Chess Championship: Kigigha, Wodi, shine in Bayelsa
By Tony Oji
It was a big morale boost for Chess players and lovers of the game as 5th edition of the Bayelsa State Monthly Championship came to fulfilment irrespective of the Covid-19 pandemic which has scuttled world sporting events, Orient Sports reports.
The competition ended in style as the National Champion, Bomo Kigigha, and Director of Sports, Braveman Wodi, won gold in the elite and veteran categories respectively.
The event which took place at the Samson Siasia sports complex, in Yenagoa, as 73 participants drawn from, Bayelsa, Delta, Oyo, Rivers states, took part in the competition, in different categories -Junior, Open, Female, Elite and Veteran.
In the Junior under-20 category, Tennyson Olisa from Delta state got gold, Eyetongha Callistus, also from Delta went home with the silver medal, while Bayelsa’s Kere Alagoa clinched bronze.
Again, the Open category saw Bibowei Lambert from Bayelsa going home with the gold medal, Miedo Denenu, (Bayelsa) silver, and Christopher Cole (Rivers) bronze medal.
Perpetual Ogbiyoyo of Oyo state clinched gold in the Female category, Bayelsa’s Rachael Dappa, silver, and 8-year-old Deborah Quickpen (Bayelsa), went home with bronze.
Three-time National Champion, Bomo Kigigha (Bayelsa) clinched gold, Emmanuel Nwalla (Rivers), silver, with the Oyo state’s Abimbola Osunfuyi, winning bronze medal.
Meanwhile, in the Veteran’s category, Braveman Wodi won gold, Tarila Dudiefa clinched silver, while Engr. Austin won bronze medal.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner for Sports Development, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Patimidi Tukuru, expressed his optimism that the regular competition would enhance the skills, and boost confidence of chess players, ahead of National tourneys, especially, the forthcoming National Sports Festival.
Chess Patron, Opigo Emmanuel, in his speech, commended the state association for putting up the monthly competition which according to him would mould future champions in the sports, for the state.
He urged the state government to ensure regular grassroot sporting policy that would scout, develop and sustain talents in their various schools, provide avenue for sending athletes to international tournaments, as well as involve actively in low budget sports like Chess and Scrabble.
Orient Sports understands that the winners of the various categories also received cash rewards for their efforts from the Chess Association.