Meet the schoolboy, EIGHT, who’s better at Scrabble than you: Cocky kid from Sydney’s Cabramatta smashes the grown-ups to take first Aussie title
- Board game enthusiasts battled it out at the Australian Scrabble Championships
- Attracted wide range of players from a seven-year-old to great grandmother, 87
- Chris May won championship division while Alex Lam, 11, won plate division
Wordsmiths of all ages and walks of life from across the country have battled it out at the Australian Scrabble Championships.
The fiercely-contested tournament was held at Bankstown Sports Club over the Easter long weekend in Sydney’s south-west.
The event attracted more than 100 entrants from as young as seven right up to 87 and a wide range of characters ranging from the best players in the world to an octogenarian great-grandmother of 14.
One of the youngest contestants was 2020 national junior champion Jeffery Lam, 8.
He was joined by his older brother Alex, 11, who took out the plate division at the championship.
Eleven-year old Alex Lam (left) took out the plate division at the Australian Scrabble Championships on the weekend. His younger brother Jeffery (right) also competed
The brothers from Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west have already contested the world junior online titles.
Jeffery has already recorded a tournament-game score greater than 700 two times and is unfazed about competing against and defeating adults.
The Lam siblings’ Cabramatta Public School classmates flee at the mention of the ‘S’ word in the playground.
‘They don’t want to play me – they’re too scared of me,’ Alex told The Guardian in lead up to the championships.
One of the eldest contestants was great grandmother Rene Chelton, 87, a former national badminton champion who won plate division at the 2019 national Scrabble titles.
Cabramatta youngster Alex, 11, (pictured) had the last word in the tournament’s plate division
Rene Chelton, 87, (pictured competing on Monday) is a great grandmother and previous plate division winner
Chris May poses for photos after taking out the 2021 National Scrabble Championships
Ms Chelton has been playing the much-loved board game for almost four decades and founded a well-attended Scrabble club in Wollongong south of Sydney.
‘When we went overseas, we took a travel Scrabble,’ Mrs Chelton said.
‘We played on the plane, we played at the Grand Canyon, we played at Niagara Falls and in Central Park. If you want to meet people, start playing Scrabble, because people come up and talk to you all the time.’
Other top competitors in action include world number two Australian David Eldar, Nigerian 2015 world champion Wellington Jighere and Nigel Richards, a recluse from New Zealand hailed as the ‘Tiger Woods of Scrabble’.
The tournament was open to all overseas and international players, who each played 24 games over the course of the weekend.
Australian players rated over 1300 were eligible to play in the championship division. while others were entered into the plate division won by 11-year-old Alex.
His younger brother Jeffery finished a credible seventh.
The championship division was won by Chris May.