Emuakpeje unseats Kigigha, wins N1m
FORMER national champion, Ochuko Emuakpeje, was the hero of the cerebral night, after he emerged top from the pool of top players at the just concluded 38th edition of Nigerian Breweries Plc International Open Chess Championship.
The nine-round Swiss event pairing, was held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos had the awaiting PH.D. holder in Public Administration at Nnamdi Azikwe University, go clear first with eight points. A position he last occupied five years ago.
The champion’s defining moment came to glare after his brilliant win over Edet Udeme in the third round and another massive win over ambitious Abimbola Osunfuyi in the next round placed him in a good position among the contenders before the half way mark.
Although he suffered a defeat to former champion, Bomo Kigigha in the fifth round, he secured perfect score in the remaining games and returned to the summit of Nigerian chess since 2010.
“I have been out of chess for a while due to my academic work but the staggering N1m offered by Nigerian Breweries Plc was a motivating factor that brought me to Lagos to participate. I have never represented Nigeria at any major international competition (Chess Olympiad) but my victory today no doubt will be the turning point in my chess career,” Emuakpeje remarked after the presentation on Sunday.