World Scrabble Championship

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The World Scrabble Championship is the most prestigious title in competitive English-language Scrabble. It has been held every second year since 1991, and annually since 2013. Although the official brand name and organisations 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 David Eldar, who won the title at the MSI World Championships in Nottingham, England in 2017.

About the World Scrabble Championship[edit]

Sponsorship formerly alternated between Hasbro and Mattel, respectively the owners of the Scrabble trademark in North America and the rest of the world. However, Hasbro declined to sponsor WSC 2005, and instead Mattel has organised and/or sponsored all championships since 2005. Mind Sports International also began sponsoring the event in 2013 after successfully organising their own major Scrabble tournament in Prague in 2012.

The number of players competing in the tournament has risen steadily over time, from 48 in the World Scrabble Championship 1991 to 108 in the World Scrabble Championship 2009. In 2011 it remained stable with 106 contestants. A set number of places is allocated to each competing country and it is then up to individual countries' national associations to determine which of their players will represent them. This is typically done by means of a national ratings system or qualifier tournaments or some combination of the two. A good performance by a national team according to specific criteria will earn further permanent places for that country.

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

On May 17, 2013, Mattel announced[3] that the event would be renamed the Scrabble Champions Tournament, and would be held as part of Mind Sports International's 2013 Prague Mind Sports Festival, to be held annually. MSI introduced a 'Last Chance Qualifier' tournament, giving players a last opportunity to qualify for the main event instead of having to be on their countries' teams; in 2013 this resulted in 5 extra players competing. In 2014 the SCT continued in London but it became an open event, inviting all players to compete.

In 2015, Mattel and MSI agreed to allow the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) organised their own traditional unofficial World Championships branded the WESPA Championship (or WESPAC). It was held in Perth, Australia which followed the invitational format of earlier World Scrabble Championships. It was an invitational event with 130 players qualifying to play.[1] Wellington Jighere of Nigeria emerged as WESPA Champion after beating Lewis Mackay 4 - 0 in the final.

In 2016, the tournament was branded as the MSI World Championships[4] and was split into two divisions based on players' ability. MSI also hosted World Championships in other languages, including French, German, Spanish and Catalan, alongside the French Duplicate Championship.

The 2017 World Scrabble Championships were originally due to be held in Doha, Qatar in August 2017, but on 13 June it was announced that the tournament was to be relocated to the United Kingdom. They will now be held near Nottingham. The WESPA Championships are scheduled for November and will be held in Kenya.

World Championship History[edit]

Year Winner Runner-up Location Entrants Winner's prize Total prize pool Sponsor
2017 David Eldar
( Australia)
Harshan Lamabadusuriya
( England)
Nottingham, United Kingdom 80 GBP 7,000[5] Mattel, MSI
2016 Brett Smitheram
( England)
Mark Nyman
( England)
The Grand Palais, Lille, France 72 EU 7,000 EU 40,000 Mattel, MSI
2015 Wellington Jighere[6]
( Nigeria)
Lewis Mackay
( England)
Gloucester Park, Perth, Australia 130 AUD 10,000 AUD 28,400 WESPA
2014 Craig Beevers
( England)
Chris Lipe
( United States)
ExCeL Arena, London, UK 108 GBP 3,000 GBP 7,000 [7] Mattel, MSI
2013 Nigel Richards (3)
( New Zealand)
Komol Panyasophonlert
( Thailand)
Andel's Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic 110 USD 10,000[8] USD 25,000[3] Mattel, MSI
2011 Nigel Richards (2)
( New Zealand)
Andrew Fisher
( Australia)
Hilton Hotel, Warsaw, Poland[9] 106 USD 20,000[10] USD 50,000[10] Mattel
2009 Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
( Thailand)[11]
Nigel Richards
( New Zealand)[11]
Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia[12] 108[13] USD 15,000[14] USD 30,500[14] Mattel
2007 Nigel Richards (1)
( New Zealand)
Ganesh Asirvatham
( Malaysia)
Taj President Hotel, Mumbai, India 104 USD 15,000[15] USD 30,500[15] Mattel
2005 Adam Logan
( Canada)
Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
( Thailand)
Marriott Regent's Park Hotel, London, UK 102 USD 15,000[16] USD 30,500[16] Mattel
2003 Panupol Sujjayakorn
( Thailand)
Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
( Thailand)
Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 90 USD 17,500[17] USD 40,000[17] Mattel
2001 Brian Cappelletto
( United States)
Joel Wapnick
( Canada)
Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, USA 88 USD 25,000[18] USD 50,100[18] Hasbro
1999 Joel Wapnick
( Canada)
Mark Nyman
( England)
Carlton Crest Hotel, Melbourne, Australia 98 USD 15,000[19] USD 34,200[19] Mattel
1997 Joel Sherman
( United States)
Matt Graham
( United States)
Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., USA 80 USD 25,000[20] USD 50,100[20] Hasbro
1995 David Boys
( Canada)
Joel Sherman
( United States)
Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, UK 64 USD 11,000[21] USD 29,550[21] Mattel
1993 Mark Nyman
( England)
Joel Wapnick
( Canada)
Plaza Hotel, New York, USA 64 USD 10,000[22] USD 24,950[22] Hasbro
1991 Peter Morris
( United States)
Brian Cappelletto
( United States)
London, UK 48 USD 10,000[23] USD 19,000[23] Spears

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "PRESS RELEASE **SCRABBLE® CHAMPIONS TOURNAMENT 2013** - News and Announcements - Mind Sports International Forums". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Obscure word propels Londoner to victory in world Scrabble championships". Telegraph Media Group. 27 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Nigeria celebrates Africa's first English-language Scrabble win". BBC News Online. 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Prize Table". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  9. ^ John J. Chew III. "2011 WSC Venue". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  10. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "2011 WSC Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  11. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "WSC 2009: Finals". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  12. ^ John J. Chew III. "2009 WSC Venue". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  13. ^ John J. Chew III. "WSC 2009 Standings: Round 24". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  14. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "2009 WSC Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  15. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "2007 WSC Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  16. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "2005 WSC Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  17. ^ a b "Scrabble Masters". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  18. ^ a b "2001 World SCRABBLE® Championship". 2001-05-03. Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  19. ^ a b WSC 1999 results at
  20. ^ a b John J. Chew III. "WSC 1997 Prizes". Retrieved 2014-02-23. 
  21. ^ a b WSC 1995 results at
  22. ^ a b WSC 1993 results at
  23. ^ a b WSC 1991 results at

External links[edit]