Activities are in top gear for the inaugural Individual Chess League for the teeming Nigerian Online chess players.

According to the President of Chess Nigeria Online (CNO) Mr Adetokunbo Odunaiya,   a UK based Nigerian Chess Veteran, the league will be the first in Africa.

The league is divided into CNO Premiership, CNO Master League 1-4, CNO Women League. Each league will be made up of 20 players each with all playing all in a home and away format.

The Premier league will be the first to take off in April, 2018 and other Leagues to follow in quick succession. CNO proposes 4+2(Blitz) and 2+1(Bullet) game variants with each player playing 3 games each for the variants to make a total of 6 games for the Premier league.

The league will be 5 months long after which the winner will go away with the Prize money.

In a first of its kind, an anonymous Sponsor has pledged a total of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only(over $800) to be shared amongst the top 3 winners at the end of the Premier league.

This highlights the enthusiasm for Chess in Africa and it is believed that corporate sponsors will roll in soon considering the importance of Chess and Intelligence. The Premier League is mainly made up of the highest FIDE rated Chess players in Nigeria. The list was compiled using Players highest rating on www.lichess.org a free online server.

A glimpse at the list showed International Master (IM) Odion Aikhoje (Odirovski) with highest Lichess rating of 2599 leading the pack.

The list also contains IM Dapo Adu(Dapsay), FIDE Master(FM) Adebayo Adegboyega (Dabee) ,IM Balogun Femi(known as Stuffings and the first opponent of Reigning world chess Champion Magnus Carlsen at the Chess World Cup 2017)FM Bomo Kigigha(highest FIDE rated Nigerian with username Grandmaster Bomo) and other FM’s, Candidate Masters and other strong Nigerian Chess Men.

It should be noted that CM Charles Campbell will be playing from United States of America and Adebowale Omosebi (Skydeborov also known as ‘The Lion’ in Cote d’ivoire Chess Cycle after his surprising win at the L’Open et Paques  Chess Tournament in March, 2018 ) will be playing from Abidjan  Cote D’ivoire to maximize the advantage of Technology.

This league promises to be very exciting. Recall that in the Battle of the Ages Showdown Organized earlier this year, FM Dabee emerged victorious after many grueling rounds of chess against Nigerians finest chess men. The league will provide many ‘claimants’ to the throne the opportunity to be the winner.

As at the time of this report, all the participating players have been contacted by the Organizer and registration of Players ongoing. They have promised total war on board as they will go into special preparation to win the prized money.

With the cream of Nigerian Chess participating, this will indeed be a turning point for Online Chess in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. It is believed that the success of the CNO initiative will spur on other African countries who also have an online presence..

Chess Nigeria Online Leagues will be replicated in other African Countries. You can count on us for wide coverage of the league as it unfolds.

Africa Chess is truly on the Rise!


Olayemi Ajibade




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