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Orchid Hotel, Lekki, Lagos To Host Nigeria National Chess Tourney In October

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The Nigeria National Chess Championship (NCC), which is the biggest and most important chess event in Nigeria has been scheduled to be held from 2-9 October.

It is the determinant of the Nigeria National Chess Champion and the Nigeria National Women’s Chess Champion with hundreds of players and thousands of visitors participating in this annual chess event which runs for eight days.

Orchid-Lekki Chess Club (OLCC) hosts the Nigeria National Chess Championship on behalf of the Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF).

In the last three years, the quality and influence of the Nigeria National Chess Championship has improved and grown significantly, leading to faster development of the sport in Nigeria.

The championship has unveiled young talents and provided hints on the future possibilities of chess in Nigeria.

The 2023 edition of the Nigeria National Chess Championship will be held at Orchid Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. The championship will feature an Elite Invitational Section where 24 of the best chess players in Nigeria will compete for the Nigeria National Chess Champion and Nigeria National Women’s Chess Champion titles.

The winners of these titles will represent Nigeria at the 2024 Africa Individual Chess Championship (AICC). The 24 players in this section went through a rigorous selection and qualification process which includes a Nigeria National Chess Championship Qualifiers Tournament, to be able to compete in this final stage.

Nigeria National Chess Championship 2023 will also have an Open Section which will accommodate players at every category including beginners and masters. Rank and file players and any member of the public can register to participate in the Open Section where they can test their mettle against other players of their playing strength.

The Open Section will also have a vibrant Junior Category that will cater for Under-20, Under-14 and Under-10 players. Hundreds of schoolchildren are expected to participate in this category. Below are the schedules for the sections/categories and the championship as a whole:

  • Opening Ceremony: October 2 (11 a.m.).
  • Blitz Tournament: October 2 (From 4pm).
  • Elite Invitational Section: October 3 – October 9 (from 9am daily).
  • Junior Category: October 3 – October 4 (From 9am daily)
  • Open Section: October 5 – October 9 (From 9am daily).
  • Closing Ceremony – October 9 (4pm).

Nigeria’s new Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr John Enoh, will be the special Guest of Honour at the championship’s opening ceremony

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Nigerian League

There’s a twist’ – Springbok hopeful rejects South African homecoming

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Ruan Ackermann will not be returning to South Africa after signing a contract extension with Premiership club Gloucester Rugby.

 

The powerhouse forward’s contract was expiring at the end of the current season and looked set to return to South Africa but has instead opted to remain in the West Country.

 

The Sharks and his former employers, the Lions, were two of the teams that Ackerman was reportedly in talks with, but ultimately, he decided to remain at the club he joined back in 2017.

“I miss playing in South Africa, I see the stadiums are getting more and more full,” Ackermann told Afrikaans newspaper Rapport in January.

 

But on Thursday, Gloucester and Ackermann revealed that the player had changed his mind.

 

“There is a little twist, I can’t see myself leaving yet, I want to stay on, so we are staying on,” he said in an interview confirming his extension.

 

He added: “The players, the staff, the people, the coaches, everyone has been really good to me. It’s basically like a second home, so that’s what makes things, when it comes to a decision, so tough.”

His re-signing with the Premiership side means that he will head into his eighth season at Gloucester this year, having arrived along with his father Johan, who was head coach at the time.

 

The Kingsholm favourite is consistently one of the top players in the Premiership for carries and metres made and was voted Gloucester Rugby’s Players’ Player of the Season for 2021/22.

 

His ability to play across the back-row, and even at lock, is a huge asset for the Cherry and Whites, with director of rugby, George Skivington, hailing the club’s ability to retain his services.

 

“There was lots of competition for Ruan’s signature, so it’s a huge coup for the Club,” Skivington said.

 

“Ruan has been fantastic for us and to have a player of his quality committing his future to the Club is a massive statement of trust in the direction we are heading in.

 

“Everyone at Gloucester Rugby is delighted that Ruan will be in Cherry & White next season.”

International ambitions

Ackermann is qualified to represent England through residency and his potential move back to South Africa was seen as an attempt to better his chances of cracking the Springboks squad.

 

In fact, he was reportedly on the cusp of making the Red Rose squad before injury struck and ruled him out of the World Cup and a debut in the England jersey.

 

However, he still hopes to make it on the international stage.

 

“I just want to play at the highest level, it’s a dream of mine, but the Springboks are my first choice,” he said in an interview in January.

 

“I feel like I have been here [England] long enough to prove myself, and that chance or option never came. I think they have their eyes on other players.”

 

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Nigerian League

Sunshine Stars unveil Boboye, Oboabona

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Sunshine Stars FC on Thursday in Akure unveiled former Plateau United coach Kennedy Boboye and AFCON 2013 winner Godfrey Oboabona as the team’s coach and player respectively.

The club employed the services of the former Abia Warriors and Heartland manager following the sacking of Edith Agoye, who led the team to 14th place in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League season.

The appointments were contained in a statement issued by Sunshine Stars media officer, Michael Akintunde.

According to the statement, other technical crew members unveiled alongside Kennedy Boboye include Kayode Julius (chief coach), Nwachukwu Ifeanyi (assistant coach) and John Gaadi (goalkeeper trainer).

Oboabona, a member of the Super Eagles that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013, has made a return to the team after playing for various clubs in Europe.

The statement read, “He (Oboabona) is expected to add his wealth of experience to the team as Kennedy Boboye gets set to lead the team back to winning ways.”

Boboye, in his remarks, thanked the management of the team for giving him an opportunity to serve and lead the team again, seeking the corporations of the stakeholders and promised to give his best with the support of everyone.

“I’m glad I’m back home, Sunshine Stars remain in my heart, with God and the collective support of everyone we shall succeed and achieve the desired results,” the coach stated.

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Nigerian League

NPFL Youth league finals hold in Benin

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(NPFL) Youth League

Benin, the Edo State capital has been announced as the host city for the Championship finals of the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Youth League.

The zonal qualifiers held in five centres from February 1-3 from where teams emerged for the championship finals.

Chairman of the NPFL YOUTH league Committee, Pastor Emeka Inyama, on Tuesday, confirmed that the championship finals will take place in Benin.

He also announced that the finals will be held from February 24th to March 2nd at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

Teams that progressed from the zonal qualifiers are Rangers International from the South East, Rivers United from South South, Remo Stars from the southwest, katsina United from North East/west and Plateau United from North Central.

“We expect the teams to arrive Benin on the 24th, and first rounds of matches will begin on February 25th,” Pastor Inyama told NPFL Media.

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