Global scrabble players to define their expertise in the city – the New Indian Express


Express news service

BENGALURU: It’s not often that you hear about scrabble in terms of strategy, math or probability. Yet for competitive scrabblers, the game is all of that and more. Just ask the members of the Karnataka State Scrabble Association (KSSA). As well as being one of the oldest scrabble clubs in India (second after Mumbai), the group also hosts an international scrabble tournament every year, with the next taking place in January.

The 2020 MuSigma International Scrabble Tournament, which takes place January 9-12, will see the participation of more than 10 countries including Nigeria, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. “We will have four divisions for participants, including one for beginners,” explains the president of the association, Mr. Shankar Prasad. He adds that in India, you rarely find a tournament that lasts this long. One player plays 8-9 games per day (the upper limit for each game is 50-55 minutes), making a total of 35 games during the event (beginners, however, only play two days) . “You can’t deny that sometimes an element of luck also comes into play. But after these many games, the element of luck balances out,” he said. Nigel Richards, considered one of the best scrabble players, will also take part in the event. The youngest and oldest participant would be seven and 96 years old, respectively.

KSSA was founded in 1998 when it was known as Bangalore Scrabble Club. At the time, the club had 15 to 20 members, a number that now stands at 85 registered members. “As in chess, scrabble players can also receive marks through the FIDE calculator. In India, we have over 300 rated players, a number that has doubled over the past two years, ”said Suchindra Potnis, another member of the association.

Prasad and Potnis both started playing the game a few years ago and say it has helped them sharpen their minds and expand their circle of friends. “You meet like-minded people through the game. They come from different backgrounds and ages. I seem to get along very well with the Pakistani children who play there, ”shares Potnis, who spends at least 30 minutes a day learning new words.

Currently, countries like Thailand and Nigeria recognize scrabble as a sport, not a game, a distinction that Prasad believes could benefit Indian players as well if implemented here. “We are still a small number. Getting this recognition could help with funding and support. After all, this game is as intense as chess, ”he adds.

Interested participants can write to [email protected] or call 9739890000.

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