Cheating in Scrabble

Yes, a teen-age boy was caught palming the two blank tiles at the 2012 National Scrabble Championship, but cheating is rare in Scrabble, writes Stefan Fatsis, who’s annoyed at all the snickering.

The boy was not “one of the top young Scrabble players” in America, as reported in the press, writes Fatsis. “Rather, he’d gained renown because of a performance at a previous tournament that seemed too good to be true.” That’s why his opponent was watching so closely.

The boy confessed and was ejected from the tournament, a five-day marathon.

Fatsis is the author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players.  I enjoyed the book very much.

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  1. palisadesk says:

    Joanne, do you think a kid would enjoy this book? I run the school Scrabble club and have some keen and competitive boys in sixth and seventh grade (they are excellent readers FWIW). I’ll buy it for them if you think it would be of interest.

    We’re not competition-ready yet but perhaps that might give them some good tips.

    • I’m not sure the book will give them useful tips, but I think competitive kids who are good readers would enjoy it. Some of the Scrabble players he writes about are crazy — but not dull.