A Bengaluru student was among two youngsters from India who finished in the top 10 of the 2021 Scrabble World Youth Cup, which was held online owing to the pandemic.
According to a release from the Scrabble Association of India, the tournament featured the top 72 players aged under 18 from 14 countries, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Each player played 36 games in the preliminary round held over two weekends from August 7 to 15. The top 10 from the group stage proceeded to the final round on August 21 and 22 and played a further 13 games each.
Twelve-year-old Suyash Manchali from Bengaluru, a class VII student at MESKKPS, Vidyaranyapura, finished eighth and was named the best under-14 player.
In addition, Madhav Gopal Kamath, a class VI student at Sanskriti School, New Delhi, had a second-place finish, the best performance by an Indian player in the history of the World Youth Cup, the release said, adding that he narrowly lost out on the top spot to defending champion Syed Imaad Ali of Pakistan.
Madhav was also adjudged the tournament’s best under-12 player, adding to his under-8 and under-10 titles in previous tournaments.
“This was the first time India had two players in the top 10. Suyash had previously won the under-12 title in the 2019 edition of the tournament,” the release said.
The Indian team received the ‘Spirit of Scrabble’ award for being the team that best played in the true spirit of the game.
The association also said India’s competitive Scrabble circuit has seen an upswing in recent years, with India-born Akshay Bhandarkar winning the world title a few years back, and Indians consistently ranking in the top 50 in the World Championships for adults and amongst the top 20 in the Youth Championships.
“The recent lockdown has given a further push to online scrabble and many talented youngsters have taken to the game in a big way. With both Madhav and Suyash being under 12, they have many more years to participate in the under-18 championships, and we look forward to a title in the years to come,” it added.