The First International Oware Tournament at MSO 97
History was made when the first ever International Oware Tournament to be held anywhere in the World, took place at the first Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) in London. Held at The South Bank Centerís Royal Festival Hall, from the 18th Ė 24th of August 1997.
History was made when the first ever International Oware Tournament to be held anywhere at in the World, took place at the first Mind Sports Olympiad in London. Held at The South Bank Centerís Royal Festival Hall, from the 18th Ė 24th of August 1997.
To be honest we did not visualize this development for at least a couple of years, but when the opportunity came we grabbed at it hopping for the best. I must say for those who failed to attend you missed out. The media certainly had a field day with us with the Oware section being the center of attraction.
Two events were planned, the individual World Oware Championship and the Nations vs Nations team tournament. Unfortunately the team event could not take place, as there werenít enough players to make up a team from any of the foreign teams invited.
Since the team event could not take place the first few days were spent teaching well over 200 people how to play Oware and conducting interviews. The Press in particular I gathered were relieved to find something new and refreshing to report about and made it known in their editions of the Times and Guardian.
The seniorís and juniorís individual competition started on Wednesday and ended on Friday. The seniorís competition had six entrants all representing different countries Ghana, UK, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Ireland and USA. A Round Robin was used to run the tournament, where everyone plays each other.
Throughout the year The Oware Society members who were in the tournament had been playing on a some-what friendly basis and this was the first time they were to play each other in serious competition. What a sight to see, seasoned players sweating to overcome mere novices at the game. In one particular case tears virtually rolled down!
One particular competitor gave every one rough time. Unfortunately he had entered the Decamathalon (this is an event where one enters ten different disciplines) consequently at times he shot of to compete in other events, leaving his competitors shaking their fists. This practice how ever will not be repeated again.
After all the sweating, complaining and tears, Sakile Richards of Antigua & Barbuda emerged as the first International Oware Champion taking Gold. Ian Paquette of Dominica took Silver and Kofi Bonsu Boaten of Ghana took Bronze.
The junior competition ended with the Low Ten Queís taking 1st and 2nd positions. Tarquinn Gold, Nadia Silver with Wayne Bonti in the Bronze position. Watch out for next years MSO in August 98.