64Spots Chess Challenge – Tournament Summary

The 64 Spots Chess Challenge began on Friday, 24th June 2022 with the first round (Round of 32).

The predetermined game format was a knockout with tournament rules as follows:

LEVEL 1
Rapid 10+5. 2 rounds.
Winner declared if battle ends at 2-0 or 0-2.
If battle ends 1-1 or both games are stalemates, game proceeds to Level 2.
If one game is won and one ends in a stalemate, A winner is declared.

LEVEL 2
Blitz 5+3. 2 rounds.
Winner declared if battle ends at 2-0 or 0-2.
If battle ends 1-1 or both games are stalemates, game proceeds to Level 2.
If one game is won and one ends in a stalemate, A winner is declared.

LEVEL 3
Armageddon
1 Knock out Round
White – 6 mins and has to win
Black – 5 mins and only has to draw

TOURNAMENT SUMMARY

DAY 1 – FRIDAY, 24TH JUNE 2022

FIRST ROUND – ROUND OF 32

This Round featured players from Lagos (5), Ogun (1) Ekiti (2), Oyo (3), Edo (3) and Ondo (17) in an interesting encounter which saw 16 players eliminated and 16 players proceed to the second round.

The results were as follows:

Round of 32 Standout Battles

Battle 1 – Tope Ajewole (Player 1) vs Dr Gravitee (Player 8)

Tope Ajewole v Dr Gravitee

Both players were almost evenly matched. Although, Dr. Gravitee maintained a slight edge in the contest, however, after an easy win in the first Rapid game, unforced errors in the second game allowed Tope Ajewole draw level to take the match to the Blitz phase. Again, the players were inseparable in the 2-game Blitz battle and headed into the Armageddon Battle tie breaker. At this point, Dr. Gravitee converted his middlegame advantage with about 5 seconds left on his clock to qualify for the second round.

Battle 10 – Ologun Charity (Player 18) v Ajileye Clement (Player 23)

Charity Ologun

This battle featured the only female in the tournament who clearly came in as an underdog. It was not exactly a walkover for Ajileye Clement, who had to fend off some interesting moves by Charity during the game. Charity seemed intent on not crashing out in the first round as predicted by most of the participants and spectators. Charity bowed out with her head held high, fighting bravely in the two headed games of the Rapid phase.

Battle 12 – Olukiran Praise (Player 20) vs David Adenegan (Player 21)

This was the highlight battle of the first round, and a very emotional game which went right to the death. After two successive ties in both the Rapid and Blitz stages, the game went into Armageddon where David Adenegan narrowly defeated Olukiran Praise to qualify for the second round. This battle would go down as one of the toughest ties of the tournament.

Olukiran Praise v David Adenegan

DAY 2 – SATURDAY, 25TH JUNE 2022

SECOND ROUND – ROUND OF 16

This round pitched some fantastic players against each other in emotional and nerve-wrecking clashes. Interestingly, there were no ties in this round, as all eight (8) games either ended 2-0 or 0-2. The winners were able to dispatch their opponents in the Rapid phase, thus ensuring there was no need for a Blitz tiebreaker. This round however set a pace for a most pulsating quarter final.

Battle 23 had Oyeh Precious replace Ajileye Clement who was unable to make it to the tournament due to a clashing engagement. Unfortunately, Oyeh was unable to carry on the victorious walk of his predecessor, as he lost the two (2) Rapid games to Oluwatayo Adejuwon.

Round of 16 Standout Battles

Battle 17 – Dr Gravitee (Player 8) vs Babatunde Ogunsiku (Player 28)

Babatunde Ogunsiku

Dr Gravitee, a recent bronze medalist at NUGA games had the confidence to go the long haul in the tournament but being paired with Babatunde Ogunsiku spelt a worrisome sign that could hardly be concealed. Although, he had overcome an interesting first game which went into the Armageddon tie-breaking, the odds seemed stacked against Dr. Gravitee and clearly favoured Ogunsiku, who hardly broke a sweat as he coasted to victory in two consecutive Rapid games.

Battle 19 – Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi (Player 3) v Olutayo ‘Rex’ Owolabi (Player 26)

Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi
Olutayo ‘Rex’ Owolabi

This was a battle between a doctor and a lawyer, which however turned out to see the doctor carry the day. Two fierce Rapid games saw both contenders slug it out with no clear winner in sight for the greater part of the games. However, Trappatoni eventually edged out his opponent in two straight Rapid rounds.

QUARTER FINAL

A total of 24 players had now been eliminated from the tournament, clearly separating the ‘boys’ from the ‘men’. The last eight included Babatunde Ogunsiku (Player 8) – Ogun, Afolabi Emmanuel (Player 7) – Lagos, Funmilayo Feyikemi (Player 3) – Ondo, Matan Adebayo (Player 32) – Lagos, Peter Falegan (Player 9) – Ondo, Okemakinde Toluwanimi (Player 10) – Lagos, Oluwatayo Adejuwon (Player 14) – Ondo and David Olatunji (Player 13) – Ondo

Battle 25: Babatunde Ogunsiku (Player 28) v David Olatunji (Player 13)

This pairing sent a lot of jitters across the tournament as we saw semi-retired, Babatunde Ogunsiku face off against FUTA Chess Captain, David Olatunji. In an explosive battle, David Olatunji went on to win in 2 straight Rapid games and advance to the semi-final.

