Scrabble: The Premium Mind Sport in Pakistan

Pakistan had made quite a name for itself in the world of scrabble during the last several years! That is why the chairman of Mind Sports International; David Brannan believes that Pakistani scrabble players can become world champions. He said “Pakistan is among the top three countries in the world when it comes to scrabble. The Pakistan Scrabble Association (PSA), which has done a really good job in developing the sport, should send at least 100 players to this year’s world championships”

Without doubt all credit goes to the Pakistan Scrabble Association, which is the first and only registered organization related to scrabble in the country and was formed nearly 3 decades ago. It organizes 12 tournaments annually, which includes interschool competitions and the National Championship.

Our current national champion is Waseem Khatri, as he has won 8 national titles during 2008-2016. He is 28 years old and also a scrabble coach. Following in second place is Moizullah Baig, who is 20 years old and is currently doing bachelors in Material Engineering. He became World Youth Scrabble Champion in 2013, and has been a runner-up in the National Championships of 2015 & 2016.

Pakistani Scrabble Players Performance in International Scrabble Events This Year

Pakistani scrabble players have been giving solid performances during this year. Let’s take a brief look at their global achievements:

Pakistan Clinches 5 World Titles at the Mindsports Academy Junior World Scrabble Championship 2017

From 19th to 21st August the Mindsports Academy Junior World Scrabble Championship was held in Nottingham, UK. Players aged 6 to 20 participated in the event. There were 30 Pakistani scrabble players, out of which 5 won world titles in their respective age category. That is Moonis Khan in Under-10, Syed Imaad Ali in Under-12, Hamza Naeem in Under-14, Sohaib Sanaullah in Under 16 and Abdullah Abbasi in Under-18.

On top of that, they secured 7 out of the top 10 positions. That is second (Moizullah Baig), fourth (Sohaib Sanaullah), fifth (Syed Immad Ali), sixth (Ahad Raza), eighth (Abdullah Abbasi), ninth (Ali Rashid) and tenth (Saim Waqar).

For the First Time Pakistan Participates and Wins the 29thPrincess Cup Youth Scrabble Championship in Thailand

The 29th Princess Cup took place from 24th to 26th November in Bangkok, Thailand. Nineteen year old Hammad Hadi Khan claimed the top position in the competition. In the final he faced fellow Pakistani Moizullah Baig, and beat him with scores 490:404 and494:428 and collected a cheque of $3000. Interestingly in earlier rounds Moiz was in the lead, but by the end of round 18, they were both in the running for a Best of Three Finale. Nevertheless the first and second spot belonged to Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention here that Hammad Hadi Khan is the elder brother of Hasham Hadi Khan who at the age of 9, created a Guinness World Record in 2014 by scoring 878 points at the 6th Interna­tional Scrabble Champion­ship held in Sri Lanka. He also has a twin brother; Hassan Hadi Khan who plays the game as well. So the talent and love for scrabble runs in the family!

Pakistan Dominates at WESPA Youth Cup 2017

WESPA (World English-Language Scrabble Players’ Association) Youth Cup was held from 27th to 29thNovember in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia. It was initiated in 2006 and since then has been organizing tournaments all over the world.

Pakistani scrabble players truly made their presence felt. They achieved 8 positions which are: third (Abdullah Abbasi), fourth (Hasham Hadi Khan), fifth (Sohaib Sanaullah) and seventh place (Danial Sanaullah). Under-16 runners up (Sohaib Sanaullah), Under-14 champion (Hasham Hadi Khan), Under-12 third place (Saim Usmani) and WESPA chair award (Abdullah Abbasi).

The Upcoming Year…

So 2017 was very successful for Pakistani scrabble players. What will they achieve in 2018? For that we have to wait and see!