“I started playing at the age of six, when my father introduced me to scrabble. The more I played, the more I came to love the game”, said Imaad in an interview with Viralnom.
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – On Sunday 22nd August, the Pakistan’s young scrabble prodigy, Syed Imaad Ali won the ‘World Youth Scrabble Championship’. This was the second time Imad has won the championship making him the only player to win it twice. He first won it at the 2018 championship held in Dubai.
Alongside Imaad, another excellent Pakistani player was ‘Hasham Hadi Khan’, who stood 7th in the competition. Team Pakistan had a total of 8 players, however Imaad and Hasham were the only ones that made it to the finals. The players from Pakistan played exceptionally well and made the country finish first in the competition.
The Championship’s final went on for about 2 days and had 10 players in it. All the finalist in the competition were to play 13 games against each other. Imad won 9 of the 13 games which was the highest in the competition whereas Hasham won 7.
Imad with this win added the Third international title to his list. Alongside winning the World Scrabble Championship, Imaad has also won the Junior World Championship in England.
The Scrabble Championships are being organized by WESPA since 2006 in different parts of the world. This time the championship was held in Pakistan, however due to increasing COVID 19 cases the matches were virtually played.
Imaad after this outstanding victory received a lot of appreciation and congratulations. Many major news channels and outlets highlighted his win. The Government of Pakistan also appreciated Imaad on his win. The GOP, on its Twitter handle tweeted Imaad’s win under the ‘pride of Pakistan’ hashtag. With this win Imaad not only brought pride to himself and the nation but have also brought attention to scrabble.
Imaad Ali’s interview with Viralnom
Viralnom was able to reach out to Imaad Ali and conduct an interview with him.
We asked the champion about his experience in this year’s championship. He replied that though the event was a bit different and was held online this time because of the COVID-19 situation, it was a good experience. “One point to be noted is that this championship was organized solely by Pakistani volunteers, so hats off to them for making this event possible,” he added.
Imaad then talked about the opponents he found difficult and said, “The tournament was pretty competitive, obviously, since the best of each region were representing their countries. The Thai and Canadian players especially, in my opinion, were very tough to play against”.
The young champion then shared his story with Viralnom. He said that he started off with scrabble at the age of 6 when his father introduced him to it. He soon developed a liking and played his first tournament at the age of 9 and has never looked back since. “I guess this was because I was always very competitive and combined with my fondness for reading, it meant that I was hooked”, said Imaad.
He said that he has a lot of people that have supported him throughout his journey. However he said that his parents have always been his top supporters. “Whenever I performed badly, they encouraged me to play and never lose heart”, said Imaad.
The Champion’s future plans and hopes for scrabble in Pakistan
Viralnom asked Imaad about what he thinks of the future of scrabble in Pakistan. He gave out an optimistic reply saying, “I think scrabble has a very bright future in Pakistan, solely due to the efforts of Pakistan Scrabble Association who have promoted the game from a little-known pastime to a well-recognized”.
He then praised Mr. Tariq Pervez saying that its due to his youth led program that “Pakistani youth is considered the best in youth scrabble”.
Imaad also talked about his future plans in scrabble. He said that since he has an year left to participate in the youth championship, he looks forward to defend his title. Moreover, said that now he looks towards winning the ‘World Scrabble Championship for Adults’.