The Chess Culture Club has splashed N900,000 on the 22 winners of the different categories of events at the second Benin City Quarterly Chess Tournament.
At the final of the tournament held at the Gymnasium Hall of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Complex, the star prize of N120,000 went to Ernest Afam, for emerging the overall winner of the competition.
A FIDE Master in chess, David Erhabor emerged the winner of the veteran category and earned N40,000; the money he donated to a four year-old Ivanka Jesse-Onoyeyan, the youngest player in the tournament, while others prizes ranged from N10,000 to 75,000.
Besides the star and veteran prizes, others were first, second and third in Under-10 boys and girls categories; Under-14 boys and girls; as well as women’s categories.
In his remark, Mr Ehidiamhen Akhiwu, the proprietor of the club said the tournament was aimed at growing the game of chess in the state and Nigeria.
“We all know the benefits of chess to the development of the totality of a human being; that is why we are trying to grow chess all over the world.
He said, Chess will benefit our children and that is why we want to catch them young. We want to address the younger generation of chess players.
“Of course, chess is good for everyone whether young or old, but when you catch them young, it becomes a nursery for us to nurse better citizens because chess teaches simple logic, which is necessary which is what is deficient in our society today.
He further said, We believe that when we teach our children chess; apart from the fact that it embellishes their IQ, it also teaches them how to be civil and better citizens of our country.
“So everything they do will be guided by logical reasoning. That is why we think Chess is very good and in the developed world today, they put a priority tag on chess and teach it in school,” said Akhiwu.
Also speaking, Mr Stanley Ailuelohia, a partner and one of the players said he was excited young players were beginning to show interest in the game.
“If the minds of the young minds are developed, Ailuelohia said, “a generation of strategic thinking would be grown.
He expressed confidence that the future editions would be bigger and better and serve as an opportunity for sponsors to project their brands.
Speaking in the same vein, veteran David Erhabor described chess as gymnasium of the mind, calling on corporate bodies to always sponsor chess competitions for the younger generation to exercise their intellect.