Eastern SCRABBLE® Championships
Sunday was unusually busy with the addition of a 32-person newcomer
event in a separate ballroom. Initially, Susi, Roz, and I ran that
event, but over time, everyone else cycled in, too. I guess it is
fair to say that even the most even-tempered of us needs a break from
looking up IX for the fourth time! :)
The Housatonic Valley Tourism Association generated a lot of
excitement about this event and we had an impressive turn out.
Between the rented clocks and protiles, we were almost outfitted with
enough gear! The players came in with their brand new standard
SCRABBLE® boards under arms and left with protiles, clock flyers, the
NSA web site written down, and visions of deluxe turning boards!
For the first time in a long time, there actually seemed to be a lot
of women in the expert division. Actually, there were only 10, but it
seemed like more. Perhaps having one in first place, currently, makes
it seem this way....
Judy Horn tells me of a game against Sally Ricketts. They were
neck-and-neck the whole game, never any more than a few points
separating them. In the end of the game, Judy found an 18-point play
which was just enough to pull out the win, 408-405.
Remember the high win loss contest where Judy Horn and Rita Norr were
tied with a 457? Well, they were both usurped today by the pesky
Jeremy Frank, who lost one of his games with a score of 465: ouch. He
had four bingos: HOOLIGANS, OFFICES, SOLITON, and RATIONED. Matt
Laufer won with a 469. He had two bingos: SAUTERNE and AUREOLE.
Jeremy confesses that he loused up the end game. And Laufer should
have lost with a 477. (JF's words!)
Gregg Foster had a terrible day today, his worst ever in tournament
play. Of the seven games he played today, his highest score was a 342
and his only win was against Pam Grazette, 294-258.
Division IV's Claudia Koczka has been having a tournament of big
plays. She played FOXIEST for 118, QWERTYS for 100, and ADJOURN as a
Cynthia Timm, who came in 7th in todays 32-person, 5-round Newcomer's
division, played a 601 game in round 4. She ended up 3-2, but ate up
her ovation from the directors and other players over her marvelous
Some Monday stuff:
Dave Mallick had a big win over Sal Piro, 588-349. Dave tells me that
he got down BELIERS, MUNITION, OUtGAIN, and HOSTAGES, while Sal got
Dave also made these lovely successive plays: QUAI, 54, q on double;
and QOPH for 54 on triple. He says he needed this win after losing so
badly to Michael Wolfberg, 514-359, in Round 18. Now at 10-9, this
game with Sal helped Dave reach another milestone: his first 500 or
over tournament game. He'd managed a 499, 498, and a 497 up to today!
Judy Horn had a great round 19, too. She had a 575 to Audrey
Trumbarello's 252. Judy had a big triple-triple I hear.
A funny pre-round 20, king/queen of the hill game, anecdote. Ron had
given the top three expert pairs their contestant cards and then
thought he'd wait a few minutes to dispense the others since many
people were still on break in the hallway. About 5 minutes later, I
took over handing out the rest of the cards. And we thought all was
well. A few minutes into the final round, with tiles clicking softly
in the background, Rita Norr came up to me mildly panicked: Where were
her table's contestant cards? She and Bob Felt were up for 1st and
2nd and they had no cards. Rita confessed that she knew she could
afford to lose the game and still win, but she needed to know by how
much, so she needed to see Bob's spread on his card! We searched high
and low, asked everyone nearby. Rita once again asked Matt Graham,
who had been sitting at their table the round before if he had seen
them and he assured her he hadn't. Still not satisfied, I looked
around the Matt belongings and spied their cards INSIDE his duffel
bag! Embarrassed, he admitted he must have picked them up and not
noticed. Then the ribbing began: had he done it on purpose to give
himself a better shot at the prize money? The joke didn't last much
longer before everyone else, well into their games shushed us!
Turns out that Matt was in the money anyway!
Well, that's it. Great fun and I hear this year's hosting hotel,
Ethan Allen Inn, was a cut above last year's, so maybe the event will
return there in 2001!