WESPA

INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS

Winners and History


Many tournaments around the world pride themselves on being able to attract competitors from other nations.

There are really only five tournament structures, however, that have been designed to be global in nature. These are the World Scrabble Championship, Scrabble Champions Tournament, the MSI World Championships, the World Youth Scrabble Championship (now WESPA Youth Cup) and the WESPA Championship.

We present this honour board to acknowledge the players who have achieved the ultimate in our game.

You can view the Youth Honour Board here.

A history of global tournaments can be read by clicking on the tab below this table.

INTERNATIONAL SCRABBLE HONOUR BOARD

YearEventWinnerRunner-Up
1991WSC - LondonPeter MorrisBrian Cappelletto
1993WSC - New YorkMark NymanJoel Wapnick
1995WSC - LondonDavid BoysJoel Sherman
1997WSC - Washington, DCJoel ShermanMatt Graham
1999WSC - MelbourneJoel WapnickMark Nyman
2001WSC - Las VegasBrian CappellettoJoel Wapnick
2003WSC - Kuala LumpurPanupol SujjayakornPakorn Nemitrmansuk
2005WSC - LondonAdam LoganPakorn Nemitrmansuk
2007WSC - MumbaiNigel RichardsGanesh Asirvatham
2009WSC - Johor BahruPakorn NemitrmansukNigel Richards
2011WSC - WarsawNigel RichardsAndrew Fisher
2013SCT - PragueNigel RichardsKomol Panyasophonlert
2014SCT - LondonCraig BeeversChris Lipe
2015WESPAC - PerthWellington JighereLewis Mackay
2016MSI WSC - LilleBrett SmitheramMark Nyman
2017MSI WSC - NottinghamDavid EldarHarshan Lamabadusuriya
2017WESPAC - NairobiAkshay BhandarkarPeter Moses


World Tournaments - A History

WORLD TOURNAMENTS - A HISTORY

Many tournaments around the world pride themselves on being able to attract competitors from other nations.

There are really only five tournament structures, however, that have been designed to be global in nature. These are the World Scrabble Championship, Scrabble Champions Tournament, the MSI World Championships, the World Youth Scrabble Championship (now WESPA Youth Cup) and the WESPA Championship.

Humble beginnings

The first Scrabble World Championship was held in London in 1991, hosted by Spears, who were taken over by Mattel in 1994. It featured 48 players from 19 countries. The total prize pool was $US19,000, with $10,000 of that going to the winner.

The tournament event was played to combined-dictionary rules (Chambers and OSPD), which may have proved problematical for the 'single-dictionary' countries. Or maybe not, given that two Americans contested the best-of-five final. The inaugural winner was Peter Morris, who hasn't returned to play in this tournament since 1993. His finals opponent, a young, fresh-faced Brian Cappelletto, came back to win the event exactly 10 years later.

Global reach

Since then the event has been held three more times in London, and once each in New York, Washington DC, Melbourne, Las Vegas, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Johor Bahru (Malaysia) and Warsaw (Poland). For the first six events, Hasbro (the brand owner in North America) and Mattel (brand owner in the rest of the world) alternated sponsorship, before Hasbro withdrew to focus more on TWL-only events.

Warsaw, in 2011, had 106 players from 39 countries, including a great many for whom English is not a first language. The prize pool was up to with $50,000, $US20,000 for the winner.

On the podium
There have been plenty of repeat finalists, showing that the genuine superstars of Scrabble always rise to the challenge on the big stage. Nigel Richards has been in four finals, whilst Joel Wapnick (Can) and Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thai) have played in three finals each; Brian Cappelletto (US), Mark Nyman (UK) and Joel Sherman (US) have played in two; and Morris, David Boys (Can), Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thai), Adam Logan (Can) and Craig Beevers (Eng) have each nailed the title on their only finals appearance. Only Nigel Richards has won the title more than once.

2. After Warsaw

A. The Scrabble Champions Tournament (SCT) and the MSI World Championships

The final WSC was held in 2011; Mind Sports International (MSI) were then provided the opportunity to run a truly global Scrabble tournament and, in 2013, the first of two SCTs was held in Prague in the Czech Republic.

The event gave the world one of its first applications of a now famous RFID Scrabble board and, with ambassador Rachel Riley, and a streamed coverage gave the Scrabble community a global tournament in the digital age.

Nigel Richards took out the tournament that year.

The SCT was run the following year in London with a non-invitational format. Competitors did not have to go through a qualifying process as was the case with preceding global tournaments.

Craig Beevers took out the title that year, becoming the first Englishman to become World Champion since Mark Nyman in 1993.

This was the final SCT, with the advent of the MSI World Championships.

The 2016 Championships were held in Lille, France with Brett Smitheram victorious in the final over Mark Nyman.

The 2017 MSI World Scrabble Championships were held in Nottingham, UK, with Australia's David Eldar winning his first World title, defeating the UK's Harshan Lamabadusuriya in the final 3-0.

B. The WESPA Championship

In November 2015, the inaugural WESPA Championships was held in Perth, Western Australia.

The format resembled previous WSCs and qualification was set by member nations.

Over 30 nations were represented, with side events held to ensure a very strong attendance to follow the 2015 World Youth Scrabble Championship that was held in Perth shortly before.

Nigeria's Wellington Jighere brought Africa its first victory on the global stage, a result that has seen many accolades and recognition at the highest of levels in his home country and continent.

The next WESPA Championship in 2017 is being held in Nairobi, Kenya.

C. The WESPA Youth Cup

This tournament is open to anyone under the age of 18 on January 1 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 and then October in 2015. The winners of these tournaments usually go on to play into adulthood and continue their strong play from the skills developed at a young age.

In 2017, after eleven years, there has been a rebranding and the WESPA Youth Cup will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The World Junior Scrabble Championship formed part of the MSI World Championships in Nottingham, UK, with the USA's Matthew O'Connor victorious.

More information is available at youthscrabble.org