Seattle SCRABBLE® Club
[North American SCRABBLE® Players Association Club #253, Seattle]

Old News:

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15 June 2013
Last One-Day Tournament of the Year done in Seattle

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for another smoothly run event (and to Julie Phillips for a great job with data entry).
Complete results, with prize winners, photos, and links to the cross-tables are posted at: June 15th Tournament Results

5 May 2013
Ellen Lin places 2nd at Oregon Tile

Congratulations to Ellen Lin for placing second in the Oregon Tile Lite division.

27 April 2013
Seattle players dominate at April 27th Tournament

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for another smoothly run event.
Complete results, with prize winners, photos, and links to the cross-tables are posted at: April 27th Tournament Results

21 April 2013
Cascadia Challenge: USA Recaptures CdA Trophy

For the report on the Cascadia Challenge, we publish Jurav Pivovarov's report below:

The USA brought home the Coeur d'Alene Tournament trophy this past weekend April 20,21 2013. The tournament is run every two years with typically 12 players from the US and 12 players from Canada participating. The trophy had been in Canada the last 6 years.

With a last minute dropout on the American team, it was Jesse Wornum who saved the day. He agreed to join with only 1-2 days notice and made sure no one had a bye. His peptalk before round 1 seems to have worked too. All prize money in the top division was won by the US. And all prize money in the bottom division was won by Canadians. This was consistent with the average rating biases in each division. In the end the US prevailed by the margin of 85.5 - 82.5 for the 14 rounds x 12 games. Congratulations!

Indx Ply#               Name               Ratg  W - L - T   +/-
   1    6 Jacobi, Gunther                  1546  12-  2-  0   732 $$$
   2    7 Romann, Judy                     1537  10-  4-  0   661 $$
   3    1 Baker, Michael                   1786   9-  5-  0   378 $
   4    2 Kasney, Ken                      1710   8-  6-  0   395
   5   10 Meyer, Alan                      1430   8-  6-  0   126 $ (perf)
   6    5 Clifford, Wayne                  1554   7-  7-  0   254
   7    9 Ward, Noella                     1453   7-  7-  0  -488
   8    3 Pivovarov, Juraj                 1599   6-  8-  0     0
   9   11 Wornum, Jesse                    1337   6-  8-  0  -300
  10    8 Tillekeratne, Siri               1505   5-  9-  0  -292
  11   12 McGrath, Wendy                   1313   3- 11-  0  -599
  12    4 Fleetham, Jeff                   1584   3- 11-  0  -867

Indx Ply#               Name               Ratg  W - L - T   +/-
   1   14 Morris, Maureen                  1118  10-  4-  0  1160 $$$
   2   16 Clifford, Maureen                1089  10-  4-  0   751 $$
   3   19 King, Sylvia                      878  10-  4-  0   563 $
   4   13 Bergeron, Betty                  1125   9-  5-  0   273
   5   15 Anderson, Zana                   1117   8-  6-  0   490
   6   21 Brookes, Laverne                  822   7-  6-  1   125
   7   23 Smith, R Scott                    557   7-  7-  0  -334 $ (perf)
   8   18 Slater, Linda                     882   5-  9-  0  -256
   9   24 Lee, Tracie                         0   5-  9-  0  -848
  10   17 Tedrow, Linda                    1052   4-  9-  1  -390
  11   20 Wilson, Edmond                    865   4- 10-  0  -641
  12   22 Crane, Peggy                      670   4- 10-  0  -893

Division 1
High Game 555 Gunther Jacobi
High Loss 438 Judy Romann to Noella Ward
High Bingo BITEABLE (167) Gunther Jacobi
High Non Bingo (78) Wayne Clifford
Comeback Kid 95 Siri Tillekeratne vs Judy Romann
Bingo Ace 32 Judy Romann
Division 2
High Game 579 Maureen Morris vs Peggy Crane
High Loss 390 Edmond Wilson to Betty Bergeron
High Bingo POACHING (107) Zana Anderson
High Non Bingo SQUIBS(75) Sylvia King
Comeback Kid 116 Maureen Clifford vs Edmond Wilson
Bingo Ace 21 Maureen Morris
Other Categories
Most Outrageous Phoney UNPANTS Linda Tedrow played vs Sylvia King
Tough Luck (three closest losses) -16 = -2 -4 -9 Juraj Pivovarov
Living on the edge (three closest wins) +26 = +2 +7 +17 Scott Smith

16 March 2013
Scrabble at Ken Clark's

While the Tacoma Scrabble Club is on hiatus, Ken Clark is stepping up to host Scrabble at his house on Saturday, March 16th. Please bring some food to share, your preferred score sheets and writing instrument, and your own equipment (if you have it). Starts at 1pm.

Let Ken know if you are planning on coming, and if you can bring a table & and chairs (he might need more, depending on how many show up).

At least 10 people showed up, and we had a great time. Thanks, Ken!   Let's do it again!

10 March 2013
Claudia Finn wins Early Bird; Mark Peltier and Ellen Lin cash at Vancouver

Many Seattle club members went up to Vancouver for their annual spring tournament, and a few of them did well. Claudia Finn won division 4 and Mark Peltier placed 3rd in division 3 in the Early Bird. In the Main Event, Ellin Lin placed 3rd in division 4 and Mark Peltier placed 4th in Division 2.

Congratulations guys!

NASPA crosstables:   Early Bird   Main Event         Results on   Early Bird   Main Event

9 February 2013
Memorial Service for Midori's Mother

There will be a memorial service for J. Midori Howard's mother, Yoshie Howard, on Saturday February 9th, starting at 2pm.

Faith Bible Church
128 18th Avenue (off Yesler)
Seattle, WA 98122

The service will be in Japanese, with English subtitles, and will include music and Japanese food.

Midori wishes to thank everyone for the lovely condolence card and all of the kind thoughts expressed.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

31 December 2012
New SCRABBLE® Player's Handbook

This new free ebook is chock full of everything you would want to know about playing Scrabble. Some of the topics include: strategy, luck v. skill, available study tools and how to use them, tracking, exchanging, etc. The book is edited by Stewart Holden and includes work by 12 expert players from around the world.

The pdf of the book is available for download at

Warning: this book uses the CSW (international) word list throughout!

25 December 2012 & 1 January 2013
No Club over Xmas and New Year's

UFM will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day (both Tuesdays), so we will not have club either day this winter.

17 November 2012
Tacoma Club returns

Tacoma SCRABBLE® Club is back, but will meet the third Saturday of the month in November (the 17th), instead of the usual second Saturday. Same place, same time. As always, bring some food and drink to share.

10 November 2012
Bob Jackson wins at Olympia tournament

Congratulations to Bob Jackson for winning division B at the one-day Big Bear tournament in Olympia. Nice job Bob!

4 November 2012
Mike Frentz wins California Open

Congratulations to Mike Frentz for winning the fifth annual California Open tournament. Previously a Seattle club regular (and one-time statistician for the club records), Mike lost only 4 games to a very competive to win the tournament. Way to go, Mike!

15 October 2012
Alec Sjöholm Highlighted in The Last Word Newsletter

This month's The Last Word Newsletter highlights Alec Sjöholm's undefeated performance at last month's Portland-Seattle Challenge. Alec also talks about his tournament preparation and studying methods, and how he enjoyed his debut tournament. His father Chris, and brother Ian also get a mention. Go read the whole thing.

29 September 2012
Portland-Seattle Challenge Results

Rafi Stern won Division A and newcomer Alec Sjöholm went undefeated in his first tournament to win Division C. Rafi has a new peak rating of 2031 and is now the 7th highest ranked player in North America; and Alec got an initial rating of 1630. Great work guys!

Other Seattle players who finished in the money were: Chris Grubb who finished in fourth place and Ken Clark got a prize for high loss in Division A; Chris Sjöholm (Alec's father) won a prize for high game in division C. Nice work everyone!

Despite these wins, the Portland team won the challenge 65-52.

A big Thank You to Jane Bissonnette who directed the tournament and did the pairings manually, and was able to adjust everything after a player dropped out Saturday morning. Thanks also to Michael Baker for assisting with data entry.

See for complete results and ratings. See the table below for all prize winners.

Division A
Stern, Rafi1st in Division90Wins: 6 Spread: 726
Alexander, Steven2nd in Division60Wins: 6 Spread: 442
Walton, Noah3rd in Division40Wins: 5 Spread: 653
Grubb, Chris4th in Division20Wins: 4 Spread: 366
Smith, KenHigh Division Win10622-339 vs Christensen, Rachel (Round 1)
Clark, KenHigh Division Loss10459-499 vs Baker, Michael (Round 2)
Division B
Kaplan, Charley1st in Division80Wins: 6 Spread: 341
Lackaff, Thomas2nd in Division50Wins: 5 Spread: 137
Huszagh, Peter R3rd in Division30Wins: 4 Spread: 474
Wornum, Jesse4th in Division20Wins: 4 Spread: 74
Wornum, JesseHigh Division Win10541-277 vs Garvin, Norm (Round 6)
Koehler, KoltonHigh Division Loss10434-452 vs Kearn, Robert (Round 6)
Division C
Sjoholm, Alec1st in Division80Wins: 7 Spread: 654
Standig, Joshua2nd in Division50Wins: 5 Spread: 467
Bergeron, Leesa3rd in Division30Wins: 5 Spread: 348
Sutrov, Kathy4th in Division20Wins: 5 Spread: 173
Sjoholm, ChrisHigh Division Win10524-381 vs Amauba, Iana (Round 7)
Hess, JoelHigh Division Loss10434-441 vs Bailie, Michelle (Round 2)

3 September 2012
Seattle Club Members win prizes at Portland Tournament

The annual Labor Day tournament was held at Portland from August 31 through September 3rd and several Seattle club members went down to compete. Mike Lavoie won a class prize in the Early Bird. In the main event, Rachel Christensen finished in fourth place and Carl Warner finished fifth in Division 2, and in Division 3 Alice Goodwin came in fourth place and George Bissonnette came in fifth place.

19 August 2012
Rafi Stern Joins NASPA Advisory Board

Rafi Stern has been appointed to the NASPA Advisory Board, his two-year term starting last week.

Also, Rafi was instrumental in getting a special screening of the Scrabble-themed movie QWERTY at this year's National Scrabble Championship in Orlando. It's great to see one of our game's best players taking a greater role in promoting and supporting the game. Way to go, Rafi!

