A private initiative to stimulate the pool of talents Nigeria is blessed with in chess has introduced a series of championships that will throw up established and budding chess players in the country.
The championships tagged “Chess Pro Tour” will begin on the 30th of March and end on the 16th of December, 2018, offering Chess enthusiasts the longest event calendar in the history of the sport in Nigeria.
At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the sport property owner, Fijiventures, and Orchid Hotels that is the official venue partner of the tour, the events for the year were also revealed.
The Managing Director of Fijiventures Limited Mr Joachim Idada, who is the brains behind the tour, is excited to be back after a long hiatus from the sport he promoted years back in primary and secondary schools in Lagos.
“Chess is life and it is a dream come true to be introducing professionalism into chess again,the chess tour will be giving the youths of Nigeria the opportunity to play the game,learn and also earn something for a living as you can see that the theme for the tour is “Changing lives”, Idada said.
On his part, Reverend Jonathan Ordega who is the Chairman of Orchid Hotels canvassed more support for sports that have the potential to develop the nation like chess.
“Chess is one game I love a lot because it teaches you about the reality of life,” Ordega said.
“When it appears you are winning watch your back, so as a nation we must embrace what will develop our capacity to compete favourably with other nations. It is quite unfortunate that in Africa we spend so much money on dance and music but we need to realise that the world is going STEM an acronym for Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics which are part of the values embedded in the the game of Chess.”
The tour will adopt its own ranking system according to the head of technical team Obinna Ogbonaya. “We won’t be using the FIDE ranking for the tour rather we have chosen an innovative way to rank the players which is by their earnings through out the tour”.
Entries from all over the country are welcomed by the organisers who are ready to go all the way in the tour which comprises Players Championship, Masters’ Series, Grand Slam and the Premier League.
The organisers have also concluded plans with an online media organisation ASENN TV to transmit live some of the Championships that made up the Tour on Facebook and YouTube.
Chess players who are interested in competing in the Tour can log on to www.protour-ng.com