OCT 17 SCRABBLE TOURNAMENT HI JINX: PLAYER HIDES "G" TILE IN HIS PANTS
All hell broke lose at the SCRABBLE CHAMPIONSHIPS at the Warsaw Hilton yesterday! Tempers began to flare during a heated late-round match-up. The favorite, ED MARTIN (an IT guy from London), was barely beating his opponent CHOLLAPAT ITTHI-AREE (an uber-nerd from Bangkok). Suddenly, after his opponent made some curious moves, the Thai player became enraged! A tournament official was summoned and listened to his demands. Next...he must have bust up laughing...after what he had heard. Chollapat wanted his opponent taken to the restroom and strip-searched. Why? Chollapat explained: "Because he is hiding the 'G' tile in his pants!"
After some consultation, cooler heads prevailed. A new 'G' tile was inserted into the bag and the game continued without incident. (Meaning: No one took their clothes off!) By a slim, one point margin, the Brit hung on and managed the win. Now...when this story first broke...we here at the DUNER BLOG were barraged with questions. What is the Warsaw Hilton like? Can one wager on Scrabble tournaments? How would hiding the 'G' tile help you win? Fortunately, we decided not to answer any of these questions, and will instead focus on the more obvious inquiry: What the heck is Competitive Scrabble all about anyhow?
After further investigation, we determined that SCRABBLE isn't just for Mom and Aunt Ruth anymore. So...if you think you've got what it takes to take your game to the next level...here's what you've gotta do the become a Scrabble Champ. First, you must register with the NASPA (North American Scrabble Player's Association). Then you must join a sanctioned club. (Casual clubs cannot send players to competitions). Then, once you've beaten everyone in your club, you advance to a local, then regional, then the National Championship. The top ten are automatically qualified for a 'Place in Poland' at WESPA (World English Scrabble Players Association) World Championships. Sweet!
Now that you now how to get the gold, let's also make sure you know the rules. In doing research, we here at the DUNER BLOG came across hundreds of pages of intricate ordinances and statuettes, but...for the sake of brevity...here are a few: First of all, think quick! Each player is only given 25 minutes for the entire game. If you exceed this allotment, you will be penalized 10 points for each extra minute. Also, in Competitive Scrabble, you can only use plastic tiles...not the wooden ones. This eliminates the illegal act of 'braille-ing,' when one feels the tiles with the finger tips in hopes of finding a blank one. Finally, tracking..or counting...of tiles is allowed. Whew!
|Nigel (Second from left) with champions from other age divisions.|
"Michael's accomplishment can be heralded as the anagrammatic equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962 or Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series: a remarkable, wildly aberrational event with potential staying power. Cresta's 830 shattered a 13-year-old record, 770 points, which had been threatened only infrequently."
And you thought Scrabble was just another board game!