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Life is a four-letter word... SCRABBLE: UK Open spells excitement as world's best battle it out in city.

Byline: By Tina Junday

SCRABBLE supremos from around the world are in Coventry for a battle of words.

More than 90 players from as far as Malaysia, Japan, Romania and Poland are facing each other across the boards at The Aston Court Hotel, Holyhead Road, in the UK Open Scrabble Tournament.

Players are allocated to one of four divisions based on their ability and each game lasts 25 minutes. The grand prize is pounds 3,000 and the final will be staged on Friday. Amy Byrne, tournament director, said: "Scrabble is the most exciting and stimulating game in the world - it's mentally exhausting for the players but they're all brilliant.

"There's a social aspect to it as well.

These people have played each other online and will be meeting for the first time - they're very happy to be here."

Low down on board

The highest known score for a single word in competition Scrabble is 392. In 1982, Dr. Saladin Khoshnaw achieved this score for the word "caziques," which means "Indian chief."

The game is sold in 121 countries in 29 different languages.

Celebrities known for being Scrabble fans include Sting, Keanu Reeves, Moby and John Travolta.

Scrabble was invented in 1938 by architect Alfred Mosher Butts.

The highest possible score a player can get on a first turn is for the word MUZJIKS (128 points).

The highest possible score for a single play under American tournament rules is 1,778 points for joining eight already-played tiles to form OXYPHENBUTAZONE.

CAPTION(S):

TAKE A LETTER... Contestant Ted Lewis ponders his next move in the UK Open Scrabble Tournament. LS050109SCRA-03; BOARD... Naomi Landau. LS050109SCRA-09
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 7, 2009
Words:273
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