Coach Yakkon Damaryam and the Chess Jewels in the Savannah.

No doubt Lagos is the Capital city of Chess in the country, that is why it is always important to acknowledge chess activities in other parts of the country especially int his case the Northern parts of Nigeria. We present to you the discovered Jewels in the Savannah and the young man that groomed and nurtured them, Mr. Yakkon Damaryam.

Coach Yakkon Damaryam is a communicator born the 30th June, 1980 in Bauchi and from Kaltungo, Gombe state. He sets out to be a doctor by starting to pursue a medical degree at University of Jos but soon did a voluntary withdrawal, after he became depressed and lost interest. He was diagnosed to be having an advanced case of glaucoma eye disease which was attributed to be the cause of the depression. He then moved to NTA TV College, Jos Plateau state, where he studied Television Journalism.

Yakkon Damaryam started playing chess at the age of 17 in Bauchi in 1997. He dreamt of becoming a Grandmaster which is mostly the goal of every beginning chess player but started losing interest in the game as his glaucoma eye disease and myopia worsened. He almost quit playing completely due to depression and the bad vision. His interest became rekindled after Gombe State Sports Commission asked him to help out in serving as the chess coach. The first primary assignment was to scout for players to train for the maiden edition of the National Youth Games in 2013, which he did at Evangel College in 2013. This school is now a dominant force in chess in Gombe State. This spark has allowed ten (10) schools to have chess clubs. The High point of Youth Chess in Gombe is Marvelous Joro who won a bronze medal on board 1 in the 2017 edition of the National Youth Games held at Ilorin. 

Coach Yakkon behind Marvelous Joro

The first Edition of Gombe Under 18 Youth Chess Championship held at Evangel College on Saturday, 24th November, 2018 saw 13th year old Daniel Yakubu of same Evangel College, emerged overall winner with a perfect 6/6 also defeating Samuel Usman, Jonathan Tiko and Emmanuel Yakubu who are more experienced than him having featured in the National Youth Games.

Daniel Yakubu (Picture Courtesy Yakkon)

Edith Karu and Deborah Kudi 13 & 14years old students of Evangel College finished joint first in the female category with a score of 4/6 each.

Deborah Kudi


Edith Karu (Picture Courtesy -Yakkon)








With this new stars, the next National Youth Chess Championship would see Gombe bagging more goals in both in the boys and girls section if they continue at this pace. Watch out for more activities in Gombe state with better quality pictures which would be brought to you courtesy of the Coach himself through


One thought on “Coach Yakkon Damaryam and the Chess Jewels in the Savannah.

  1. Way to go Gombe State and Mr Yakkon. The game of chess trains the mind to forecast moves of ones opponent and make one think 3-5 moves ahead as ones experience would lead. Good job kids, you gon become grand masters someday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *