Scrabble pros to share their secrets at a free workshop for Dubai children

Karen Richards, second from left, presenting Alistair Richards, second from right, an award for winning the adult side tournament at the 2013 World Youth Scrabble Championship (WYSC) in Dubai. They will conduct a scrabble workshop. Courtesy of Faisal Khatib

A pair of Scrabble pros are coming to town, offering youngsters with a flair for vocabulary the opportunity to learn from the best.

Meet Karen Richards, the youth chair of World English-language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA), and apparently one of the world’s biggest experts of the educational game.

Karen is mother of Alastair, a 22-year-old word whiz who has been competing against adults since he was seven.

According to Youth Scrabble website, since retiring Karen “now devotes her time to travelling the world, coaching young people in the art of playing Scrabble,” and has been organising the World Youth Scrabble Championship annually since 2006.

Karen and Alastair will be sharing their top tips with children aged nine to 18, with a free workshop taking place on Wednesday January 7 at International Horizons College in Business Bay, Dubai.

The initiative is part of a youth programme by the UAE Scrabble Club. In 2013 the UAE hosted the World Youth Scrabble Championship.

The workshop will be followed by a tournament for all ages, dubbed the Dubai Winter Scrabble Challenge, taking place on Friday and Saturday (January 9-10).

Advance registration is necessary for both the tournament and workshop. To register or for more details email All Scrabble equipment will be provided for participants.