Toluwani Okemakinde has emerged as the winner of the 1st South South National Chess Tournament which held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria from July 1st till July 5th. The tournament featured chess players from all over Nigeria as well as International players.
Odemakinde won 7 out of 8 rounds to clinch the top prize and walk away with $1000, ahead of Egypt’s GM Hesham Abdelrahman and Nigeria’s Emmanuel Joy Idara who finished second and third respectively. This feat puts Toluwanimi Odemakinde in a spot as one of the continent’s top chess players despite coming into the competition ranked at 22nd compared to Abdelrahman who was ranked 1st and Idara ranked 15th based on FIDE ratings.
Interestingly, Odemakinde’s most recent tournament before the South South National Chess Tournament had been the 64Spots Chess Tournament in Akure, Ondo State where he finished as a Quarter finalist after being knocked out by Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi who went on to clinch the 1st Runner-Up Prize.
It is noteworthy however that the two tournaments had different patterns as the 64Spots Chess Challenge followed a straight knockout format while the South South National Chess Tournament followed a multiple round Swiss format.
We say a big Congratulations to Toluwani Okemakinde on this great feat!