Missing ‘G’ Leads to World Scrabble Contest Squabble

By Enjoli Francis

Oct 18, 2011 10:29am

It’s a “G” thing.

At least that’s what Chollapat Itthi-Aree of Thailand argued this weekend during a match with Ed Martin of England at the 2011 World Scrabble Championships in Warsaw, Poland.

Itthi-Aree, 25, Friday accused Martin of hiding the missing tile and demanded that the tournament’s judges strip-search him in a bathroom. His request was denied and Martin, 35, won the game by a single point.

Martin never made it to the championship match, however. That was won Sunday by Nigel Richards, a New Zealander.

Richards became the first two-time world champion, outscoring Australia’s Andrew Fisher, 476-33, with the 95-point word “omnified.” Richards took home $20,000, according to The New York Daily News.

London’s Sun newspaper said the “G” tile flap was the biggest scandal to hit the competition since a player accused another of swallowing a tile.

More than 100 contestants participated in this year’s championships, which started Wednesday.

In an interview that aired on Eurovision, a British Scrabble official explained why this year’s contest was held in Warsaw.

“Scrabble in Polish is very successful,” he said. “It’s consistently the No. 1 game in Poland and we wanted to celebrate that fact.”

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