Teens show their mettle

The CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit provides a platform for promising players to shine.

CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit Malacca Zone

ST FRANCIS Institution Malacca was the first school to host a Scrabble competition when the game was introduced in the historical city back in 2003. The school also has a history of producing promising Scrabble players such as Gan Yi En and Leroy Ong.

In recent years, players such as Cedric Stewart Lewis and Gan Han Yang have taken centre stage as they kept the Malacca bloodline going.

In comparison with other junior circuits, the Malacca State Junior Circuit was undeniably the toughest so far with a handful of very experienced players among the flock of 60 from 11 schools.

World Youth Scrabble Championship representatives Markus Loke (SMK King George V) and Jagan Narayanan (SMK Seafield, Subang Jaya) started off as top seeds, while the Malaccans’ hopes were saddled by St Francisan Gan Han Yang.

It was unfortunate for Markus as he was drawn to play Jagan in the second round after both players defeated their opponents by an almost +500 spread in the first game. Jagan’s winning streak was almost broken by Han Yang in Game 4.

Even though Han Yang was leading by an impressive score in the beginning of the game, YONS* cost Han Yang the game which could change the entire battlefield. Jagan prevailed and won the game by a mere 9 points. The extra boost of confidence won Jagan all 7 games en route to clinching first place.

Han Yang who lost to Jagan for the second time in the last round fell to fourth place. Nikhil Theva Raj from SMK King George V stole the limelight from his seniors by emerging as first runner-up, dropping only one game to Jagan.

Yang Yiqin from SMK Gajah Berang became the sole female survivor as she overtook a more experienced Han Yang and Markus to grab the second runner-up spot.

The top 10 players are:

1. Jagan Narayanan, 7 wins

2. Nikhil Theva Raj, 6 wins

3. Yang Yiqin, 6 wins

4. Gan Han Yang, 5 wins

5. Markus Loke, 5 wins

6. Johnston Tan Ee Jun, 5 wins

7. Nishant Theva Raj, 5 wins

8. Dzul Afleq Zulkifli, 5 wins

9. Ignatius Wong Chen Siong, 5 wins

10. Joshua Chee Yik-ren, 5 wins


CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit Selangor Zone

William Kang (SMK Subang Utama) and Jagan Narayanan (SMK Seafield), 2009 World Youth Scrabble Championship representatives, were the top favourites to clinch the championship title for the Selangor Circuit.

William, also a 2009 World Scrabble Championship representative, was leading the pack undefeated for 6 games. In the penultimate round, he thrashed Jivan Subramaniam from SMK Sungai Pelek 553-269 to set up a final battle with Jagan whom he beat in Round 4.

Fresh from winning the CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit Malacca Zone, Jagan did not put a full stop to his winning streak. Despite losing to William in Round 4, he brushed aside challenges from upcoming Penangite Cheong Yi Wei (SMJK Chung Ling) and schoolmate Yu Teik Chien to be back on top.

Jagan used strategy to get the better of William who had worked hard to win his first title of the year. Despite leading by a fair number of points, William cracked under pressure and did not play the best move to block Jagan who was crafting a spot for a bingo. William’s effort to block the board was in vain as Jagan set up a clever spot to play ADAPTION to seal the game to his advantage.

Vinnith Ramamurti from SMK Seafield, who had recently won the Intermediate division of the 2010 MSA Mini 2, pushed aside strong challenges from the sole female player in the top 10, Ho Hui Jan (SMK Sultan Abdul Samad), to finish in third place.

The top 10 players are :

1. Jagan Narayanan, 6 wins

2. William Kang, 6 wins       

3. Vinnith Ramamurti, 6 wins

4. Christopher Chan Eng Yao, 6 wins

5. Ernest Chiew Kin Hoe, 6 wins

6. Cheong Yi Wei, 5 wins       

7. Wong Han Wey, 5 wins

8. Jeihiin Subramaniam, 5 wins

9. Vignesh Venkitasamy, 5 wins

10. Ho Hui Jan, 5 wins       

CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit Penang Zone

Up north, a total of 64 students from 19 schools – including Cheong Yi Hua, 12, from the only primary school, SJKC Hun Bin – took part in the Penang leg of the circuit held at the Penang State Library, Seberang Jaya, on April 24. Many of the students had parti-cipated in the STSP Interschool Scrabble Competition just one week ago but they were raring for more.

After the 6th game, it was obvious the winner would be Cheong Yi Wei from SMJK Chung Ling, who had a whopping 1543 margin at the end of the tournament. He had straight wins from the start, but not without a good fight from Amery Seow, Samantha Loh and Cheong Yi Hua.

In the last round, Amery and Samantha fought for second placing with Amery emerging the winner.

The top 10 players are:

1. Cheong Yi Wei, 7 wins       

2. Amery Seow, 6 wins       

3. Ang Lye Aun, 6 wins       

4. Ng Wei Qi, 6 wins       

5. Foong Chee Meng, 5 wins

6. Cheong Yi Hua, 5 wins       

7. Lim Yu Chia, 5 wins       

8. Samantha Loh, 5 wins       

9. Wong Ee-Lin, 5 wins       

10. Hoh Tjin Li, 5 wins       

Up next

> The CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit Perak Zone will be held in SM Sains Teluk Intan tomorrow. Please contact Martin Teo (016-258 5997 or loslyfs@gmail.com) to register. Walk-in participants are welcome.

> The CIMB National Interschool Championship 2010 will be held in Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur, on June 5 and 6. Players who qualify through the CIMB Scrabble Junior Circuit will be contacted via post or fax through their respective schools.

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