Draught: Kiki Way clinches GH2,000 title prize

Author: Michael Quaye
Kiki Way (right) and Arday sold out a competitive final

George 'Kiki Way' Afrifa restored his hold on Ghanaian draught competition when he beat a field of 63 other players to clinch the national championship at Tema on Saturday.

He was one of the big favourites ahead of the event, and he did not disappoint as he brushed aside some tricky opponents on his way to the title.

The serial winner beat Nii Arday 2-0 in five pieces of the game in the final to claim his latest title.

He took home c2,000 for the feat, while Arday received c1,200.

Kiki Way had beaten Makota, Paa Kyei and Nii Adjetey (whose giant-killing feat crushed defending champion Nii Ayi in the opening round), and then accounted for Charles in the quarter-finals before dispatching eventual third place winner Abu National in the semis.

Arday, on the other hand, had a walk over in the opening round, and then beat Akwadaa, Nsuoba, former national champion Lankai, and Kweku Ayigbe in that order to reach the final.

And the ultimate clash proved a worthy final on account of the quality of play and the level of competition, even though the result appeared to give it a one-sided look.

"I came with some venom because I wanted to prove a point," Kiki Way had told Graphic Sports ahead of the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Indeed, despite his standing as the most revered name in Ghanaian draught competition, the rise of new talent, particularly Nii Ayi, Evans 'Ortega' Koranteng and Abu National, has been viewed by some as the end of his own dominance.

He admits he may have lost his appeal among many draught followers, but argues that he could not be blamed for it.

It made sense that he came in anger and achieved the ultimate redemption he craved.

Abu National received c800 for placing third, while Kweku Ayigbe received c500 for coming fourth.