Connect with us


Ofowino Rules ‘First Lady’ Chess Tourney



Last Sunday was another milestone to dominant National Female Champion, Toritshemuwa Ofowino, as she emerged as the winner of the First Lady’s Chess tournament organised for all female chess players in the country.

The one week event, which took place at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Ibadan, was sponsored by one of the legions of the brain game from USA, Ayo Oguntuase.

It was held in honour of the wife of the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mrs. Adebola Adeyemi, to raise the gender awareness of the game in the country.

It had the dominant female star maintaining her status among her peers.

The tournament which was a combination of Swiss and knockout pairing had Ofowino led the pack with 3.5 till round five to move into the money spinning knockout phase –  the quarter final stage.


She qualified alongside Labake Coker, Peace Sampson, Assa Oluwaseun, Vivian Dzaayem, Deborah Akintoye, Doris Adebayo and Nkem Omishogbon.

While Ofoniwo edged out veteran Dzaayem, former national female champion, Coker proved better against Sampson just as Akintoye won against Omishogbon and Adebayo lost to Assa.

In the semi final setting, it was a clash of the former and current female champions as Ofoniwo had to dig deep to edged out Coker in 1.5-1.0 result just as Akintoye was better in the other semi final match against Assa.

The final match was grand with the presence of a large crowd of chess enthusiasts. There was also live online streaming of the event.

In his closing remarks, the NCF President, Lekan Adeyemi, commended the sponsor, Oguntuase, for coming to the aid of the federation in the development and promotion of the game in the country.


He advised all the participants not to limit their chess prowess at playing against each other but need to play in the stronger pool of men as a step towards international domination.

Cash prizes were given out to all the winners in the main event and those who continued to complete the Nine-round Swiss event.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading


International Day for Sports chess tournament concluded in Benin



The third edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) invitational chess tournament was held in Benin City at the weekend.

 The tournament was organized by the Management of Life and Chess Club and it was powered by Community Sport and Educational Development Initiative (CSED).

The event was held at the premises of Edo Innovates, along ICE Road in Benin City.

Despite the heavy rain, the participants were not deterred, as they did not want to miss this date in the chess calendar of Edo State.

The event was attended by chess players from far and wide, with no age limit and or high ranking on the chess board. The event which lasted for about six hours, is a seven rounds rapid FIDE rated tournament.


During and after the tournament event, participants were provided with light refreshment by the tournament organisers.

At the end of the tournament, participants of the event praised the efforts of the tournament Coordinator, Princess Omoyemwen Adeyinka-Afolabi, CSED Initiative and other sponsors of the event, for their unrelenting effort at developing chess at the grassroots level.

They also expressed their desire to continue to make good efforts in improving themselves in the game of chess, as well as pledged to take part in future IDSDP Chess Invitation Tournaments.

The Management of Life and Chess Club and CSED Initiative, are current working out modalities of how to introduce chess to some selected secondary school in Benin City, as well as in other interested secondary schools in the three senatorial areas of Edo State.

They hope to achieve this goal through a ‘Chess4schools’ community outreach programme, which will involve teaching the students other basic soft skills and emotional intelligence skills.

Continue Reading


Iranian chess player who removed hijab gets Spanish citizenship



FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championships - Rapid Women - Almaty, Kazakhstan - December 28, 2022. Sara Khadem of Iran plays against Olga Girya of Russia. REUTERS/Pavel Mikheyev/File Photo

An Iranian chess player who moved to Spain in January after she competed without a hijab and had an arrest warrant issued against her at home has been granted Spanish citizenship, Spain said on Wednesday.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, better known as Sara Khadem, took part in the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships held in Kazakhstan in late December without the headscarf that is mandatory under Iran’s strict Islamic dress codes.

Laws enforcing mandatory hijab-wearing became a flashpoint during the unrest that swept Iran when a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the custody of the morality police in mid-September.

The 26-year-old has told Reuters she had no regrets over her gesture in support of the protest movement against her country’s clerical leadership.

Spain’s official gazette said the cabinet approved granting Khadem citizenship on Tuesday “taking into account the special circumstances” of her case.




Continue Reading


Kenyan male chess player wear Islamic dress to disguise as woman



Stanley Omondi disguised himself as a woman so he could play in the 2023 Kenya Open's female category

It was a bold gambit by the 25-year-old Kenyan chess player to disguise himself as a woman to compete in his country’s female open chess tournament.

Dressed head to toe in a burka and wearing spectacles, Stanley Omondi had registered himself as Millicent Awour.

But Omondi’s daring move was exposed as the organisers got suspicious by the unknown player’s success.

In his defence, he later wrote in an apologetic letter seen by the BBC that he had “financial needs”.

He also said that he was “ready to accept all consequences”. Omondi did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.


Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala said that while he was likely to get a ban of “several years”, he would not be excluded from chess for ever.

“We didn’t have any suspicion at first, because wearing a hijab is normal,” Wanjala told BBC Sport Africa.

“But along the way, we noticed he won against very strong players… and it will be unlikely to have a new person who has never played a tournament [being very strong].”

His footwear and the fact that Omondi did not speak added to concerns.

“One of the red flags we also noticed [was] the shoes, he was wearing more masculine shoes, than feminine,” Wanjala said.


“We also noticed he was not talking, even when he came to collect his tag, he couldn’t speak, ordinarily, when you are playing, you speak to your opponent… because playing a chess game is not war its friendship.”

Despite their reservations, officials allowed him to continue, afraid they might be accused of profiling because of the religious attire and only ejected him in the fourth round.

“When he advanced, after he won a very strong match and we called him, he was not surprised,” according to Wanjala.

“He acknowledged that indeed he is a man. He regrets what happened, apologised and said he was only doing that because he had financial difficulties and thought winning the title will help him overcome.”

The Kenya Open, which was held last week, is an annual competition based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.


This year’s edition attracted over 400 players from 22 countries. Ninety-nine were registered in the women’s category where the winner would take home over $3,000 (£2,400).

Chess Kenya say Stanley Omondi’s case is the first of its kind in the country

Omondi is a known chess player, but Wanjala believes he thought his odds would be better in the women’s category given the higher standard of play in the men’s part of the tournament.

While Kenya’s chess federation has dealt with cases of age cheating before, this type of fraud is a first of its kind.

The case has been referred to the body’s disciplinary committee which is expected to give a ruling in the next couple of days.

“It is an extreme case, the verdict may include a ban. I rule out a life ban, but he may be given several years’ ban from playing chess,” Wanjala explained.


The case will also be referred to the international federal, he added.


Continue Reading

Most Viewed