Nigel Richards (Scrabble player)

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Nigel Richards (born 1967) is a New Zealander Scrabble player who represents New Zealand in international competition.[1] He is the world's highest-rated player, a three-time World Champion, and a five-time U.S. national champion. He is also an eleven-time champion of the Singapore Open Scrabble Championship[2] and a twelve-time winner of the King's Cup in Bangkok, the world's biggest Scrabble competition.[3]

Upon winning the French World Scrabble Championship in 2015, he became the first player to be World Champion in English and in French.

Playing history[edit]

Richards started playing competitive Scrabble at New Zealand's Christchurch Scrabble Club. Since beginning his competitive career in 1997, he has won about 75% of his tournament games, collecting an estimated USD200,000 in prize money.[4] In 2000 Richards moved to Malaysia.

2007[edit]

Richards won the World Scrabble Championship[5] and earned USD 15,000 by winning a playoff, 3 games to 0, against Ganesh Asirvatham of Malaysia.[6] The two qualified for the playoff by leading a field of 104 international experts after 24 rounds of a tournament held 9–12 November in Mumbai, India.

2008[edit]

Richards won the USA National Scrabble Championship and earned USD25,000 by winning his last three games against the runner-up, 1998 champion Brian Cappelletto, for a record of 22 wins and 6 losses, with a cumulative spread of +1340 points.[7]

2009[edit]

Richards was the runner-up in the USA National Scrabble Championship in Dayton, Ohio,[8] losing to Dave Wiegand but still winning 25 of the 31 matches.

2010[edit]

Richards won the USA National Scrabble Championship in Dallas, Texas,[9] again winning 25 games. His performance in this tournament was so dominant that he clinched the title before the last day of competition began.

2011[edit]

He repeated his success in the World Scrabble Championship[10] in Warsaw, Poland, winning a closely fought final against Australia's top player, Andrew Fisher.

Richards won the USA National Scrabble Championship in Dallas, Texas,[11] winning 22 games, including his final two, to hold off a number of challengers.

2012[edit]

Richards won the WGPO Word Cup[12] in Bloomington, Minnesota, winning 24 of 31 games, four more than the second-place player.

Richards won the USA National Scrabble Championship,[13] in Orlando, Florida winning 22 of 31 games. To win the title, Richards had to defeat past champion David Gibson by at least 170 points in the final game; he won it by 177 points. At the time of the victory, Richards became the only person to have won the event four times, as well as the only player to have won it in three consecutive years.

2013[edit]

Richards then won 24 of 31 games to finish first at the National Scrabble Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, in July.[14] That championship was not decided until the last game. Though he lost the game to Komol Panyasophonlert, Richards kept the score close enough to retain the title for a record fourth consecutive time (and record fifth overall).

He became World Champion for a third time, beating Panyasophonlert in the final; as of 2013, the World Championship has been renamed the Scrabble Champions Tournament and will be held annually.

2015[edit]

On July 20, Richards won the nonduplicate portion of the 2015 French World Scrabble Championship in Belgium after only two months of studying the French lexicon. He won 14 of the preliminary 17 games before defeating the 2014 runner-up Schélick Ilagou Rekawe in the final, two games to one.[15][16] In the duplicate (rarely played in English, but played in French since 1973) he finished second, just one point behind the winner, Switzerland's David Bovet.[17]

Achievements[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What Makes Nigel Richards the Best Scrabble Player on Earth". FiveThirtyEight. 
  2. ^ "Scrabble Association Archives". Toucanet. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "2013 BRAND's International Crossword Game King's Cup". Poslarchive.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Nigel Richards - Player Profile". cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  5. ^ John J. Chew, III. "WSC 2007: Nigel Richards [#82]". Live.wscgames.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  6. ^ John J. Chew, III. "WSC 2007: Finals". Live.wscgames.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  10. ^ John J. Chew, III. "WSC 2011: Finals". Live.wscgames.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "WGPO Word Cup Main Event". Wordgameplayrs.org. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "National Scrabble Championship : Division 1 Results". Cross-tables.com. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Louvain 2015 French World Scrabble Championships live". French Scrabble Federation. 
  16. ^ "Le champion du monde de Scrabble francophone est néo-zélandais et ne parle pas français". France Tvinfo. 
  17. ^ "Louvain 2015 French World Scrabble Championships live, duplicate final results". French Scrabble Federation. 

External links[edit]