Do you enjoy playing Scrabble? To be frank, every time we play Scrabble we never keep tabs of the points and end up finishing the game when all of the letter tiles have run out. We moved on with our loves and probably forgot about that game.
But for one Malaysian, his passion and love for this classic board game takes him to greater heights where he would eventually be crowned ‘king’.
Meet Ganesh Asirvatham
, the world’s number one Scrabble player as certified by the World English Language Scrabble Players Association (Wespa).
The 40-year-old has been playing Scrabble since he was young and entered his first competition at the age of 11. The rest is history.
He now represents Malaysia in international Scrabble competition and was the former Guinness World Record holder in 2007 for “the most Scrabble opponents played simultaneously by one challenger” after beating 21 out of 25 opponents in one game.
“At my peak, I used to play at least 20 hours a week, either with another person or with the computer but more time was spent in word study. It’s absolutely crucial to be certain of the words that are valid, and this sureness only comes with hours of intense memorisation and the use of specialised software to help recall,” the Klang native told The Star
Ganesh retired from competitive Scrabble in 2008 but decided to jump back in the game in 2017.
“I wanted to see if I still had what it took to compete with the best and, to that end, I put in a lot of work to get back to my best,” he said.
“It helped that I really hadn’t forgotten the words that I had learnt almost a decade ago, so the effort wasn’t as onerous as I had expected.”
The Scrabble enthusiast managed to secure his title as the world’s number one player last year during a tournament against 30 of the world’s top players.
This year, he’ll compete in the World English Language Scrabble Players Association in Goa, India, from 16-20 October where he’ll have to defend his title.
All the best Ganesh, may you bring home the crown once again. Malaysia boleh!