Search

Highgate teenager crowned world’s best youth Scrabble player

10:28 02 September 2014

Jack Durand. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Jack Durand. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

A Highgate teenager has become the first British player in history to win the World Youth Scrabble Championships.

Jack Durand, 14, of North Hill, won 20 of his 24 games in the three-day contest held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to be crowned world champion and clinch a $1,000 (£606.45) prize on Sunday (August 31).

The City of London School pupil was so dominant in the tournament that he was deemed the winner with two games still left to play, having amassed an insurmountable lead over more than 120 fellow young competitors from around the world.

Jack’s winning words included “NEINEI”, a New Zealand shrub, “ASTONED”, an archaic form of ‘astonished’, and “WOURALI”, a poisonous plant extract, as well as “MISTINGS” across two triple-word scores for a whopping 122 points in a single turn.

His mother Dr Lynne Riley, a consultant paediatrician who travelled with her son for the tournament, said: “He’s over the moon. He didn’t really think he could come first but he was in first position after day one.

“It’s been what he’s wanted to do for several years.”

The victory was Jack’s first world championship win, having contested five tournaments since 2010. He finished fifth last year in Dubai, making him the best under-14 in the world.

The young wordsmith has been playing Scrabble since he was six and entering competitions since he was nine.

He became the UK’s under-18 Scrabble champion at the National Youth Scrabble Championship last year.

Dr Riley, who funds her son’s trips to tournaments around the world, said he now had his eyes set on success in the adult Scrabble circuit.

“I think his next goal is to retain the world youth title,” she said. “He wants to start to win some adult tournaments too and ultimately I’m sure he wants to become adult world champion.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 13:00
Camden families have been defying new government rules and taking their children on holidays during school term time. Picture: PA File.

Dozens of Camden families have defied new government rules banning pupils from going on holiday during school term time, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, 16:29
A view of the proposed development from Maygrove Peace park

The final plans for what would be one of West Hampstead’s tallest towers have been made available to the public after Camden Council submitted the planning application.

Yesterday, 16:00
Pupils dress up for Highgate Primary School's nativity play. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A primary school put its own spin on a traditional nativity play by recruiting three Marys, three Josephs and a talking donkey.

Yesterday, 15:00
La Sainte Union pupils sing Christmas carols. Picture: Dieter Perry

Schoolgirls raised their voices in song to treat a church congregation to Christmas carols at a festive concert.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition