*11 Kenyans too join the chase for Godswill Akpabio
Barely a week before Nigeria’s all-important Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying match against the Chipolopolo of Zambia, not less than 270 Scrabble players from across the globe are expected in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, for the annual Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics.
The 9th in the series of the event will hold from Wednesday, 27th to 30th September.
World number one Scrabble player and one of the most dominant players in the history of the sport, Nigel Richards of New Zealand has registered and expected alongside Australia’s Karen Richards, who chairs the Youth Committee of the World English language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), in Uyo, on Tuesday.
“We are bringing Scrabble’s most successful player, Nigel, a champion to have a feel of the Nest of Champions, in Uyo” said Farouk Baba-Inna, Technical Director of Nigeria Scrabble Federation.
“We are also expecting Nigeria’s foreign based players as well as 11 Kenyans as they prepare for WESPA Championship, in November.”
Governor Udom Emmanuel, a strong ally of Senator Godswill Akpabio will declare the tournament open while members of the State Executive Council and friends of the former governor will also be present.
“Buoyed by its recent good showing at the 3rd National Youth Games, in Ilorin, a large contingent of the sports fraternity in Akwa Ibom will be duly represented at the 9th Goswill Akpabio Classics,” Mr Baba-Inna added.
Over 50 players will go home with varying cash prizes in Masters, Intermediate, Opens, Veteran and Youth categories. However, the star prize is 10,000 dollars for the Masters winner.
Also registered to play in Uyo are reigning WESPA Championship winner and first African world champion, Jighere Wellington; current African Champion, Saidu Ayorinde; 2016 MSI World Scrabble Championship (Division B) winner, Mpakaboari Jack; National Champion, Monsuru Akanbi among others.