WESPA in Profile: Germany

With only about 10 active German players, the competitive English scrabble scene in Germany is small. Considering, though, that we started out with only 4 - as in 4 around the scrabble board - in 2008, it has grown quite a bit.

Most of you will know Karl Khoshnaw , famous for the highest scoring word CAZIQUES in 1982 for 392 points, who used to live and organize tournaments in Germany. Unfortunately, we started meeting after he had passed away: his wife and son came to see us at our first tournament in Berlin in 2012.

Most of you will also know Llwellen Jegels who now resides in South Africa. We met him by sheer coincidence. I invited him and Brigitte Brath over for Saturday morning tea and we were both hooked the minute Lew walked in and charmed us with his wit and intelligence and his scrabble gear – out came the turning board, the clock , the laptop with Quackle and Zyzzyva…and we were overwhelmed by all the jargon: rack management, balancing, leave, floaters,…what a training session we had! We will be forever grateful to him. We blame him for our enthusiasm for the game !

Our first international tournament was in Haifa at the Israeli Open in Oct 2009 – an unforgettable experience! Quite a few of our players now travel to international tournaments and of course, we started hosting our own tournaments here.

We started the series of European tournaments by organizing the 1st German Open 2011 in Mannheim. Being big fans of teamwork from the start, our idea was to rotate the tourney throughout Continental Europe since we have players in various countries but only very small groups. So far the tournament has been held in:

2012 Bucharest , Romania (Cata Caba & team)
2013 Bad Wimpfen, Germany (Peggy Fehily & team)
2014 Clujz, Romania (Cata Caba & team)
2015 Den Haag, The Netherlands (Suzanne & Paul Dundas)
2016 Vienna, Austria (Pam Morris & family)

Changing the tournament’s name to Continental Scrabble Championship, CSC, seemed only logical.

2017 will be in Stockholm where Anna and Gunnar Anderson are accepting registrations as I write this.

The next dates are lined up - don't forget, we Germans like to plan well ahead !

2018 Bordeaux, France (Terry Kirk)
2019 perhaps Oslo, Norway or Budapest, Hungary
2020 back in Germany (10th one!!), location to be confirmed
2021 back in Romania (Timisoara)
We even have some ideas for after 2022!

We are quite proud that we have been able to establish this annual tournament in the international world. This year Stockholm will see a new addition: Cata Caba from Romania is building a youth scene and bringing some young players there, too.

Other tournaments we offer are the one coming up in Berlin in April (German Open Championships), or our country meets, e.g. the German Dutch get-together which has taken place twice.

We are discussing a 3 country meet in Southern Germany with the Germans, French and the Swiss.

We have learnt that networking is paramount to growing the scene, not only in Germany but Europe as a whole.

As of 2017 Scrabble Deutschland e.V. (the German Scrabble association) has created an English section on their homepage. We greatly appreciate the support they have given to us from the beginning e.g. by donating money to various prize funds and becoming affiliate members of WESPA.

We have had quite a few international visitors who have been travelling through Germany come by and play with us. Please let us know if you do – we will arrange a club night and room permitting, even put you up for the night.

Happy Scrabbling!

Peggy Fehily
peggy.fehily@gmx.de or find us on Facebook.

The Scrabble community in Germany and the Continent, photos with thanks from Peggy Fehily