After almost 17 hours of air travel, the Nigerian team to the 44th World Chess Olympiad arrived Chennai, India Tuesday night ahead of the opening ceremony of the event on Thursday at the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort and Convention Centre.
The Nigerian team, led by the President of the Federation, DIG Sani Mohammed (rtd) included five male and five female players made the squad after the trial event held in Abuja last month and qualified to play at the 11-round Swiss event pairing in the Asia nation.
“The team is in high sprit and we are glad that all the players have had their rest after the long trip and ready to face opposition when the opening round gets underway from tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Convention Centre,” the Federation’s Technical Director, Alhaji Bode Durotoye remarked late last night.
The Male team has veteran of international tournaments, Fide Master Adebayo Adegboye (2313), Issac Okeke (2204), Balogun Oluwafemi (2274) who made Olympiad debut at Istanbul edition in 2012, Bomo Kighiga (2251) made his debut at the 2008 edition in Dresden, Germany and Abiola Akinseye (2214).
Top female star, Ofowino Toritsemuwa (1870) led the pack and the included Enomah Emmanuella Trust (1901), Suleiman Azumi Ayisha (1833), Ogbiyoyo Perpetual Eloho (1886) and Onoja Iyefu Joy (1869) completed the list of the 10 players that will represent the country at the tournament.
Other members of the delegation also included the Vice-president of the federation Yinka Adewole, Lekan Adeyemi, FIDE Vice-president while Eugene Akhiwu and Olabowale Doyin Adebayo will serve as male and female team captains.
The highly-anticipated 44th Chess Olympiad will begin tomorrow with a record 187 countries set to participate in the global event.