2012 World Youth SCRABBLE® Championship

Photos by Mauro Pratesi

On December 7-9, 60 Youth Players (under 18 as of 1/1/2012) from 11 different countries gathered at the Brittania Hotel in Birmingham, England, to compete in 24 games for the title of 2012 World Youth SCRABBLE® Champion.  At the end of three days of play, 17-year-old Michael McKenna of Australia claimed the championship with an 18.5-5.5 +1090 record.  Second and third were two players from Malaysia: Cheong Yi Wei (17-7 +1308) and William Kang (17-7 +919).  Americans Tim Bryant and Brad Robbins placed 7th and 20th.

2013 Champion Michael McKenna (Australia) with Tournament Director Amy Byrne

Navya Zaveri of the UAE, who placed fourth, won the prize for Best Player under 16; and thirteenth-finishing Migara Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka won the prize for Best Player under 14.  Prizes were also given to Shrinidhi Prakash of the UK (Best Player under 12); Pese Alo of Nigeria (Best Player under 10); and Ronnie Bennett  of the UK (Best Player under 8).  The Encouragement Award for Youngest Player in the Top 25 went to 12-year-old Sanchit Kapoor of the UAE, who finished eighteenth. US player Tim Bryant won the prize for Best Novice (first-time WYSC competitor), and Kiran Pal of the UK won the Mike O’Rourke Award for sportsmanship.


The High Game prize went to Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna from Thailand (640), and the High Word prize went to Javeria Mirza of Pakistan, who played SHUNTERS for 158 points in a game against Michael McKenna.

In round 24, two Thai players, Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna and Tawan Paepolsiri, tied with 532 points each, setting a new world record for the highest-scoring tied game.

The average team position after eliminating the NQ players is as follows:

08.0     Malaysia

13.5    USA

18.0    Australia

22.0    Pakistan

22.0    Singapore

22.43  Sri Lanka

25.11  Thailand

27.0    UAE

29.71  UK

37.8    T&T

53.17   Nigeria

2nd place went to Cheong Yi Wei (Malaysia): 17-7 +1308

3rd place finisher William Kang (Malaysia), who finished 17-7 +919, in a game against Michael McKenna

12-year-old Sanchit Kapoor (UAE) was the youngest player finishing in the top 25.  He finished 18th with a 13-11 +617 record.

US player Tim Bryant finished 7th and won the Best Novice Prize as a first-time WYSC competitor.

Sinatarn Pattanasuwanna (Thailand) had the tournament’s High Game: 640.

Michael McKenna’s rack moments after Javeria of Pakistan played the triple-triple SHUNTERS for 158 points.

Javeria Arshad Mirza (PK) won the prize for High Word for SHUNTERS (158 points.)

6-year-old Ronnie Bennett (UK), the youngest-ever WYSC player, won the prize for best player under 8. Ronnie won 10 games and finished 48th .

Best player under 12: Shrinidi Prakash (UK)

Best player under 14: Migara Jayasinghe (LK)

Sportsmanship prize winner Kiran Pal (UK) praying for a bingo.  Kiran finished with 9 wins

Best player under 10: Pese Alo (Nigeria), who had 10 wins, finishing 47th

The tournament featured live coverage via Scrabblecam.

The Australian Team

The Nigerian Team

The US Team: Tim Bryant & Brad Robbins

The Pakistan Team

The UK Team (including 6-year-old Ronnie Bennett)

Five of the seven team members from Sri Lanka