Nigeria has plans to break through to produce their first Grandmaster and an official campaign was launched in February. One of the hopefuls in the Africa’s most populous nation is International Master Oladapo Adu. A long-time national team member, Adu spent a number of years in the U.S. before returning in 2016 to nurture chess talent in his country. Over the past few years, he has created his own chess academy and has designs on helping the next generation of chess players.
Daaim Shabazz presenting “Triple Exclam” to Oladapo Adu
at Grand Chess Tour event in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Photo by The Chess Drum
Nigeria has enjoyed some success at the Olympiad level, with the men and women winning category prizes in 2012, earned titles and of course IM Odion Aikoje winning an Olympiad gold medal in 1998. A team bus trekked to Côte d’Ivoire for the Abidjan Rapid & Blitz and to participate in the ECOWAS Team Challenge that was being held concurrently. Nigeria took the top two places and Adu won the blitz event. The Chess Drum got a chance to chat with Adu about his activities, his impression of the events in Abidjan and future plans for chess in Nigeria.
Video by Daaim Shabazz/The Chess Drum