15 August 2012
Rafi Stern finishes in the top 10 at Nationals

Rafi Stern finished this year's National Scrabble Championship in 8th place in the top division. Rafi was playing well, and was as high as 3rd place for a while. You can review his annotated game against David Gibson, the eventual 2nd place finisher, from round 25. Former Seattle club player, Nigel Peltier also did well, placing sixth. Congratulations Guys!

The winner of the tournament was, for the third time in a row, Nigel Richards. He won by just 16 spread points! That is why SPREAD matters more than a higher score.

14 August 2012
Cheating Player Ejected from National Tournament

As many of you may have heard, a young player was ejected from the National Scrabble Championship on Tuesday afternoon. The player, in division 3, was seen by his opponent to palm both blanks before the start of the game (when putting tiles into the bag). The opponent wisely called the director over to handle the situation. The two blank tiles were found on the floor beneath the player's feet, and he admitted to the director that he had taken them. He was ejected from the tournament and all his games at the tournament were changed to forfeit losses. He has been suspended indefinitely from tournament play; the Tournament Committee and Advisory Board will review the incident and make a formal ruling at a later date.

Media coverage of the story includes a New York Times article, NPR's All Things Considered (which includes an interview with Stephan Fatsis), NBC News, McClatchy DC, and Robin Pollock Daniel interviewed on CTV. There has also been lots of discussion among players on the CGP message board and on the NASPA Facebook page. A player in the same division wrote about it on The Rumpus.

It's sad that a player so young decided to cheat to win, but it is a relief to know that he was caught and admitted to it.

Update: On August 17th, Stefan Fatsis wrote a great article published at that goes into more detail about what happened, corrects some inaccuracies in most other coverage, and gets back to what should have been the real story at this year's National's: Nigel Richards' phenomenal winning of the championship for the fourth time.

15 July 2012
Rob Kearn wins Division Two at Portland Tournament

Rob Kearn won the second division at this weekend's one day tournament in Lake Oswego (just outside Portland) Tournament. Rob went undefeated, and achieved a new peak rating.

8 July 2012
Rafi Stern places third in CalPac Challenge Tournament

Rafi Stern took third place in the first CalPac (California v. Pacific Northwest) Challenge Tournament, held in Oakland the weekend of July 7th & 8th. Organized and directed by Conrad Bassett-Bouchard, the tournament pitted 8 of the highest rated players from California against 8 of the highest rated players from the Pacific Northwest (had to be from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC, or Alberta to qualify).

The tournament was 14 games and the California team pipped the Pac team by just one game (64-63-1). Better luck next year, folks!

27 June 2012
NASPA Rules update effective 27 June 2012

NASPA Rules committee has announced an update to the Official Tournament Rules effective 27 June 2012. You can view and print the new rules, and a summary of the changes, from the NASPA website.

There don't seem to be any major changes; mostly clarifications of situations already covered in the rules.

26 June, 3 July 2012
Parking Lot at UFM to be unavailable for 2 weeks starting the end of June

We have been informed by UFM that they will be resurfacing the parking lot during the last two weeks of June, so you should expect it to be unavailable for use during the project. At this point, that means the 19th and June 26th and July 3rd, although that could obviously change. Parking will still be available on the street, and at the (pay) lot across the street.

Check back here, or on our Facebook page, for updates.
July 3rd update: parking lot was finished and available.

30 May 2012
Seattle players highlighted in 10th Anniversary edition of Word Freak

Can you believe it's been over 10 years since Word Freak came out? The 10th Anniversary edition was released last year (August 2011) and includes an afterward with some updates about the SCRABBLE® world since 2001. Included in this afterward are several paragraphs that mention two of our players, Rafi Stern and Nigel Peltier. You can read an excerpt below:

p.369-370 Word Freak 10th Anniversary edition August, 2011 by Stefan Fatsis:

At the Nationals in Dallas, I met Nigel Peltier and Rafi Stern, both from Seattle. Nigel was twenty, about to transfer to Portland State from Arizona State. Rafi was twenty-one, majoring in psychology at University of Washington. They'd been friends since middle school, where they read this book and started playing four or five games a day. In calculus class they fed each other anagrams. They made lists of words they wanted someday to play.

But Nigel and Rafi weren't nerd outcasts. They just liked the game, and the words, which came easily - from Mike Baron's Wordbook, from a popular flash-card study program called Zyzzyva, from anagramming websites with names like JumbleTime and Aerolith. On one, Nigel once solved the top-two-thousand sevens, "literally typing without stopping," he told me. He and Rafi each needed about ten tournaments to break 1600. It took me thirty. "Kids have more incentive to improve," Nigel said. "They have open minds. They are more willing to think differently then they [already] do."

They are also the best equipped to exploit the digital revolution that has swept Scrabble in the past decade. Studying racks and analyzing games is simpler than ever: fire up the laptop and do those sevens or sim a position or play a dozen real-time games, against other humans or a bot, at the Internet Scrabble Club, better known as ISC, whose servers are in Romania.

Nigel finished sixth in Division 1 in Dallas, breaking 1900 for the first time. Rafi played FINFOOTS (an aquatic bird) for 203 points and wound up twenty-third, his rating jumped to 1954. Six weeks later he broke 2000. The thing about these guys? Like many of the rising young stars, they are, for lack of a better word, normal. Personable, smart, self-possessed, approachable, funny. They wouldn't be great characters in a narrative about Scrabble. But they're great to have around. "I think your book made it cool," G.I.Joel tells me.

ibid, p. 372-373:

The game, in short, is an acquired taste, and more challenging than ever given the new generation of gifted and ambitious word lovers. But more exciting too. I'm thrilled that the world is being discovered by the likes of Nigel and Rafi and Sam and Joey and Bradley, players determined to excel by powering through lists, learning strategy, and piling up ratings points. The players most affected by these young turks - the old turks - are thrilled too. "These f__king kids!" Lester Schonbrun emails me. "They are breathtaking. So much energy, and so much book knowledge. They are amazing to play against and to observe."

Nigel (left) and Rafi, concentrating on a game:

Nigel Peltier (left) and Rafi Stern playing SCRABBLE®

6 May 2012
New Scrabble-themed movie, QWERTY, showing in Seattle

There is a new Scrabble-themed independent film that will be showing in Seattle one night only, Sunday May 6, 2012 at 8 PM at Seattle's True Independent Film Festival. The film is QWERTY, a romantic comedy centered around the game of SCRABBLE® (see for more info, movie trailer, etc.).

The showing in Seattle is scheduled at the Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 NE 50th St, Seattle, WA 98105. It's part of a film festival, so you might want to buy your tickets ahead ( to guarantee a seat.

Rebecca is talking with the festival organizers to see how the club can help promote the movie. We'll bring club info to the showing and perhaps some boards as well.

Review: Six club members attended the screening. Everyone enjoyed the movie and would recommend it, if it's ever available here again - or when it comes out on dvd.

6 May 2012
Chris Grubb wins O-Tile late bird

Attendance at this year's Oregon Tile was down significantly from previous years, but there were still several Seattle club members at the competition. For each tournament (Early Bird, Main, and Late Bird), there was an open Collins division in addition to the TWL division(s).

In the main event, Matthew Nelson won the Lite Division for the third year in a row. In the Late Bird, Chris Grubb won the Collins division. Rob Kearn came in third place, followed by Rachel Christensen in fourth, in the TWL division of the Late Bird.

29 April 2012
Rafi Stern wins San Diego Open

Congratulations to Rafi Stern for winning the 2nd Annual San Diego Open Tournament with a 16-4 +1779 record. Rafi played very well against a tough field. He had to win all 4 games today to clinch the win, including the last three games at the top table-where a video camera was set up and streamed live audio and video onto the internet!

24 April 2012
Rebecca Slivka Resigns from NASPA Committees

Rebecca writes:

As of last night, April 23rd, I have resigned from all my positions on NASPA Committees (Director's Manual, Technology, Tournament, and Web). This will have no impact on the Seattle Club, but since I posted the resignation notice on several message boards (cgp, NASPA-Pro, etc.,), lots of people have asked for more information so wanted to answer a few questions people have raised.

As most of you know, I have been actively volunteering for NASPA (and NSA before that) in various capacities for years. Among other things, my contributions include rewriting the Director's Manual, helping to create criteria for tournament and word judge software, evaluating software, investigating incidents for the Tournament Committee, and assisting other committees with computer and website issues.

I have not always agreed with policies and procedures of NASPA (or the NSA), but have tried to work within the organization(s) to get the best outcome for the players and competitive SCRABBLE®.

Yesterday, I had a disagreement with Chris Cree about a task that he asked of me (and the Technology Committee). When I questioned his request, he made it clear that if I was unwilling to do as he asked then I should resign from my positions on NASPA committees. I immediately sent him my notice of resignation, which he accepted this morning.

1 April 2012
New Rules Effective IMMEDIATELY

An updated set of official rules is available and is effective IMMEDIATELY. Please familiarize yourself with the new rules.

4 March 2012
Rafi Stern wins Vancouver Early Bird

The annual spring Vancouver BC tournament was held March 2-4. Congratulations to Rafi Stern for winning the Early Bird (Division 1).

In the Main Event, the highest finishing Seattle club member was Jane Bissonnette, who took third place in Division 2. Walker Willingham finished 4th and Rachel Christensen was 5th in the same division.

17 January 2012
NO CLUB Tonight, January 17th

Due to expected SNOW and ICY road conditions, there will be NO CLUB TONIGHT Jan 17.

See you next week!

UPDATE: well, the afternoon/evening snow didn't happen in central Seattle after all. I guess we could have met, if we had only ignored the weather forecast! It better actually snow tomorrow!

3 January 2012
New Word Judge Computer for Club

As most of you know, the old laptop computer (donated by Toby Cozens many years ago) we've used for word judging at club for many years finally bit the dust several weeks ago. Not wanting to go back to manual word judging, Jim Porter set up his notebook computer for us to use at club the next few club sessions, but we were looking for a more permanent solution.

When we brought up the idea of using club money to purchase a new computer for word judging, longtime club members Bob and Jane Jackson volunteered to donate their netbook computer to the club. While you still can't play "NETBOOK", this little computer is powerful and dependable and we expect to use it for many years to come. We really appreciate this thoughtful and useful gift.

