World Youth Scrabble Championships

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The first World Youth Scrabble Championships were held in Wollongong, Australia 2006. Competitors from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and United States have competed in the annual tournament so far. WYSC is open to anyone under the age of 18 on 1 January of the year of each tournament. The tournament used to be held at the start of December but was brought forward to August for 2014.[1] So far the WYSC tournament has been held in Malaysia five times, Australia twice, Dubai twice and the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom once each.[2]

WESPA Youth Cup 2019 : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia[edit]

Tournament report can be found here.

List of all prize winners can be found here.

Place Player Country
1st Tarin Pairor Thailand
2nd Janul De Silva Sri Lanka
3rd Yash Potnis India
4th Joshua Law Bing Han Singapore
5th Syed Imaad Ali Pakistan
6th Vignesh Pirapaharan Sri Lanka
7th Liao Yi Singapore
8th Brian Po Hong Kong
9th Jarrett Tan Yan Keat Singapore
10th Eirfan Razman Malaysia

Thailand's Tarin Pairor won the 2019 Wespa Youth Cup, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 29 November to 1 December of that year. (Completing a meteoric rise through youth Scrabble by the 15-year old, who finished 74th as a rookie in 2017 and 7th in Dubai in 2018.) Defending champion Syed Imaad Ali of Pakistan finished 5th while Janul De Silva of Sri Lanka ended in second place for the third consecutive year.[citation needed]

Thailand took home the award for the best national team, i.e. the team with the highest cumulative score among its top three players: Pairor and teammates Napat Vatjaranurathorn (who finished 12th overall) and Thanyanat Niratsungnoen (31st). This is the first year since 2008 that the WESPA Youth champion was Thai. The game of Scrabble is a popular competitive activity for schoolchildren in Thailand (where it is known as 'Crossword') and the country produced several premier adult players over the previous two decades.[citation needed]

WESPA Youth Cup 2018 : Dubai[edit]

Tournament report can be found here.

List of all prize winners can be found here.

Place Player Country
1st Syed Imaad Ali Pakistan
2nd Janul de Silva Sri Lanka
3rd Napat Vatjaranurathorn Thailand
4th Aabid Ismail Sri Lanka
5th Sohaib Sanaullah Pakistan
6th Brian Po Hong Kong
7th Tarin Pairor Thailand
8th Vraj Jain India
9th Thomson Law Long Yin Hong Kong
10th Radinka Dissanayake Sri Lanka

In the 2018 youth cup, held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Syed Imaad Ali of Pakistan overcame Sri Lanka's Janul Del Silva to take the championship. Ali, Sohaib Sanaullah and Ali Rashid Khan earned Pakistan the award for the best national team in the tournament. Del Silva's second-place finish marked the second year in a row he had taken silver in this world championship. His Sri Lankan teammate Aabid Ismail, champion in 2017 and third in 2016, finished 4th in Dubai.[citation needed]

WESPA Youth Cup 2017 : Subang Jaya, Malaysia[edit]

The 2017 edition was renamed as "WESPA Youth Cup". Originally scheduled to be held in Johor Baru, it was later moved to Subang Jaya. Aabid Ismail from Sri Lanka was crowned the World Youth Scrabble Champion 2017.

Place Player Country
1st Aabid Ismail Sri Lanka
2nd Janul de Silva Sri Lanka
3rd Abdullah Abbasi Pakistan
4th Hasham Hadi Khan Pakistan
5th Sohaib Sanaulah Pakistan
6th Nititorn Laimek Thailand
7th Danial Sanaulla Pakistan
8th Vignesh Pirapaharan Sri Lanka
9th Napat Vatjaranuratho Thailand
10th Pansub Direkwatana Thailand
The top 10 prize winners from WESPA Youth Cup 2017
The top 10 prize winners from WESPA Youth Cup 2017

Aabid Ismail became the first Sri Lankan World Youth Scrabble Champion. Second place went to Aabid's schoolmate Janul de Silva who also won the under 16 World Scrabble title which was previously held by Aabid.[3] Abdullah Abbasi who was runner up in 2015 secured third place.[4] Sri Lanka secured the team title for the third year in succession on the strength of Aabid and Janul's performances along with that of Vignesh Pirapaharan who secured eighth place. Adheesha Dissanayake also of Sri Lanka won the under ten title.[5] The under twelve title was secured by Napat Narinsuksanti, the under fourteen title by Hasham Hadi Khan and the under eight title by Madhav Gopal Kamath.

