Scrabble star banned after cheating row
A FORMER national Scrabble champion has been banned from competitive games for failing to follow the rules.
Allan Simmons, ex-chairman of the World Association, was banned for three years after he was found guilty of ‘actions that led to a suspicion of cheating’.
The Association of British Scrabble Players (ABSP) made the decision following a complaint by Lewis Mackay, 32, that he had breached rules during their match at the British Masters in June.
When picking tiles, players must show their palms to prove they are not dropping unwanted tiles back in.
But the ABSP found Mr Simmons, 60, had been taking tiles, looking at them, then putting his hand back in the bag to draw new tiles.
The ABSP concluded he had ‘cheated’ as the assumption was that he was putting unwanted tiles back in the bag.
Elie Dangoor, of the ABSP, said: ‘There were three independent witnesses on four occasions who saw him do it.’
Mr Simmons, of Coldingham in the Scottish Borders, denied cheating. During games ‘there’s a lot going through one’s mind let alone remembering to religiously ensure tile drawing rules are followed meticulously’, he told The Times.