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The underdog wins. How we love the fairy tales talk less of us being the main star. At the Lagos Millionaire Satellite Chess Festival, Rotimi Lapite did something close but he didn’t win the event. He ended Bunmi Olape’s vice. However his equal points score qualifies him as an example for this piece.
First some background.
No one in a normal frame of mind would have predicted a joint first for Rotimi prior to the event as he had not shown the level prior to that event. He was an underdog vastly.
To top such an event, certain things are necessary following Rotimi’s example.
1. Closed ears self confidence: I say closed ears because the underdog won’t find many believers in his cause. He is usually the only one believing in himself. What he will find aplenty is people telling him to take it easy, your time has not come. But when will the underdog’s time ever come. Definitely not on public schedule. To have this kind of self confidence you must have proven your ability to yourself in training. In Lapite’s case, he had been reading chess books including Dvorestsky Endgame Manual, I gave him. He played many hours daily on internet chess servers, against engines and against his fellow students. The result of these accumulated efforts formed the basis for his confidence
2. Passion plus discipline: This is just like saying power plus control, passion drives you forward while discipline directs you to your goal. Lapite reflected the discipline part through his level headedness throughout the event. He didn’t allow setbacks to cloud his mind but grabbed all the opportunities he could to get points. As at round 7, he was behind Femi Balogun, Uwana Eugene and Daniel Anwuli, but he still managed to outpoint all of them. His discipline helped him not to focus on his woes but on his opportunities.
3. Good Fortune: The bible says “the race does not belong to the swift nor the battle to the mighty for time and chance befalls them all”. The holy book explains the triumph of the underdog. Let’s face it, no one wins an event without good fortune, ability alone is not enough. The problem with time and chance is that it is unpredictable. The good side is one day it will come your way, seize it.