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Bust spells boom for Scrabble lovers

SCRABBLE has undergone a massive revival in the recession, along with its emergence on the internet, according to Irish game enthusiasts.

The All-Ireland Scrabble Championships will be held in Dublin later this month, and organisers said more players are entering the competition since the economic downturn started.

Dublin woman Anne Lyng, one of the organisers, said Scrabble came second out of a list of things which have increased in popularity in the TV programme Things That Went Boom In The Bust last Christmas.

"People are not going out as much because of the recession, and they're returning to the game they've played over the years, and they've progressed with. We really attribute [the interest] to the recession. People like to use their time now instead of looking at the 'goggle box'.

"I'm totally absorbed. It's an obsession. You're always wanting to improve your game and your standing," she added.

There are just two Scrabble clubs in Dublin, one in Clontarf and the other in Blanchardstown, but members are very open to newcomers joining and making the game more interesting.

"We're beginning to get younger players now. But we find they don't stick it out and they lose heart. We would love to attract more people, and we're holding a beginners tournament in conjunction with the All-Irelands."

Anne, who has played Scrabble for more than 20 years, said: "There are people at home who play on a regular basis but they're afraid to approach clubs because they think they're not good enough.

"I don't think the game is modernising as such. It's just that it's evolving, and people are beginning to realise it's there. I'm totally and utterly hooked."

The All-Ireland Championships will take place in the West County Hotel, in Chapelizod on April 17 and 18, where members will be competing for a place in the World Championships next year.