Nigeria's five-man team to the maiden Alchemist Cup finished in 4th place as the tournament ended yesterday (9th December 2018) in Penang, Malaysia. Members of the team include the reigning African Champion, Moses Peter, Eta Karo, Olatunde Oduwole and Etim Nsikan who all competed in the 13th Africa Scrabble Championship (Kenya 2018). After the tournament, they immediately jetted out from Kenya to Malaysia to join the fifth member of the team Saidu Ayorinde.
The Alchemist Cup is an elite invitational Scrabble tournament. Ten teams of five players per team will play a schedule where each player plays the 45 players from teams other than their own. The event is organized by Mr Micheal Tang who also organises the Causeway Challenge. The maiden event had teams from the best Scrabble playing nations in the world (with WESPA rating as at 28 Oct) viz Nigeria (mean rating 2065, the highest), USA (2048), Australia (eventual champions- mean rating 2043), New Zealand (1971), Thailand (1962), Singapore (1896) and Malaysia (1886). They were joined by teams from Rest of the World (1960), East Africa (1785) and Rest of Asia (1785). A total of 45 games was played over 5 days from the 5th to 9th of December 2018.
The Nigerian team performed creditably considering the fact that the bulk of the team barely had time to rest after the ASC in Kenya. Results from the event website showed that our team never placed lower than the 5th position all through the 5-day event. Nigeria won 27 rounds and had 126.5 points with a spread of +4908 which placed her in the fourth position overall.
|Games = 126.5||22||27||29||23||25.5|
Team Performance Table (courtesy Alchemist Cup website )
Australia won 31 rounds (with 133 points and +2739 spread) to finish as champions, the USA was first runner-up with 31 rounds, 131 points and a spread of +5362 while the Rest of the World team came third with 30 round wins, 125 points and +2609 spread. East Africa finished in 10th place (11 rounds won, 78.5 points and a spread of -6386). The Champion team won USD 10000, second placed team USD 5000 while the third-placed team took home USD 3000.
Ganesh Asirvatham of Malaysia won the top Individual Prize (for those not in the top 3 teams) of USD 1000 with 31 wins and a spread of +2560. Nigel Richards (NZL) 31 +1499 and Thacha Koowirat (THA) 30 +1880 won USD 600 and USD 400 respectively as the 2nd and 3rd best performing players for those outside the top 3 teams.