A top Nigerian International Master (IM) Adu Oladapo, who was among the top Africans who qualified for Millionaire chess tournament in the United States of America last year is interested to participate in this year’s Mdina Malawi Open Chess Championship scheduled to be played from June 14 to 18 in Blantyre.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) publicity secretary Makhosi Nyirenda said Oladapo contacted him enquiring of the event after he learnt about it on africachessmedia.com where Mdina tournament sponsor Tiwone Mdina made it as the 11th Wonder of African Chess.
Makhosi said other serious interests are from Namibia, Zambia and Botswana.
According to Wikipedia, Oladapo qualified to play in the 31st Chess Olympiad in Moscow and became the Nigerian national champion in 1995 and and he also qualified for the 32nd Chess Olympiad but Nigeria withdrew due to lack of funding.
He has since played in further Olympiads for Nigeria, including the 33rd Chess Olympiad. In 2015, Oladapo qualified for the Chess World Cup but was knocked out in the first round by Russian Veselin Topalov.
Mdina is the 11th Wonder for being the first African sponsor to flight a chess billboard in an African city advertising the forthcoming Malawi Open.
Under the theme “Amazing African Chess Achievements”, africachessmedi
a.com reports: “Tiwone Mdina and Mdina Engineering Company went down in history to be the first African chess sponsor to flight a chess billboard in an African city for close to six months.
“With the words ‘Mdina Engineerinng and Mdina Chess, Les Meilleurs…a gift to Malawi’s Chess’ easily readable on the imposing billboard, the artwork is being rotated in different strategic places in Blantyre, the commercial city of Malawi in readiness for the 2018 Mdina Malawi Open.”
Mdina is based in South Africa where his firm is quite established in which among other things, trades in road construction.
Also recognised is another Malawian, Joseph Mwale, who is the 8th Wonder for being the youngest ever chess champion of an African country in 2007 at the age of 13.
According to africachessmedia.com, the other player closest to breaking this record was Namibian champion Dante Beukes, who became Namibian champion at age 14).
“Popularly known as ‘The Fear’, Mwale now lives and works as a chess coach in Durban, South Africa from where he also travels to various tournaments, and has won numerous events to his credit,” cites the website.
The first wonder is Grandmaster (GM) Amin Baseem from Egypt, the first African to cross the 2700 rating barrier in 2017. The second is another Egyptian GM Ahmed Adly, Zimbabwean Robert Gwaze, Olympian Board 1 Gold Medalist, is third; Woman Grandmaster Mona Khaled from Egypt 4th; Zambian GM Amon Simutowe 5th.