THE 35th edition of the yearly International Open Chess Championship, being sponsored by Nigerian Breweries (NB), in partnership with the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), will kick off on July 2, running through July 7.
Speaking at the unveiling of this edition, NB Corporative Affairs Adviser, Yusuf Ageni, said the partnership between NCF and the firm, arguably the longest partnership in chess tournament in Nigeria, has necessitated efforts to encourage the game in the country. For the six days of great moves and schemes, 64 squares will be waiting for the winning moves, as participants compete in eight different categories – the fide sections, which comprises categories one and two, ladies, U-14 boys and girls, SWAN and veterans.
Ageni said: “We are proud to be part of the success story of Nigerian chess, which has produced winners who have gone ahead to represent our country at international competitions. “The sterling performances of our past winners in these international competitions have convinced us that the competition is a worthy venture.”
Meanwhile, NCF President, Sani Mohammed, who was represented by NCF Media Manager, Femi Solaja, noted that the alliance between the federation and NB has come a long way in developing chess in Nigeria, and has continued to yield results. Nigeria has made tremendous progress from a relative modest status of a game played between a few friends in the early 1970s to one that not only attracts participation in tournaments of thousands of players and spectators but has grown into our homes and institutions as a favourite sport and pastime of the intellectually inclined,” he noted.