Monday, November 30, 2009
Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (World Champion 2009)
I met Pakorn four years ago at the King's Cup, my first international tournament. I remember finishing my game and going to the" better tables" to see who won. Pakorn was there laughing, and talking to his opponent about his game. I asked one of the onlookers if Pakorn had won the game and the answer was: "No, he lost by over 100 points". I was quite impressed by his attitude towards this game. If you do your best, there is absolutely nothing to be sad about. Put a smile on your face and move on to the next game. And I believe that along with his amazing word knowledge, strategy and intuition, this attitude has won him many games. At this WSC, Pakorn played his third final. I believe this says much about his level of play. Nobody has made the final three times. How did he get to this level? The first step was falling in love with this game. The second step was learning the words. The third step was improving his strategy. And the last step was perseverance! I remember Pakorn telling me: " Wherever Nigel Richards goes, I go." Nigel Richards is another monument of Scrabble. Out of all the Scrabble players, he has the best word knowledge. He is a " trophy collector". The secret to improving yourself is matching your powers with the best players. And this strategy worked for Parkon. I forgot to mention another thing one needs in order to win games: self confidence. "I will win this year's World Scrabble Championship", Pakorn told me while we were playing some games on ISC in October. I knew he wasn't joking. Nigel and Pakorn are both my friends. Before the final I went to them and wished them good luck. I knew that luck would play an important part. I wanted both players to win, but I knew that this was impossible! I was sorry that Nigel lost the final and happy that Pakorn won it. When he came into the room where we were observing the final, he was crying. He had to wait for three finals to win this one. But he finally did it. Congratulations, Pakorn!