Secretary of Chess Players Association of Nigeria (CPAN) Babatunde Ogunsiku is confident Nigerian players can perform better in 2017.
Ogunsiku’s confidence is drawn from the impressive run the players had in 2016, as they showed consistency in winning local and international competitions.
“All through 2016, the players showed much improvement in their games, we hosted some local competitions, like the monthly Friends of Chess Tourneys, Chess Monthly Heights and Maxton Blitz Tournaments.
”Others were; CPAN Chess League, Lagos Classics and the Nigeria Breweries Chess Tournament.
“We also had some international competitions that we attended such as the Chess Olympiad Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in August where we came out with 23rd position.
“The just-concluded MTN Festival Chess in December 2016 saw Oluwaseyitan Femi, winning the veteran category, while Tobiloba Ogunsanya won for the male and Ibukun Awotunde won for the female category.
“With these achievements, I can only say that 2017 boast of a better year for us and the sky is just a stepping stone,” he said.
The just-concluded CPAN Chess league has paid off; we saw how the players improved on their games.
“That is a very big step for the chess players and it shows that they are taking the sport seriously and to the next level in 2017,’’ he said.
He, however, said that the performance of the players was affected in the year under review due to less international competitions for them to participate in.
“This is because we were playing the game in and out of season.’’
Ogunsiku, however, expressed the determination of the players to continue to play ‘’whether there are competitions or not.’’