Eastern SCRABBLE® Championships
February 2001
Newcomers results

From Sherrie Saint John --

Thirty people made their way to the one-day tournament today, mostly run by Matt Hopkins and me. I could tell that many of them were nervous. What *was* the clock for!? Only one game in round 1 went over enough to necessitate stopping it so that the tournament could proceed. That player went on to win a game before he had to leave the tournament prematurely and his game sped up a lot before he left!

The top finishers:
place name record spread prize
1. Thomas Schmitz 5-0 +637 $60
2. Arthur Bernstein 5-0 +326 $40
3. Jacob Stricoff 4-1 +511 $25
4. Florence Amalfitano 4-1 +231 Luise Shafritz tile bag
5. Terri Adams 4-1 -11 Luise Shafritz tile bag

highest bingo:
name word points prize
Howard Goldberg BEADING 83 LL Bean canvas bag (donated by Housatonic Tourism folks!)

highest non-bingo:
name word points prize
Pam Heller JOS* 58 Luise Shafritz tile bag
*I had failed to specify that they plays had to be acceptable words and the top three "plays" in this category were phoneys!

As we went into round 5, there were 6 undefeated players. At board 1, Jacob Stricoff defeated Terry Ellis, 408-264. Next door, at board 2, Thomas Schmitz defeated Terri Adams, 442-209. We joked about pies made of mincemeat Terries at that table. Then there was the game of the tournament: Thomas vs. Jacob. Although I can't be certain of ages, Thomas has a grandfatherly look and Jacob is almost 14 so it was an original match for the championship. Thomas handed Jacob his only loss of the day, 425-269, which was just enough to permit the still undefeated Arthur into the 2nd spot! Exciting to the end!

Highlights of the day were the afternoon break for cookies, tea, and alphabet soup provided by the Houstatonic Tourism folks (they do so much to help this event get off the ground), a quick visit by National SCRABBLE champ Joe Edley (many players had his book and were excited to get a chance to view the body), and the absence of complaints. All the players were genuinely happy to be there, impressed by the words they played and saw, and eager to learn how to improve. I guess even we old veterans could learn something from that!