Pre-tournament favourite Wellington Jighere has once again justified his status as Africa’s finest as he snatched a famous victory at the at the first-ever scrabble Grand Slam tournament held in Lagos over the weekend.
The former World Champion confirmed his superiority in a best game of five against former World No. 4 Opeyemi Oloro after both players finished as the best top two in a-24 round of games.
Jighere raced to a 2-1 lead as Oloro tried to rally back into contention.
Many who watched the encounter through the twitcher platform on a projected screen from a separate hall envisaged every move with keen interest as top Commentators Will Anderson and Conrad Basset-Bouchard broke down the moves with their analysis.
Jighere’s heavy landing with bingoes on the board gave him a good gambit in round 4 and put him in the clear at the top as the winner of the tournament to claimed the one million naira top prize with a giant trophy.
Second placed Oloro earned a sum of 500,000 naira for his efforts while others who finished in the top 10 were given cash prizes as well.
Nigeria Scrabble Federation President Olobatoke Aka commended the organisers for another quality show of projecting scrabble as a global sports.
He said he was elated at the level the sport is heading considering the different innovations being injected into its organisation by the MGi team led by Lukeman Owolabi.
‘Lukeman has always been a business-oriented player. He has consistently been giving back to scrabble by introducing new methods of playing the game and setting new standards with the organisation.’
In the same vein, the President of Ghana Scrabble Association Haruna Adamu gave a high-level rating on the organisation and the quality of players who participated.
He said the tournament has afforded his players the best of opportunity at preparing for the 2022 African Scrabble Championship starting this Friday in Lusaka, Zambia.
Players were presented with customised items while the code of conduct was obeyed by all.
Also, President of the Gambia Scrabble Association Abba Hydara commended the team for the hospitality and the level of friendship among the players despite coming from different countries.
He said most of the new development witnessed by him would be useful in raising the standards of the game in his country.
Lukeman Owolabi while thanking members of the MGi Team and the players as well as the federation including the sponsors for the support said they will continue to seek for new ways of breaking barriers in organised scrabble tournament.
He said he was glad that the Grand Slam has successfully brought together the top players from different countries to test and sharpen their board skills against one another particularly with just few days to the ASC.
Players from six countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Ghana, Gambia and Liberia including Nigeria were fully represented.