It's only words....

It's only words....

Scrabble on

It's only words....

It was nothing short of a battle between the Titans as the 12th annual ‘IGATE International Scrabble Tournament’ came to a close over the weekend. One bingo countered the other and preemptive strikes were launched to save the day. Fingers fumbled on the tile rack as they quickly moved against the timer and the air filled with a clamour of shifting tiles.

While there were some surprises and jilts in Division B, the final standings of Division A came as no surprise — New Zealander Nigel Richards, who has the dictionary on his fingertips, won yet another tournament. He also had the highest individual game score with 569 points to himself. Nigel recently made headlines for winning the French Scrabble tournament without a knowledge of the language.

In Division B, which consisted of players with a lower ranking (that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly), Sanchit Kapoor, a teenager and first-timer in the tournament, won the first prize. Both, he and Nigel, had to be Gibsonised before they could wreak anymore havoc.

The highest word score for a bingo (seven letter word) without a blank was made by Douglas Lobo from Goa who splattered the word ‘VERNIERS’ on the board for 143 points and with a blank was ‘STOHTLY’ by Tony Sim from Singapore for 101 points. Caryl Gonsalvez made the highest word with the letter Z — ‘SOZINES’ for 115 points.

Hubert Wee and Marlon Prudencio from Singapore placed second and third in Division A, while Indunil Amarsinghe from Sri Lanka and Rajiv Antao, a local produce, placed top the Division B. The top 10 in A included Indians champions Mohan Chunkath (fifth), Jose De Abreu (eighth), Sherwin Rodrigues (ninth) and Udayan Grover (10th).

The four-day tournament saw over a 100 participants from across countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Philippines, UAE and more. Though Scrabble is associated with words like ‘slow’, ‘boring’ and ‘word heavy’, these players proved that wrong. It’s a game that is one part words, and other parts luck, strategy and numbers. And the atmosphere clung with anticipation and quick movements and thoughts.

It wasn’t restricted to one particular age group either — children as young as 13 were seen playing (and beating) seasoned players.

And in order to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, a college level and corporate tournament was also held. A team of girls from Indian Institute of Science placed first, beating peers from across the country.

The tournament was sponsored by IGATE Global Solutions Limited and organised by Karnataka State Scrabble Association, in collaboration with the members of the Bangalore Scrabble Club.