It was celebration moment in Nigerian camp Monday in Istanbul, Turkey, following the confirmation by FIDE that the country’s male team displace other contenders to win the Category E of the 40th World Chess Olympiad rounded up Monday night.
Monday’s feat was the best performance of the country at the biennial event since 1998 when International Master, Odion Aikhoje, won gold medal on board two.
Significantly, this is the first time Nigeria will come top at any team event in chess.
It worthy to note here that the male team had to wait for the official confirmation after a not too impressive draw it secured in the final game.
The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) President, DCP Sani Mohammed, commended the players for a battle well fought in the last 11 days of mind games.
“Many pundits did not give this team a chance – because most of the players were attending the competition for the first time -but I had fate in them and the technical crew and the result here has shown that we have abundant talents in the country,” Mohammed remarked Monday night.
However, while the male team were able to sustain their lead in the category till the end of the competition, the female slipped into the second position after a disappointing 1.5-2.5 lost to South Africa, and it was Chinese Taipei that emerged top with 10 points as against Nigeria’s nine.
En-route achieving this feat, International Master, Dapo Adu, led the team to secure a 2-2 score line with the Physically Disabled Chess Association (PDCA).
The Nigerian knew nothing short of a win will turn the tide against Nigeria. He thus put his opponent under pressure for the greater part of the game.
However, Bomo Kigigha lost to Vit Valenta, and on board three, Nonso Orawgu lost to International Master, Ruben Bernarch. But Adeyinka Adesina restored Nigeria’s hope with another mastery win against Bernard Valenta.