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The Mattel World Scrabble Championship 2018 was a Scrabble tournament organised by Mattel and Mindsports Academy (MSA) to determine the world champion in English Scrabble held from 23 to 28 October 2018.

World Scrabble Championship 2018
23 October 2018 — 28 October 2018
WinnerNigel Richards
Number of players75
LocationEngland

The event was split into two divisions according to players' World English-Language Scrabble Players' Association (WESPA) ratings; the top division comprised some 75 players. 35 games were played on the first four days, after which the top eight proceeded to a 3-game quarterfinals, with the winners advancing to a 5-game semifinals on the same day; the top two players, Nigel Richards and Jesse Day, played a best-of-five final the day after for the top prize of €10,000. Richards beat Day 3–1, becoming world champion for an unprecedented fourth time.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

 
The finals took place at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London.

The main event was preceded by a Junior World Scrabble Championship that was won by Pakistani Moiz Ullah Baig.[1] The World Scrabble Championship 2018 took place at the Riveria International Centre in Torquay, Devon, England from 23 to 27 October, with the finals being held at a "clearview cube" in the Westfield Shopping Centre in London a day later, as part of Scrabble's 70th anniversary celebrations.[2][3] The prize fund for the tournament was £15,500.[4] There were also concurrent events played in five different languages including Catalan, Spanish, French, Norwegian, and German.[5]

ResultsEdit

PreliminaryEdit

 
The eventual winner Nigel Richards giving a thumbs up.

After 35 preliminary rounds, the top eight, which included three-time world champion Nigel Richards (2007, 2011, 2013), world champions Brett Smitheram (2016) and Wellington Jighere (2015), and 2014 runner-up Chris Lipe, advanced to the quarter-finals. The defending champion David Eldar was absent, whereas former world champions Craig Beevers (2014), Joel Wapnick (1999), and Mark Nyman (1993) were knocked out of contention.[6]

Position Name Number of wins Cumulative spread
1 Nigel Richards 29 +1893
2 Jesse Day 25 +1716
3 Kevin McMahon 25 +1098
4 Brett Smitheram 23.5 +1056
5 Paul Gallen 23.5 +1052
6 Wellington Jighere 22.5 +1228
7 Chris Lipe 22 +1317
8 Paul Allan 21.5 +330
9 Chris Vicary 21.5 -278
10 Dave Koenig 21 +1392

Source:[6]

KnockoutEdit

Quarterfinals (best of 3) Semifinals (best of 5) Final (best of 5)
         
1 Nigel Richards 2
8 Paul Allan 0
Nigel Richards 3
Brett Smitheram 0
5 Paul Gallen 1
4 Brett Smitheram 2
Nigel Richards 3
Jesse Day 1
3 Kevin McMahon 2
6 Wellington Jighere 1
Kevin McMahon 0
Jesse Day 3
7 Chris Lipe 1
2 Jesse Day 2

Source:[7][8]

FinalsEdit

  Nigel Richards (NZL)   Jesse Day (USA)
3 1
Born 1967
51 years old
Born 1987
31 years old
Finalist and winner of the World Scrabble Championship 2007, World Scrabble Championship 2011, and World Scrabble Championship 2013 Finalist
WESPA Rating: 2260 (World No. 2)[9] WESPA Rating: 1937 (World No. 62)[10]
Round Nigel Richards Jesse Day
1 391 541
2 536 307
3 445 423
4 575 452
5

Malaysia-based Nigel Richards, who was born in New Zealand, defeated American data-scientist Jesse Day in the best-of-five finals; Richards had previously won the world championship in 2007, 2011, and 2013, as well as the French world championship in 2013 and 2018.[11][12] Notable plays by Richards included GROUTIER for 64 points, ZONULAR (100) and PHENOLIC (84), while Day managed a 95-pointer MALEDICT.[13] Richards, who was awarded £6,200,[14] described the championship as "closely-fought", while praising Day for being an "impressive opponent".[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pakistan's Moiz crowned world junior scrabble champion". The Nation. 24 October 2018.
  2. ^ Smith, Colleen (26 October 2018). "World's top Scrabble players go head-to-head in Devon". Devon Live.
  3. ^ "New Zealander Nigel Richards wins fourth World Scrabble Championship title". Belfast Telegraph. 28 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Sulky word wins Scrabble championship". BBC. 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ "World Scrabble Championship 2018". Mattel. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b "26.10.2018 World Scrabble Championship: A". WESPA. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Mattel World Scrabble Championships 2018 Semi Finals". MSA. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Mattel World Scrabble Championships 2018 Top 8". MSA. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  9. ^ "26.10.2018 World Scrabble Championship: Nigel Richards". WESPA. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  10. ^ "26.10.2018 World Scrabble Championship: Jesse Day". WESPA. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  11. ^ "New Zealander Nigel Richards wins fourth World Scrabble Championship title". Wirral Globe. 28 October 2018.
  12. ^ Ives, Mike (29 October 2018). "Scrabble's World Champion Masters the Tiles in 2 Languages". New York Times.
  13. ^ a b "New Zealander Nigel Richards wins fourth World Scrabble Championship title". Express & Star. 28 October 2018.
  14. ^ Gayle, Damien (29 October 2018). "'Groutier': sulky word gives New Zealander fourth world Scrabble title". The Guardian.

External linksEdit