All the first ten places were filled by players from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Thailand. This year two special awards were given out, the Amnuay award went to Akkarapol Kwhansak an official from Thailand and the WESPA Chair award to Abdullah Abbasi.

WYSC 2016 : Lille, France[edit]

In 2016, the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) Youth Committee cooperated with the Mindsports Academy to organise the Championship in Lille, France. Sanchit Kapoor from the United Arab Emirates was crowned the World Youth Scrabble Champion 2016.[6]

Place Player Country
1st Sanchit Kapoor United Arab Emirates
2nd Thavalakshman Yoganathan Sri Lanka
3rd Aabid Ismail Sri Lanka
4th Siriwat Suttapintu Thailand
5th Aditya Iyengar India
6th Jack Durand United Kingdom
7th Hasham Hadi Khan Pakistan
8th Qays Sangani Sri Lanka
9th Kevin Bowerman United States
10th Syed Imaad Ali Pakistan

Sri Lanka retained the team title they won in Perth Australia.[7] The high game award went to Okiki Hector Fowobaje of Nigeria for scoring 653 points. The high word award was shared between three players Shohaib Sanaullah, Hansi Weerasooriya and Aabid Ismail all of whom scored 158 points for BASCINET, FILAMENT, OBEDIENT respectively.

Aabid Ismail, Hasham Hadi Khan, Syed Imaad Ali and Monis Khan emerged as World 16 Scrabble Champion, the World Under 14 Scrabble Champion, the World Under 12 Scrabble Champion and the World Under 10 Scrabble Champion respectively. Thus Pakistan secured three of the four age group prizes on offer.[8]

For the first time in the tournament's history, there were no contestants from the host country.

WYSC 2015 : Perth Australia[edit]

The tenth edition of the WYSC was held in Perth, Australia from 31 October at the University of Western Australia.[9] Nicholas Hong of Singapore emerged as the overall winner [10] while Sri Lanka won the team title. By virtue of winning the WYSC, Hong qualified to take part in the WESPA Championships (formerly World Scrabble Championship) held after WYSC 2015. [11]

Place Player Country
1st Nicholas Hong Singapore
2nd Abdullah Abbasi Pakistan
3rd Jack Durand England
4th Janul De Silva Sri Lanka
5th Tim Mason Australia
6th Thirandi De Silva Sri Lanka
7th Sanchit Kapoor United Arab Emirates
8th Lambotharan Yoganathan Sri Lanka
9th John McNaughton New Zealand
10th Samrath Singh Bhatia India

The defending champion Jack Durand secured 3rd place.

WYSC 2014 : Colombo, Sri Lanka[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Jack Durand England
2nd Yong Jian Rong Singapore
3rd Mariam Arif Pakistan
4th Victor Gwee Singapore
5th Sanchit Kapoor United Arab Emirates
6th Gayanath Chandrasena Sri Lanka
7th Lewis Hawkins New Zealand
8th Poh Ying Ming Singapore
9th Abdullah Abbasi Pakistan
10th Viggnah Selvaraj Sri Lanka

Based on the scores of the top three from that country, Singapore emerged as the best team.[12]

Although the tournament is usually held in December, it was held in August in 2014 to coincide with the Colombo Scrabble Festival. The festival began with the Sri Lanka International Scrabble Championship on 22 August while the WYSC took place on the 29th. In between, the WESPA Seniors' tournament was held on the 26th. Since both the WYSC and the WESPA Seniors event had a side tournament, participants had the opportunity to take part in three consecutive international tournaments at the same venue.

Jack Durand emerged as the winner[13] of WYSC 2014 at the end of Round 23.

WYSC 2013 : Dubai[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Moiz Ullah Baig Pakistan
2nd Javeria Mirza Pakistan
3rd Nuttapong Pholthip Thailand
4th Navya Zaveri UAE
5th Jack Durand United Kingdom
6th Sanchit Kapoor UAE
7th Anand Bharadwaj Australia
8th Mariam Arif Pakistan
9th Tim Bryant United States
10th Tim Mason Australia

Moiz Ullah Baig of Pakistan became the World Youth Scabble Champion while compatriot Javeria Mirza secured the second place.[14] Maria Arif also from Pakistan secured 8th place and ensured that Pakistan won the award for the best team as well. Players from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore were conspicuously missing from the top ten. There has been at least one player from these countries in the top ten in past events.

