‘Scrabble’ professional Allan Simmons hit with three-year ban for dishonest

'Scrabble' pro Allan Simmons hit with three-year ban for cheating

Picture: Andy Paradise/REX/Shutterstock

Who amongst us hasn’t cheated at Scrabble sooner or later? 

That is high-quality whenever you’re simply attempting to place one over in your child sister. It is much less high-quality whenever you’re an precise aggressive Scrabble participant and also you’re screwing over different top-tier opponents.

That is the state of affairs dealing with Scrabble professional Allan Simmons, who acquired a three-year ban from aggressive play after the Affiliation of British Scrabble Gamers leveled expenses of dishonest.

Simmons — who denied the accusation — was apparently noticed a number of occasions reaching into the bag of tiles for brand new letters, after which reaching again in once more for various tiles after taking a look at what he’d gotten. It is the Scrabble equal of double-dipping, and an enormous no-no within the aggressive circuit.

The governing physique that issued the ban performed an investigation that traced Simmons’ rule-breaking play again to 4 separate incidents in 2016. Three unbiased witnesses confirmed what they’d seen, with committee member Elie Dangoor telling The Guardian, “The pure conclusion had been that he had been dishonest.”

Lewis Mackay, a fellow aggressive participant and one in every of Simmons’ accusers, supplied an in depth rationalization of what he noticed as dishonest in a public Fb publish. His suspicions have been raised when, whereas observing Simmons in a Sept. 2016 recreation, he seen uncommon conduct. So Mackay determined to pay shut consideration the subsequent time the 2 squared off.

Whereas I used to be scoring his strikes, I had my eyes fastened on the tiles on the desk as he drew them. He would draw tiles one after the other and elevate every tile barely to take a look at it as soon as it was on the desk. On three separate events, I noticed him elevate the tile out of my imaginative and prescient, having checked out it. I then heard the shuffling of the tile bag and noticed a tile descend into my imaginative and prescient and positioned on the desk. I have no idea if this was the identical tile or a distinct one, for I didn’t see the bag all through this. Every of those events occurred within the first half of our recreation. This sequence of occasions led me to the one smart conclusion: that he was returning a drawn tile to the bag and drawing a brand new one. 

Simmons, chatting with The Instances of London — a paper he has written for prior to now — defended himself in opposition to the accusation.

“You need to keep in mind that on the prime stage, video games might be fairly intense and there’s lots going by one’s thoughts, not to mention remembering to religiously guarantee tile drawing guidelines are adopted meticulously,” Simmons mentioned. “From the outset I’ve mentioned that nobody is past suspicion and complied totally with the investigative course of.”

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