Tooro Scrabble Report

From Richard Geria

Tooro Golf Club
August 4-5, 2018

Captain Fredrick Lugard was a determined agent of the British Empire. When he came to Buganda in 1890s, one of his missions was to expand the influence of the Empire to the north of Buganda into Bunyoro. The great and no nonsense omukama Kabalega was reigning in Bunyoro and was disagreeable to any infringement on his territory. (Dr. Muema Muumbi must be looking at me with a menacing glare).

Captain Lugard was adept to put the Omukama’s resolve to the ultimate test. Battle. So then after months of traversing through the tropical heat, the greenery, the wildness, vastness, the pristine rivers, ravines and stupefying beauty of the countryside, Captain Lugard pitched at the foot of the snowcapped rain mountain that the Batooro called Rwenzori. The story for the fight between Bunyoro and the British empire will be the subject for another day. The ramification of that encounter lives with us (again that lingering menace from DAMU).

So then, it came to pass that on the weekend of August 4 – 5th 2018, the battle of wits shifted to The New Fort View Resort outside Fort Portal town, a stone’s throw from where Captain Lugard camped.

Tooro Scrabble Club marshalled by Eriya Byaruhanga are hosting Scrabble Uganda to another of the Africa Scrabble Championship qualifier series. On the first day, in game 6, Edgar Ondongkara bettered a ten year record of the highest word score. Playing against David Musinguzi from Mbarara Club – a man who quietly snatches people’s games; Edgar landed ANTIQuED for 293 plus 5. Just like that the record of 274 (ZENITHAL) fell. Edgar would amass an obscene spread to surge to the lead. With additional bingoes in PElVICS, TEARERS, ATOMISED, this game totaled 1100; Edgar 757 David 343, over 400 spread - the highest in the tournament.

The record breaking game - Edgar Odongkara vs David Musinguzi.

Lawrence Onyoin finds SHALWARS to play out and steal this game

While decade long records was falling, Lawrence Onyoin was ensuring the tournament remained competitive. Yours truly thought he was cruising unbeaten in game 6. Having found VENGEFUl to surge to a more amenable closer, "De Lorenzo" (Lawrence Onyoin) had different ideas. I thought I had closed ASHLARS that would land at N2. Instead, in a moment of brilliance, Lawrence saw the W and weaved SHALWARS to steal this game much like a hyena would happily dispossess a Lion. So then the words of Eliya Byaruhanga came to pass – that hyenas are known for taking what belongs to Lions. Final Score De Lorenzo 419 Geria 388.

The final game of the tournament still had the hand of fate through De Lorenzo. If he won, Edgar would win the tournament on account of the unassailable spread. If he lost he retained third. On table 1, game 18 De Lorenzo fought a good fight. He played RoISTING for a 9x9 non-bonus for 72 through IS and ollowed it with HeAVIEST. Luckily, early consistently high score plus ECHELONS, REDRIVES meant the tournament is settled.

Eriya Byaruhanga performed excellently by his own admission. He cemented forth by stopping Rose Kisembo in the final game. The upsets continued with David Musinguzi atoning for the heavyset loss to the dragon by taking Greens Kamugisha out.

You can view the final standings here.

Lawrence Onyoin v Richard Geria for the title

The Setting for the scrabble in Fort Portal

Article with thanks to Richard Geria