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Scrabble is better than Chess !

  • qixel
  • | Feb 11, 2010 at 12:29 AM
  • | Posted in: Amy's Blog
  • | 1507 reads

Scrabble is better than chess. 

Not !

But I just finished watching the very cool, award-winning Scrabble documentary Word Wars.

Here's a trailer:

Is this film something that might interest chess players?  I'm thinking yes.  Scrabble tournaments and chess tournaments share a lot of the usual suspects...I'm sure you'll recognize them.  Scrabble players even have their own corner of Washington Square in New York.

Word Wars covers the runup to the 2002 National Scrabble Championship, and focuses on four of the contenders, examining their struggles, foibles, and personal demons. 

If you are at all interested in the gamer subculture and the gamer mind, Word Wars offers a lot to think about.  Personally, I can't get enough of this stuff.  Homo ludens provides a huge window into culture.

Here's a link to the full-length documentary, but it is 80 minutes long, and contains a lot of profanity.  So be forewarned. 


For more information on the US Scrabble scene you might also take a look at the book Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis.

There really needs to be a documentary like this on chess...and maybe there will be.  Check out SonofPearl's report about an upcoming film on scholastic chess:



  • 2 years ago


    you play scrabble too? first I discover you like Asian chess like me and now scrabble...guess great minds enjoy the same games


  • 4 years ago


    I just found out that, despite outward appearances, the clocks you see in the trailer are not Chronoses but SamTimers.  SamTimers first count down during main time, then begin to count up, because in tournament Scrabble a player is penalized 10 points for each minute over main time.  Chronoses do not have this mode.  I don't know for sure why the hardware of the Chronos and the SamTimer appears to be exactly alike, but it looks like the clocks are manufactured by the same company.

  • 4 years ago


    I just added the official trailer for Word Wars to the blog above.

    My favorite quote from the trailer: "See, in this game, you can beat God if you got the right tiles."

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