Nigel Richards, a God amongst mortals on the Scrabble tournament scene, has outdone himself this time: he’s won the French version of the Scrabble world champs without speaking a word of French.
Richards, who dominates Scrabble tournaments in the US and UK, won the French tournament the same way he’s able to exert his dominance in other languages: he has a terrifying memory.
“He doesn’t speak French at all, he just learnt the words” Liz Fagerlund, a close friend of Richards, told the New Zealand Herald, saying it’s been only eight weeks since he began studying the French dictionary. “He won’t know what they mean, wouldn’t be able to carry out a conversation in French I wouldn’t think.”
“He does have a reputation for being the best Scrabble player ever and they know about him already”, she adds, “but they probably didn’t necessarily expect him to go in for the first time and beat them at their own game.”
The French are apparently, for what it’s worth, “gobsmacked”.