'Ventrous' British man triumphs at international Scrabble competition

British Scrabble champion Craig Beevers winner against his opponent Chris Lipe from the USA. Credit: Richard Lewis/Mattel/PA Wire

A British Scrabble champion clinched the world title when he won a best-of-five showdown against his US opponent by three games to one.

Craig Beevers, 33, from Guisborough near Middlesbrough, is the first British champion to win the world title since 1993, and only the second British player to ever win the accolade.

Beevers, a former Sheffield University student, and his opponent, Chris Lipe, from Clinton, New York had competed with more than 100 players from more than 25 countries over five days to reach the final and battle it out for the title and £3,000 prize money.

Beevers organises Scrabble tournaments and was UK national champion in 2009 and has been playing for more than 12 years.

His decisive play was with the word talaq, meaning a Muslim form of divorce, scoring 42 points and giving him an incontestable lead in the deciding match.

He finished the fourth game with a score of 440, beating Lipe's 412.

Handout photo issued by Mattel of British Scrabble champion Craig Beever's first winning board against his opponent Chris Lipe. Credit: Richard Lewis/Mattel/PA Wire

Other words used by Craig in the final game included:

  • Talaq - meaning a Muslim form of divorce, scoring 42 points

  • Ventrous - meaning adventurous, scoring 65

  • Gleet - meaning inflammation of the urethra, scoring 24

  • Diorite - meaning igneous rock, scoring 69

  • Gaieties - meaning a state of joyful exuberance or merriment, scoring 62

  • Umu - meaning a Polynesian earth oven, scoring 24

  • Zit - meaning spot, scoring 36

  • Kaw - Alternate word for Kansa, a member of a North American Indian people formerly of eastern Kansas, scoring 34

  • Villa - meaning a large and luxurious country house in its own grounds, scoring 14

  • Gapo - South American forest near a river, scoring 27

  • Barfs - meaning an attack of vomiting, scoring 26