Scrabble talent in Pakistan impresses foreign player (Waseem Khatri)

KARACHI, July 24: Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA) held the first Ranking Scrabble Tournament of the season at the Beach Luxury Hotel here on Sunday.

Held in two categories — Masters’ and Recreational — this year’s event was also graced by an international participant, Mrs Rohaina Tanveer, who has twice represented Kuwait in the World Scrabble Championship (WSC).

“I have featured in the 2005 (London) and 2009 (Malaysia) world championships and it was at the second one that I first met Pakistan’s three-time champion young Waseem Khatri. We also featured in the five-day Causeway Scrabble Challenge there and I was very impressed by the lad,” she informed Dawn at the championship.

“And playing in my first scrabble competition in Pakistan now has left me even more impressed by the word wizards here. I have lost quite a few games already and just now I was playing with another young 14-year-old boy, Inshal, about whom I am told that he will be going to the World Youth Scrabble Championship this year. And he beat me by eight points,” she said.

“Still I’m enjoying the games, trying to play with full spirit,” she grinned.

“Although I am originally from Hyderabad, India, I have only represented Kuwait in international scrabble competitions as I am settled there with my Pakistani husband and our family,” she added.

Meanwhile, showing satisfaction at the successful holding of yet another major event after last month’s grand 23rd Pakistan Scrabble Championship, PSA Secretary General Maria Soares informed that they were currently looking for sponsors for their players to be able to participate in this year’s WSC to be held in Warsaw, Poland.

“Due to lack of funds, two of our very best — Waseem Khatri and Wajid Iqbal — may not be able to play in the world championships in October even though they qualified for the event during the 23rd Pakistan Scrabble Championship,” she said.

“PSA is trying its best to find them sponsors as we really want them to go there, compete and make Pakistan proud but we are also worried as our failing to do so will result in their missing the WSC,” she explained.

The results at the conclusion of the day-long event saw Waseem Khatri as the winner of the Masters’ category, winning six out of seven games with a spread of 1,043 points.

Yasir Jamshed was second with an equal number of wins but a spread of 570 points while Nauman Siddique coming third with five wins and a spread of 493 points.

In the Recreational category, Hamza Sheikh attained the first position with six wins and a spread of 443 points while Tayyab Mahmood finished second with as many wins but a spread of 158 points.

Marium Sana ended up third with five wins and a 349point spread.


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