• Playing in the 18-round premier division, Oyende, a civil engineer won the championship with a game to spare.
World Championships-bound Allan Oyende won the Nairobi National Scrabble Championships title at the Standard Chartered Head Office in Westlands over the weekend.
Oyende, Kenya’s seed two was the best finisher amongst the team of five players headed to Goa, India for the third World English Scrabble Players Association showpiece set for between October 15 and 20.
Others WESPA-bound scrabble players are Nderitu Gitonga, Bernard Koyyoko, and a pair of Patrick Litunya and Onani Magwanga who blew hot-and-cold at the tournament.
Playing in the 18-round premier division, Oyende, a civil engineer won the championship with a game to spare scoring 14-4 with a spread of +1410. The international player suffered defeats in the hands of David Kimani, Manase Otieno and twice to Michael Gongolo whom he faced five times.
Oyende noted that he was keen to win the opening game and accumulate huge spread margins to reign supreme.
“I can say that I have been lucky in the Championships, especially after winning the first round. Division ‘A’ (premier) is always a difficult one. There is no underdog class. You can fall to any player so I had to start each game strong, to garner bulky spreads to cushion me ahead,” intimated Oyende.
He termed the Championships as: “A good event for the five of us to pick areas we need to polish up ahead of the World Championship.”
Standard Chartered’s Martins Mutahi and businessman Gitonga tied on points with 12 wins and six losses each but the banker placed second with a superior spread of +736, whereas the latter managed +428 for the third position.
Tony Ochola was fourth with 11 victories, a draw and six losses with a spread of +121 as lawyer Koyyoko sealed the top five with 11-7 win-loss ratio for +685. Nicholas Mbugua who won the last two championships in Busia and Bondo placed sixth on 11-7 and +329.
Litunya, a dentist by profession finished 11 (10-8 +246) as Magwanga, a retired High School teacher place 18th (9-9 +148).
Kinoo Scrabble Club’s John Warui ruled Division ‘B’ with 13.5-4.5 +619 and Benson Kimanthi of University of Eldoret was hot on his heels with a score of 13-5 +664 and Fredrick Gitagia closed the podium places with 12-6 +601.
Precious Omondi (13-3 +1211), Simon Mbuthia (11-5 +1003) and Calvin Opundo of Kenya Airports Authority topped Division ‘C’ in that order and are promoted to the second tier.