‘Peyotls’ did it!

DUBAI — After 16 rounds of churning words onto tiles on a scrabble board, Mohammed Sulaiman, beat 36 tough competitors at the two-day Gulf Scrabble Championship (GSC). Sulaiman will go on to represent UAE in the World Scrabble Championship (WSC) in Poland in October this year.

By Farhana Chowdhury

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Published: Mon 27 Jun 2011, 12:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

“I’m very happy as it was pretty tough. There are at least half a dozen top players here. I have been playing for 24 years on and off. I had started playing for fun during the first few years but when I was in Sri Lanka, my friends encouraged me to take part in local scrabble competitions. I had won the novice title when I played for the first time,” said the businessman, who shifted to Dubai with his family last year.

Sulaiman used the word ‘Peyotls’ as his winning move.

“Over the years, I have seen quite a lot of words. My memory is not too bad so I remember the words I’ve seen while playing,” he said.

An enthusiastic player, Sulaiman had also won last year’s tournament held in Muscat, Oman. Other winners this year are Salah Salih (Saudi Arabia), Wone Mamadou (Kuwait) and Irfan Siddiqui (Bahrain).

The event, held in Dubai for the first time, is recognised by the official World English Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) and participants will receive a spot in world rankings. “Competitive scrabble has its own charm. We should encourage scrabble in the UAE in schools and colleges and companies as it will promote, stimulate and encourage people in terms of vocabulary,” said Sulaiman. Nikhil Soneja, organiser of the event, said that opponents were chosen randomly at first and players were matched up by a software recognised officially by WESPA to ensure that each player has a turn with a different opponent.

“This keeps things fair and interesting,” he said, adding that participants’ ages ranged between 13 and 65 years.

According to Soneja, this year’s event had a good mix of old and new faces and hopes that more will turn up at next year’s scrabble fiesta.


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