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I am still very much involved: Grandmaster warri player Trevor Simon still active despite international retirement

By Neto Baptiste

Despite having retired from international competition in 2021, Antigua and Barbuda’s warri grandmaster and a former world champion, Trevor Simon, remains invested in the game and continues to pass on his knowledge to players both here and abroad.

Regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game of warri, Simon officially left the international scene in April last year but played his last international tournament in France in 2020.

However, the Antiguan said he continues to play a significant role in the further advancement of the game.

“I will be coaching which is something that I love doing, coaching, mentoring, lecturing and also organizing, so warri will still be all around me. I really haven’t played any serious games since the last tournament I played in France in February of 2020, but I have been actively training [players]. We had the novice warrri tournament here in Antigua for Independence and I was coaching four novices in that tournament and I don’t know if you followed it but the minister Daryll Matthew won. So coaching is something I am delighted in doing and I’ve been having requests from around the globe to train and mentor people,” he said.

Simon, who is also a member of the organising committee for a planned Grandmaster International Oware Tournament slated for Ghana, has also not given up on his drive to introduce the game to schools across Antigua and Barbuda.

“It’s not formalised but what we have been doing over the years is we have organised a series of workshops in a number of the schools across Antigua in terms of private, government and secondary. One of the primary schools that basically has warri as an agenda item, so to speak, is St Nicholas school,” he said.

“They have class competitions every year before their school closes and we have been coaching, engaging and organizing competitions at that level. We did also at St Anthony’s and New Winthorpes school, All Saints Secondary, Pares, Potters, Willikies and we have done a number of schools but what is lacking is to have a formalised programme throughout the school system,” he added.

The Antiguan recently added another feat to his long list of achievements in the game after having recorded the best score that a human ever played against the 48Stones database, a super computer designed to be unbeatable by even the best warri players in the world.

Simon, in December, was invited by the game’s developer, Xavier Blanvillan, to pit his skills against the “unbeatable” system and the Antiguan was beaten by just two seeds with the game ending 23-25.

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