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My plan is to promote Chess in primary schools says Aiyelabegan


Chairman of Kwara State Chess Association, Abdulrasheed Aiyelabegan revealed his intentions of promoting Chess in primary schools across the state.

Aiyelabegan made the revelation during the one day chess competition which took place at the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin on Thursday.

He noted that a large percentage of the participants are children in primary and secondary schools.

Aiyelabegan said, “If I have to go back to history, this will be the 7th time we are organising the tournament in Kwara State. Since I became Chairman of the association in 2018, Chess has enjoyed constant and regular competition.

“The reason behind this organisation is that we wanted to promote chess development in Kwara State.

“This time around we try to bring in youths from schools as against an open world where you have all the senior players playing around. Out of about 33 players that participated, 90% of them are youth”.

He further said, “Aside from the fact that we have chess players spread across the clubs and associations, we have to stage tournaments that will bring them together and compete against themselves to test their level of readiness”.

Aiyelabegan expressed delight in the discovery of young chess players at the One Day Chess Competition.

He said, “You see, part of the reason why we have to organise tournaments is to discover talent. Since we began the annual chess tournament, this is the first time I am seeing Olumide Komolafe (winner of the senior category). He is a fantastic player and the association is going to harness his potential

In his remarks, Technical Director Nigeria Chess Federation, Alhaji (Dr) Bode Durotoye said the competition will serve as an avenue to spread the game to schools in the state.

Dr Durotoye said, “I am happy with the performance of all the participants and I want to encourage them to preach the gospel of chess in their various schools.

“Chess is no longer a recreational game but a multimillion naira sport. We have players who have been able to change their status through Chess”.

Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Sports Commission, Mallam Bolakale Mogaji commended the Chess Association for their consistency in organising competition.

Mogaji who was represented by the Media Officer, Mallam Yusuf Feruke charged the players to ensure they train and make the state proud at national and international championships in the near future.

Winners of the senior category are: Olumide Komolafe (gold), Afeez Abdulganiyu (silver) while Gilbert Kenneth (bronze) while winners of the junior category are: John Dada (gold), Abidat Sadiq (silver) and Aminullah Abdulsalam (bronze).

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