             T H A N K   Y O U   B O B !                 T H A N K   Y O U   J A N E !

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

7 December 2011
Seattle players win in Mexico

Claudia Finn won Division C of the first early bird tournament at the Los Milagros Tournament series held the first week of December in Los Cabos, Mexico. Mark Peltier came in fourth place in the main event at Los Cabos, and won a performance prize. And they both got an extra dose of Vitamin D.

December 2011
Chip Brown in the news

One-time Seattle club member Chip Brown was written up as Geek Wire's "geek of the week" last month (see: Chip Brown of Puzzazz on puzzles, bees and making a clock from scratch). See what Chip works on by checking out the Puzzazz Puzzle of the Day (which we've had a link to at the top of the News page for several years).

Yo Chip! How about dropping in at club for a live game sometime? hint, hint.

6 December 2011
Jacob Culver takes Second Place in his First Tournament

Congratulations to Jacob Culver for taking Second Place in group C of the Lake Oswego Tournament on December 4th.

Jacob had only played online before attending Seattle Club for the first time November 29th. Just five days later he was at his first tournament, where he went 5-1 and got an initial rating of 1422. Way to go Jacob!

14 November 2011
Emerald City Results (reported by Mark Peltier)

The tourney was held Nov 11-13 at the Holiday Inn SeaTac airport. 53 contestants in four divisions played 20 games and vied for 15 top prizes and 15 other prizes. It is a great venue and everyone enjoyed the tournament.

Applause went to Lynn Dreyer for Directing, Diamond Jim Ryan for data entry and Mark Peltier for signups and all three for organizing a well-run event.

Seattle Club prizes went to:

  • Geoff Tongue scored 3rd place in Div 1.
  • Former Seattleite Nigel Peltier got 4th in Div 1.
  • Mark Peltier was 3rd in Div 2.
  • Dave Foerstel 4th in Div 2 (well done Dave- he was seeded 12th).
  • Alice Goodwin and Dan Goodwin and Georgianne Fiorini got high word prizes.

James Leong from Vancouver BC won Div 1 with an 18-2 record. James is on a tear- winning 4 of the 5 tournaments he's entered in 2011! They've all been multi-day tournaments with big fields of expert players. Amazing! Kolton Koehler from Portland won div 2 on spread points with a 13-6 record. Tyler Creviston of Olympia won div 3 at 17-2. Dave Wiegand won the Collins division on spread with a 14-6 performance. Nick Ball won a nice prize for Best Seattle Theme word with SEAGOING.

Full results

Thanks to Jim Porter for setting up, and thanks to everyone who played.

24 September 2011
Portland-Seattle Challenge Results

Lynn Dreyer won Division C, while Alice Goodwin placed third, and George Bissonnette placed fourth. Alice also won a prize for high game (500).

In Division B, Rob Kearn placed second and Tod Taylor placed fourth. Rob also won a prize for high play (119). Division A was dominated by Portland, but Geoff Tongue got a prize for high loss (437).

Congrats also to Greg Kaufman (who's been attending Tacoma Club for about two years) for winning 3 games in his first tournament!

All in all, it was a very close match, with Portland winning by just ONE game, 70.5 - 69.5. Oh well, there's always next year. Nice work everyone!

NASPA cross-table (with ratings)

5 September 2011
Matthew Nelson places 3rd at Portland

Matthew Nelson placed 3rd in the third division at the annual Portland Labor Weekdend Tournament. Rebecca Slivka also placed 3rd in the top division at the early bird and won a prize for high play (COHESION 167 pts).
(Oh, and former Seattle club member Nigel Peltier placed 2nd in the top division at the main event.)

30 August 2011
Club Bids Farewell to Mike Frentz

Farewell Cake for Mike Frentz Mike Frentz Award Mike Frentz holding Scrabble Statistician Award

It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since Mike Frentz first came to Seattle Club. Mike started as a freshman at SPU the fall of 2001 and began attending our club almost immediately. He had started playing at clubs in his native Bay Area and competed in tournaments there, and his goal to become an "expert" was achieved less than a year later, when he broke 1700 at his first National's (finishing 17th in division two, with a 236 point rating gain).

Since then, Mike has become an integral member of our club. He passed the director's test in 2007 and helped run several one day tournaments (including the annual Portland-Seattle Challenge) and assisted with multi-day Emerald City Tournament. 2007 was also the year Mike took over the duties of Statistician, entering the club session data every week into our stats database. After four years, he'll be turning over duties to Ken Clark (who did the stats before, way back in the 1990s). Thanks Ken, for taking this on again!

Mike will still be around for a few more weeks, but we decided to surprise him with an informal going away party at club August 30th. We had a delicious cake from Nielsen's Pastries and a presented Mike with a small trophy to thank him for his years of service with the club. We'll miss you Mike!

23 August 2011
Club back at UFM starting August 23rd

The construction isn't totally finished, but our room (the Social Hall) at the University Friends Meeting is open again for us, so we will be holding regular club there again starting Tuesday August 23rd. See you soon!

10 August 2011
Nigel Peltier places 7th at National SCRABBLE Championship

Nigel Peltier and Rafi Stern were the only players from the Seattle club who competed at the National SCRABBLE Championship this year. Nigel was seeded 49th place in the top division, but (except for one game) was never below 12th place in the standings. He ended up finishing in 7th place, with a 20-11 record (+1118), winning $350.

Great job Nigel!

Oh, and congrats to the other Nigel (Nigel Richards) for winning the Nationals, again.

9 August 2011
ScrabbleGuy website debuts

Seattle Club member Bob Sluys has created a website with tips, videos, and more to help folks improve their SCRABBLE® game. Check out today!

July-August 2011
Construction at UFM affects club sessions this summer

There will be major construction at the University Friends Meeting this summer that will prevent us from using their Social Hall for our club meeting space for some weeks in July and August. At this point, we know for sure we will be out July 12, and August 2, August 9, and August 16 (we might also be out July 19 and 26, but we won't know that until after July 13th).

Thanks to suggestions from club members, we have alternate space for some of these dates, and will post that information as soon as we have it.

The cabinet that is used to store our club equipment will be moved into the UFM office during the construction to be out of the way, so we will have to remove most of the stuff from the cabinet for storage offsite during that time. Once the cabinet has been cleaned out (June 28th - DONE!), club members will have to bring their own equipment (and score sheets, writing implements) to club sessions until we are back at UFM after construction is complete. We'll still be keeping stats for all these sessions, but we will not be collecting club fees or giving out prize money when we are not at UFM.

For now, here's the plan (remember to bring your own equipment and score sheets!):

Date   |   Location/Notes
June 28   |   UFM : remove stuff from our cabinet; club members take home to store during construction (cabinet will be moved to UFM office for long-term storage)
July 5   |   UFM : club members bring own equipment & score sheets (and from now on until the construction is finished) We actually met at the Burgermaster in University Village since UFM building was locked.
July 12   |   Card Kingdom (Ballard) : 5105 Leary Ave NW (Leary & NW Dock Pl)
July 19   |   Burgermaster at University Village (3040 NE 45th St)
July 26   |   Card Kingdom (Ballard) : 5105 Leary Ave NW (Leary & NW Dock Pl)
Aug 2   |   Nancy Roeder's house
Aug 9   |   Card Kingdom (Ballard) : 5105 Leary Ave NW (Leary & NW Dock Pl)
Aug 16   |   Burgermaster at University Village (3040 NE 45th St)
Aug 23   |   UFM (construction should be finished by then; if not we can meet at Card Kingdom)

Card Kingdom is a huge, beautiful new game store in Ballard (5105 Leary Ave NW, at Leary & NW Dock Pl). They have graciously allowed us to hold our club sessions in their store. Please remember that this is a business and that we are unpaid guests there, so expect to have observers and be asked questions while you are playing. Cafe Mox is a coffee shop that is associated with the store, where we can also play (but you have to buy food if you are going to sit in that section). There is on-street parking and also a parking lot across the street that is available (ask at the counter to make sure you parked in the right lot).

Burgermaster at University Village (3040 NE 45th St) is what it sounds like: a burger joint. There's free parking and they have plenty of tables and are happy to have us there. Remember to buy a little something there (and don't bring in any outside food).

Other locations considered and rejected: Crossroads Bellevue (closes at 9pm), Westlake Center (closes at 8pm).

27 July 2011
Claudia Bishop (1986 - 2011)

Claudia Bishop

Claudia Bishop started coming to club in March of 2011. Claudia was excited to play SCRABBLE and was eager to learn more and improve her game (she scored 449 on July 5th, her highest scoring game). She also became close friends with long-time club members Dinah and Uri Breda.

Sadly, just a few weeks after her 25th birthday, Claudia passed away the morning of July 25th.

We don't have any more details or information, but have heard that there will be a service for her in the Bay Area (Uri has been in contact with her family). If you want to post a remembrance of Claudia on our Memorial Page, please send an email to Rebecca and she will post it.

22 July 2011
Jane and George Bissonnette win at Victoria Tournament

In the Early Bird, Jane Bissonnette won Division 2 and George Bissonnette came in second at the Summer tournament in Victoria on July 22nd. They played each other in the final game and Jane got the win. Congrats to both!

1 July 2011
Rafi Stern wins WGPO Word Cup Early Bird

This summer's Reno tournament is the WGPO Inaugural Word Cup and includes an 8-game "Preamble" (Early Bird) and 35-game Main event.

Rafi Stern won the Early Bird with a 7-1 record and received $500 in prize money. Nigel Peltier finished in fourth place and won $200.

2 July 2011
Scrabble at Erika's

Erika Werdal is hosting a Scrabble party on July 2nd at her house in Blaine. It will start at 2pm and go until whenever. There is plenty of room to set up a tent if you want.

She will be serving burgers (and veggie burgers) and fixings for dinner about 6pm, and there will be snacks and some beverages throughout the day. Folks should bring any alcoholic beverage they may wish to drink, and a snackish thing to share is nice but not necessary.

Please RSVP to or call Erika at 360 927-2575.

