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Young Malaysian Wordsmith Is The &Quot;Puzzling&Quot; Future Of Scrabble

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By Reuters

ARIFF HOLDING UP HIS PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIAN YOUTH SCRABBLE PLAYER, TENGKU ARIFF SHAH TENGKU SHAHRIR SAYING: "Well, when I was a lot younger, my dad got sort of a junior type of scrabble, one for toddlers. And at one point he saw that I had quite an interest in words, so he signed me up for one competition, but later he knew that it was actually an international competition, the ASCI -- ASTAR Scrabble Challenge International for 2013." ARIFF SITTING MALAYSIAN FLAG ON TENGKU ARIFF SHAH'S SHIRT (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIAN YOUTH SCRABBLE PLAYER, TENGKU ARIFF SHAH TENGKU SHAHRIR SAYING: "Honestly world champion would be a bit of a longshot since the Thais and the Pakistanis spend who knows how long on training, and they've reached such a high level that it's quite difficult for us Malaysians to catch up. But then one of my goals is to actually get into top 10 in the World Youth Scrabble Championship and this year I'd already gotten top 20, so that's quite close." (LEFT) WORLD NUMBER ONE SCRABBLE PLAYER, GANESH ASIRVATHAM, COACHING ARIFF LETTER TILES ON SCRABBLE BOARD SPELLING OUT: "MURVA" / "OVINE" GANESH COACHING ARIFF GANESH LOOKING ON LETTER TILES ON SCRABBLE BOARD (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE SCRABBLE PLAYER, GANESH ASIRVATHAM, SAYING: "Previously, it (world scrabble championship location) was always between the UK and U.S., but because of our passion, our commitment and the fact that we have many players who were very, very strong, they actually had the world championship in Malaysia. I think that tells you the commitment given by then Mattel, the game owners. That they saw that actually Asia was the hub for Scrabble, and within Asia, Malaysia was the center or lynchpin when it came to promotion and activities around the region." VARIOUS OF GANESH AND ARRIF PLAYING HAND ARRANGING LETTER TILES SCRABBLE BOARD BEING SPUN AROUND (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE SCRABBLE PLAYER, GANESH ASIRVATHAM, SAYING: "I want to see, I want to see another Malaysian youth becoming the world youth scrabble champion. The last time we had someone was Ong Suanne, from Penang, many many years ago. Since then, we haven't been fortunate. And myself and the association, along with Mattel, we've been working very hard and very closely with one another to see if we can cultivate a champion for the future." SCRABBLE COMPETITION IN PROGRESS TILES ON SCRABBLE BOARD YOUTH PLAYERS FROM PAKISTAN AND THAILAND COMPETING TILES ON RACK THAI PLAYER LOOKING ON TILES BEING PUT ON BOARD, BOARD SPINNING AROUND

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Malaysia
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