WYSC 2012 : Birmingham, England[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Michael McKenna Australia
2nd Cheong Yi Wei Malaysia
3rd William Kang Malaysia
4th Navya Zaveri UAE
5th Yeshan Jayasuriya Sri Lanka
6th Yasiru Fernando Sri Lanka
7th Tim Byrant United States
8th Sompong Phosai Thailand
9th Jessica Pratesi United Kingdom
10th Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna Thailand

WYSC 2012 took place at the UK Britannia Hotel in Birmingham, England from Friday, 7 December to Sunday, 9 December.[15] There are expected to be 99 entries in 2012 making it the most populous WYSC event yet but only 60 managed to get there mostly due to visa problems. Michael McKenna sealed his victory at the tournament with a game to spare- he won game 23 to lead of 1.5 wins going into the final round. This win now means that Australia is home to more WYSC than any other nation. Australia has three, Malaysia has two and Singapore and Thailand have one apiece.

Michael McKenna has also attended six out of the seven WYSC events (2007-2012). Past WYSC events have held trivia tournaments, however, 2012 held a warmup tournament. Navya Zaveri of the UAE won the Under 16 title and Migara Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka the Under 14 title. The youngest ever WYSC player Ronnie Bennet won the under 8 title. The under 10 and under 12 titles were secured by Pese Alo and Shrinidi Prakash.

High Word went to Javeria Mirza (Pakistan), SHUNTERS (158) High Game went to Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna for 640.

WYSC 2011 : Johor Baru, Malaysia[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Anand Bharadwaj Australia
2nd Victor Gwee Singapore
3rd Michael McKenna Australia
4th Yeshan Jayasuriya Sri Lanka
5th Premkumar Nimalan Sri Lanka
6th Oliver Garner United Kingdom
7th Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna Thailand
8th Mohd Bin Abdul Suma Philippines
9th Jessica Pratesi United Kingdom
10th Somphong Phosai Thailand

WYSC 2011 took place in the same location as 2007 and 2009: The Zon Regency Hotel, Malaysia. This year produced the youngest ever WYSC champion, Anand Bharadwaj who was a mere 11 years old at the time.[16] In the process Australia became the second country to have had a representative win WYSC more than once (2006/2011) the other country being Malaysia (2009/2010). Michael McKenna (Australia) placed 3rd, making it his second 3rd placing in his years at WYSC (2009/2011). Jessica Pratesi placed in 9th position for the second year running, Mohd Suma retained his 8th position from 2010. Anand also stayed in the first position for longer than any other player, leading the tournament for eleven rounds. 2011 was the first year that there were no competitors who had played in every single WYSC. The pre-WYSC trivia tournament that ran in 2009 and 2010 did not run in 2011.

WYSC 2010 : Manila, Philippines[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Ker Jen Ho Malaysia
2nd Preedee Khongthanara Thailand
3rd William Kang Malaysia
4th Oluwafemi Akinlosotu Nigeria
5th Kitty-Jean Laginha Australia
6th Tawan Paepolsiri Thailand
7th Vinnith Ramamurti Malaysia
8th Mohd Bin Abdul Suma Philippines
9th Jessica Pratesi England
10th Looi Yih Feng Malaysia

Ker Jen Ho of Malaysia became the second player from Malaysia to win the championship. Compatriot William Kang became second runner up and under 16 champion.[17] Malaysia had four players in the top 10 while Cheong Yi Hua also of Malaysia, finished in 19th position and received the encouragement award for her well-above-expectation result. Irwin Goh of Malaysia received the Paulette Yeoh Award for his strong behind-the-scenes helping of the tournament. The pre-tournament trivia competition ran again in 2010 and the winning team was "SAM GUN" which consisted of Kim Rubina (Philippines), Arvinran Rajendran (Malaysia) and Shahroz Zamir (Pakistan).

Victor Gwee of Singapore became the Under 14 World Scrabble Champion while Migara Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka and Jessie Hannah David of Qatar became the under 12 and under 10 champions respectively.[18]

This was the first WYSC to have more than 1 female finish in the top ten Kitty-Jean Laginha (Australia) and Jessica Pratesi (England). Jessica also shared the high word award with Pranva Kaarthik. Host country the Philippines had a player in the top ten for the first time. (Mohd Bin Abdul Suma). 4 ladies made it to play at Table 1 during the tournament. They were: Sirinapa Srinornil (Thailand), Natasha Podesser (Australia), Kitty-Jean Laginha (Australia) and Jessica Pratesi (England). This the first time more than one female had played on table 1 with the exclusion of Game 1.