16 June 2011
New RULES CHANGES Effective June 16th

The NASPA Rules Committee has announced changes to the Official Tournament Rules, effective 16 June 2011. Many of the changes are just refinements or rewording, but there are some significant changes, a few of which are highlighted below:

  • Rule IV.B.1. How to Draw Tiles:
    Mix the tiles, if desired. (Note: Total mixing time for the entire draw must not exceed 10 seconds.) Hold the bag so the opening is above eye level and look away from the bag. Do not hold the bag directly between you and your opponent, as your eyes must be visible to your opponent while you are drawing. Never hold tiles in one hand while drawing tiles with the other. Always open the drawing hand before drawing. Place tiles either onto your rack or, preferably, face down on the table and then onto your rack.
  • Disconnected Tiles on the board are now designated an illegal play and cannot be allowed to remain on the board.
  • Revealing your tiles or their point value after the last play of the game is considered acceptance of the play and disallows the player from thereafter holding or challenging that play.

You can view and print the: Official Tournament Rules, Effective 16 June 2011 and Summary of the Changes.

The Code of Conduct has also been updated, mostly to clarify the roles of the Tournament Committe, Club/Director Committee and Advisory Board with respect to investigations and sanctions.

16 May 2011
June 25th Tournament Cancelled!

Director Jane Bissonnette has announced that because of difficulties with the venue, the June 25th One-Day tournament has been cancelled. If you have already paid your entry fee, you should be receiving a refund shortly.

The next scheduled Seattle-area tournament is November 11-13th, at the Seatac Holiday Inn. More details and sign-up information at our Emerald City Tourney Page.

15 May 2011
Matthew Nelson wins Oregon Tile Lite Division Again!

Matthew Nelson won the Lite Division of the Oregon Tile Tournament for the second year in a row. Matthew had a rough start at this year's tournament, losing his first three games, but proceeded to win every game after that and finished two games ahead of his nearest competitor. Way to go Matthew!

Byron Nelson (Matthew's father) won a performance prize in the Lite Division. In the main division, Rafi Stern finished in third place, and also won a prize for high game (588). Mike Frentz got a prize for high play, FLAMINES (187). Nigel Peltier placed fourth in the Early Bird.

Complete results:   Early Bird cross-table   Main Event cross-table   Late Bird (and Main Event Finals) cross-table.

12 May 2011
Update to Collins Word List in 2012

WESPA, the World English-Language SCRABBLE® Players' Association, has announced that the Collins Word List (also known as "CSW" = "Collins Scrabble Words" and "SOWPODS") will be updated effective January 2012. Some news reports have erroneously stated that the word list changes will affect North American tournament play, but that is not true (unless you are playing at one of the few Collins tournaments). Stefan Fatsis has written a short article on that explains what's going on in a little more detail.

WESPA has published a handy Initiation Kit [pdf] for the New Collins Scrabble Words that lists all the additions, grouped by word length with definitions and hooks.

7 May 2011
Tacoma Club meets one week early this month

Lynn Dreyer, director of the Tacoma SCRABBLE Club, announced that this month's Tacoma club session will be held May 7th (one week early).

16-17 April 2011
Cascadia Challenge Report by Mark Peltier

Idaho. Scrabble tournament hotbed for the weekend of Apr. 16-17
In odd-numbered years, a Scrabble Tournament is held in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, pitting a team of Western province Canadians against a team of Western state Americans. It's traditionally a first-come first served sign-up and every effort is made to get the teams even in size. The format is 14 games, 8 Saturday, 6 Sunday. Two or three divisions of up to 7 players depending on how many sign-ups there are.

This year, 11 players from each side signed up. Mike Baker of Portland captained the Yanks and Siri Tillekeratne captained the Canucks which were mostly from Calgary. The event is held is the 4-Star Coeur d'Alene Resort, and the Scrabble rate on rooms was a reasonable $109/nite. If you've never been there- it's right on the north shore of beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Resort is a first-class joint all around, with a spa, pool, fine restaurants, shops, huge lobbies.


Canada beat the U.S. this year 84 gms to 70
Claudia Finn (6-8), Debbie Goldy(7-7) and Mark Peltier (6-8) represented Seattle.
Debbie got high loss in div 2 with 404 pts
Mark got high non-bingo JAKE for 87 pts.
Mike Baker of Portland won div 1.
Zana Anderson of Utah won div 2.
Most outrageous phony saw "FATMOUTH" win in a vote over "PIGNOSE".
High Game score was 611 - Juraj Pivovarov, who also won most bingos with 33.
NASPA cross-table

Well, BIGMOUTH is good, so... why not FATMOUTH, I say. I can't recall who played it, it might have been Debbie Goldy - she got one other envelope of money but I was distracted when they announced what for.

I voted for PIGNOSE: Mike Baker noted that "PIGNOSE" has a PIGEONS anagram. plus two more I just got off anagrammer.

Two years ago I missed Cascadia, but I was there 4 years ago and one of the Calgary ladies played "WEDELNED" against me and no way did I know WEDELN, which is a noun, much less WEDELNED being phony. It won the most outrageous Phony award, and I remember being mildly ashamed. But that was before I learned WEDELN was good. I thought afterwards my opp had transposed letters. It's a great word. WEDELNS is good too, for a nice bingo 7.

Oh- one more trivia: I noticed on the Cascadia trophy that the U.S. has only won one of the 6 tourneys in the last 12 years. The winning team's player names are engraved on small plates fastened to the large round trophy/plaque. Let's get it in 2013. Rah!

~cub reporter Mark Peltier, from notes

12 April 2011
Protiles Promotion at Club

Bob Schoenman says: Come to club April 12th March 22nd with spare tiles to donate and Protiles will pay you $2 for every set of unwanted wooden or plastic tiles for the Tiles for Teachers program. So if you bring 3 sets Protiles will pay your club fee for the night!

Also, at club Protiles will sell sets at 20% off the list price - silk-screened sets will sell for $16 and double injection molded will sell for $22.

And for those who want to donate in the club's name to Earthquake Relief, Protiles will match the amount of the donations.

16 March 2011
Club Fees Donated for Earthquake Relief

At club last night, folks agreed to forego prizes and donate all fees collected at club for the night to support relief efforts in Japan after the earthquate and tsunami. A $78 check has been sent to the American Red Cross in the club's name.

9 March 2011
Survey.......says!   Where are all the scrabblers?

Please take a brief survey about your ideas to improve Seattle Scrabble Club.

The survey is anonymous and applies to newbie, regular, and vanished players alike.

Survey closes April 10 March 23rd, so don't wait too long.   Thanks!
A smiling Jane Bissonnette receives her prize winnings from Miriam Gregory

6 March 2011
Jane Bissonnette wins at Vancouver!

Jane Bissonnette went 11-3 at the March 5-6th Vancouver WGPO tournament to win Division B. She had the win locked in early and was gibsonized for the final round(s).

Congratulations Jane!

Dawn Wisniew placed third in Division D, and a few other Seattle club members (Alice Goodwin, Dan Goodwin, and George Bissonnette) won cash prizes as well.

Nice going guys!

The final results are published on the wgpo website

24 February 2011
Details finalized for this year's Emerald City Tournament: Nov 11-13th

For the second year in a row, we're holding the Emerald City Scrabble Tournament on the Veteran's Day / Remembrance Day weekend (Nov 11-13 this year). This year's tournament will have a slightly different format than previous years, with just three divisions and the option of unlimited play-up. We will once again have an open Collins/CSW division as well (which will be rated by both NASPA and WESPA).

Because of a conflict with a large conference taking place downtown the same time, we have had to look further for a location and found a great deal in Seatac. Our new tournament hotel is the Seatac Holiday Inn, which is conveniently located right next to Seatac airport and 1/2 block from the Sound Transit Light Rail station.

We have secured the special rate of just $79 per night for guest rooms. The hotel has recently been refurbished, with new beds & linens, flat screen TVs, free wi-fi, and 24 pool and fitness room. Parking is free for overnight guests and just $5/day for daily parkers.

Also new this year, we'll be holding a drawing for a free refund of your tournament entry fee. You must pay by August 11th qualify for the drawing.

Complete details on our Emerald City Tournament page.

What are you waiting for?   Sign up now!

29 January 2011
Rafi, Hilary and Adam win at One-Day

Another smoothly run one-day tournament organized and directed by Jane Bissonnette.

Rafi Stern won division A, Adam Henderson won Division D, and Hilary Johnson won division E. Congratulations!

Other Seattle club members in the money: George Bissonnette placed second in Division D and Liam Blodgett placed second in Division E; Dan Goodwin, Midori Howard, Alice Goodwin, and Ellen Lin took 3rd place in their respective divisions.

More detailed results on our January 29 Tournament Results page.

14 January 2011
Nigel Peltier wins Reno Early Bird

Nigel Peltier went undefeated (8-0 +829) to win the top division of the Early Bird at the annual Martin Luther King Jr Tournament in Reno. Way to go Nigel!

Also, check out this amazing game between Kenji Matsumoto and Jerry Lerman which had 11 bingoes. Jerry made only 9 plays, 8 of which were bingoes. Kenji had 3 bingoes himself, including a 3x3, and lost by 221 even though he scored 450. Wow!

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

31 December 2010
New Year's Eve Scrabble at Erika's

Dec 20: Due to lackluster response, Erika has cancelled her New Year's Eve party. :-(

Erika Werdal is hosting a Scrabble/board games party on New Year's Eve at her house in Blaine. It will start at 5pm on 12/31 and go until ???. People may play all night and crash on the floor if they like and then continue playing on New Year's Day (she has bed/couch space for 8 on a first dibs/ first reserved basis).

She will be serving chili and cornbread on New Year's Eve, along with red beans and rice (traditional southern good luck food for the new year) and pancakes in the morning. It will be BYOB, though she'll have some beer and wine, and probably iced tea if Tony is coming. And several bottles of champagne (but that's just for her ;-).

Please RSVP to or call Erika at 360 927-2575. If you want a bed, you may want to reserve fairly soon.

12 December 2010
Scrabble Party at Nancy Roeder's house!

Club member Nancy Roeder is inviting her fellow Scrabblers to join her for an afternoon (and evening?) of SCRABBLE® and food at her house on Sunday, December 12th. So, please come starting about 1:30 pm (we'll stay and play until Nancy kicks us out). Bring your own equipment (and score sheets)!

Nancy will be providing her famous chicken curry, so bring a beverage of your choice. If you want to bring something to eat, please keep in mind that Nancy doesn't have a very large kitchen and we'll be using all available surfaces to play scrabble.

Rebecca will send email to all clubmembers with Nancy's address and directions. If you have not received an email notice by Dec 10th, please contact Rebecca (perhaps she has misplaced your email, or you were never on the list...this is her chance to get updates).

