1. Can we meet you?
My name is Fawole John Oyeyemi, a Professional Chess Player & a graduate of computer science from University of Abuja. I learnt how to play chess and participated in my first Chess tournament in 1999. In 2002, I won the Opens II category of the NBL Chess Championship in Lagos. The following year, I became the National Junior Chess Champion by winning the Agusto & Co under 20 Chess Championship. Following my achievement in 2003, I started playing in the (Masters Category) highest level in Nigerian Chess.
2. It all started: It started right immediately after winning the Junior Championships, It was a long & tough journey and i think tenacity has brought me this far. I had to let go of chess for a while to concentrate on academics and earn my Bachelor's degree. At that point, i needed to set my priorities right and concentrate on academics after which i returned to chess and fortunately, i won the National Championship after Graduating from Uni.
3.The driving force for doing this? Talking about passion for the game isn't enough, of course there are so many passionate chess players; they so much love the game. For me, i want to be the best at every time. As such, i spend alot of hours studying and preparing for my tournaments. Being the best has always been the driving force.
3. The challenges facing the game in the country and me: The major challenge facing the game in the country is Sponsorship; Sponsorship as regards having FIDE rated tournaments in Nigeria. Nigeria has so many chess players but the players do not have the necessary exposure to play internationally. We need more corporate sponsors and well to do individuals to come and support the game of Chess in Nigeria. I am glad with the current administration of Nigeria Chess Federation, Things are changing gradually, we are having more rated tournaments.
As for me; The major challenge is also sponsorship. Some times, i get sponsorship from individuals to participate in chess tournaments, Sometimes, i don't. I have been to about 6 countries in the last one year to participate in chess tournaments on personal expense. No support from government or any corporate organizaton. I am glad i have the necessary exposure right now and i have to thank my parents for the Chess Fund. It would be a nice thing for me and Nigeria Chess if one of the telecommunication companies can endorse me just like they endorse Musician. Endorsement is key!
Trophy Haul: To mention a few as much as i can remember:
1ST Position, 26th NBL Open Lagos 2002
1st Position, Agusto & Co U- 20 Junior Championship Lagos 2003
Gold Medalist NUGA 2004 University of port Harcourt 2004
Silver Medalist NUGA 2004 University of port Harcourt 2004
1st Position 9th Friends of Chess Asaba 2005
Qualifier World Junior Chess Championship, Istanbul, Turkey 2005
Gold Medalist Lagos state sports festival 2005
Silver Medalist Lagos state sports festival 2005
Silver Medalist National Sports festival, Gateway games, Ogun 2006
Gold Medalist West African Polytechnic Games, Yaba 2007
Team Gold medalist West African polytechnic Games, Yaba 2007
Gold medalist Nigeria University Games (NUGA) UNIMAID 2007
Blitz Silver Medalist West African polytechnic Games, Yaba 2007
Qualifier to National Camp of the All African Games, Kaduna 2007
Silver Medalist West African Polytechnic Games Yamoussoukro 2008
Bronze medalist National Sports festival, KADA Games, Kaduna 2009
1st position, Abuja Friends of Chess, Abuja 2010
1st position, University of Abuja Chess championship 2010
1st position, Gambit chess club, Makurdi, Benue 2010
Coached Federal University of technology, Minna to NUGA, UNIBEN 2010
Captain of the University of Abuja Chess team 2010
Qualifier to National Camp of the All African Games, Abuja 2011
Drew England’s (GM NIGEL SHORT) Number one in a simul game 2011
Gold medalist West African University Games (WAUG) ILORIN 2012
1st position, Gaminer Chess tournament, Abuja 2012
1st position, Zalika Chess tournament, Abuja 2012
1st position, July Chess Heights Congress, UNILAG, Lagos 2013
1st position, Zalika Chess tournament, Abuja 2013
1st position, 1st Nook Rapid Chess tournament, Abuja 2013
1st Position, National Chess Championship, NBL, Lagos 2013
1st Position, Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, Gibraltar 2014
1st position, FIDE Congress, Surrey, United Kingdom 2014
2nd position, e2e4 West Bromwich Congress, Birmingham, UK 2014
3rd Position, President Cup, Accra, Ghana 2014
1st Position, 1st Commissioner’s Cup, FCT, Abuja 2014
2nd Position, Gauteng Community Games, Atridgeville, Pretoria, SA 2014
Joint 4th Position, 2015 Zone 4.4 African Individual Chess Championship Togo 2015
1st Position, The Brooklyn Strategist Chess Tournament, Brooklyn, NY, USA 2015
Greatest moment: My greatest moment is yet to come. Achieving the Grandmaster title will be my greatest moment.
how come you went to Uniabuja: I changed uni a couple of times, It was hard for me combining chess and academics until i made a decision to concentrate on academics. I got to the point where i needed to set my priorities right.
Where i see myself in the next five years?
I would have achieved the Grandmaster Title. Should be a motivitional speaker talking about the benefits of chess and how it applies to everyday life.
BruvsChess Academy is an educational organization dedicated to improving academic performances of school children using chess as a teaching tool. At BruvsChess, our instructors teaches chess as an after school program and we also work with schools who want chess as a classroom subject. We do private/home tutoring, organize chess events and we are in partnership with University of Abuja Sport Office.
Measures of Stakeholders and Government: Everyone one has a role to play.
As it is in developed countries: every youth should be given the opportunity to grow and develop in sports or any field they desire, have positive experiences and not be left out or behind.
Government and stakeholders are encouraged to be youth-centric, focusing on chess development in Nigeria while making sure chess is well funded. As youths look up to them, they are expected to serve as responsible role models who provide a safe environment at all times.
In Nigeria, Football is prioritized than any other sport. Football-a one medal sport, Unlike Chess with over 15 medals in any international or local events. Chess needs the necessary recognition.
People say chess is not a spectator sport but i believe things are changing as so many people want to learn more about the game. We encourage spectators and general public to be supportive, demonstrating positive behaviour as they spur chess on among our youths.
Members of the media are are doing a great job, I must commend Babatunde Ogunsiku ( My Manager) for the chess program on channels tv every friday night. I believe over 40 million Nigerians watch the program every friday night. This is a better way to make the game of chess popular among our youths. Chess Should be everywhere!!!