DETERMINING NIGERIA’S CHESS NATIONAL CHAMPION
Nigerian Chess is improving gradually. We now have over 100 rated players (including 5 International Master, 3 Fide Masters, 9 Candidate Masters) and still counting, now ranked 88th in the world, thanks to the effort of the Nigerian Chess Federation (NCF) led by the passionate NCF President Mr. Lekan Adeyemi who is doing everything in his might to make rated tournaments possible and increase Nigerian rated players to 1000! Some say this is large, but with rated tournaments organized all around Nigeria, I bet this would be achieved in lesser time than we expected. KUDOS to NCF team! Keep up the good work.
Now that we have the top ten rated players in the country, I have a suggestion about the format I think NCF could use for the next NBL to determine the National Champion of the country. A Single Round-Robin played between the Top Ten players of the country as at a particular month in a year (for example, the top ten players in the country as at 1st of September 20XX would be invited to contest NBL Championship in November 20XX) . This would allow lower rated players who wants to contest for the title to play their best and be amongst the top 10 before every September of every year. This also makes every player to be on their toes because, this same top ten players would be considered for trials to determine who represents the country in any international competition e.g. Olympiad et al. This I believe would take chess to a whole new level.
There of course would be an Open section where all other players can play including international players invited all over the world.
The female category should be looked into. Only the top ten female players should also be invited to contest for female National Champion. There could definitely be provisions for 2-3 wild cards for unrated but strong players either using a tournament performance as a criteria. This would also create a challenge for the ladies to register and play their heart out in all Opens rated tournaments organized in the country at the very beginning of the year in other to be amongst the top ten for the next NBL championship.
All eyes would both be on the top ten male and female Single round robin and also all eyes on the opens section which gives more media coverage and public attention. This I believe would improve the image of chess in the country.
TOP TEN RATED PLAYERS IN NIGERIA
Your comments about this and criticisms are allowed.