Adeyemi chats with Drum on Olympiad

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Lekan Adeyemi was sitting in the Dubai International Airport when he received a Skype message from The Chess Drum’s Daaim Shabazz. At the time (21:30hrs in Dubai), the Nigerian team was residing in the airport during a 24-hour layover heading for Khanty-Mansiysk. However, his spirits were upbeat. “No problem. The most important thing is to get there safely and we will be there,” he said optimistically.

He mentioned that there were seven countries in the airport. When asked if there were fierce chess battles being waged, he said “You can bet… blood all over.”

Nigerian ladies blitzing during 24-hour layover in Dubai!

Adeyemi took a nice cache of pictures at the Murtala Mohammed Airport as well as pictures in Dubai. In these pictures were excited team members with a lot of new faces. There are only four veteran players on both the men’s and women’s teams. Bunmi Olape and Charles Campbell are veterans on the men’s while Rachael Dappa-Edwards and Rosemary Amadasun are returning for the ladies. Adeyemi is attending his fourth Olympiad as a Team Captain.

In the photos the players could be seen eating McDonald’s fast food. When asked if there were other options, he stated that Burger King was there but McDonalds is better. Hopefully, the food in Khanty-Mansiysk will be suitable for the 11-round tournament. Adeyemi has hopeful but recounted the difficulties with food at the 1998 Olympiad in Elista, Russia where Olape and Adebayo Adegboyega Joel fell violently ill.

Adeyemi will serve as the team captain, but will also be publicizing the Wole Soyinka International to be held next July. The planning committee has been meeting for what hopes to be a grand event. He will be recruiting Grandmasters to play in this historic event!

The 2010 Nigerian Olympiad delegation!


  1. Daim,

    Right now, chessdrum has the best and most comprehensive update on the Olympiad. Other bigger chess sites don’t have anything on the ‘airport olympiad’ and other such things.

    Keep it up.

  2. Yes indeed, Mr. Lekan Adeyemi has fliers of the Wole Soyinka Chess Tournament which will be distributed to chess players at the Olympiad. In all, five members of the Wole Soyinka Chess Tournament committee will be at this Olympiad, so we are expecting some good publicity and support for the tournament by the end of this Olympiad.

    I am happy all is going on well and proud to see the Nigerian team in high spirit. Unfortunately, too many conflicts with my program I had to cancel my Olympiad trip the last minute but i am confident that our team and the officials will do a fine job at the Olympiad.

    Soyinka Chess Tournament site:

  3. Thank Mehul,

    I hope to have the main page for the official coverage. The Opening Ceremonies are tonight. In fact, I thought you were on the team!


    I’m not going for multiple reasons. Besides school being in session, I was not pleased with the updates on the venue for the Olympiad. I was also dismayed at the change in flights. As a journalist, I would have had to pay my own way and was not sure that I would get accommodation. There were too may unknowns. Lastly, the election will be a nasty fight.

  4. Daaim, you are right.. there are too many unknowns at this Olympiad…… the grumblings that we heard from many chess federations about flight changes to the Olympiad and the cost and accommodation problems, etc.. I sure hope all the glitches have been fixed so that the Olympiad can go on smoothly. We shall be here waiting for reports out of Russia. What I have not heard though is VISA problems this year…has there been any that i am probably not aware of?

  5. Kunle,

    I am encouraged by the Chessdom report and I caught a glimpse of the Opening Ceremonies which looked impressive.

    There were some visa issues, but they were minimal. If fact one of our friends Kebadu Belachew had a big problem in Washington, DC. The officials there were very rude to him and literally told him that with his attitude he was better staying. Nevertheless, it was much better than Germany.

  6. I spoke too soon. Edison Raphael of Trinidad just told me he is stuck in New York until Friday. He said it was HELL there and he has to pay US$250.00 for a single-entry visa! He is stuck until Thursday when he gets his visa.


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