World English-Language Scrabble Players’ Association Championship (WESPAC) started yesterday in Nairobi with 13 Kenyans scrabbling to dislodge Nigeria from the helm of the world rankings of the Queens language.
Kenya finished second overall in the last world event held in 2015 in Australia, an event that had attracted 129 competitors in the main event. The two top Kenyans Patrick Nderitu and Allan Oyiende started the campaign on a high with the latter showing intent after beating the world champion Nigeria’s Wellington Jighere in the forth match scoring 438 compared to Jighere’s 406 to improve his rating by 13 points.
Oyiende had won his first two matches against United Arab Emirates’ Eric Kinderman and Australia’s Tony Hunt by 291 and 142 spreads respectively before falling to New Zealand’s Nigel Richards, the highest-scoring Scrabble player of all-time by 218 spreads in the third match.
The matches got tough and the winning margins got thinner as the Kenyan won his fifth match of the day against Nigeria’s Nsikak Solomon by a spread of six marks after 414 marks compared to the West African’s 408.