The Scrabble Champions Tournament: A new era begins!

Over the past 6 months, WESPA has fielded countless queries about the next World Scrabble Championships: Where and when will it be? How many representatives will my country be allowed to field? Will there be a separate final or will king of the hill decide the 2013 World Champion?

We communicated continuously with Mattel and MSI on these matters throughout, representing the players' views as put to us individually and through member associations. The WESPA committee worked very hard to ensure that the high playing standards set at previous WSCs would be maintained and that qualification processes put in place by local associations over the past two years were adhered to. However, as the date approached for the scheduled May 17th announcement by Mattel and MSI, the WESPA committee waited with bated breath as did thousands of tournament players worldwide to discover the fate of our revered WSC.

And we were not disappointed. Mattel's announcement of the annual Scrabble Champions Tournament to take over from the biennial World Scrabble Championships has amply addressed the needs of both elite and casual players, and promises to bring the game to a broader range of Scrabble players especially as part of the Prague Mind Sports Festival. The global qualification process that had been administered by Mattel for the WSC in the past was transferred to the SCT intact for its initial foray, honouring the commitment made to top players around the world 2 years ago who sought to take part in the pinnacle of Scrabble competition. Further, the addition of the open tournament alongside the elite division gives an unprecedented chance to mid-level and casual Scrabblers (as well as the top players who narrowly missed out on qualification) to play alongside the likes of 2011 World Champion Nigel Richards, runner up Andrew Fisher and 2012 World Youth Scrabble Champion Michael McKenna, with a shot at individual glory in their own right. Anyone who has imbibed the rarefied atmosphere at past WSCs knows what a treat it will be to be present and participating at the SCT in either division.

John Chew has been placed at the helm for the tournament by MSI, and as John is recognized globally as an absolute master at running events on a large scale, there is no doubt that this will be a very efficiently run tournament of the highest pedigree, as befits the legacy of the WSC.

We at WESPA are quite thrilled at the prospect of an event that will bring the Scrabble world together every year, with wordsmiths from all walks of life and backgrounds congregating at one location to showcase their skills and love for the game. We strongly urge all members of the playing community to join us in Prague in December to show our support for this game that has given us so much; we're sure it's going to be a lot of fun as well!