Winner of the second edition of the Emmanuel Egbele Annual Scrabble Tournament in the Masters category Enoch Nwali has described the organisation of the Sophomore edition as “out of norm.”
Enoch who was the runner-up at the West Africa Scrabble Tournament last month climbed highest as the King Of The Hill (KOTH) after two days of exciting mindgames held at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites over the weekend.
The scrabble prodigy amassed a total of 12 wins but suffered four defeats after 16 rounds, to finish off in style with sheer board mastery on Table 1 even against an establishment like Wellington Jighere who once conquered the world.
Jighere’s defeat gave Emmanuel Umujose on Table 2 an opening to secure a second place finish with a score of 11 wins and 5 loses from Table 2,  to knock Wellington into the third position.
Nwali earned a cash prize of 250,000 naira, a voucher from CINQ-SAA, a giant trophy as well as a special jacket while Umujose and Wellington received 180,000 and 120, 000 respectively.
They both received 15,000 naira worth of vouchers  each from the beauty parlour firm.
“I feel very excited! it’s a tournament I want to win. I’m so excited!”confessed Nwali who couldn’t contain his joy.
 The much travelled Young Gun who has witnessed the organisation of some local and international tournaments spoke on the second instalment of EEAST this way:
“This is mind blowing! This is like out of the norm. Its very nice to play in this type of scrabble championship like it’s something that has never happened. It’s something that is beginning to happen,  it’s like a new phase for Nigerian scrabble. I’m just going to give my kudos to the organisers they did everything well in organising this tournament. Yeah,  the Jacket It’s nice ! Honestly,  I didn’t see it coming. I never knew I was going to win it. It’s nice. I feel very excited to wear this jacket.
Everything was top-notch .This event can as well be an international event with the way it was organised! So I’m saying well done to the organisers of the EEAST “
When prodded further on how he pulled off a major victory in the Masters especially against his immediate rival in the closing stages he revealed some ongoing in his mind at that moment:
“When playing against Wellington, I was just calm like I was playing against a very formidable player, a former World Champion so, I just told myself that whatever happens I’m a winner already like, making to that top Table 1 at that special stage of the competition I just stayed calm and did my best”
” Everybody in the Masters category is very good,  everybody in the Masters category can equally win the tournament.  The thing is that, you have to be calm to make the best choices at every time and so you don’t make mistakes because any little mistake can cause you the tournament. “
In the Intermediate category, Taiwo Adeniran maintained his top position from Day One to complete a whirlwind performance on the final day ahead of Bukunmi Afolayan and Bimbo Okusanya who came second and third respectively.
The D’Warriors strategist attributed his success to devine intervention
 Emmanuel Enyi claimed the Opens category title moving above Apiafi Isaac and John Mosopefoluwa.
Emmanuel Egbele who was the brain behind the tournament  said he was fulfilled for the success of the tournament which witnessed a few “firsts” in scrabble where two different halls “Fantasia” and “Banquet” were used on each day while Eko Hotel became the first to host a scrabble tournament.
 “The experience was quite exciting, it was exhilarating and as you can see, it’s hugely competitive and at the end, the winners emerged. So was quite and exciting and beautiful experience”
“Putting the EEAST together is part of my own objective of contributing to the growth of the game and then also knowing that scrabble is not one of those sport that doesn’t get all the attention and it’s also one my own way of bringing it to the public view and let people see it and appreciate the game and also give players the opportunity to continue to improve on their skills and so that whenever the opportunity comes up, they can be able to perform very, very well. That just the main driver behind it”
He thanked CINQ-SAA, PanafricanSports, BizzyBody, MGi, Lekki Scrabble Club, Leonse International, SAOR and Eko Hotel & Suites for the support.
He urged sponsors to team up the tournament ahead of the third edition.


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