World Scrabble Championship

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The World Scrabble Championship (WSC) is the most-prestigious title in competitive English-language Scrabble. It was held every second year after 1991 until 2013 when it began to be held annually. It has been an open event since 2014. Although the official brand name and organizations of the event have changed over recent years, many Scrabble enthusiasts from more than 30 countries compete to become World Scrabble Champion. The reigning World Scrabble Champion is Nigel Richards, who won his fourth title at the 2018 Mattel World Scrabble Championships by winning the final in London in 2018.

English-language Scrabble is the original version of the popular word-based board game invented in 1938 by US architect Alfred Mosher Butts, who based the game on English letter distribution in The New York Times. The Scrabble variant most popular in English is standard match play, where two players compete over a series of games. Duplicate Scrabble is not popular in English, and High score Scrabble is no longer practised.

Nigel Richards is a New Zealand–Malaysian Scrabble player who is among the most successful players of all time. Born and raised in New Zealand, Richards became World Champion in 2007, and repeated the feat in 2011, 2013, and 2018, being the only person to have won the world championship more than once. He is also a five-time U.S. national champion, an eight-time UK Open champion, an 11-time champion of the Singapore Open Scrabble Championship and a 13-time winner of the King's Cup in Bangkok, the world's biggest Scrabble competition.



Sponsorship of the World Scrabble Championship (WSC) formerly alternated between Hasbro and Mattel, the North American and global owners of the Scrabble trademark, respectively. However, after Hasbro declined to sponsor WSC 2005, Mattel has organized and sponsored all championships. Mind Sports International (MSI) began sponsoring the event in 2013 after successfully organizing their own major Scrabble tournament in Prague in 2012. As of 2018, it is now sponsored by Mindsports Academy.

Hasbro toy and media company

Hasbro, Inc. is an American multinational toy and board game company. It is the largest toy maker in the world in terms of stock market value, and third largest with revenues of approximately $5.12 billion. Hasbro acquired the trademarks and products of Kenner, Parker Brothers, and Milton Bradley, among others. Among its products are Monopoly, G.I. Joe, Furby, Transformers, Nerf, My Little Pony, Twister and the newly acquired Power Rangers franchise. The Hasbro brand also spawned TV shows to promote its products, such as Family Game Night on the Discovery Family network. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The majority of its products are manufactured in East Asia.

Mattel American toy company

Mattel, Inc. is an American multinational toy manufacturing company founded in 1945 with headquarters in El Segundo, California. The products and brands it produces include Fisher-Price, Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels and Matchbox, Masters of the Universe, American Girl, board games, and WWE. In the early 1980s, Mattel produced video game systems, under its own brands and under license from Nintendo. The company has presence in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 countries. The company operates through three business segments: North America, international, and American Girl. It is the world's second largest toy maker in terms of revenue, after The Lego Group. In 2014, it ranked #403 on the Fortune 500 list. On January 17, 2017, Mattel named former Google executive Margo Georgiadis as CEO. Georgiadis stepped down as CEO of Mattel on April 19, 2018. Her last day was on April 26, 2018. Ynon Kreiz is now the new CEO of Mattel.

The World Scrabble Championship 2005 was held in the Marriott Regent's Park Hotel, London, England between 16 November and 20 November. The winner was Adam Logan of Canada.

The number of players competing in the tournament has risen steadily over time, from 48 in 1991 to 108 in 2009. Each country is allocated seats for the championship, and individual countries' national associations determine which of their players represent them. This is typically done by means of a national rating system or qualifier tournaments. A good performance by a national team according to specific criteria will earn further permanent places for that country.

The World Scrabble Championship 1991 was the first World Scrabble Championship. The winner was Peter Morris, a Canadian, representing the United States.

The World Scrabble Championship 2009 was held in the Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, between November 26 to November 29. The tournament format was 24 rounds for all players, followed by best-of-five finals between the top two players. There were 116 places allocated to competitors from around the world, with 108 players eventually competing.

The official dictionary, used in the majority of English-language Scrabble-playing countries and colloquially known as SOWPODS (an anagram of OSPD and OSW), was used until 2007. It is a combination of two dictionaries: OSPD (Official Scrabble Players Dictionary), published in the US, and OSW (Official Scrabble Words), published in the UK. Local tournaments used only their respective dictionary for the tournament, and each contains words chiefly used and spelled in US English and UK English. Since 2007, Collins supplies the only dictionary used in the WSC, Collins Scrabble Words, [1] [2] [3] which is published in the UK. It was updated on 21 May, 2015 before later being approved by the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) for tournaments on 1 September.

American English set of dialects of the English language spoken in the US

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

Collins Scrabble Words is the word list used in English-language tournament Scrabble in most countries except the USA, Thailand and Canada. The term SOWPODS is an anagram of the two acronyms OSPD and OSW, these being the original two official dictionaries used in various parts of the world at the time. Although the two source dictionaries have now changed their respective titles, the term SOWPODS is still used by tournament players to refer to the combination of the two sources. There has not been any actual hard-copy list produced called SOWPODS, although the current Collins Scrabble Words, or CSW, is in effect the full SOWPODS list by a different name.

On May 17, 2013, Mattel announced [4] that the event would be renamed the Scrabble Champions Tournament, and the tournament would be held annually as part of Mind Sports International's Prague Mind Sports Festival. MSI introduced a 'Last Chance Qualifier' tournament, giving players a last opportunity to qualify for 5 places in the main event if they failed to achieve a place on their national team. A four-way knockout stage was introduced for the top four finishers, which consisted of a best-of-3 semi-final followed by a best-of-5 final. Nigel Richards became World Champion here, making him the first player to defend his world title.

