If you’ve ever played Scrabble, you might have been tempted to switch your “BKZIPQL” tiles for some that can actually spell a word. (Kudos if you were actually able to spell anything with those letters, by the way!) Well, one of the world’s top Scrabble players was actually banned from the game for that exact reason. Allan Simmons, a Scrabble player from England, is no hobby player—he plays professionally and even co-wrote every edition of Official Scrabble Words. But this week, the Association of British Scrabble Players, an organization he co-founded, found him guilty of cheating. Another player, Lewis Mackay, claimed to have seen Simmons take a tile, look at it, and swap it for another tile—a definite no-no in Scrabble. Players are supposed to hold the tile bag at arm’s length and open their hand to show they are not swapping tiles. Since Simmons didn’t adhere to these norms, an investigation was launched. What did Simmons have to say? He stated that he has a lot on his mind during games and thus might have forgotten to follow the rules. The Association didn’t buy the argument and banned him for three years. We do wonder though which tile he allegedly tried to swap!
December 22, 2017