Saturday, April 16, 2016 8:33 pm
Wellington Jighere is the reigning world scrabble champion.
But on Saturday in Abuja, a fellow Nigerian brought him back to earth beating him in one of the 16 games he played at the National Championship in Abuja.
Adebola Samuel who beat the world champion in the lone game said he needed to beat him to make the game competitive.
“I needed the win to be able to progress and I need to beat him to make the championship competitive, because he was already running two games ahead of everybody.
“So, I have to beat him to slow him down so that the others can have a chance to compete,’’ he said.
Samuel said he played with the mind that he could beat the world champion and he succeeded in that.
“Scrabble is taking the right decision at the right time. So, I think I was just able to take the right decision at the right time and the win came,’’ he said.
Jighere however led the scores tablet after 16 games, despite the loss to Samuel.
The 2016 Asaph Zadok National Scrabble Championship began on Friday with 62 players from 13 states.
Each player is expected to play 24 games in the championship which ends on Sunday.
Jighere said he would do his best to ensure that he remained at the top.
“It is a game. You win some and lose some. But, at this stage, I want to make sure I don’t lose any other game. Although the field is tough and we have a lot of champions among us, it is a national championship and it is a very tough field, but I am doing my best.
“I am just playing my game and I am hoping that my best is sufficient to do well at the end of the day,’’ he said.
Jighere however called on the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) to review upward the championship’s prize money.
He said the N150,000 main prize money was not commensurate with the efforts players put in to come for the championship.
At the end of the 16 rounds of play, Jighere led the scores tablet with 15 wins and 1,379 points, followed by Olatunde Oduwole with 13 wins and 1,244 points.
The only female in the championship, Success Sule, has seven wins and -317 points.
The competition holding at the Abuja National Stadium will end on Sunday.