Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Iconic Kalumba bags 11th National Scrabble Championship title


National Scrabble Championship

Paul Kalumba has defended his National Scrabble Championship title, making this his 11th win. During the Scrabble Association of Zambia (SAZ) national championship over the weekend, Kalumba, aka PYK, suffered three defeats in the A Division but came back stronger the following day and fought his way to Gibsonisation with a game to spare.

Gibsonisation is the process by which a player with an unassailable lead is declared a winner before the tournament concludes. “Ba mudala bakulekafye,” SAZ vice-president Chipika Simanwe said of PYK’s legendary performance, which gained him an amazing +1350 points. Simanwe’s +811 points won him second place after delivering an outstanding performance and demonstrating remarkable skill.

With his son (Lukundo Simanwe in the C Division), he came out second and first in their respective divisions, showcasing the talent in their household. Justin Chansa’s strategic gameplay earned him a commendable third place on 296 points, while Isaac Mwape at +1183 finished in fourth. Levy Moonga at +697 ended fifth, while Julius Mulele’s +302 was good enough for sixth place.

The tournament director, with -41, was seventh overall but had defeated the Big Three (PYK, Patrick Mulemena Mpundu (PMM), and Isaac Mwape, aka ZEK Money), managing to finish in the top 10 bracket. Eighth finisher Mubanga Kambikambi subjected PMM to four consecutive beatings and earned himself eighth place with -223 points. Chitundu Mulenga (-94) ended in ninth place, while Patrick Mpundu, a legend of Zambian Scrabble who has mentored many players now excelling to higher positions, showcasing the growth and improvement in the competitive field, finished at +69 in 10th.

In the B Division, Chansa Chalee, with +2453, got first place, with Davies Chansa (+1571) getting second place in the category, which had eight other contestants. The C Division was split into two categories: Under-18 years and Under-12 years. The top 10 overall players were Simanwe Lukundo at +1228, securing first position, while Niza Siame’s +555 was good enough for second place in this section, which attracted 10 competitors.

There was special recognition for PYK for winning the nationals again, showcasing his consistent excellence in scrabble; Kanshamba for his dual role in managing and competing, yet finishing in the top 10; Simanwe for his impressive second-place finish; and Mpundu for his coaching, evidenced by the rising standards of the players.

“We extend our gratitude to the various schools and academies that brought the C Division players, including Learnteract Academy, Gambit Academy, David Kaunda STEM School, Lusaka West Secondary, New Avondale Academy, St. Patrick Primary School, Jacaranda Secondary, Northmead Secondary, Mejocama Secondary, and others. Scrabble plays a crucial role in enhancing cognitive skills and strategic thinking among young learners, contributing to their overall academic development,” Simanwe said.

Simanwe said the 2024 Scrabble National Championship was a momentous event in the history of the association. “For the first time, we brought together a record 100 players, marking a significant milestone for SAZ. Of these 100, 49 were young learners aged 18 or below, emphatically stating the Association’s position towards the growth of Scrabble among the young ones,” he said.



  1. Well done PYK and Chipika, EXCO you did it yet again for scrabble, an amazing and well organized tournament. It is good to see young people turning up for scrabble tournaments and only shows the sport is growing and the younger ones will indeed carry on at the expiry of the legends. A big congratulations to all the sponsors and the participants.

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