Godwin wins EEAST Scrabble Championship as organisers plan for schools tourney
Victor Godwin, at the weekend, defeated a sterling cast of players to win the Masters category of the yearly Emmanuel Egbele Scrabble Tournament (EEAST) held at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
Godwin pushed his way to the top of the log with 13 wins and the highest cumulative points of 982 in the 18-round tournament to knock off his fiercest rival, James Ewruje, in the closing stages of the championship.
Prince Omosefe finished as the third best player in the Masters’ category.
Godwin’s victory is his first major title in the Nigerian scrabble circuit.
“Scrabble is not easy in Nigeria. I have been playing and praying over the years. It wasn’t easy to face top-rated players, including the current African Champion, Enoch Nwali, in the Masters category and then claim victory at a tournament like the EEAST. It is unbelievable,” he declared.
In the Intermediate category, David Ojih, snatched the title with a score of 13 wins and 717 cumulative points ahead of Musa Lateef, who came second with 13 wins and 94 points, while Ayomiposi Akinfemosoye finished third with 12 wins and 670 points.
In the open category, Emmanuel Enyi was the star as he defended the title he won last year.
Adebisi Adekola and Akpotu Benjamin finished second and third with 13 and 12 wins respectively in the opens category.
2021 champion, Dokun Esan, won the newly introduced veterans category ahead of Ojior Osikhena and Matthew Ekpagha, while Bukunmi Afolayan got the best female player title. Afolayan was gifted with a cash prize of N100, 000 by CINQ-SAA.
Two Ghanaian players, Charles Tachie-Menson and Stanley Ubiedi also participated in the tournament as part of their preparations for the forthcoming World English Language Speaking Players Association Championship (WESPAC) holding in Las Vegas Nevada, U.S., next month.
At the end of the event, players and individuals were recognised for their efforts at a colourful award night.
Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President, Adekoyejo Adegbesan, was honoured with the first EEAST Legacy Award for his unflinching support for the sport.
Speaking after the competition, EEAST Championship, Emmanuel Egbele, said he was fulfilled with the new heights the tournament has attained as it continues to evolve with innovations.
“For the first time, a paperless process in submission of results and pairings was deployed making the trilogy edition of the EEAST tournament, the first ‘Green’ scrabble tournament in the world.
“This innovation ensured that at least a tree was saved in keeping the earth safer. The EEAST Championship is gradually fulfilling what a scrabble tournament should look like. As the Best-Playing Scrabble Country in the world, Nigeria has to keep raising the bar in organised tournaments to discover more champions from upcoming generations,” he said.
Egbele, who represents the South-West Zone on the board of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), also revealed plans to take the EEAST tourney to schools as a way of deepening the sport at the grassroots.
Among dignitaries at the event were former National Chairman, Gen. Gold Eburu (rtd), NSF Vice President, Bright Idahosa and Segun Adegbenro.
Over 100 players across the country participated at the EEAST Scrabble Championship.