Russian Scrabble

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Here is the Russian alphabet (uppercase only):


We have three possibilities for Cyrillic distributions here. This one, from a Russian web page:
Letter а б в г д е ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я
Score 1 3 2 3 2 1 5 5 1 4 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 10 5 5 5 10 10 10 5 5 8 10 4
Frequency 10 3 5 3 5 9 2 2 10 4 6 4 5 8 10 6 6 6 5 3 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 4
(If that doesn't look right in IE, go to view/encoding/auto-select - or utf-8 if auto-select doesn't work. IE's handling of character sets seems very broken.)

And this one, from an old Scrabble set (possibly 1970's):


However this one is believed to be the definitive current distribution, from a mid-1990's J W Spear's Scrabble set:

Click on the above image for a better quality view (66K)

Given that several foreign boards have been redesigned, it is not impossible that the above two distributions were both correct at different times (reducing from 124 tiles to 104 tiles is in line with, say the changes to the German board around 1990). Note the Russian text in one of the images above says "TWO BLANKS" in words.

Also, it is has been suggested that some countries had home-made bootleg versions of Scrabble before Spear's released an official one (eg Romania). The figures at the top of the page could refer to a version like that. Information from our Russian-speaking readers would be welcomed; also we'd love to hear about playing Scrabble in other Eastern Bloc countries which use the Cyrillic alphabet but not in the Russian language.

Finally... Selchow and Righter in the US was granted a restricted license to make small numbers of foreign language boards for sale within the USA only - as language learning aids or to immigrants. These Selchow and Righter boards use their own layouts, different from the Spears' Games ones. (As you can see here, there are 9 И's compared to 10 in the old Spears' set and 5 in the modern Spears' set). The US market S & R sets are frequently sold on eBay. If you're looking for the real thing, however, you should look for the Spears' version.
There is a Russian Scrabble computer game which does appear to show the letter/tile distributions, but they don't match what we've seen on a real board, so it's probably a clone with some small differences to try to avoid a lawsuit. (Just FYI, that strategy didn't work for Lance Frohman's game, networdz, which was taken offline by its author after letters from Hasbro's lawyers)
Here is another Russian Scrabble program to compare.

Word Mader (home page)

DOS Erudit
Somewhere there is a DOS version of Scrabble called "Erudit.exe" in a zip "", some copies of which MAY have a virus. Hence no link to it from here.

Windows Erudit
There is a newer version of Erudit which is not the one referred to above. May require IE rather than Netscape to download it without corruption because of a problem with the web site.

A Scrabble game by Alexey Romanov. I believe this is different code from any of the above. Playable in Russian, German, and English. Download here. Excellent help page available.

Erudit2: Another game also called Erudit (aka E2.EXE)
See also the English home page.
Erudit2 contains this word list: (click on a letter to see the words starting with that letter)

I suspect the suffix codes are from ispell.

Weekly newspaper Scrabble puzzle

Return to Letter by Letter games, foreign Scrabble section.
Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro Inc in the US (formerly Selchow and Righter) and Mattel (formerly J.W. Spears) elsewhere.