4 Dec 2010
Seattle pips Vancouver at annual Interclub Challenge Tournament Dec 4th

The fifth annual Vancouver v. Seattle Team Challenge was held December 4th in Bellingham. Although we had a much smaller turnout that in past years, the competition was fierce...Seattle won the challenge by just one game!

Seattle players took the top spots in both divisions, with Chris Grubb winning Division A and Mark Peltier winning Division B.

Complete details on the Vancouver-Seattle Challenge Results page.

23 Nov 2010

Due to ICY road conditions, there will be NO CLUB TONIGHT November 23rd

Happy Thanksgiving!

15 Nov 2010
Renew your NASPA Membership early and save

Normally, the NASPA membership price is $30 per year. However, if you renew when you still have at least a month left on your membership, the renewal costs only $25. Also, you can renew additional years for another $5 per year off. So, if you renew early and for two years, it's only $45!

Since most NASPA memberships expire the end of this year, 31 December 2010, you have less than two weeks to save some real money. Renew online Now!

14 Nov 2010
Birthday Boy Wins Emerald City!

Conrad Bassett-Bouchard, who just turned 21 the day before the Early Bird, won the 21st Emerald City SCRABBLE Tournament! Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Geoff Tongue dominated in Division B, winning by 4.5 games, and catapulting his rating to a new high of 1694. Daval Davis, who rarely makes it to club anymore, handily won Division D by 5 games over his closest opponent. Way to go guys!

In Division A, Seattle players: Rafi Stern, Mike Frentz, and Chris Grubb placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, respectively. Hilary Johnson placed second and Byron Nelson placed third in Division E.

Other prize winners, were Geoff Tongue (high game 584), Aditya Kini (high game 524, high play: HAUNTING 149), Daval Davis (high game 554), Norm Garvin (high play: MISDEEDS 149), Rachel Christensen (high play: WIRELESS 149).

Mark Peltier, Jim Porter, Jane Bissonnette, Simon Spicer, Dan Goodwin, Geoff Tongue, Claudia Finn, and Rebecca Slivka helped with transporting equipment, tournament setup, check-in, and clean up. Thanks to all of them for volunteering.

And a big thanks to Lynn Dreyer for directing! Great job on your inaugural directing gig, Lynn!


Early Bird (shows new ratings)
Main Event: Rounds 1-10
Main Event: Rounds 11-20 (shows new ratings)
Main Event: Final Standings

See complete details and prize payouts on the Emerald City 2010 Results page.

11 Nov 2010
Seattle players dominate in Emerald City Early Bird

The 21st Emerald City SCRABBLE Tournament is underway and Seattle Club players dominate in the Early Bird. Thanks to Mike Frentz for directing!

Division A - Final Standings

Rank  Name               Wins  Spread  
  1.  Daniel Goodwin      6.0     497  $140
  2.  Rafi Stern          5.0     645  $ 70
  3.  Bruce D'Ambrosio    5.0     118  $ 40
  4.  Siri Tillekeratne   5.0    -140  
  5.  John Karris         4.0     113  
  6.  Ron Hoekstra        4.0    -220  
  7.  Rebecca Slivka      3.0    -611  
  8.  Ruth Hamilton       0.0    -402  

Division B - Final Standings

Rank  Name                Wins  Spread  
  1.  Matthew Nelson       7.0     412  $140
  2.  Claudia Finn         5.0     252  $ 70
  3.  Lynn Dreyer          5.0     169  $ 40
  4.  Edward Walton        4.0     158  
  5.  Judy Smith           4.0     -19  
  6.  Jane Bissonnette     3.0     -70  
  7.  Alice Goodwin        2.0    -377  
  8.  George Bissonnette   2.0    -525  

Division C - Final Standings

Rank  Name                  Wins  Spread  
  1.  Nancy Roeder           6.0     254  $140
  2.  Brenton Povis          5.0     425  $ 70
  3.  Georgianne Fiorini     5.0     319  $ 40
  4.  Dawn Camille Wisniew   4.0      56  
  5.  John Aitken            4.0      47  
  6.  Byron Nelson           4.0    -174  
  7.  Ellen Lin              3.0    -188  
  8.  Simon Spicer           1.0    -739  

3 November 2010
NASPA Announces revised Director Policy regarding WGPO

NASPA announced a revision to their Director Responsibilities which allows directors to lose their sanctioning if they promote competitive SCRABBLE® through an organization other than NASPA (e.g., WGPO). Complete text of the policy is listed below:

It is important for all NASPA directors to remember they are also NASPA's public representatives. NASPA is Hasbro's official organization to promote competitive club and tournament SCRABBLE play.

Accordingly, directors should only promote competitive SCRABBLE play through NASPA and no other organization. In exchange for these services, directors have been granted exclusive territorial rights for their clubs and tournaments by NASPA.

The first responsibility of NASPA directors is to represent NASPA in a professional, fair, welcoming and encouraging manner.

The second responsibility of a NASPA director is to perform the duties of a director in order to provide more, not fewer, opportunities for all players to participate, which is why entreating anyone to renounce his or her NASPA membership is unacceptable as it decreases the opportunities available to them to participate in competitive SCRABBLE.

While directors may belong to multiple organizations and play in event for multiple organizations, they may not become a club or tournament director of another organization, recruit members for an organization other than NASPA or entreat players to renounce their membership in NASPA.

Any director who does not abide by the policies can have his/her director's certification revoked by NASPA.

Prior to this change, NASPA-sanctioned directors were allowed to organize and run non-NASPA (e.g., WGPO) tournaments. Recognizing that some NASPA directors had already committed themselves to running WGPO tournaments before this policy change was announced, Dallas Johnson (NASPA Tournament Committee Chair) announced November 3rd that there would be no sanctions against NASPA directors for tournaments already on the WGPO tournament calendar.

The upcoming Vancouver v. Seattle Challenge was already on the calendar as a WGPO event, so it will continue as a WGPO tournament without penalty to organizing directors.

10 October 2010
Quiz Night Added to Emerald City Tournament

This new after-hours event will take place Friday evening November 12th, starting about 8pm, in the playing room. Teams of players (up to 5 per team) will compete to answer trivia questions, word games, and solve puzzles (some will be Scrabble-related).

No fee to enter. We'll have some small prizes for the winners.

25 September 2010
Seattle Team WINS the Portland Challenge!

The annual Portland-Seattle Team Challenge tournament was held once again at the Kit Carson restaurant in Chehalis, on a lovely Saturday, September 25th. Mike Frentz ably directed a very smoothly run tournament (seen at right, holding the trophy).

Mike Frentz holds Portland v. Seattle Club Challenge Trophy after 2010 Seattle Win

The Seattle Team Wins!     Great job by everyone!
... and special congratulations also to Rafi Stern for breaking 2000!

Prize winners from Seattle:

Division A:
   2nd - Rafi Stern: 5-2, +287 ($60)
   3rd - Mike Frentz: 5-2, +257 ($40)
   High Game: Rafi Stern, 539 ($10)

Division B:
   1st - Walker Willingham: 6-1, +310 ($100)
   3rd - James Porter: 5-2, +422 ($40)
   High Game: James Porter, 553 ($10)

Division C:
   1st - Alice Goodwin: 6-1, +688 ($100)
   2nd - Matthew Nelson: 5-2, +339 ($60)
   High Game: Alice Goodwin, 517 ($10)
   High Loss: Norm Garvin, 400 ($10)
Team Totals:
   Division A: Seattle 26, Portland 23
   Division B: Portland 24.5, Seattle 24.5
   Division C: Seattle 24, Portland 18 

   Overall: Seattle 74.5, Portland 65.5

Complete results (and new ratings) on NASPA cross table.
note: John Connell lives in Seattle, but played on the Portland half of the pairings to even the sides; his scores did not count in team calculations.

6 Sep 2010
Rafi places 2nd at Portland Labor Day

The annual Labor Day Tournament in Portland was a rousing success as usual. The weather was great and Dave Johnson ran the tournament very smoothly and professionally. Our own Rafi Stern finished in 2nd place in the top division. Congrats Rafi!

Early Bird Results
Main Event Cross-tables (games 1-10)
Main Event Cross-tables (games 11-20)
Main Event Final Standings
Late Bird Results

24 Aug 2010
Seattle Scrabblers on the road

Some Seattle-area Scrabble players traveled to Vancouver for a fun tournament. Congrats to George Bissonnette for placing 3rd in the second division!

Jane and George Bissonnette at Vancouver One-Day event Tyler Creviston and Hilary Johnson at Vancouver One-Day event

11 Aug 2010
National Scrabble Championship crowns Nigel Richards (again)

The 2010 National SCRABBLE Championship, held once again in Dallas, has finished with Nigel Richards winning with a 25-6 record (second place had just 21 wins)! Nigel had actually clinched the win on Tuesday, since he was 4 games head of his nearest rival and there were only 3 games more to go in the tournament. This is the second time Nigel has won Nationals (he won in 2008), and he has also won the World SCRABBLE Championship (2007). Not only is Nigel Richards an awesome player, but he can keep track of both word lists, too!

Our own Nigel Peltier (well, we're going to call him ours even though he isn't living in Seattle anymore), placed 6th! Rafi Stern had a great run in the early days of the tournament and was in 2nd or 3rd place for two days before having some rough games in the last half of the tournament. Still, BOTH of them beat Nigel Richards in their games (NR v. RS, NR v. NP). Nicely done guys!

Jim Porter played up into division 2 and went 16-15, a great showing against that field and his rating should go up to reflect that. Another former Seattleite, Chris Schneider played well and came in 6th place in Division 2. Way to go!

You can see all the standings, commentary, and annotated games at the NSC Live website.

New: Stephan Fatsis on NPR's All Things Considered talks about the Nationals and mentions Rafi specifically! Listen Here.

31 July 2010
Celebrating 25 years of Seattle Scrabble Club

The Seattle SCRABBLE® Club was founded 25 years ago this Summer. Celebrate by joining us at an all day (all night?) Scrabble party at Mark Peltier's house on Saturday July 31st, starting at Noon.

It will be a potluck, of course. Please plan to bring your Scrabble setups, food, and drink.

An email message has been sent out to club member with the details.

