The Princess' Cup

Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
Trip End Jan 11, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, November 26, 2010

Normally I skip the Scrabble tournaments when writing my travel blog. They're boring and pretty much all the same. If you want to see what a typical one is like, read Word Freak or watch Word Wars.

But the Princess' Cup in Bangkok is anything but typical. While most tournaments top out at a few dozen or few hundred (The largest non-Thai tournament in my lifetime was the 2004 National Championship in New Orleans), the Princess' Cup and its counterpart the King's Cup in June draw several thousand school kids, dwarfing the adult divisions.

The tournament takes place over the weekend at the Central Plaza mall, occupying all six floors. In addition to Scrabble, there are competitions for some sort of mini-Scrabble, a number-Scrabble game, and Sudoku. Sponsored by CyberDict, there are booths, kiosks, and display cases everywhere.

Also, unfortunately for the quality of the Scrabble, there is also a near-constant cacophony of noise: announcements, songs, introductions, a spelling bee/ English grammar and vocabulary quiz for the Thai kids, etc. I don't think I've ever experienced such sensory overload during a Scrabble tournament in my life! 

For any Scrabble players out there, I'll say that the Princess' or King's Cup is something you should probably experience at least once in your life--it's just that unique. Whether I actually recommend it as a tournament, rather than an experience, well, that's a different question.
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