Deborah Quickpen, a chess prodigy from Africa and a Bayelsa athlete, won the National Chess Championship. She is just eleven years old.
She scored 9.5 out of a possible 10 to become the country’s youngest chess champion. According to Daily Trust, Oluwatobi Olatunji, who won the title when he was only 13, held the previous record.
This achievement earns both Quickpen and Oluwatobi the right to represent Nigeria at the 2024 Africa Chess Championship, which will be held in Egypt.
Additionally, Abner Quickpen, also from Bayelsa, emerged as the top performer in the U-16 category, while Treasure Ebiakpo placed second and Oyins Bayefa placed third in the U-10 category.
Another Bayelsan, Eyenghe Sunny, won the Masters category, which featured seven players (including two International Masters) such as IM Aikhoje Odion, Lapite Opeoluwa, IM Okeke Isaac Chukwudalu, Koko Obele, Okonkwo Walter, and Igolukumo Felix. Bomo Kigigha won the men’s category for the fourth time, beating out Abiola Akinseye.
While welcoming the champion chess team back to Yenagoa, the state capital, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development Dr. Daniel Igali praised them for doing the state and country proud at the National Chess Championship in Lekki, Lagos.
Igali, who is also the President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, praised the squad for once again demonstrating the athletic prowess of Bayelsa State to the rest of the globe.
He said that the triumph proved the government’s incalculable investment in sports under Governor Diri’s Prosperity Government.
He urged his fellow state residents to keep praying for and lending support to the government there so that its athletes may continue to serve as ambassadors for the state abroad.