That is a difficult question because there are many different countries with different rating systems.
Many have argued that Nigel Richards, or Parkorn Nemitrmansuk are the best, or the 2003 world champion Panupol Sujjayakorn. Some may even say Joel Wapnick is the best because he has won the world championship once and finished second twice, along with his other top 50 placings.
A more logical of working out the best player is to look at international tournaments such as Bob Jackman has done.
Another problem with this method is that some tournaments have only two countries playing, such as the Trans Tasman and there are also problems with lack of information. I believe if a player has played less than 100 games then their rating is not very accurate due to the small number of games. I have also noticed that for some reason a few players that have competed in World Championships are not on this list, such as Brian Cappelletto for example.
Another method of rating players could to look at past World Championship results.
The problem with this is that it takes old data into account and a tournament played in the 80s would be quite different to a tournament played now.
We need a method that takes a large amount of data into account and looks at a wide array of tournament results. There should be some method of comparing various results from USA and Australia for example, even though they use different rating systems.
It was suggested recently that some sort of calibration of various national systems could be possible by fitting a distribution to each rating system and shifting them according to a mean. This may not be highly accurate but would be useful in comparing various countries and opponents especially for the World Scrabble Championships.
After some consideration and some random thoughts I have come up with my top 20 world scrabble players. I based it on the various lists discussed and my personal opinions.
Of course some of these players I haven’t heard that much about or seen play, like David Gibson but he is the number one player in the US apparently.
My Top 20 Overall
1. Adam Logan (CAN/UK)
2. Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) – [Zedoary online]
3. Ganesh Asirvatham (Malaysia) – [Juggernaut online]
4. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) – [Pakorn online]
5. Narween Fernando (AUS) – [Nawster online]
6. Nigel Richards (Malaysia)
7. Brian Cappelleto (US) – [Bricap online]
8. Andrew Fisher (AUS) – [Aphis online]
9. Edward Okulicz (AUS) – [Taqi online]
10. David Eldar (AUS) – [deldar182]
11. Mark Nyman (UK)
12. Helen Gipson (UK) – [Pooh online]
13. Andrew Davis (UK) – [Bin70 online]
14. David Boys (CAN)
15. Dave Wiegand (USA) - [Drbing online]
16. Komol Panyasoponlert (Thailand)
17. Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand)
18. Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand)
19. Joel Wapnick (Canada)
20. Jude Obinna (Nigeria) – [Judeobinna online]
21. David Gibson (US)
Another interesting list of Scrabble world players is the highest earners,
Some Top Earners from Jimgeary.com
1. 129300 David Gibson
2. 110545 Brian Cappelletto
3. 087170 Joe Edley
4. 076286 Joel Sherman
5. 060520 Joel Wapnick
6. 059005 Nigel Richards
7. 040175 Ron Tiekert
8. 037943 Mark Nyman
9. 037659 Adam Logan
10. 037070 Trey Wright
11. 027744 Naween Fernando
12. 024848 Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
13. 024816 Jakkrit Klaphajone
14. 024020 David Wiegand
15. 023125 Peter Morris
16. 021673 Robert Felt
17. 019579 David Boys
18. 018471 Panupol Sujjayakorn
19. 017745 Andrew Fisher