PERTH: Nicholas Hong of Singapore has been crowned as the new World Youth Scrabble champion here at Perth, Australia. He became the second player after Pakistan’s Moiz Baig to win the WYSC in his first appearance. Nicholas won 18 of his 24 matches and had a spread of 982. Abdullah Abbasi of Pakistan finished as the runner up with 17 wins and a spread of 1148. Abdullah remained on top for most of the tournament and was desperately unlucky to miss out due to a narrow defeat in the penultimate match of the tournament. Abdullah also grabbed the trophy for the second position in the under 16 age category as the champion Nicholas Hong is also the same age as Abdullah. Defending champion Jack Durand of England finished 3rd with 16.5 wins and a spread of 1678.
Ali Rashid finished 17th while the Hadi twins Hassan and Hammad remained inseparable at 18th and 19th position. Abdullah Abbasi has qualified to play at the World Scrabble Championship with begins at Perth from 4th November. He will be the third Pakistani player at the World Championship along with Waseem Khatri and Moiz Baig. There were some other impressive performances from Pakistani players. Hasham Hadi was the runner up in the under 12 age category while Saim Usmani grabbed the runner up position in the under 10 age category.
Maryam Jalil got the prize for the highest score in a single move for her word CONTAINER for 169 points. Sri Lanka surprised Pakistan by clinching the top team prize with three of its players finishing in the top ten. Pakistan team finished 2nd for the second year running. According to the team leader Tariq Pervez, it was a very good performance considering that three of the top players in the team were missing due to visa problems. The remaining players performed superbly with 4 players in the top 20 and all 8 players in the top half.