National Women’s Chess Champion title.

A Journey of Perseverance and Triumph

Coming from a humble background in Bayelsa State, Deborah’s journey to the top has been marked by perseverance and hard work. Her parents struggled to pay her school tuition, and she almost had to drop out due to financial difficulties. However, her life took a remarkable turn when she started playing chess at the age of 3, discovered by Nigeria’s current national champion, Bomo Kigigha, who has coached her ever since.

In 2018, she represented Bayelsa State at the National Sports Festival, becoming the youngest athlete to ever participate in the festival’s history. She went on to win three gold medals at the National Youth Games, making history as the youngest person to win 18 out of 18 games.

Achievements and Honors

Deborah’s list of achievements is extensive:

  • She won the Under-10 African Youth Chess Championship in Accra, Ghana, becoming the youngest Nigerian female player to be conferred the Woman Candidate Master title.
  • At the age of 10, she was appointed Youth Ambassador for Sports by Bayelsa State Governor Sen Douye Diri.
  • In 2023, at the age of 11, she became Nigeria’s female national champion, a record that might take decades to break.
  • She is the highest-ranked under-12 female chess player in Africa and the third in the world.
  • Currently in JSS3, she maintains stellar academic performance, having earned double promotions in primary school.

Next month, Deborah will represent Nigeria at the FIDE World Cup in Georgia, a significant milestone in her young but illustrious career.

Supporting the Future of Chess

With the right financial support and visibility, Deborah could very well become West Africa’s first chess grandmaster. She is young, driven, and hardworking, embodying the spirit of determination and excellence.

The sports council of Bayelsa State is immensely proud of Deborah and is honored to have her play a match against Tunde Onakoya in preparation for her first World Cup appearance in Georgia.

Call to Action

We urge everyone to support our very own Queen’s Gambit! If you’d like to sponsor her journey, please send an email to or call 07064959329. Your support can help Deborah achieve her dreams and inspire countless others to pursue their passions.

This match promises to be a thrilling event, showcasing the incredible talent and potential of Nigerian chess players. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness history in the making and support a future chess grandmaster.

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