Association of British Scrabble Players

Titles & Awards


The ABSP welcomes players of all levels of ability and our tournaments are structured with several divisions to avoid the inexperienced having to face the experts. We commemorate the best rating improvement each year with a Most Improved Player plaque, and the UK's Highest Rated Player trophy is also awarded at the end of every year. Those who reach the very highest levels can also earn the lifetime award of Expert or Grandmaster titles through consistently high rating performance over a period of time.


Originally, each player's annual January 1st rating counted towards titles qualification. However, following a change to the rating system, we now register the unweighted rating for all games played during the calendar year. Players must play at least 30 games during the year to have a rating registered for titles purposes. Expert status can be gained in any of the followingways:

  1. Three 180+ ratings in a five year period
  2. Five 170+ ratings in a five year period
  3. A five year average of 175+

Grandmaster status is gained in a similar way, but with levels 10 points higher:

  1. Three 190+ ratings in a five year period
  2. Five 180+ ratings in a five year period
  3. A five year average of 185+

At the start of 2014, Alastair Richards achieved Grandmaster status.
Expert titles were awarded to Jason Carney, Calum Edwards, Wale Fashina,Feargal Weatherhead and Toh Weibin.

The annual unweighted ratings data shows the ratings registered for Titles purposes.


The Most Improved Player award is given to the player who has a full rating at the start of the calendar year, plays at least 30 games throughout that year and improves their rating the most. The player's rating at the end of the year must be higher than any previous end-of-year full rating.

There is also an award given to the Highest Rated Player on January 1st of each year, provided that they have played at least 30 games during the previous year.

Grandmaster status has been awarded to:

  • David Acton
  • Paul Allan
  • Phil Appleby
  • Femi Awowade
  • Craig Beevers
  • Theresa Brousson
  • Russell Byers
  • Andrew Cook
  • Andrew Davis
  • Di Dennis (RIP 2012)
  • Pete Finley (RIP 2006)
  • Andrew Fisher
  • Paul Gallen
  • Helen Gipson
  • John Grayson
  • Martin Harrison
  • Stewart Holden
  • Wayne Kelly
  • Terry Kirk
  • Harshan Lamabadusuriya
  • Lewis Mackay
  • Ed Martin
  • Kevin McMahon
  • Philip Nelkon
  • Mikki Nicholson
  • Mark Nyman
  • Gary Oliver
  • Andrew Perry
  • Adam Philpotts
  • Alastair Richards
  • Nigel Richards
  • Phil Robertshaw
  • Allan Saldanha
  • Neil Scott
  • Austin Shin
  • Allan Simmons
  • Evan Simpson
  • Brett Smitheram
  • Clive Spate
  • Brian Sugar
  • David Webb
  • Gareth Williams

Expert status has been awarded to:

  • Nick Ball
  • Joyce Cansfield
  • Jason Carney
  • Evan Cohen
  • Elie Dangoor
  • Penny Downer
  • Calum Edwards
  • Richard Evans
  • Wale Fashina
  • Martin Fowkes
  • Darryl Francis
  • Simon Gillam
  • Andrew Goodwin
  • Helen Grayson (RIP 2013)
  • Dick Green
  • Neil Green
  • Barry Grossman
  • George Gruner
  • Ash Haji
  • Chris Hawkins
  • Rik Kennedy
  • Karl Khoshnaw (RIP 2006)
  • Jackie McLeod
  • Hartley Moorhouse
  • Ruth Morgan-Thomas
  • Azu Ogbogu
  • Philipa Owolabi
  • Gary Polhill
  • Diane Pratesi
  • Robert Richland
  • Jared Robinson
  • Ed Rossiter
  • Andrew Roughton
  • Sandie Simonis
  • David Sutton
  • Noel Turner
  • Bob Violett
  • Feargal Weatherhead
  • Alec Webb
  • Toh Weibin
  • Howard Wilde
  • Mike Willis

The Most Improved Player award is a large trophy engraved with plaques containing the names of all previous winners. Each year's winner and improvement :

  • 2013 +25 Tom Sharp
  • 2012 +40 Jack Durand
  • 2011 +20 Carmen Toscano
  • 2010 +22 Beverley Calder
  • 2009 +31 Kim Hands
  • 2008 +41 Paul{Hull} Thompson
  • 2007 +24 Calum Edwards
  • 2006 +26 Rael Hayman
  • 2005 +36 Jason Goddard
  • 2004 +42 Graham Bonham
  • 2003 +31 Chrystal Rose
  • 2002 +27 Heather Burnet
  • 2001 +33 Peter Ashurst
  • 2000 +19 David Shenkin
  • 1999 +25 Helen Polhill
  • 1998 +25 Christina French
  • 1997 +27 Kate Surtees
  • 1996 +23 Chris Finlay
  • 1995 +26 Rob Dowse
  • 1994 +34 Trevor Bently
  • 1993 +26 Karl Khoshnaw and Ruth Rose
  • 1992 +36 Mary Broadhead
  • 1991 +40 Ray Wells
  • 1990 +22 Ken Heaton
  • 1989 +28 Maureen Rayson

The Highest Rated Player trophy is awarded annually to the player with the highest ABSP rating at the end of that calendar year. The winners (rating in brackets):

  • 2013 (201) Chris May
  • 2012 (199) Lewis Mackay
  • 2011 (207) Nigel Richards
  • 2010 (206) Mark Nyman
  • 2009 (201) David Webb
  • 2008 (199) Harshan Lamabadusuriya
  • 2007 (199) Lewis Mackay
  • 2006 (202) Brett Smitheram
  • 2005 (201) Harshan Lamabadusuriya
  • 2004 (203) Adam Logan
  • 2003 (200) Phil Appleby
  • 2002 (205) Mark Nyman
  • 2001 (206) David Webb
  • 2000 (200) Brett Smitheram and David Webb
  • 1999 (198) Mark Nyman and Brett Smitheram
  • 1998 (202) Andrew Fisher
  • 1997 (201) Phil Appleby
  • 1996 (205) Allan Saldanha
  • 1995 (199) Clive Spate
  • 1994 (199) Clive Spate
  • 1993 (201) Andrew Fisher
  • 1992 (202) Russell Byers
  • 1991 (196) Clive Spate
  • 1990 (200) Pete Finley
  • 1989 (198) Allan Simmons
  • 1988 (198) Phil Appleby and Mark Nyman
  • 1987 (202) Allan Simmons




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