KARACHI, Dec 8: Day four of the World Scrabble Championship ended in the Czech capital of Prague with Sammy Okosagah emerging as the proverbial dark horse to take the No. 1 spot with 22 wins out of 31 matches and a spread of 2,052.
Interestingly Okosagah was not even in the USA team but sneaked in through the “last chance qualifier”.
According to the information received here on Sunday, defending world champion Nigel Richards of New Zealand finished second with 22 wins and a spread 1,498 of while Dave Wiegand of USA finished third with 22 wins and a spread of 791. Komol Panyasophonlert of Thailand finished fourth with 21 wins and a spread of 1,215.
These four players will play the best-of-five semi-finals while the winners of the semi-finals will play the best-of-five final on Monday.
Meanwhile, the day started on a promising note for the Pakistani players but ended dismally as Mohammad Inayatullah failed to rise to the occasion.
Waseem Khatri played magnificently and ended the tournament on the 44th position with 16 wins and a spread of 734. Waseem averaged a remarkable 442 points per match which put him on the 16th spot in that particular list but he couldn’t convert these high scores into enough victories.
The silver lining for Pakistan was the performance of the 17-year-old Mohammad Inshal who surprised everyone with his vocabulary, speed and tactical perfection. The youngest player at the championship, Inshal rose to the 48th spot after round number 29 but defeats in the last two rounds pushed him to the 66th position.
Inshal received a medal for his remarkable performance from the organisers besides praise from all the top players in the world.
Inshal will leave for Dubai on Tuesday where he will be joined by other Pakistani players who will take part in the World Youth Scrabble Championship to be played on Dec 12-14.