Party report: Thanks to Mark Peltier for hosting a really fun time. If you weren't able to make it, a taste of what you missed follows:

Scrabble board with 25th Anniversary message

Starting at noon, by 12:30 there were 4 tables set up in the front yard and as many games in progress. It was delightfully cool with the overcast, which burned off to a pleasant summer day (thanks Hilary for remembering to bring sunscreen!). By late afternoon there were at least 8 games going at all times.

Founding director Ann Ferguson made an appearance, as well as some folks we don't see often at club. Tally slips were available to record game results, if anyone was so inclined (not sure what will happen to those). Some folks played more than a dozen games, others stayed for just a few. Mark brought out lights after it got too dark to see, and there was still at least one game going on after Midnight.

Folks sampled from the variety of dishes brought, including: deviled eggs, tabouleh, rice & beans, parmesan chicken, pasta salad, fresh blueberries, crudites, fruit pizza, lemon tarts, cream tarts, etc. Several varieties of beer, limonata, raspberry jello shots, and coffee quenched the thirst.

The party may be over, but the club goes on! Thanks everyone for supporting our club!

Scrabble in the sunshine: ScottM v. DanG and HilaryJ v. BobJ More Scrabble in the sun: GeoffT v. RebeccaS, GeorgeB v. MarkP, NancyR v. AliceG More Scrabble in the sun: MidoriH and AliceG More Scrabble in the sun: NormG, RebeccaS, JimP, LynnD More Scrabble in the sun at 25th Anniversary of Seattle Club

9 July 2010
Spokane Club Reactivated

Spokane SCRABBLE® Club #589 is a reactivation of the former Spokane club with the same number. Peggy Crane is the director and she has been running the club for a while now, but just got NASPA sanctioning recently.

The club meets Thursdays and also twice a month on Mondays. Judy Romann hosts "Study Group" sessions for newer players. See their website,, for more details.

Welcome Back!

6 July 2010
Club Session Fee goes up One Dollar: now $6 every Tuesday

Because our attendance continues to be lower than that necessary to cover our costs, we have raised the weekly club fee by one dollar to $6 per session. After last year's dip in attendance and rent increase, we hoped that the prize moratorium would be enough, but our attendance remains enough below what it had been to leave us operating at a deficit.

Since most folks expressed that they would prefer to have an increased fee rather than eliminate prizes, that's what we have done. If we can maintain our current level of attendance, and our other expenses (rent, website, photocopies, etc.) don't change, we hope to keep this price for many years to come. (The last fee increase was two years ago, when it went from $4 to $5.)

Thanks for continuing to come and support the club!

5 July 2010
Rafi Stern places Second at Reno Main event; Nigel Peltier takes Second at the Early Bird

Rafi Stern took Second Place at the Reno Tournament Main Event. Rafi was a strong contender the entire tournament, but was just one game shy of the win. Tough break.

Nigel Peltier placed second in the First Early Bird. Also, Nigel has set a new tournament record, playing 7 bingos in a single game! (the game also set the new record for most number of bingos in a game, 8, since his opponent also played a bingo).

Congrats guys!

29 June 2010
Dan and Alice Goodwin Win in Spain

Dan and Alice Goodwin are touring Spain with Rich Baker and won their respective divisions at the Scrabble tournament held during the tour. Alice won Division B by one game, with a 9-3 record. Dan won Division A with 8-4 (surpassing his closest opponent by just 101 spread points).

Eileen Gruhn placed second in Division C, missing out on the complete Seattle sweep by just 52 spread points.


26 June 2010
Chris Grubb wins June 26th Tourney!

Another smoothly run one-day tournament organized by Jane Bissonnette and directed by Mike Frentz. There was a lower than usual turnout (perhaps due to the proximity to last week's Victoria Tournament, or just because it was summer), but the play was just as spirited.

Chris Grubb won division A, followed by Rachel Christensen in second and Jim Porter in third. Division B was won by Aditya Kini (a recent transplant to the Seattle area who has yet to make it to club), with Matthew Nelson in second and Jane Bissonnette in third. In Division C, the highest finishing Seattle club member was Norm Garvin.

More detailed results on our June 26 Tournament Results page.

1 June 2010
Frank and Lynda clean up at Campbell, CA Tournament

Lynda Shayne and Frank Kashuk were on fire at the Memorial Weekend Tournament in Campbell California last weekend.

Lynda won 14 games in Division 3 to take First place, while Frank won the same number of games in Division 2 to take Second Place. They each gained more than 100 rating points as well.

Nice work!   Congratulations!

7 May 2010
Collins (CSW) Division added to November Tournament

We've added a Collins (CSW) Division to the Main Event of this year's Emerald City SCRABBLE Tournament, November 11-14th of 2010. Collins or CSW (Collins SCRABBLE Wordlist) is the newest name for the international English-speaking SCRABBLE® wordlist that used to be called SOWPODS (you can find CSW word lists on our Study Tools page).

The Collins division will be running concurrently as one open division, with an entry fee of $110. We will be using NASPA rules except for 10-point penalty per word for unsuccessful challenges (if the play is ruled acceptable the challenger is penalized 10 points per word challenged). If the player has a NASPA CSW/SOWPODS rating, that will be used, otherwise, the player's current NASPA rating will be used.

More details, including online registration and payment, at the Emerald City Tournament page.

3 May 2010
May's Issue of The Last Word newsletter has an article about our club

This month's edition includes an article about our club, written by Mark Peltier. thanks Mark!

The Last Word is an independent monthly newsletter, first published in November 2009, edited by Cornelia Guest. The newsletter covers a variety of topics of interest to tournament SCRABBLE® players, including tournament news and results, club news, strategy stories, puzzles, and other articles.

2 May 2010
Matthew Nelson WINS Oregon Tile; Mike Frentz and Geoff Tongue take third place

Congratulations to Matthew Nelson for winning the LITE Division at the Oregon Tile. Matthew won an impressive 13 of 15 game (he also won a prize for high loss). Way to go Matthew!

Congrats to Geoff Tongue for taking third place in the Early Bird at Oregon Tile, and also winning a prize for High Loss. Geoff decided at the last minute to make the trek down to Portland to have a meal at Andina Restaurant (awesome food!) and stayed for the Early Bird only. Good decision Geoff!

Congratulations to Mike Frentz for taking third place at Main Event in this year's Oregon Tile tournament in Portland. Mike was playing well and in the running for the finals but lost second place by a mere 15 spread points. Tough break, Mike.

Rafi Stern also won a prize for coming in 6th place in the main event.

Results are available at

17 April 2010
Midori & Alice win at April 17 Tourney!

Another smoothly run one-day tournament by Jane Bissonnette resulted in a several wins by Seattle club members. Congratulations to J. Midori Howard for winning Division B and to Alice Goodwin for winning Division C! Well done!

Several other Seattle players finished in the money, locking up second and third in most divisions: Rafi Stern and Mike Frentz finished second and third in Division A, while Jim Porter and Mark Peltier did the same in Division B, and Matthew Nelson and George Bissonnette in Division D, and Hilary Johnson and Byron Nelson in Division E.

More detailed results on our April 17 Tournament Results page.

2 April 2010
April's Issue of The Last Word newsletter is available

The Last Word is an independent monthly newsletter, first published in November 2009, edited by Cornelia Guest. The newsletter covers a variety of topics of interest to tournament SCRABBLE® players, including tournament news and results, club news, strategy stories, puzzles, and other articles.

The Last Word provides an opportunity to read more in depth articles about SCRABBLE® and the people who play the game. Previous editions are available in the online archives. Enjoy!

31 March 2010
Emerald City Tournament details finalized : 11-14 November 2010

The Emerald City Tournament is back!     New Date...   New Hotel...   New Early Bird...

Lynn Dreyer has agreed to direct, and Rebecca Slivka, Jim Porter, Mike Frentz, and others have agreed to help out with the planning, logistics, and making it happen.

Instead of the Memorial Day weekend, we are experimenting with a new date: November 11th. November 11th is a holiday both in Canada (Remembrance Day) and the US (Veteran's Day), and there are very few tournaments on that date or near it, so we think it will be popular. When we surveyed tournament attendees in the past and asked about a possible November tournament in Seattle, the responses were very positive.

We have signed a contract with the Hyatt at Olive 8. The dates and format are:

Thu Nov 11th : Early Bird (8 games) NEW
Fri Nov 12th : Main Event games 1-8
Sat Nov 13th : Main Event games 9-16
Sun Nov 14th : Main Event games 17-20

Complete details, including a printable flyer and online registration form, are available on our Emerald City Tournament page.

7 March 2010
Frank Kashuk wins Div 2 in Vancouver

The Annual Vancouver BC tournament was held at the Masonic Lodge for the last time. Fabulous weather greeted over 100 players who came up for the early bird and main events.

Congratulations to Frank Kashuk for winning division B!

Several other Seattle players won money or prizes:

  • Division B   :   Frank Kashuk (1st, 11-3)
  • Division A   :   Chris Grubb (2nd, 10-4)
  • Early Bird Div 2   :   Claudia Finn (2nd, 6-2)
  • Division B   :   Rachel Christensen (3rd, 9-5)
  • Division C   :   David Foerstel (4th, 9-5)
  • Division E   :   Byron Nelson (4th, 9-5)
  • Division A   :   Daniel Goodwin (5th, 9-5)
  • Division C   :   Alice Goodwin (performance prize, +10 places above seed)
  • Division C   :   George Bissonnette (High Win, 582)
  • Division C   :   Claudia Finn (High Loss, 433)
  • Division D   :   Matthew Nelson (High Loss, 433)
  • Best "Vancouver 2010" Word   :   Lynda Shayne (POLITER) [prize: Vancouver Olympics SWATCH]
  • Most plausible phony bingo that stayed on the board   :   Mark Peltier (DARTSMEN) [prize: Matt Ross' travel book]

Nice job folks!

Full results on : Early Bird   Main Event

John Aitken announced that next year's tournament will be held at the Holiday Inn. Check the Vancouver Club website for more details.

March 2010
New Player's Organization: WGPO

If you subscribe to CGP you will have heard about this already, but for the rest of you here is a brief summary:

Several players dissatisfied with the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA) have announced they are starting up an independent player's organization. The name of the new organization (which may change, since they will be having a vote soon on the name) is Word Game Players Organization, or WGPO.

WGPO has a website ( but it doesn't have much information yet. To find out what is going on with WGPO, your best bet is to join their Yahoo newsgroup at: There is also WGPO Facebook Group you can check for info.

