Nigerian chess family welcome African champion Quickpen from Accra

Femi Solaja

The reality of Deborah Quickpen’s success at the recently concluded African Youth Chess Championship in Accra, Ghana began to show in her young career as chess players and administrators alike. high-level officials were on hand to receive her in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.

The whole chess community in the country celebrated the young prodigy for the performance she showed in the international event where she won eight points and passed her age category and most importantly, beat all the contenders in the pool. .

But when Quickpen returned with his coach, Bomo Kigigha alongside two others from Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos to Bayelsa State International Airport, a large crowd of chess players were on hand to receive the new African chess queen.

The nine-year-old Bayelsa-born chess star, who amassed 8.0 points, defeated Tunisian Hasnaoui Abrar in her 9th and final match, to be crowned champion ahead of 19 others in the competition which included players from the other African nations.

The cheering crowd received the gold medalist from Bayelsa International Airport near Amassoma at Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, accompanied by officials from the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the National Council Bayelsa sports amid songs and dances of solidarity.

Speaking to the contingent, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports Daniel Igali praised Deborah Quickpen and her team for making the state proud. He assured Quickpen of the state’s unwavering commitment to seeing her surpass that level even as she prepares to represent Nigeria next year.

He claimed the state government would do everything possible to get Deborah Quickpen to compete in the Youth Cadet World Championship in Batumi, Georgia next year after conquering Africa.

Earlier, Bayelsa State Sports Council Director Sir Braveman Wodi praised the Shine Ekperi trio, Deborah Quickpen and Treasure Ebiakpo for the dexterity display, saying the victory put Bayelsa State more in as a sporting state.

Sir Wodi recalled how he encouraged Bomo Kigigha to become a chess champion, saying Deborah’s success was incomplete without her parents’ continued support.

In addition, team leader Deborah Quickpen, Mr. Ada Gwegwe thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Bayelsa State Sports Council for giving little Quickpen the right environment for its development, calling on the private sector to support it.

In an interview, coach Bomo Kigigha said he sold his properties with his wedding ring to ensure the boys travel to Ghana to participate in the centerpiece, pointing out that they are traveling to the competition by the route due to unavailability of funds.

He explained that three players participated in the annual African Youth Championship in U-10, U-13 and U-14 but Deborah Quickpen stood out in the under ten category where she surpassed her Tunisian counterpart. to become a champion.

He thanked God for accompanying them throughout the tournament in Ghana, attributing Deborah’s success to divine intervention and her commitment to hard work.

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