The 6th edition of the Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics was held at the prestigious Le Meridien Ibom Hotels Uyo Akwa Ibom State from the 28th to 30th September 2012. 308 players gathered to play the game of Scrabble at the Nwaniba Hall in an event which has the highest total prize monies in Scrabble worldwide.
Mr Pakorn Nemitrmansuk from Thailand is an architect by profession and a former Scrabble World champion. After 28 games over 3 days he garnered 21 points +1636 to take home a beautiful plaque and the star prize of $15,000 (fifteen thousand US dollars) at the just concluded Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics. The event is the 6th edition of the annual yearly Scrabble competition sponsored by His Excelency Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State which extends invitation to professionals from outside the shores of Nigeria. Mr Pakorn Nemitrmansuk had participated in two previous editions (the 3rd and 4th edition) placing 7th and 5th respectively. Forty four (44) Masters players took part in this year’s competition including winner of the last edition, Mr Sammy Okosagah and several professional Scrabble players from Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, UK and the USA. Mr Ogbakpa Rex placed second in the Masters while Paul Sodje finished in the third position.
In the Intermediate category, Mr Idahosa Bright of Edo State edged out 99 other players to place first with 21 points and a margin of +1184. He took home the grand prize of one million naira (N1,000,000) and a beautiful plaque. In the 2nd and 3rd position were Quickpen Ben 19.5 +803 and Touyo Wawe 19.5 +622 respectively. Predictably the Open category which had 124 entries was dominated by comeback Scrabble Master Seidu Ayorinde. Out of 24 games he won 22 and finished with a margin of +2015 to pick the grand prize of N700,000 (seven hundred thousand Naira) in that category. In second place was Ezinore George (18 points +1524) while Ofidi Emmanuel came third with (16.5 points +1542).
The Veteran category created for players over 55 and captains of Industry had 40 (forty) entries. After 28 games, former Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Scrabble Association, Elder Bob Okoridem garnered 20 points +1654 to place first. Mr Hakeem Kareem (20 points +1341) and Barr. Aquaisua Edet (19 points +531) were first and second runners-up respectively.
The top 3 best performing female players were also awarded cash prizes. Mrs Bukunmi Afolayan placed 22nd after winning 14 games in the overall classification in the Open category but she was adjudged the best performing female player. Ekaba Dorcas and Adebisi Adekansi were awarded the second and third best female players respectively.
The competition drew players from all the states of the federation including secondary school students of Queen’s College Lagos and Master Salem Emmanuel an 11 year old student. The chief host and sponsor of the tournament His Excellency Governor Godswill Akpabio supported by Senator Helen Esuene (Chairman of the Occasion) was on hand to host players to a buffet dinner at the beautiful State Banquet Hall. The Governor played a quick game with the winner of the tournament Pakorn Nemitrmansuk and later handed over trophies and cash prizes to winners. All female participants and foreign players were also given cash by the Governor to offset their transport fare back to their homes. The Governor was presented a customized steel Scrabble board by the Akwa Ibom State Scrabble Association chairman, Umoh Bassey. The next (7th) edition of the Godswill Akpabio Scrabble Classics has been scheduled to hold from the 26th to 29th September 2013 in Uyo.