David Olatunji v Babatunde Ogunsiku

Battle 26: Afolabi Emmanuel (Player 7) v Oluwatayo Adejuwon (Player 4)

Oluwatayo Adejuwon was no match for Afolabi Emmanuel in this battle as the battle ended in 2 straight Rapid games with Afolabi Emmanuel advancing to the semi-final.

Oluwatayo Adejuwon v Afolabi Emmanuel

Battle 27: Funmilayo Feyikemi (Player 3) v Okemakinde Toluwanimi (Player 10)

This was the highlight battle of this round and had nearly the entire room on their feet especially at the closing stages of the second game. Okemakinde Toluwani had been touted as the likely winner of the 64Spots Chess Challenge from various quarters within the Nigerian chess community. Interestingly, he had dispatched both his opponents in the First and Second Rounds in less than 5 minutes and with a lot of time left on the clock to advance to the Quarter final.

Funmilayo Feyikemi (Dr Trappatoni) had a great first game and Okemakinde was looking likely to stage a comeback in the second game. This reality nearly came to be, but Trappatoni capitalized on an error from his opponent, capturing one of the officers for free in the endgame. From this point, there was no way back for Okemakinde, who bowed out gracefully to a standing ovation from the audience.

Dr Trappatoni v Okemakinde Toluwanimi

Battle 28: Matan Adebayo (Player 32) v David Adenegan (Player 21)

David Adenegan had one of the most impressive performances in the tournament and from his pulsating game with Olukiran Praise (Player 20) in the First Round which went into Armageddon battle, all eyes were on Adenegan as a potential semi-finalist. However, Matan Adebayo who had been a silent but dangerous player in previous rounds proved too tough for his opponent and beat him in two straight Rapid games to claim the last semi-final spot.

SEMI FINAL

In a remarkable twist, the semi-final of the 64Spots Chess Challenge turned out to be an Ondo vs Lagos affair with two players from Ondo – Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi and David Olatunji and two players from Lagos – Afolabi Emmanuel and Matan Adebayo. There was a list of possible scenarios in this round which would possibly see an ‘all Ondo’ final if the Ondo players beat their Lagos opponents or an ‘all Lagos final’ if the game went the other way. This round went on to be one of the most exciting semi-finals of any chess tournament.

Battle 29: David Olatunji (Player 13) v Matan Adebayo (Player 32)

Battle 30: Afolabi Emmanuel (Player 7) v Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi

David Olatunji v Matan Adebayo
Afolabi Emmanuel v Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi

The two semi-final games took place simultaneously. Battle 29 was a fierce game between two worthy challengers and a fight for bragging right between two Universities – FUTA and UNILAG. Battle 30 saw a more experienced Trappatoni pitched against a younger Afolabi Emmanuel who had been phenomenal for most of the tournament.

The first Rapid games were taken by the ‘boys from Lagos’ and this sent shock waves across the Ondo spectators who could literally see the possibility of having their two representatives both crash out on their home ground.

In a strong comeback from the ‘Team Ondo’, both Trappatoni and David Olatunji took the second games of the Rapid round to set up the match for the Blitz phase. At this point, all spectators were on their feet and the charged atmosphere was not looking comfortable for any of the four semi-finalists.

After consultations among the organizers, the arbiters, and the players, it was agreed that the hall be cleared of participants to reduce the impact of the charged atmosphere on the players. Thus, only arbiters and one observer were allowed to witness the next set of games. The first game of the Blitz round was won by David Olatunji to take the score to 2-1.

In Battle 30, Trappatoni took the first game of the Blitz, going 2-1 up, to the cheers of the home fans and spectators who had to observe the game from outside the hall and could only rely on information being communicated from inside.

In a nerve-racking second Blitz game, Matan Adebayo won to even the tie in Battle 29 again (2-2 the scores) and take the game to a much-dreaded Armageddon battle.

Nerves were already frayed and the exhaustion on the players faces was evident. Afolabi Emmanuel put up the fight of the tournament and Trappatoni held sway to take the second blitz game to a stalemate, thus winning the match (1.5-0.5 to Trappatoni), and ultimately securing his place in the final of the tournament.

In Battle 29, the Armageddon battle began with Matan Adebayo taking the white pieces and needing to win within his allotted time of six (6) minutes, while David Olatunji played with the black pieces and needed a draw within his allotted time of five (5) minutes. With a sense of renewed confidence, Matan Adebayo went on to defeat a visibly exhausted David Olatunji who bowed out gracefully.

The Third Place and the Final battles will take place simultaneously on Sunday, 26th June 2022 with David Olatunji (Player 13) from Ondo facing Afolabi Emmanuel (Player 7) from Lagos in the third-place battle and a fight for bragging rights. The final would also see a geographical battle as Matan Adebayo (Player 32) faces Funmilayo ‘Trappatoni’ Feyikemi in the final battle for the crown.

The Event

The 64 Spots Chess Challenge (“64CC” or “The Challenge”) is a series of organized chess tournaments aimed to create a vibrant community of chess players. The players would be well profiled and would include professionals from all walks of life.

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