A young “Chess GrandMaster” in the making, named Ferdinand has been discovered during a “Chess in slums” program convened by Tunde Onakoya.
The Little Ferdinand who is reported to be suffering from “spastic cerebral palsy” was discovered in the slums of Makoko in Lagos State during the Chess training program recently.
A statement released after the program stated that “Few minutes into learning board arrangement and pawn movements, he(Ferdinand) outperformed everyone in the class.”
“He didn’t speak any English word and had never been to school before, but he showed a rare understanding of Chess through pattern recognition.”
The statement further revealed that “after two weeks of Chess lessons in the slums of Makoko, a tournament to test all the participants was held, and Ferdinand won with phenomenal performance.”
It was further revealed that the star in little Ferdinand was noticed when after some more lessons on basic Knight piece, he was given a “complex Knight move geometry” to solve, and he accomplished this extraordinarily.
It was in view of this, that a move to visit his parents was made.
At his home, it was noticed that, his father is a poor fisherman and his mother a petty trader.
It was reported that ‘they barely make enough money to feed daily, hence the reason why Ferdinand and his siblings do not go to school.”
Luck however shun on Little Ferdinand, when he was invited to the Lagos State House for a 30minute Chess match with the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The 30 minute game between the Governor, who is also not a rookie in the game and little Ferdinand, who only learnt the art of Chess playing in just two weeks was very keenly contested.
The game ended in a stalemate.
The performance of Little Ferdinand impressed the Governor and he was gifted with the sum of N1million.
The story of Little Ferdinand also spurred the Governor to place him and his siblings on a lifelong scholarship support up until their University education.
The State government also promised to help relocate them to a State owned apartment.
The story of Little Ferdinand has elicited reactions from several quarters, as lots of people have posited that several talented individuals abound in the nooks and crannies of the nation, provided that the right opportunities and avenues are put in place.
It was however advised that the potentials in Little Ferdinand should be exploited as he should be adequately monitored and tutored.