Meet Nigeria’s IM Odion Aikhoje

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IM Odion Aikhoje of Nigeria, the board two gold medal winner at the 1998 Olympiad in Elista, is an example of the rapid improvement of Nigerian players. Nigerians can be found dotting the tournament halls of the U.S., England, Africa and throughout the world. IM Aikhoje is admired for being a strong blitz player, with great tactical vision, and as Mark Rubery puts it, “the non-stop patter of the young Cassius Clay.” Aikhoje scored a respectable 6½-4½ 1999 British Championships upsetting GM Joe Gallagher in the process. Interestingly enough, this score would be duplicated by a year later by another African, IM Amon Simutowe of Zambia. Africa is rising.

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