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Defending Champions Ballah, Karyah Retain Titles At NCC

By S. Siapha Mulbah

The two defending champions of the National Chess Championship Bobby Ballah and Abigail Karyah have retain their respective titles for the second and third consecutive times.

Champion Ballah won the last edition of the championship defeating Prince Jegbadai in the final round of the championship at the University of Liberia on Tuesday December 20, 2022 under the federation.

While female champion, Abigail Karyah, with optimism despite pressure from other young passionate girls in the same competition cliqued her third title losing only once of the eleven round tournament which had been going on nearly for a month now.

In the final round the female champion took on fast growing and strong thinking little Kiadii Daba to reached her final points to the total of ten points and ten wins which set the path for her to become the first Liberian female to collect the title three times.

Following the match, Karyah narrated that her success in the competition was not as a huge surprise despite the high number of females that signed up for the competition.

She said other editions that placed her in open session to compete with stronger male and female players posed a challenge to her than the recent edition that separated females from open session.

“There were other girls that performed well throughout the championship but the fact that I played in the open session during the past tournament and became the highest rated female player therefore what I had to do was to prove myself which I did,” she expressed.

Karyah added intention is to improve her career for the game of chess and get more suitable rankings at the global level, therefore, in other championship to come she hope to play in the open session.

She said: “I dream of seeing myself as the best female chess player in the world one day to come. To make this work, I want to play more tough games to get stronger.”

Champion Bobby Ballah

For his part, the open session champion Bobby Ballah said his motivation winning the championship for the second time came from an initial plan to take a break from the game for other personal reasons.

He said going to such break will never be respected for decimal performance which caused him to put more to the 2022 championship till becoming the winner.

Ballah noted that the game has an opportunity for all players to achieve a goal that will ensure reward for their labor which is the cause to give other the chance to play.

“I said to myself that I needed to take a break from active chess playing but it could not be rewarding. If I did not that, I would not perform well against people like Joel Ebiekuta and others who were doing so well in the game,” he revealed.

Ballah noted that the pressure on his opponents were mainly to clear the doubts of others that underrated his performance from the last championship.

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