In the end, it was the word bandura that won it.
It means Ukrainian lute, but, more importantly, in yesterday's final of the National Scrabble Championships, it scored 86 points and gave Aberdonian Paul Allan the title.
It was not the only impressive word that was played in the game with fellow Scot Allan Simmons. There was shrieval (relating to a sheriff), valerate (a chemical salt) and portage (a bridge toll) but it was bandura that handed Mr Allan the title.
Congratulations to him, but could the game of Scrabble be a winner too? Players in the national championships take it seriously of course, yet for most of us it is just a game to be played with relatives at Christmas.
However, it could be so much more. As Mr Allan has pointed out, Scrabble combines language and analytical skills and in some Asian schools, the game is taught as a matter of course.
Could Scottish schools do the same? Most schools have computer clubs - many have chess clubs too - but not many encourage the playing of Scrabble. By doing so, they would not only get children excited about words, they could also help keep the National Scrabble Championship title in Scottish hands.
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