Bomo Kigigha, Sir Wodi, Others, Shine At Bayelsa Chess Championship
By Patrick Ndubuisi
The 5th edition of the Bayelsa State Monthly Championship, on Saturday, ended in style as National Champion, Bomo Kigigha, and Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi, popularly known as “The Board Master, won gold in the elite and veteran categories.
The event which took place at the Samson Siasia sports complex, in Yenagoa, also saw the likes of Nigeria’s youngest gold medalist, Deborah Quickpen, smiling home with a medal, to increase her medal collections.
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.
The Opens 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, while Oyo state’s Abimbola Osunfuyi, got Tue bronze medal.
The veterans category, Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi, won gold, Mr Tarila Dudiefa clinched silver, while Engr. Austin won bronze medal.
Commissioner for Sports Development, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sports Development, Chief 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, Engr 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 the various schools, provide avenue for sending athletes to international tournaments, as well as involve actively in low budget sports like Chess and Scrabble.
Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi, on his part, said Bayelsa would soon become the home of Chess in the Country, following the several young players being groomed by the association.
The closing ceremony of the 5th edition also witnessed the presence of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, Ruth Ouserigha-Etebu, Head of Planning Research and Statistics, Bibowei Lambert, as well as chess-lovers, and parents of those that featured in the juniors category.
Winners of the various categorise also received cash rewards for their efforts from the Chess Association.