The 12th Israeli Open

The 2020 Event previewed

Article with thanks to Evan Cohen

Scrabblers have something to look forward to this coming February. Once again, it’s time for our annual international event, the Israeli Open. Ever since 2008, the Tel Aviv Scrabble Club has hosted our flagship tournament all over Israel, from the Crusader Fortress of Akko up north, to Israel’s capital, the phenomenal 3000 year old city of Jerusalem.

This year, the 12 th Israeli Open will be taking place in what is probably one of the most vibrant cities in the world, Tel Aviv. A quarter of an hour by train from the major international airport in Israel (Ben Gurion), Tel Aviv is very central, with direct public transport (trains or busses) to almost every city in Israel. Regardless of which touristy places you’d like to visit during your stay (and there are plenty), everything is very accessible from Tel Aviv.

Situated in the middle of Meir Park, the playing hall itself is in the heart of Tel Aviv, only moments away from everything. The venue is surrounded by Airbnbs, and there are dozens of hotels – cheap hostels, medium range hotels, boutique hotels or five star hotels – all within walking distance. The beach, mind you, is about a 10 minute walk from the venue (though the temperatures will probably be in the high teens this time of the year). And just in case you get peckish, there are dozens of restaurants in all directions, many of which are open until after midnight, some of which are open 24/7 (quite normal in Tel Aviv…). There is even a restaurant on the ground floor of the building we’re playing in!

Scrabble play in Israel

Israeli Open in previous years

Our events are three days long, during which we play 22 games. The 12 th Israeli Open is no different. We start play at 9:30/10:00 (depending on the day) and our evenings are always free. And you’re in Tel Aviv. Trust me, you’ll want free evenings! The full schedule can be found on the tournament website (see link below). All tournament information and registration options can be found on the tournament website too.

The past Israeli Opens have taken place all over Israel and participants have come from 19 different countries, with winners from 5 different countries (Israel, England, Canada, Singapore, USA). Evan Cohen and Elie Dangoor have been the only repeat winners. Will this year add a new name to this short list?


  • 2008 Evan Cohen Champion
  • 2009 Adam LoganChampion
  • 2010 Sam KantimathiChampion
  • 2012 Mikki NicholsonChampion
  • 2013 Elie DangoorChampion
  • 2014 Toh Weibin Champion
  • 2015 Graham Haigh Champion
  • 2016 Evan Cohen2 time Champion
  • 2017 David Webb Champion
  • 2018 Evan Cohen 3 time Champion
  • 2019 Elie Dangoor 2 time Champion
  • 2020 Could it be you?

If you want to learn more about this event, you can click on this website. There is also a Facebook event set up for those on social media.

For further information on Israeli Scrabble, you can check out the WESPA landing page for Israel - two years ago, WESPA published this profile piece which also contains a brief history of Israeli Scrabble.