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Sir Braveman Wodi Receives Victorious Bayelsa Chess Team

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Bayelsa State Director of Sports Sir Braveman Wodi has received victorious Chess team that made the State proud in the just concluded National Chess Championship that was held in Lekki Lagos State from 2nd to the 9th of October, 2023.

The Bayelsa Chess team arrived Lagos a day after the National Youth Games in Asaba Delta State were they emerged overall champions in the Chess event in Asaba winning five gold and a bronze.

The Chess contingent led by Head Coach Obele Koko continued their dominant display in Lagos having taken their opponents to the cleaners in the National Youth Games.

A breakdown of the performance of team Bayelsa Indicates that the team conquered in the U-10 category with Abner Quickpen coming top while Treasure Ebiakpo came second in the U-16 category, Oyins Bayefa settled for 3rd U-10 category.

In the elite invitational category female category Africa Chess prodigy Deborah Quickpen emerged champion after amassing 9.5 points in 11 rounds of games in the eight day event.

Playing on board five against Joy Onoja the youngster won the match to the excitement of spectators.

The 11 years old Quickpen made history as the youngest chess champion in Nigeria after competing in the best 12 players tournament.

She overtook  Oluwatobi Olatunji (now Oloruntola), who won it at age thirteen (13), she and Deborah will now represent Nigeria at the 2024 Africa Championships in Egypt.

In the men’s category, Bomo Kigigha emerged winner for the 4th time Kigigha needed just a draw to defeat Abiola Akinseye in the final round to lift the trophy.

He won the 2023 National Chess Championship with an impressive record of 7.5/11 

Another Bayelsan Eyenghe Sunny claims the title of champion at the Masters Section that had seven players including two International Masters, IM Aikhoje Odion, Lapite Opeoluwa, IM Okeke Isaac Chukwudalu, Koko Obele, Okonkwo Walter, Igolukumo Felix to lift the trophy.

Receiving the victorious Chess team an elated Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi, said the performance of the Chess team has further demonstrated that Bayelsa has gone beyond the level of participation but winning.

Sir Wodi commended the players for their doggedness and show of determination describing their outing as unprecedented, noting that he was pleased with the performance of the kids who outperformed their opponents in the Championship.

He admitted that the prospect for Nigeria Chess is bright following the sterling outing of the team Bayelsa assuring them of continuous support in their quest for international glory.

Sir Wodi thanked Governor Senator Douye Diri and his Deputy Governor Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, commissioner for Youth and Sports Development Chief Daniel Igali for investing in sports as well as giving more youths reasons to get involved in sports.

Earlier, Head Coach of the Bayelsa State Chess Association Obele Koko while highlighting the performance of the team, thanked the almighty God, government and the Director of Sports for the feat achieved by the team.

In separate interviews four time champion Bomo Kigigha and Africa Chess prodigy Deborah Quickpen, opined that the winning spirit and determination of the team was the reason behind their success story in Lagos.

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Hananeel Jackson
Hananeel Jackson media officer of Bayelsa United, Best reporter Bayelsa Media Award 2022
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