LILLE (France): Sanchit Kapoor of the UAE emerged as the winner of the 11th World Youth Scrabble Championship which came to an end here at Lille on Monday.
Kapoor won 20 of the 24 matches and had a massive spread of 2027. Thavalakshman Yogan of Sri Lanka finished second with 17 wins and a spread of 1,627 while his team-mate Aabid Ismail was third with 17 wins and a spread of 1,127.
Sri Lanka retained their title for the top team while Pakistan finished second for the third time in three years. Five players from Pakistan finished in the top 20.
It was a proud day for Pakistan as the players from Pakistan won the highest number of awards at the championship. Although Pakistan’s main hope Abdullah Abbasi failed to deliver, Pakistan ended up winning not only one but three world champion titles. Monis Khan won the title of the world champion in the under-10 age category. Imaad Ali won the title of the world champion in the U-12 age category. Hasham Hadi won the title of the world champion in the U-14 age category. Amazingly, all three are from the same school in Karachi – BVS Parsi School.
Sohaib Sanaullah of Pakistan also won the trophy for the highest score in a single move; 158 points for his word BASCINET.
Imaad Ali narrowly missed the prize for the best debutant as he had the same number of wins as the winner Kevin Bowerman of USA but lost on a lower spread.
Hasham Hadi won the trophy for the youngest player in the top 10 when he finished seventh.
All the players will now take part in the World Scrabble Championship along with adults, which starts on Aug 31.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2016