You can join WGPO or the WGPO newsgroup or participate in a WGPO event without giving up NASPA, but NASPA copresidents Chris Cree and John Chew declared in February 2010 that NASPA committee members are not allowed to work "in any official or substantial capacity for WGPO (e.g., as board or committee member)" or they will be asked to resign from any NASPA boards or committees.

WGPO issued the following announcement in late January 2010:

1. WGPO now has a mission statement, as follows:

This is a word game players organization run, in accordance with its bylaws, democratically by and for the players. The organization emphasizes a respectful and supportive environment that encourages every member, regardless of rating or previous tournament playing experience, to play often, play fair and have fun.

2. WGPO now has an Executive Committee, which will direct it until Jan. 20, 2011, when formal officers will be chosen in an open vote of the membership.

The members of the Executive Committee will share equally in the direction of the WGPO for the first year. Listed alphabetically, they are:

  • Keith Hagel (Maine)
  • Stephanie Steele (Minnesota)
  • Linda Wancel (New York)
  • Rick Wong (California)

3. We are working on bylaws and expect to be able to share them before too long. They, like almost everything else at this point, are a work in progress and WILL be subject to modifications at a later date, perhaps concurrently with the 2011 elections, perhaps before.

4. WGPO is actively soliciting members who would be interested in serving on an Advisory Board. Any player who would like to be considered for this board is urged to contact one of the Executive Committee members via email in order to join the WGPO listserv. Our email addresses are at the bottom of this note.

5. We are also planning tournaments, with a rating system in place as quickly as we can do it right. You will hear more from us regarding upcoming tournaments.

This is an exciting, hectic time, and we are grateful for the support and offers of assistance we have received so far. But, literally and figuratively, we've only just begun, and we urge you to contact any of us by email (below) about joining, volunteering for the Advisory Board, or any aspect of the WGPO.

Thanks for listening!

WGPO Executive Committee:
Keith Hagel (
Stephanie Steele (
Linda Wancel (
Rick Wong (

5-7 March 2010
Vancouver Tournament Announces Slight Venue Changes

Two items of note for folks traveling to Vancouver this weekend for their tournament:

  • Although the Vancouver club has moved to a new location, their session this Thursday March 4 only will be back at the Masonic Lodge (1495 W. 8th Ave).
  • Due to a scheduling conflict, Sunday's tournament games will be at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre at 711 W. Broadway, not the Masonic Lodge (where Friday's Early Bird and Saturday's first half of Main will still be held).

You can find more details and explanation at the Vancouver Club News page.

15 February 2010
Nigel Peltier places 3rd in Phoenix

Nigel Peltier took 3rd place (and won $400) at the Phoenix tournament last weekend. He was in contention for the top spot, but lost the final game to Conrad Bassett-Bouchard.

13 February 2010
Tacoma Club - NEW Location

Lynn Dreyer, Tacoma Club director, reports:

As some of you have heard, we have lost our great meeting space at Windermere. After looking at a few spaces I decided that it is very hard to find an adequate space for free or cheap. Therefore, I am bravely moving Tacoma Scrabble Club to my house, at least until we find another space. Same time, please bring something to potluck and a card table and a couple of folding chairs if you have them. I have table space for about 10 to 12 people.

Phone 253-579-3004 or send email to Lynn for directions

See you there at 4 pm on Saturday, Feb 13.

6 February 2010
Scrabble Party at Erika's

Erika Werdal has announced a Scrabble get together at her house in Blaine, Saturday, February 6th. An email notice has been sent to club members with all the details. Please RSVP to Erika to let her know if you plan to attend.

2 February 2010
Rules Update effective Feb 2nd

NASPA has announced an update to the Official Tournament Rules that becomes effective 2 February 2010. They have also posted a summary of the changes.

Key changes:

  • Blank designations must now be in writing (verbal designation has no standing)
  • When the clock is restarted after an unsuccessful challenge

We aren't going to start using blank designation forms at club, but in order to get folks in the habit of writing down their blank designation, we'll be asking you to write the blank on your score sheet before you hit the clock. Your opponent can restart your clock and ask you to write down the blank if you have not done so on your time.

28 January 2010
New Standings Formula for Club Stats

For several months there has been discussion among some club members about changing how the standings are calculated. Previously, players have been ranked by Average Score. Some folks thought that this was leading players to focus more on increasing their average score rather than trying to win more games or win by a greater margin (as would be the goal at a tournament).

So, we are experimenting with a new ranking method: standings will show players ranked by Percentage of Games Won. You can still see your average score in the standings report, and there is a stat page that has players ranked by Average Score if you want to see that.

Let's see what this new formula does. Discuss and give your feedback.

23 January 2010
Results of January 23rd One-Day Tournament

These one-day tournaments are getting to be a breeze for Team Bissonnette. Jane directs, Emily does the data entry, and George helps with the heavy lifting. A smoothly run tournament, where the only glitch (our "new" word judge computer kept dying-NOOO!) was remedied quickly (Chris Williams set up is netbook so we could use it instead.

Seattle players dominated the tournament; except for division A, the top two spots in each division were won by Seattle club members!

  • Hilary Johnson won Division E, followed by Tyler Creviston and Dawn Camille Wisniew
  • In Divison D, it was Adam Henderson, then George Bissonnette and Eileen Gruhn.
  • David Foerstel won Division C, with Jane Bissonnette placing second.
  • In Division B, Frank Kashuk won, followed by Rachel Christensen in second.
  • Chris Grubb took second place in Division A, narrowly edging past Dan Goodwin in third by just 37 spread points.

Great job folks!

Complete results on the January 23 Results page.

19 January 2010
School Scrabblers visit Seattle Club

School Scrabble players from Maple Elementary School visited the Seattle club Tuesday, January 19th, to see how the game is played in a club setting. Guided by teacher Terry Virdell, these students meet and play every Friday afternoon at their school.

After warming up by playing each other, during the second round each student paired up with a Seattle club player and worked with them on their game. This one-on-one coaching session was enjoyed by all. We look forward to seeing Terry's student's again.

Thanks to Henry, Jessica, Ella, Michael, Gabby and Jasmine for coming to visit!

18 January 2010
Four is the magic number at Reno

Several Seattle club players made the trek to Reno for their annual Martin Luther King-weekend tournament. Congratulations to Nigel Peltier for placing fourth in the top division, and to Frank Kashuk for placing fourth in division two. Chris Grubb was in third place at the end of day one, and finished in tenth position (well above his expectations). Nice job guys!

18 January 2010
Seattle Scrabble now on Twitter

Follow seattlescrabble on Twitter

Succumbed to the lure of technology and created a Twitter account for the Seattle Scrabble Club. So, in addition to our website, you can check Twitter to see any breaking news or info.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

30 Dec 2009
We have a word judge computer again

After sending out a notice that our word judge computer was dying, it promptly gave up the ghost at club last night.

Since no one was able to come up with a freebie, I did some searching and was able to find a relatively cheap replacement by going on craigslist. I'll bring it to club next week.

The computer did cost us ($80), so I'm asking folks to volunteer to donate $5 each to cover the expense. If you can afford to, please chip in (I'll collect at club).

Thanks to the following club members who contributed to paying for the word judge computer:

  • Ken Clark
  • Nancy Roeder
  • Mark Peltier
  • Bob Jackson
  • Hilary Johnson
  • Jim Porter
  • Simon Spicer
  • George Bissonnette
  • Mike Frentz
  • Lynn Dreyer
  • Rebecca Slivka
  • Chris Grubb

Thanks also to those of you who tried to find us a free one!

25 Dec 2009
We need a word judge computer

Bad News: Our word judge computer is dying.

We need a computer to replace it. It doesn't have to be fancy, or pretty, or new--just a laptop that works (pc or mac or unix). If you have an old laptop lying around that you don't need, please consider donating it to the club.

If you have any questions or have a computer to offer, please e-mail our Club Director.


24 Dec 2009
Club Prizes Resume in 2010

Good news: the 5-month moratorium on prizes at club has brought our club balance back up to a point where we can resume giving out prize money again. With our higher rent and slightly reduced attendence (we're averaging 20 per session now, compared to 24 last year), we can't afford to go back to what we did entirely, but we can get pretty close.

Here is the new prize schedule (which will resume in the new year, with the January 5, 2010 club session):

Category word:   $5
75+ non-bingo:   $1
100+ play:   $1
500+ game:   $1
600+ game:   $2
700+ game:   $5 + the undying awe and respect of your peers
Bingo Bonus:   $5 [Blue card: 3+ bingos in a game, white card: 3+ bingos in a row]

*Note also that we will continue to charge the club fee for all members (no exemption for acting director(s) or statistician).

13 Dec 2009
Scrabble at Ken's House December 13th

There is no Tacoma club this Saturday and no Scrabble at Third Place this Sunday, so...

Ken Clark is hosting SCRABBLE at his house on Sunday Dec 13th. Starts at 2pm, and goes until we're scrabbled out or Ken kicks us out. It's a potluck, so bring something to share. (And of course bring your own Scrabble game set-up and score sheets)

RSVP to Ken [ 253-631-7010 ] to let him know if you plan to attend. Ken's address and directions have already been sent out by email.

12 Dec 2009
No Tacoma club in December

Tacoma SCRABBLE Club director Lynn Dreyer has announced that there will be NO TACOMA CLUB this December. The regularly scheduled session for the second Saturday would have been held Dec 12th. Have fun doing something else!

25 Nov 2009
More games at One-Day Tournaments in Seattle in 2010

The three one-day tournaments that Jane Bissonnette will direction next year will all have 8 games (instead of the 7 previously announced). The format will still be the same (groups of 8), but now there will be a King of the Hill Round to close out the day.

Tournament dates shown below, or visit the Tournament Page:

21 Nov 2009
Rafi Stern wins Vancouver-Seattle Club Challenge

The annual Vancouver v. Seattle team challenge tournament was held once again in Ferndale. Jane Bissonnette directed, and the tournament started on time and ran smoothly. Thanks Jane!

Rafi Stern went undefeated to win the top division. Rafi's new rating of 1953 makes him the 12th highest rated player in North America. Way to go, Rafi!

