By Steve Unegbu
Abia state has performed marvelously well at the national level in CHESS competition since 2017 ,coming home with different laurels in both junior and senior national competitions .
This was made known by the Head coach, Abia state Chess Association ,Mr Ihejirika Okezie,during the first Chief Chijioke Nwakodo memorial secondary school chess competition, held at Indoor Sports Hall Township stadium complex Umuahia.
He disclosed that Abia has won emerged first position in three consecutive years, from 2017,2018 and 2019 ,saying although the game seems difficult to learn, but with focus and determination, one can easily excel in the game.
Mr Okezie ,pointed out that people look down on the game, but it has so many advantages to both children and adults.
According to him, ” it helps children in their reasoning, being smart and calculative in whatever they are doing,even in adults, it helps them to be proactive in business. They can easily predict the moves of their business partners.So it is useful for both the children and the adults ” he insisted.
Mr Okezie ,said he is gradually introducing the game in secondary schools in Abia and needs management of various schools to partner with the Chess Association to ensure that the game is introduced to schools.
Speaking to Newsmen, the secretary of the Abia state Chess Association, Mrs Mmadu Maria Joshua, said the association decided to honor their pioneer chairman, late chief Chijioke Nwakodo by organizing the secondary school competition.
Mrs Joshua, revealed that Chief Nwakodo became the Association chairman even before he was the Abia state chief of Staff and continued until his death, noting that he contributed immensely to the development of the chess game in Abia state.
She hinted that many secondary schools were invited in the competition, revealing that winners will go home with their prizes ,adding that from the winners, she will select those who will represent Abia state at the national level.
Mrs Mmadu Joshua, stated that since she came on board, the association has been making much impacts, by winning laurels at the national level for the state,saying her expectation is to see great chess players emerge from this competition.
According to her, the chess Association is under the Abia state sports Council and that Abia state government has been doing its best in sponsoring the association, while she called on private organizations , individuals to come and partner with the Abia state Chess Association.