Egypt’s Grandmaster Hesham Abdelrahman is among the top chess players that will take part in the forthcoming 1ST South- South National Chess Championship taking place at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium from the 1st-5th July.
Grandmaster Hesham Abdelrahman, who won his Grand master title in 2016 after winning African Chess Championship in Kampala will be joined by US based International Master Oladapo Adu , who is a two-time Zone 4.2 Individual Chess Champion, Nigeria’s youngest International Master , Issac Okeke , the 2019 U-18 Africa Youth Individual Champion .
Others expected includes Fide Master Osunfuyi Abimbola, winner of Port Harcourt Monthly Rapid Chess Tournament and Fide Master Eugene Uwana and Bomo with Dr. Omoifo, , and Udeme Edet.
The Prize money of 2.5million naira (two million and five hundred thousand naira) will be available in four categories while the star prize is one thousand dollars.
There will also be prize money for the best local players (N30, 000), best player from the South South region (N30, 000) and
According to the tournament director, Augustine Apemiye, who is the South- South representative on the board of Nigeria Chess Federation, in a television interview with TV360 Nigeria.
Augustine says “the tournament is for the development of Chess in the South-South region and it is an initiative first conceived by the Nigeria Chess Federation, as it is mandated that the five geo-political zone must organize a chess competition , and it is also to revive the chess culture in Akwa-Ibom and by extension the region “.
On choosing Akwa-Ibom as the venue of the championship, the chartered Accountant stated that “The South South region has a very rich culture of chess , in the past , Nigeria hosted an African Championship in Eket and that led to boom of chess in Akwa-Ibom , over the years , there is a little decline in chess because they’ve not been having access to so many tournament , so this tournament will revive the chess in Akwa-Ibom and the entire region “.