Gulf Scrabble Champion-
Selwyn Lobo : A Mangalorean - ‘Man of Letters’
June 8, 2005
By Daijiworld News Network - Abu Dhabi
"All you need is a board, two players, an investment in a stop watch and a couple of scrabble dictionaries. ‘The determination to excel, the focus, the concentration and perseverance are some of the qualities a scrabble player develops’ says Selwyn Lobo, the reigning UAE Gulf Scrabble Champion - a Man of Letters.
Scrabble is one of the least expensive and yet intellectually stimulating game. It builds up the memorization skills, the confidence, bonds the family together and above all is an asset to students applying to European countries and the US established universities acknowledge the importance of the game and it even works towards credits.
Selwyn Lobo is the youngest of the six siblings of late Marceline Lobo and late Annie Lobo of Udyavar. Selwyn was born in Mumbai in a traditional Mangalorean family. The scrabble board was introduced to him by his late mother Annie Lobo who originally hailed from Kundapur.
2003 WSC Finalists Panupol Sujjayakorn and Pakorn Nemitrmansuk. (Selvyn Lobo not seen in the photo)
He fell passionately in love with the game in 1991 and was ranked at the bottom of the competitive ladder which was sniggered at by many. Without losing hope ad with much optimism he had the last laugh at his opponents who made fun of him, the following year, when he won the title and began a bonding with the title that has not flayed over the past 14 years. Nine UAE titles, PANSA – the African tournament, and Gulf championships are a few of the many accolades he has to his credit. Participating in world championships in London 1995, Australia 1999, Malaysia 2003, this World Champion is used to putting opponents on the rack that he empties with such ease its all a far cry from those bygone days. He has also participated in tournaments in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Bangkok,Oman and has won laurels for the U.A.E.
Playing against his opponents in his initial days who did not have a better vocabulary than him he found out that they had learnt words from the Scrabble dictionary and he put his mind
to doing the same and success of what he is today - a WORD Champ.
Place a scrabble board before him and the man who is a smooth talking intellectual, the Gulf’s No 1 Sales Manager in ALICO, turns into a words wizard by evening practicing diligently
till midnight almost everyday.
In the UAE he is a member and the President of the Dubai Scrabble League. Under his patronage the game has got an impetus. In 2000 he organized the first Scrabble Tournament for schools and an astounding strength of 50 students participated. Though he has aspired to help this sport grow the lack of commitment and of financial support confines this game and his dream of making the game a household name.
In countries like America where Scrabble is pursued professionally as a full time career by people who can easily make a comfortable living off it he recommends that this game must be
introduced at Schools and Community level. He says that the younger a player, the faster the grasping power, since it is at this age that the memory is more active and its easier to learn new words. Like chess there are plenty of things to explore in each move apart from a players readiness in word recall.
He is currently preparing for the qualifying tournament for the world championship that will be held this year in London. He modestly places his chances of winning at the world
championship as very bleak “Even if I get a place among the top 20 in that gathering of world professionals I shall consider my self privileged.”
Selwyn is ever ready to coach anyone interested in learning or playing scrabble. He can be contacted on Tel Nos. 0506537992 / 04 3353611