Cheating. It happens everywhere. From scientists faking human ears on mice, to Hollywood thirty-somethings cheating on their quadragenarian wives, to chess players accusing supercomputers of fraud. There's no game or profession out there that doesn't have a cheater or two, but the bigger nuisance is probably those people who accuse others of cheating.
During last weekend's World Scrabble Championship in Warsaw, Poland, the stakes were high as 106 players competed for the $20,000 first place prize—one of the highest since the start of the competition 20 years ago. With that much money at stake, gameplay was tense all around and even had some players calling shenanigans.
The distribution checking rack at the World Scrabble Championship.
Chollopat Itthi-Aree and Edward Martin.
Itthi-Aree demanded that Martin be taken into the bathroom and strip-searched. Game authorities refused and no evidence was presented to support the Thai player's allegations. It was the biggest scandal to hit the high-profile event since one player was accused of swallowing a letter tile.
Martin won the game by one point, 402 to 401.
Neil Scott plays against Chollapat Itthi-Aree in Round 8.
Whether it was cheating or not, we will never know for sure, but it seems to only be accusations. And it doesn't seem to really matter considering Itthi-Aree finished 68th overall and Martin finished in 51st place. Prize money was only given to the top 10 players.
Nigel Richards plays against Edward Martin in Round 4.
The first place prize went to New Zealander Nigel Richards, his second win in the World Scrabble Championship. The second place $10,000 prize went to Andrew Fisher of Australia. The eight runners-up (in order) were Pakorn Nemitrmansuk, Dave Wiegand, Chris May, Brett Smitheram, Komol Panyasophonlert, Paul Gallen, Adam Logan, and Alastair Richards.
How do you feel about cheating in Scrabble or any other word game, like Literati? Join the discussion in the forum and voice your opinions!