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Nderitu claws way back to move fifth in scrabble competition

Patrick Nderitu posted eight straight wins on the second day of the ongoing World English-Language Scrabble Players’ Association Championship (WESPAC) in Nairobi to move fifth on the scoreboard. The Kenyan put his first day’s performance of four losses in eight rounds, behind him to post the impressive performance that saw him move from 64th where he ranked at the end of Day One to the top-10.

Nderitu started the day’s rounds against South Africa’s Trevor Hovelmeier winning with a 271spread and was unstoppable in the remaining matches. His highlight, however, was beating World Champion Mark Nyman in a high scoring match that ended on a 516-454 as well as India’s Ranganathan Chakravarthy, who was leading the scoreboard at the time, in round 16.

“I was very unsettled on the first day and I ended up posting poor results. The second day was good, I am now focused and intend to keep with the trend,” Nderitu said adding that the competition gets tougher but he is prepared for anything.

Meanwhile, Scrabble Kenya (SK) is optimistic that hosting a successful World Cup event will aid in pushing talks with the ministry of education to include the sport in the school curriculum as an indoor sport. Talks are on to have scrabble in schools not only for sporting reasons but intellectual ones too as it engages one’s memory and thus can help in sharpening students’ intelligence by stimulating their thought process.

“An event of this magnitude goes to show that the world has faith in Kenya and that’s a massive win for the country. Introducing the sport in schools will see the country produce world-class players in all categories,” Lell opined adding that the World Cup will also help in popularising the sport to the youth. The Kenya Open that kicked off yesterday saw Bernard Koyyoko carry the day with seven wins in eight rounds while Canada’s Jamie Chew is leading the Youth Open with 12 wins in 14 rounds.

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