The 38th in the series of the annual Nigerian Breweries International Open Chess championship received a major boost yesterday, following the massive increase in the prize monies in all the categories.
At a crowded press conference held in Lagos to usher in this year’s tournament, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, who was represented by the Corporate Media/Brand Public Relations Manager, Mr. Edem Vindah, disclosed that the total prize money in all the categories of play would be N3,390,000 as against the N2.5m that was spent last year.
According to him, “we are pleased with the level of organisation of the championship over the years and delighted to raise the level of the event. For us in the Nigerian Breweries Plc, this sponsorship remains a key element of our youth empowerment and talent development initiatives. It is a further demonstration of our dedication to being a responsible corporate citizen committed to winning Nigeria,” he stated.
In the new arrangement, the star prize winner in the Master category will take home N1,000,000 as against N400,000 of the last edition. While the second placed player in the section would be rewarded with N500,000 as against N150, 000. The third and fourth placed winners will win N250,000 and N100,000 respectively.
He stated that the winners in the Open and Ladies section will bag N250,000 and N100,000 respectively.
The considerable increase in the prizes for all winners and participants in all the categories of play namely: Masters with elo ratings of 2000+, Open (elo 1800-2000), Amateur Ladies (elo 1800), Amateur Men (elo under 1800) and under 14 Boys and Girls.
“Our company is very proud to be associated with the Chess Federation in their march towards producing world class chess players. The enthusiasm shown towards the game and discovery of budding talents over the years has no doubt confirmed that Nigerian Breweries’ continuous partnership with Nigerian Chess Federation is not in vain,” Mr. Vindah remarked.
He said further the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility footprints can be found such as water, health and education across the country. Only recently, we celebrated and rewarded teachers in Nigeria at the maiden edition of the Maltina Teacher of the Year. The initiative is an addition to our effort in the education sector where we have built and renovated classrooms, libraries and donated books to schools across Nigeria,” he stated.
In his response, the President of Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF), Mr. Lekan Adeyemi, who was represented by the Director of Media and Communication of the federation, Mr. Femi Solaja, commended the commitment of the sponsor over the years and recalled how the yearly event has produced a lot of champions and great men and women of the contemporary society.
“We are particularly glad with the upward increment in the prize monies which to me will encourage further participation of the players who have been calling for an upward review in the incentives. But like Oliver Twist, we can always press for more so as to encourage strong players on the continent of Africa and Europe in the next few years.
“The unbroken 38 years of partnership is highly commendable and has made tried out progress towards effort at development of the sport. At the inception of this administration, Nigeria has only 28 active FIDE rated players but today we have over 150 rated players and more will emerge with continuous partnership we have with Nigerian Breweries Plc,” he stated.
The nine-round Swiss event paring will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos from 9th-15th of this month.

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