Waseem Khatri clinched the Gladiators 33rd Pakistan Scrabble Championship played at National Stadium Karachi.
It was Waseem’s 9th national title but the first in the last five years. Even this year Waseem had to face tough competition from the young players that he has himself trained and coached.
It was a grueling 27-game championship played over three days. Waseem won with a 20-7 record and maintained a spread of 2203. Defending champion and the reigning world youth champion Syed Imaad Ali could not defend his title but remained in the hunt till the last moment. Imaad finished with 18-9 and a spread of 651.
Another former national champion Hasham Hadi Khan stood 3rd with 18 wins and a spread of 391. Hammad Hadi was 4th while Jawed Shamim fought a lone battle against young players to finish 5th. He was the only senior player to finish in the top 15. This shows the dominance of the youth in Pakistan scrabble!
Ali Salman, Hassan Hadi, Mirza Taha, Daniyal Sanaullah and Usman Shaukat finished 6-10th respectively. Two 9-year old’s Bilal Asher and Ahmed Salman finished 13th and 18th ahead of many senior players and former national champions. This is the first instance of players that young finishing in the top 20 at any previous national championships.
Manaal Asher clinched the trophy for the top female player beating seven other females in the championship. Interestingly Manaal is the youngest of the 7.
Chief guest Mr. Faraz Maqbool, Marketing Head of Quetta Gladiators distributed the prizes.