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Our Team

OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM

Engr. Jonathan Odega
Chairman

Jonathan is a professional civil engineer and a successful entrepreneur with interests in the food, hospitality and real estate industry. He is the Chairman/CEO of the Orchid Hotels Group which incubates 4-star hotels in Lagos and Delta state. Jonathan is also a chess enthusiast, his love and passion for chess moved him to create a chess club where people of like minds gather to play the noble game.

Nathan Ekanem
President

Nathan is the General Manager at Triumph Power & Gas Systems Ltd. He previously worked as a Commercial Advisor & Strategy Implementation Manager for Savannah Energy. Nathan has an MBA in strategic planning from Heriot Watt University and a master’s in petroleum engineering from IFP school (France). Nathan has had some successes in competitive chess including captaining the Lekki Chess Club team which won the maiden event of the CPAN National chess league (2016) and winning a silver medal in the Eko 2012 NSF.

Olakunle Kasumu
Vice President

Kunle is the producer and presenter of Nigeria's premier television book show, Channels Book Club which is watched by millions of viewers locally and internationally.He is one of the most prolific ghost-writers in Nigeria and founded/co-founded Storyteller Services, a communications solutions firm & InMedia Motions Limited, a documentary production company. Kunle is a lover of chess and a National Arbiter (NA). He won several national chess tournaments in his active playing years.

Rex K. Ogunnaike
Secretary and Technical Director

Rex is a Director at Aldsgate Company Limited, he previously worked with Pan African Airlines & Transwest Airlines. He has a degree in Industrial Statistics and an IATA certificate in Airport Operations. Rex is a National Arbiter (NA) and an experienced tournament organizer. He was a member of the Lagos state sport council and participated actively within the state’s chess association. He is the Founding President of the Fianchetto Chess Development Initiative in Lagos Island.

Chiechefulam ‘Eche’ Orji
Treasurer

Eche is a business developer and consultant with vast experience in several industries including banking, finance, energy, logistics and International trade. He has a degree in computer science from the University of Abuja & a PGD in project management from the University of Liverpool. Eche has a keen interest in education and mentoring the younger generation on career development Chess for him is pure passion and he currently devotes his resources to chess administration and development.

Martins Amabipi
Marketing & Comms. Director

Martins is an oil & gas business process consultant wi expertise in project management, business development, an data analytics. He has a degree in gas engineering from the University of Po Harcourt and a diploma in strategy & operations from the In Business Management Institute (IBMI), Berlin. His passion for chess can be traced back to his university day when he captained the Uniport Chess Team. Martins is also the current Vice President of CPAN.

Aishat jimoh Ibrahim
Relationship Manager

Aisha is a wife, mother and a media consultant. She has a first and masters degrees in mass communication, and is presently doing her PhD in communication management at the Pan African University, Lagos. Aisha is a joint founder and owner of Hamgad Security. She is also the CEO of Trackplusng. She is a two time National Sports Festival silver medalist (chess) and is currently the captain of Lagos State Female Chess Team

Ndopnse ‘Nse’ Ekpo
Club Manager

Nse is OLCC’s club manager, he is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Nsukka (UNN) and a National Chess Master with years of experience as a chess coach for kids. He is the chess coach to a number of the top schools in Lagos including Green Springs, Cedar Oak and Parkwood School (Lekki). Nse is also an instructor for the highly regarded Chess In Slums Initiative. He was the president of UNN’s chess team (2008- 2012) & led the team to 2 NUGA events.

OUR COACHING TEAM

Ivan Solokov
Grandmaster (GM) Head Coach

GM Ivan Sokolov is OLCC’s head coach. He is a globally respected chess figure who has successfully worked as the head coach of both the United Arab Emirates and Iran. He has been a Grandmaster since 1987 and has reached 12 th on the FIDE ELO ratings list several times. He has won many GM top events and beaten 8 world champions (including Carlsen, Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik) in classical time control games. He has participated as a player in 10 Chess Olympiads and 7 European National Team Championships winning gold and silver medals in the process. He is the author of 11 chess books; 2 Chess Middlegames DVDs and a number of chess videos. GM Sokolov is a regular commentator in Tata Steel Chess and on Chess.com. He is fluent in English, Dutch and Serbo-Croatian and has a reasonable command of Russian and German languages.

Alojzije Jankovic
Grandmaster (GM)

GM Alojzije is a Croatian chess player and has been a Grandmaster since 2006. He was multiple-time cadet and junior Croatian champion and became individual champion of Croatia in 2015. He has won several international chess tournaments and served as head coach to Zagreb University and the Croatian national chess team. He is the author of the book, ‘Grandmaster Mindset’

Daniel Anwuli
International Master (IM)

Daniel is the highest rated chess player in Nigeria's History, a feat he achieved at 18 years of age. He is also the youngest International Master in Africa. In 2019, he became the West African Chess Champion and won the title of ‘National Chess Champion of Nigeria’ in 2020. Daniel is a two-time chess Olympian (Baku, Azerbaijan 2016 & Batumi, Georgia 2018). He represented West Africa at the FIDE Chess World Cup in Russia in 2019.

Femi Balogun
International Master (IM)

Femi is the 1st and only African to face-off against a reigning world chess champion, Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. He is the 3rd Highest rated chess player in Nigeria's history. Femi is a two-time world chess Olympian (Istanbul, Turkey 2012 & Tromso, Norway, 2014) and a West Africa representative at the FIDE Chess World Cup, Tbilisi, Georgia 2017. He won the national award from the Ministry of Sports as the best outstanding athlete (for chess) in 2017.

Onovughe Ochuko
Fide Master (FM)

Ochuko is a geology graduate from the University of Port Harcourt. He represented Nigeria at the African Zonals Chess Championship in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2018. He won the 2011 National Blitz Championship and has won gold medals at the 2011 and 2012 National Sports Festivals. He also won the 2015 President’s Cup in Ghana. He is a certified FIDE Chess in Schools Trainer and has been a chess instructor at the Delta State Sports Commission and Pedachess. He is also a chess coach for some of the leading schools in Nigeria including Chrisland School, Meadow Hall Schools & Abba’s Heart Montessori.

Ndopnse ‘Nse’ Ekpo
National Master (NM)

Nse is OLCC’s club manager, he is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Nsukka (UNN) and a National Chess Master with years of experience as a chess coach for kids. He is the chess coach to a number of the top schools in Lagos including Green Springs, Cedar Oak and Parkwood School (Lekki). Nse is also an instructor for the highly regarded Chess In Slums Initiative. He was the president of UNN’s chess team (2008- 2012) & led the team to 2 NUGA events.


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