By Patrick Omorodion
All roads will next weekend lead to Abuja, the nationâ€™s capital city for two events, the Verallen Scrabble Classics and the 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
The Eagles will host their Tunisian counterparts at the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday September 6 while the Scrabble Classics will begin on Saturday September 5 and end the next day at a venue yet to be decided.
According to the Technical Director of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), Mpaka Jack, registration for the 2-day Classics which started on Monday, August 24 will end on Friday, August 28 as he stressed that â€œlate registration will not be entertained.â€
Players, he said, are to pay registration fees according to the category they will play in. For the Masters Category for players ranked 1500pts and above, they will pay N5,000 each while those contesting in the Intermediate and Opens Categories will pay N4,000 and N3,000 respectively.
Unlike in previous scrabble tournaments, the star prizes for the Verallen Classics has been jacked up with winner of the Masters Category carting home the sum of N250,000, Intermediate N100,000, Opens N50,000 and Veteran Category N70,000.
Meanwhile the newly appointed national scrabble coach, Victor Owokere said he is expecting an exciting tournament at the Verallen Classics because old generation players seem to have woken up are overtaking the new generation players.
This development, he said, â€œwill stir up more study and training from the players since this is a World Championship year.â€
â€œThis tells us that the old generation players are not ready to give up without a fight and this has put a stop to the domination of scrabble by Delta State. We have a Vera-Allen National Scrabble Championship in Abuja and we are expecting more surprises,â€ he said.