Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This Scrabble champion is so good he can beat you in a language he doesn’t even know

New Zealand’s Nigel Richards competes at the Francophone Scrabble World Championships in Louvain-La-Neuve on July 20. (John Thys/AFP/Getty)

By Elahe Izadi July 22, WashPost

Nigel Richards doesn’t speak a word of French.

He won the French-language Scrabble World Championship anyway.

The native New Zealander is a powerhouse in the competitive Scrabble world, having repeatedly won North American and world competitions. But he set his sights on something even more challenging: Winning a competition in a language he doesn’t know.

Richards began training in May to win the Francophone world title, according to the French Scrabble Federation. His regimen consisted of memorizing the French Scrabble world list, a task that took him about nine weeks, the BBC reported following his victory on Monday.

“I’m not sure there is a secret,” Richards said in 2011 after winning the world title (in English). “It’s just a matter of learning the words.”

(More here.)

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