Jeffery Onu of Bayelsa State has won the third edition of the Dynamite Opens Scrabble Championship held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos over the weekend.
Onu, who won gold at the mixed team event of the 2020 National Sports Festival, recorded an unassailable 15 victories and three defeats to record a haul of 1,560 points ahead of second-placed Anthony Idonrenyin of Nasarawa State and Lagos-based Osadolor Charles who placed third.
The calm and calculated Onu fended off a stiff challenge from Adewale Shonibare in game 17 of the 18-round tournament to secure a comfortable lead ahead of the final set of games.
An elated Onu commended the standard of play and was humble even in victory.
“I’m very happy,” he said. “It’s a very competitive tournament. I wasn’t really the best participant but by God grace, I came out on top.
“The first factor that gave me victory, which is most important, was God’s grace, the second factor was my ability to rally round with some of the words I have studied in the past. I kept playing most of the time and engaged myself. I also thank God for my lovely wife and my family. I also thank the organisers for giving us a platform to express our talents.”
In other categories decided at the tournament, Gabriel Chiamaka emerged as the best female player ahead of Omotayo Osibote and Priscilla Akhabue who were ranked second and third respectively.
Ojih David got the Best Youth Award.
University of Lagos (Unilag) received the Best School Award, edging out Obafemi Awolowo University and The Polytechnic Ibadan in the process.
Lagos State Scrabble Head Coach Ayo Akinfemisoye commended the initiative behind the tournament as it’s in line with the objectives of the State’s Sports Commission.
The organiser of the tournament, Khaleel ‘Dynamite’ Adedeji said the turnout and general support received before, during and after the tournament showed it has fulfilled the objective of discovering raw talents from the grassroots.
“The turnout was massive. We received over 100 entries but had to turn down some due to the Covid-19 protocol. Many players including students from top institutions are fulfilled with the level of competition and we hope to raise the standard in the next edition. I would like to also appreciate everyone who supported us to make the third instalment of Dynamite Opens Scrabble Championship a success,” he said.
Over 70 players across the country participated in the two-day event which is designed exclusively for scrabblers in the Opens Category.