Nigeria’s Jack Mpakaboari has engraved his name in the top honour list at the 2024 Division A Class C of the Niagara Falls International Scrabble Tournament in Ontario, Canada.

Mpakaboari won 12 rounds of games and a draw with a cumulative points spread of plus 225 ahead of England’s Rick Blakeway and Daniel Blake of America both on 12 wins each from 22 games each, separated by cumulative points.

Going into the final game 22, Mpakaboari was on 11 wins and a draw, the Rivers State born wordsmith had to dig deeper to brush aside highly rated tournament number 8 seed Bradley Whitmarsh of America 499-396, that’s 103 cumulative points difference.

The widely traveled Mpakaboari’s win in a strong 34 man field is a clear indication of the strength and depth of the growth of the game of words in Nigeria and the continent.

Mpakaboari, is the first Nigerian and indeed the first African to win Division A Class C of the Niagara Falls International Scrabble tournament.

Matthew Tunnicliffe who dropped only two games throughout the three day event won the Division A ahead of Joshua Sokol and Quinn James while Travis Chaney took the top honour in Class B.

Moses Owugah, Willy Nwabor, Fidelis Olotu and Samuel Anikoh are other passionate Nigerian scrabble players who graced the annual tournament that attracted players from Africa, America, Europe and Asia.

Mpakaboari, who recently won the Scrabble event at the Nigeria Oil Games, dedicated the win to the Almighty God, who has been his source of strength in his journey into the world of scrabble.

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“Special thanks to my wife and daughter. I equally appreciate my Nigerian playmates at Niagara Falls International tournament in Canada, Moses Owugah, Willy Nwabor, Fidelis Olotu and Samuel Anikoh.” Mpakaboari, the accountant said.

A member of Team Nigeria to the maiden edition of the West African Scrabble Championship in Accra, Ghana in 2022 where he secured 14 wins in 28 games, Mpakaboari has been very active on the international scrabble circuit.

At the inaugural edition of the MGI International Scrabble Classics UK in  Milton Keynes, Mpakaboari recorded 12 wins with a minus 671 points to finish among the top 40 players at the well attended historic event.

It will interest you to know that Jack Mpakaboari and seven other players had the same number of victories but cumulative points separated them in the grueling battle at MGI International Classics UK which took place at Leonardo Hotel in Milton Keynes.

Mpakaboari also had an impressive outing at the last Israeli International Scrabble Championship in Tel Aviv in 2023 where he was ranked 8th. In 2020 he topped the table at the 12th Isreali Open. He also won the MSI World Scrabble Championships (B-Div) in 2016 in Lille, France.

At the last World English Scrabble Players Association Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, he won 15 rounds of games and a draw to cap his American experience.

Mpakaboari has 51.49 percent winning ratio and has shown his word strength and dexterity on the scrabble board in France, Malta, United Kingdom, South Africa, Scotland, Thailand and the United States of America.


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