Whether you’re a newcomer or a Top Worldwide Scrabble Player, you’ll find something to enjoy in each game. I love that Scrabble is a blast to play regardless of your skill level.


With that being said, the best players in the world have attained a level of Scrabble mastery that is truly incredible. Watching them compete is a pleasure for any Scrabble fan.


In this article, I’d like to introduce you to some of the top worldwide Scrabble players. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and it’s in no particular order, but all of these players are surely among the world’s best.




Nigel Richards


Quite simply, by any standard, Nigel is the GOAT: the greatest of all time. Hailing from Malaysia, Nigel has won the World Scrabble Championship five times. No other player has won more than once. He’s won a staggering array of national-level titles: five in North America, twelve in Singapore, fifteen in Thailand, and many others around the globe.


As if those accomplishments in English-language Scrabble weren’t enough, Nigel stunned the world by learning the entire French Scrabble dictionary in a matter of weeks and winning the French National Scrabble Championship in 2015. He then repeated this remarkable feat in 2018. Most astoundingly, he did this while barely being able to speak any French!


Playing great Scrabble requires many different skills: learning words, unscrambling them, finding places to play them, choosing between different options. Somehow, Nigel is the best at each and every one of these.


Nobody has a better memory or more ability to find and play words of seemingly any length, and his vision of the board is unmatched. Nigel routinely makes strategic plays that boggle the minds of even other elite players, who eventually unravel the logic behind them in awe. His ability to solve endgame positions, which require an approach similar to chess, is flawless.


Still, to me, it’s Nigel’s temperament that’s always flabbergasted me most. Elite Scrabble players pour so much of themselves into the game. It’s only natural that wins would be exciting, and losses deflating.


But one anecdote from the must-read Scrabble book Word Freak says it best. When another player tells Nigel that he can never tell whether Nigel has just won or lost a game by his expression, Nigel answers, “That’s because I don’t care.”


Easy to say. But Nigel really and truly means it. I’ve faced Nigel in live play several times, and no matter how lucky I get, he seems completely unfazed and is always gracious.


Although I’ve found Nigel to be easygoing and fun to chat with one-on-one, he’s notoriously uninterested in interviews or media attention, preferring to stay out of the spotlight whenever possible. He’d rather play another game than talking about the previous one. Fortunately for him, more so than any other player, his accomplishments speak for themselves.




Adam Logan at the BAT tourney – April, 2007 – He wonthe Premier Division
Adam Logan at the BAT tourney – April 2007 – He won the Premier Division


A former world champion and two-time North American champion, Adam Logan is one of the strongest players in the world. He’s Canada’s top player, with a whopping five Canadian Scrabble Championships to his name. Many people believe that having a background in English with a strong working vocabulary is the best predictor of Scrabble skills. In fact, at the elite level, you’re much likelier to encounter mathematicians like Adam.


In tournament Scrabble, players are given 25 minutes to make all of their moves in each game. Making moves quickly can be a double-edged sword. You might force your opponent into time pressure, but you’re also more likely to make mistakes of your own.


Adam is a blindingly fast player. He’s able to play extremely precise Scrabble while using hardly any time on his clock. In my experience playing against Adam, I always feel that I’m on the verge of running out of time. He makes his moves in seconds, while I take minutes to think. I’ve heard stories of his incredible prowess in blitz Scrabble, where players have only a handful of minutes on their clock instead of the full 25. It’s no surprise that many consider Adam to be the best blitz player in the world.


I’ve found Adam to be kind and personable, and other players from Ottawa speak reverently about him. Much like Nigel, he much prefers to play the game than talk about it. Adam is quiet, but his calm, friendly demeanor and prodigious Scrabble abilities ensure that when he speaks, everyone listens.




David Eldar


A former world champion, twice national champion in his native Australia, and a former North American champion to boot, David Eldar is easily in the top handful of Scrabble players worldwide. His talent was evident from an early age: he was the winner of the inaugural World Youth Scrabble Championship in 2006, and became the youngest player ever to be ranked in Australia’s top 10 players.


David’s battles with Nigel Richards are some of the most entertaining Scrabble games ever played. Many players are intimidated by Nigel’s incredible abilities, and end up playing worse than usual due to nerves or fear. On the other hand, David seems to play at his absolute best against Nigel. In 2017, when David won the World Scrabble Championship, he had to go through Nigel in the quarterfinals to do it. In 2019, the two met in the finals once again, with Nigel coming out on top.


Personally, I’ve faced off against David in a great many online games, but only one live game, something I hope to rectify when international play can resume in earnest. He’s an incredibly difficult opponent to face, constantly coming up with clever ideas and almost never making a serious mistake. In addition to his dominance in Scrabble, David has also enjoyed a long, successful career in poker.


In contrast to other elite players, David is more than comfortable speaking his mind and has a razor-sharp sense of humor. Every now and then he provides live commentary for Scrabble events, which is unfailingly hilarious. For a while, he was streaming online Scrabble gameplay at https://www.twitch.tv/deldar182 – toss him a follow so that you don’t miss it when he starts up again.




Wellington Jighere


Wellington is a former World Scrabble Champion, African Champion, and Nigerian National Champion. He’s commonly recognized as the strongest player from the African continent. This is no mean feat, as Nigeria, in particular, has become one of the strongest Scrabble playing countries in the world. With Wellington at the vanguard, Nigeria has even achieved the top overall ranking of any country in the world in recent years.


Wellington was the first African player to become World Champion in 2015. He finished 3rd in his first attempt in 2007, demonstrating immediately that he had the potential to win it all, and also finished 4th in 2017.


Wellington is admired not only in Nigeria, but throughout the world both for his extremely high level of Scrabble skill, but for his soft-spoken, thoughtful demeanor. He’s also active in the Nigerian Scrabble community and designed his own customized Scrabble board, the WELLYBoard. I have to add that he’s also a sharp dresser, with some of the most stylish hats in the game.


I’ve never played Wellington over the board, but I greatly look forward to meeting this accomplished champion in person sometime soon.


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