Members of Team Nigeria to the World Scrabble Championship dominate 3rd edition of Bayelsa National Open Championship

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…Enoch Nwali wins the Masters category ahead of Nsikak Etim and Emmanuel Ofidi

By Maxwell Kumoye

Members of Team Nigeria to the forthcoming Scrabble World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA made a bold statement to the rest of the field at the just concluded 3rd edition of Bayelsa National Open Championship by dominating the event.

Las Vegas bound Enoch Tochukwu Nwali, dropped just three games to emerge champion after two days of grueling competition among the top 49 Masters players. He secured 12 wins and a cumulative points of plus 705.

Another member of Team Nigeria to the World Championship, Nsikak Etim who won the Engineer Toke Aka National Jubilee Championship and also the defending champion, came a close second with 11 wins and plus 726 cumulative points ahead of Emmanuel Ofidi who recorded 11 wins but with a lower cumulative points of 343.

Former World Champion Wellington Jighere who started the final day of the championship in the 36th spot navigated his way into the top ten. His 9 wins and a plus 580 cumulative points kept Jighere in the 9th position ahead of Doko Oluwatimilehin another member of Team Nigeria in the 10th spot with 9 wins and plus 576 cumulative points on the final table of the championship named after the current Governor of Bayelsa State, His Excellency Senator Douye Diri.

Interestingly no player has been able to defend the Masters title. In 2021, Oshivere Avwenegha was crowded champion and a year later, he was dethroned by Nsikak Etim a former African Champion.

Enoch Nwali took the top honour this year along with half a million cash prize.

This is the top ten table in the prestigious Masters category:

1 Enoch Nwali 12 wins +705 cumulative points
2 Nsikak Etim 11 wins +726 cumulative points
3 Emmanuel Ofidi 11 wins +343 cumulative points
4 Godwin Victor 10 wins +775 cumulative points
5 Wasiu Hassan 10 wins +355 cumulative points
6 Igali Precious 10 wins +255 cumulative points
7 Moses Peter 10 wins +254
8 Emmanuel Umujose 9 +658 cumulative points
9 Wellington Jighere 9 wins +580 cumulative points
10 Doko Oluwatimilehin 9 wins +576 cumulative points

The Opens title went to Clement Ijegbulem, Chuks Nwaeze came second and Tariyei Alari completes the podium.

Ojior Osikhena who won the Veterans crown in 2021 beat the 24 man field to win this year’s event. Azu Ogbogu and Dokun Esan were second and third in the Veterans category.

John Adeleke won the student category with 7 wins and plus 1221 cumulative points. August Shanon came second while Edide Pereowei was third.

Over three million naira was shared among the players that finished in the prize money bracket.

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