Finally, Natasha Podesser of Australia was the only player to have played in all 4 previous WYSC tournaments. However, being 17 years old, she will be too old to compete in any further WYSC's. Oluwafemi Akinlosotu of Nigeria held the lead of the tournament for the first thirteen games.

WYSC 2009 : Johor Baru, Malaysia[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Suanne Ong Malaysia
2nd Alastair Richards Australia
3rd Michael McKenna Australia
4th Preedee Khongthanara Thailand
5th Charnrit Khongthana Thailand
6th Oluwaseun Oyeleke Nigeria
7th Wong Zhi Yuan Singapore
8th Wanchana Jirapitikul Thailand
9th Goutham Jayaraman Singapore
10th Charas Worapotpisut Thailand

The 2009 WYSC was held in the Zon Regency Hotel, Johor Bahru as part of the Iskandar Malaysia World Festival of Scrabble. Unlike previous years of WYSC which featured 22 games over 3 days and a best out of 5 playoffs; the 2009 WYSC was a 24-game tournament held over 3 days without any final play-off. The World Youth Scrabble Championships of 2009 was held from Tuesday, 8 December to Thursday, 10 December. 2009 WYSC had a record number of entrants of over 80. Members of the Malaysian monarchy were present for the prize giving ceremony. The Princess of Malaysia personally congratulated each of the prize winners.

Suanne Ong of Malaysia became the first girl to win the World Youth Scrabble Championship.[19] As at 2017, she remains the only girl to have held the title.

WYSC 2008 : Georgetown, Malaysia[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Charnrit Khongthanarat Thailand
2nd Darren Khoo Beng Way Malaysia
3rd Scott Chung Malaysia
4th Ramaraj Sundraraj Malaysia
5th Suanne Ong Malaysia
6th Mohsin Ahmed India
7th Wanchana Jirapitikul Thailand
8th Samitha Amarasinghe Sri Lanka
9th Alastair Richards Australia
10th Akaradech Suppapitta Thailand

WYSC 2008 took place in Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

WYSC 2007 : Johor Baru, Malaysia[edit]

Place Player Country
1st Toh Weibin Singapore
2nd Sean Chung Chin Shiu Malaysia
3rd Ong Suanne Malaysia
4th Liew Kian Boon Singapore
5th Pasit Natearpha Thailand
6th Benjamin Chow Singapore
7th Ian Tay Zhi Xian Malaysia
8th Charas Worrapotpisut Thailand
9th Lee Guan Hui Singapore
10th Imron Sawamipak Thailand

The 2007 WYSC took place on 4–6 December 2007 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Inaugural WYSC (2006) : Wollongong, Australia[edit]

Place Player Country
1st David Eldar Australia
2nd Austin Shin England
3rd Will Nediger Canada
4th Joshua Sng Singapore
5th Benjamin Chow Singapore
6th Toh Weibin Singapore
7th Thacha Koowirat Thailand
8th Tanasak Supaphibunk Thailand
9th Sherwin Rodrigues India
10th Lee Guan Hui Singapore

David Eldar of Australia became the first World Youth Scrabble Champion when he won the inaugural event that look place at Wollongong University, Wollongong, Australia in 2006.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Royalists Dominate WESPA Youth Cup". Daily News. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  4. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (30 November 2017). "Pakistanis keep shining at WESPA Youth Cup". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Word play!". Daily News. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka retain World Youth Team Scrabble Title". Daily News. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  8. ^ Agencies (31 August 2016). "UAE's Sanchit Kapoor wins world youth scrabble crown". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ hermes (22 November 2015). "Scrabble champ has the words to beat 'em all". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Jack Durand, 14, becomes World Youth Scrabble Champion - BBC News". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Scrabble: Moizullah Baig crowned WYSC champion - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  15. ^ "WYSC 2012 113". Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  16. ^ Chadwick, Vince (16 December 2011). "Triple-triple could not topple this genius". The Age. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  17. ^ " - Connecting People Through News". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Sri Lankan scrabblers excel at World Youth Scrabble Championship - 2010 | FT Online". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Top girl - Iskandar Malaysia". Iskandar Malaysia. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Schoolboy takes on the world for a spell - National -". Retrieved 3 January 2018.

External links[edit]