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Scrabble squabble

Scrabble player demands opponent be strip-searched over lost 'G'

The controversy erupted when competitors spotted the missing letter at the World Scrabble Championships.

CONTROVERSY ERUPTED AT the World Scrabble Championships after a letter went missing – with two players asked to empty their pockets and one reportedly demanding a strip-search.

An official said today that the disappearance of a “G” tile occurred during the international event, which was held in the Polish capital from October 12-16. It sparked a row betweeen opponents Edward Martin from Britain and Chollapat Itthi-Aree from Thailand – who demanded that Martin be taken to the bathroom and strip-searched, Time reports.

However, tournament officials refused his request. Brian Dede, the event coordinator, said a referee had to intervene when opponents Edward Martin from Britain and Chollapat Itthi-Aree from Thailand noticed a missing tile during the last draw of their match.

He said that led to a search on and under the table, and that both players “were asked to show the contents of their pockets.” The missing letter was nowhere to be found, so the referee added another “G” to the letters to create a complete set. Martin eventually won.

John D Williams of the US National Scrabble Association told CBS News that cheating has been known to happen at major tournaments, saying: “There’s an emotional attachment to [the game]. People get really into it, really into it.”

- Additional reporting from AP

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