A Nigerian singer and entrepreneur, David ‘Barzini’ Nwobodo, is blazing the trail across the sports and entertainment sector, with the announcement of the ‘Barzini King’s Opening’ chess tournament to promote the game of chess in the nation through music.
The tournament is aimed at promoting mental acuity among Nigerian students.
Speaking with newsmen ahead of the tournament organised in collaboration with the Orchid Lekki Chess Club (OLCC) and MacDaniel & Friends Initiative, Barzini said, “I hope to make this tournament an annual one.”
Barzini said chess is a sport that requires and boosts critical thinking hence the desire that more young people in Nigeria pick interest in the game enough to benefit from it.
He said the tournament, which will reward winners with over 200,000 in cash prizes, will be played simultaneously with the release of a chess-themed album.
With this innovation, the 28-year-old Barzini said his vision is to boost mental acuity among Nigerian students, through the fusion of chess and music – the first-of-its-kind initiative in Nigeria.
He said the tour will begin on the 24th of July at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka which is home to the largest student community of chess players in Nigeria, according to OLCC.
He noted that the Lagos leg of the tournament will be played on the 1st of August on the online chess platform ‘Lichess’.
“The tournament will be played in nine rounds with 10-minute time control. The theme of the tournament mandates white to play e4, The King’s Opening, as the first move in all the games. This is a tribute to former world chess champion Bobby Fischer who described the popular and oldest opening as “Best by Test,” he said.
According to him, “Fischer’s attitude towards excellence in chess inspired me a lot while organizing this tournament and making the album, I had him in mind all through the process”.
An active member of the Orchid Lekki Chess Club in Lagos, Nigeria, Barzini is an avid promoter of chess and hopes the poetry of the beautiful game will come to appeal to more young people in the country.
The album “Beloved, Vol. 2 (The King’s Opening)”, features young music artists Dr Barz, Layydoe, convener Barzini, and will be released on August 1 to close the tournament.