Gitonga Nderitu from Kirinyaga County emerged the winner in the Premier Division of the second National Scrabble Circuit held over the weekend in Kisumu.
Out of the 18 rounds that he participated in during the two-day event held at Jumuia Hotel and which brought together more than 50 scrabble players, Nderitu won 14 and lost four, to take his overall ratings to 1846 points.
He upset East African number one and title favourite Allan Oyende, who had hoped to continue with his fine run after winning last month’s Nairobi Open, the first circuit of the 2019 Scrabble calendar.
The Kenya number one finished second after winning 13 rounds and losing five, but still leads in the overall rankings with 1940 points.
Bernard Amuke sealed the top three finish in the top category with 12 wins, his rating increasing to 1740 points. The premier category had attracted 27 players.
"It was a tough tournament, I expected him (Oyende) to prevail but after he missed it, I capitalised on his mistakes to beat him.,” Nderitu told Nation Sport.
Oyende attributed his stumble to lack of adequate preparation time.
"I expected to win but this did not work out. I travelled on Friday and on Saturday the tournament was on so there was no time to prepare well,” he said.
Ayub Zande claimed the Intermediate Division title, which involve players with ratings between 700-1300 points, and which had 12 participants.
Zande showed his prowess when he recorded the tournament’s highest winning at 15 rounds to take his rating to 1345 points, which sees him qualify for the premier division alongside Steven Amwai from Busia County, who emerged second with a rating of 1309points. Out of the 18 rounds, Amwai triumphed in 12 and lost in six.
Strathmore's Daniel Machanje finished third on 1288 points, thanks to his 12wins and six losses.
In the Beginner Division which had 14 entries, Jonathan Wafula topped with 14 wins ahead of Caroline Muya and Joan Wangare, who recorded 12 and 10 wins to finish second and third respectively.
The third National Scrabble Circuit will take place in Kitui next month, during which Scrabble Kenya Federation will hold their Special General Meeting.