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Nigeria is The No. 1 Scrabble Nation In The World
by Ogundokun Ayobami , at 07:50 , have 0
Nigeria is currently not only home to the global Scrabble champion, Wellington Jighere, but the world’s top English-speaking Scrabble playing nation; the U.S. ranks second.
33-year-old Jighere, who considers scrabble as a serious business, was crowned the world Scrabble champion last year in a 32-round competition in Australia.
Up to 30 of the top 100 global players are from Nigeria, which has the highest percentage of any country in the top 200.
Nigerians are said to be known to rack up points in the game with short words.
Nigerians have been credited with perfecting that tactic under the tutorship of senior team coach, Prince Anthony Ikolo. He says Nigerians are passionate about Scrabble and the short word method gives them an edge.
Many put Nigeria’s towering Scrabble prowess down to its players ability to “choke the board” as they say, with this defensive play.
World Scrabble champion Wellington Jighere (right)
According to Ikolo, ”The game of Scrabble is actually built around short words, especially five letter words.”
“If you have such a word base, then you are good to go. But it would be a very big mistake for the world to think our players only know short words, especially five-letter words.”
The mathematician added, “the short words help you to be defensive [by blocking longer words from opponents], but when it’s time to be offensive, we know those long words also. Nigeria is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Scrabble.”
Ikolo came up with lists of five-letter words and distributed them to his players, including Jighere the world champion, to train them how to block the board. The coach says, armed with these, the Nigerians could take on and beat competitors playing seven, eight, or even nine-letter words.
The other strategy was to gather his players at a hotel, before the tournament, and have them play two days of nonstop Scrabble.
Jighere though says his personal strategy is to have ”no strategy at all”. According to the champion, he play a fluid kind of game.
”Yeah, I really don’t have a particular kind of style that you can pin me to,“he says.
So, when you are expecting me to do the traditional thing, I will just choose to do something that is uncharacteristic. It’s what sets me apart from everyone else,” added Jighere.
Nigeria is The No. 1 Scrabble Nation In The World - written by Ogundokun Ayobami , published at 07:50 . And have 0