Highgate teenager bids to become youngest ever national Scrabble champion

A Highgate teenager is hoping to be one of the youngest contestants ever to become national Scrabble champion.

Jack Durand, 13, of North Hill, will battle it out against 58 wordsmiths in 14 games at the National Scrabble Championship semi-final in Cardiff.

Jack is one of the youngest players to date, having started playing Scrabble with his family aged six after watching them play the board game and developing an interest.

He took part in a Scrabble youth competition in 2010, and won the recreational division, and was asked to take part in the World Youth Scrabble Championship that year.

Jack, who attends City of London School, has competed in the World Youth Championships for the past three years and will compete at this year’s event in Dubai in December.

He said: “I love words and writing and reading, but more than anything I love the strategy of the game.

“I play against my mum and on the internet and I’ve set up a Scrabble club at school.”

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His best-ever score is 680 points, and he rates his chances as “very slight” but the competition is “good experience”.

Jack’s mum Lynne Riley said: “Jack absolutely loves the game.

“It has also helped him gain in confidence and he is pretty well known now on the adult Scrabble circuit. He’s excited about the semi-finals and is looking forward to playing such a strong field, and I think for this reason feels he has nothing to prove, but potentially lots to gain.”

The semi-final is being held at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff from September 14-15.