In 2014 the Scrabble Champions Tournament continued in London, but it became an open event, with all players invited to compete. A quarter-final stage was added, meaning that the top 8 progressed to the knockout stages. Craig Beevers won the event, making him the first British World Scrabble Champion since Mark Nyman in 1993.

In 2015, following cancellation of the SCT, Mattel and MSI agreed to allow WESPA to organize their own traditional unofficial World Championship, branded the WESPA Championship (WESPAC). It was held in Perth, Australia and followed the invitational format of pre-MSI WSC events. 130 players qualified to play. [2] Wellington Jighere of Nigeria emerged as WESPA Champion after beating Lewis Mackay 4–0 in the final.

In 2016, the tournament was renamed the "MSI World Championships" [5] and was split into two divisions based on players' rankings. MSI also hosted world championships in other languages, including French, German, Spanish and Catalan, alongside the French Duplicate Championship.

The 2017 MSI World Championships were to be held in Doha, Qatar in August 2017, but on 13 June it was announced that the tournament was to be relocated to Nottingham, United Kingdom. It followed the same format as the 2016 event. This was won by Australian David Eldar. The second WESPA Championships (first held in 2015) were held in Nairobi, Kenya in November and were won by Akshay Bhandarkar.

The 2018 event, renamed again the Mattel World Scrabble Championships, was organised by Mindsports Academy. The main event was held in Torquay, Devon, but the best-of-5 final was held in London to celebrate the game’s 70th anniversary. The event was won by Nigel Richards.


YearWinnerRunner-upLocationEntrantsWinner's prizeTotal prize poolSponsor
2018 Nigel Richards (4)
(Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand)
Jesse Day
(Flag of the United States.svg  United States)
Westfield London, United Kingdom 75 £ 6,200 £ 15,500 [6] Mattel, MSA
2017 Akshay Bhandarkar
(Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain)
Moses Peter
(Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria)
Nairobi, Kenya 119 US$ 20,000 [7] US$50,000WESPA
2017 David Eldar
(Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia)
Harshan Lamabadusuriya
(Flag of England.svg  England)
Nottingham, United Kingdom 77 £ 7,000 [8] Mattel, MSI
2016 Brett Smitheram
(Flag of England.svg England)
Mark Nyman
(Flag of England.svg England)
Grand Palais  [ fr ], Lille, France 72 7,000€40,000Mattel, MSI
2015 Wellington Jighere [9]
(Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria)
Lewis Mackay
(Flag of England.svg England)
Gloucester Park, Perth, Australia 130 A$ 10,000A$28,400WESPA
2014 Craig Beevers
(Flag of England.svg England)
Chris Lipe
(Flag of the United States.svg  United States)
ExCeL Arena, London, UK108£3,000£7,000 [10] Mattel, MSI
2013 Nigel Richards (3)
(Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand)
Komol Panyasophonlert
(Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand)
Andel's Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic 110 US$ 10,000 [11] US$25,000 [4] Mattel, MSI
2011 Nigel Richards (2)
(Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand)
Andrew Fisher
(Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia)
Hilton Hotel, Warsaw, Poland [12] 106US$20,000 [13] US$50,000 [13] Mattel
2009 Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
(Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand) [14]
Nigel Richards
(Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand) [14]
Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia [15] 108 [16] US$15,000 [17] US$30,500 [17] Mattel
2007 Nigel Richards (1)
(Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand)
Ganesh Asirvatham
(Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia)
Taj President Hotel, Mumbai, India 104US$15,000 [18] US$30,500 [18] Mattel
2005 Adam Logan
(Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada)
Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
(Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand)
Marriott Regent's Park Hotel, London, UK102US$15,000 [19] US$30,500 [19] Mattel
2003 Panupol Sujjayakorn
(Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand)
Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
(Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand)
Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 90US$17,500 [20] US$40,000 [20] Mattel
2001 Brian Cappelletto
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
Joel Wapnick
(Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada)
Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, US88US$25,000 [21] US$50,100 [21] Hasbro
1999 Joel Wapnick
(Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada)
Mark Nyman
(Flag of England.svg England)
Carlton Crest Hotel, Melbourne, Australia98US$15,000 [22] US$34,200 [22] Mattel
1997 Joel Sherman
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
Matt Graham
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., US80US$25,000 [23] US$50,100 [23] Hasbro
1995 David Boys
(Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada)
Joel Sherman
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, UK64US$11,000 [24] US$29,550 [24] Mattel
1993 Mark Nyman
(Flag of England.svg England)
Joel Wapnick
(Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada)
Plaza Hotel, New York, US64US$10,000 [25] US$24,950 [25] Hasbro
1991 Peter Morris
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
Brian Cappelletto
(Flag of the United States.svg United States)
London, UK48US$10,000 [26] US$19,000 [26] Spears

See also

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  2. 1 2
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  19. 1 2 John J. Chew III. "2005 WSC Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  20. 1 2 "Scrabble Masters". Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  21. 1 2 "2001 World SCRABBLE® Championship". 2001-05-03. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  22. 1 2 WSC 1999 results at
  23. 1 2 John J. Chew III. "WSC 1997 Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23.
  24. 1 2 WSC 1995 results at
  25. 1 2 WSC 1993 results at
  26. 1 2 WSC 1991 results at