Scrabble not just about vocabulary, says expert player

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It’s not often that you associate Scrabble with math, but Shankar Prasad, the president of the Karnataka State Scrabble Association does just that. “The game is not just a question of words; it’s about strategies, logic, math and time management, ”he says.

Founded in 1998, the Association was previously known as the Bangalore Scrabble Club. Founders Rex and Lennie D’souza started with informal games and then launched an international tournament, the only one in India, 16 years ago. They have also hosted a national level tournament over the past year.

He got into competitive scrabble in 2016 at the insistence of a friend. “Finding a word that fits perfectly into a space and has given you a lot of points, gives you such a rush that you want to keep chasing that feeling.”

He says that while many serious gamers used to learn from wordlists, today there are apps that you can hone your skills with. He adds that professional players tend to spend at least an hour a day “studying”.

Asked about its parallels with chess, he says the comparison is not far off. “The only major difference is the fact that there is a luck factor in Scrabble,” he said.

This year’s tournament will take place January 9-12 at the MuSigma Campus in Whitefield. For more information or to register you can write to [email protected]


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