Complete list of Seattle club members who won prizes:

  • Rafi Stern won Division A, with an undefeated 8-0 +862
  • Dan Goodwin placed second in Division A, with 6-2 +396
  • Jim Porter placed third in Division B, with 5.5 wins +182
  • John Connell won an apple-shaped deluxe board for the best Salish Sea word: ISLANDS
  • Rebecca Slivka had high loss (445) in Division A
  • Lynn Dreyer had high loss (405) in Division C

This was the first tournament for Seattle club members Hilary Johnson and Simon Spicer. It was also the first tournament in over 12 years for noted Seattle club member Tom Bond - welcome back Tom! We hope you can make it back to club again.

Unfortunately, Seattle players weren't able to repeat last year's victory. Vancouver clinched the team trophy before the last round of play. Final team score: Vancouver 126.5 games, Seattle: 89.5 games

Tournament cross-table (with new ratings) is available on the NASPA website.

14 Nov 2009
Results of Victoria One-Day Tournament

Georgianne Fiorini receives prize for winning Div C at Victoria, 14 Nov 2009

26 Players attended the first tournament held in Victoria BC in over 5 years, on November 14th. This was Marc Levesque's directorial debut and everything went smoothly. Eight Seattle-area players made the trip up, and two came away with money. Congrats to:

  • Georgianne Fiorini for winning Division C with 6-1 +399
  • Rebecca Slivka for second place in Division A with 5-2 +306

Tournament cross-table is available on the NASPA website.

Fall 2009
Better late than never...

Thanks to Dave Johnson for sending this photo of the "young Scrabble phenoms" taken at the 2009 Labor Day Tournament in Portland.

Phenoms at Portland,from left to right:  Chris Tallman, Julius Chaney, Matthew Nelson, Noah Webster, Rafi Stern and Dielle Saldanha

From left to right: Chris Tallman, Julius Chaney, Matthew Nelson, Noah Webster, Rafi Stern and Dielle Saldanha

24-25 October 2009
Seattle Bookfest Thank Yous!

Seattle SCRABBLE Club at Seattle Bookfest 2009

Thanks to everyone who came to work at our booth!

Lynn Dreyer
Jim Porter
George Bissonnette
Alice Goodwin
Daniel Goodwin
Mike Frentz
Rebecca Slivka
Hilary Johnson
Rachel Christensen
Ken Clark
Chris Grubb

Special thanks to Jim Porter, who not only brought all the stuff from club and set up Saturday morning, but he also printed out letters for a very cool sign for our booth (see the pictures).

Seattle SCRABBLE Club at Seattle Bookfest 2009

And thanks to Mike Frentz who took stuff home with him Saturday and then brought it back on Sunday AND worked both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning shifts!

Thanks also to Chris Grubb for taking everying home Sunday and back to club Tuesday evening, and to George Bissonnette for bringing extra chairs.

According to Bookfest organizers, we were one of hits of the event. We had four boards set up and they were all in constant use the entire time. We gave out club info cards to everyone who stopped by, and candy to people who found bingos, or made cool plays.

Hopefully, some of these folks will show up at club some time in the future. Either way, everyone had a good time!

24-25 October 2009
Seattle Club has a booth at Seattle Bookfest

We have a double booth at Seattle Bookfest October 24-25 (Saturday and Sunday), so we need folks to volunteer to man our booth. The previous incarnation of this event (Northwest Bookfest) was a great recruiting tool for new club members, so this is a great opportunity to advertise our club. The event should also be fun, with author events, and lots of exhibitors.

We're going to bring some equipment from club (board setups, dictionaries, word lists, score sheets, word judge computer), but we also would like the volunteers to bring their own custom equipment, if they have it. We'll have printed word lists, club information cards, and hopefully some prizes to give out.

The event is two days, 10am-6pm each day, so we're breaking each day into two 4-hour shifts, and we need three people per shift. We also need someone to do setup the first day, teardown the last day, and someone to take our stuff home Saturday evening and bring it back Sunday morning. Shifts filled:

Saturday, Oct 24
Bring stuff from club & set up 9:30am   Jim Porter
1st shift: 10am - 2pm (3 people)   Lynn Dreyer, Jim Porter, George Bissonnette
2nd shift: 2pm - 6pm (3 people)   Alice Goodwin, Daniel Goodwin, Mike Frentz
Overnight person: Take stuff home for the night   Mike Frentz
Sunday, Oct 25
Overnight person: Bring stuff back and set up 9:30am   Mike Frentz
1st shift: 10am - 2pm (3 people)   Mike Frentz, Rebecca Slivka, Hilary Johnson
2nd shift: 2pm - 6pm (3 people)   Rachel Christensen, Ken Clark, Chris Grubb
Teardown and return stuff to club   Chris Grubb

Two tables and 4 chairs come with the booth, but we could use another table and 3 or 4 more chairs. If there is someone who can volunteer to bring that equipment, it would be a big help.

All our shifts have been filled (thanks!), but if you want to come as well, that's great. Please contact Rebecca to volunteer for a shift or to bring equipment. Thanks!

26 September 2009
Mike Frentz and Mark Peltier win at Portland Challenge

The annual Portland-Seattle Team Challenge tournament was held at the Kit Carson restaurant in Chehalis, on a lovely Saturday, September 26th. While Seattle was unsuccessful at defending our win last year, Mike Frentz came in first place in the top division, followed by Daniel Goodwin in second. Mark Peltier continued his strong run by winning the second division. (If this keeps up, Nigel better watch his back!). Nice work guys!

Prize winners from Seattle (Godwin lives in Renton, and played for the Seattle side but he is currently working down there and attends their club):

Division A:
   1st - Mike Frentz: 6-1, +525 ($100)
   2nd - Daniel Goodwin: 5-2, +253 ($60)
Division B:
   1st - Mark Peltier: 6-1, +429 ($100)
   High Word (Round 6 only) - Godwin Gwei: MILKERS, 108 ($20)
Team Totals:
   Division A: Seattle 26, Portland 23
   Division B: Seattle 26, Portland 23
   Division C: Portland 32, Seattle 17
   Overall: Portland 78, Seattle 69

Complete results (and new ratings) on NASPA cross table.

9 September 2009
Mark Peltier wins at Portland Labor Day Tourney

Like son, like father. Mark Peltier played up into division 2 at the annual Portland Labor Day Tournament and finished in First Place with a 16-4 record. Mark's rating went up 166 points, from 1419 to 1585! Way to go Mark! [For more detail, you can read Mark's Trip Report.]

Dawn Camille Wisniew won her division in the Early Bird. Congrats Dawn!

Mike Frentz finished in 3rd place in the top division, followed by Rafi Stern in fourth. Mike also won prizes for High Play (EXACTION 194) and High Game (625). Dan Goodwin won the Tuff Luck award (for the most number of games lost by the smallest margin - 5 losses by a total of 84 points). In Division Four, infrequent Seattle club member Scott McManus placed third. Karen Powell finished right behind him in fourth, and Jane Jackson placed seventh. Georgianne Fiorini won a tote bag for having the best handwriting, and Mike Lavoie won a tile bag for the best performance at his first tournament.

Cross tables for the Labor Day tournaments have already been posted on the NASPA website:

Frequent Seattle Club visitor Wes Morrison stopped in at club last week before the tournament and then again last night. Wes not only won the Night Bird, but he also went 4-0 at club last night, knocking out Ken Clark and Steven Jones, among others. Nice going Wes!

31 August 2009
Nigel Peltier wins Can-Am Challenge!

Fourteen of the top players from Canada and the United States got together August 29-30 in Denver, Colorado, for the 7th annual Can-Am SCRABBLE Challenge tournament. With 7 players per team, each player played two games against each player on the opposing team.

The US team was in the lead almost from the beginning, and our own Nigel Peltier won the tournament with a 10.5-3.5 record (just edging out Dave Wiegand). Congratulations Nigel for a great victory!

Every one of the 98 games played was annotated, so you can view and review the games at John Chew's website. The tournament crosstable has been published at the NASPA website. Nigel Peltier and Rafi Stern are now tied as the highest rated players in Washington state.

15 August 2009
Seattle club players at Vancouver One-Day Tournament

Several Seattle club players went up to Vancouver for their one day tournament August 15th. Congratulations to:

  • Georgianne Fiorini came in second place in Division C
  • Byron Nelson placed third in Division C

More results from the tournament at: Vancouver Club website.

13 August 2009
Latest news from NASPA

Official Tournament and Club Word List

NASPA is taking accusations of cheating seriously and has created a new page on their website to list players who have been suspended from play.

Chris Cree announced during the Dayton Nationals that he had signed contracts with the Hotel InterContinental in Dallas, Texas, for the National Championships for the next two years (2010 and 2011). Dates for 2010 are: August 7-11.

You no longer need to be an NSA member to purchase the Official Tournament and Club Word List (also known as the OWL). Anyone can purchase a copy of the OWL from the NSA's online store:

7 August 2009
SCRABBLE at Cherry Street Coffee Shop: 1st & Clay

Cherry Street Coffee Shop at 1st and Clay (2719 1st Ave) in Seattle is hosting a monthly SCRABBLE Night, the first Friday of the month from 6-9pm.

Seattle club members are invited to help them kick off their initial session, Friday August 7th. Please come (and bring your own equipment). Rebecca will bring scoresheets, cheat-sheets, and info cards about our club for newcomers. Hope to see you then!

Note: Cherry Street Coffee Shop has several locations--but this meeting is only at the 1st and Clay location.

1 August 2009
News from the National SCRABBLE® Championship in Dayton

Dave Wiegand wins it in an exciting 3-game final against Nigel Richards. Congratulations Dave!

At the National SCRABBLE® Championship in Dayton, Ohio, Table One games are being annotated and posted live. Review the game in progress or a previous game. [Image below right shows Alex Fiszbein playing Rafi in Round 7. ]

Game 7: Rafi Stern v. Alex Fiszbein

Seattle club member Rafi Stern started out strong (leading Div 1 at the end of the first day: 7-0 +716; 3rd place at end of day 2: 12-2 +729 - just 228 spread points from the leader). When he plays at Table One you can see his annotated games:

Check the Live Coverage page of the 2009 NSC for the most up to date information.

NSC in the news:

30 July 2009
Moratorium on club prizes, club fee exemptions

Last week we announced that because the club was operating at a deficit due to continued lower attendence we would reduce the prizes given out when there was a small turnout for club sessions. However, that modest change is not enough to keep us from giving out more money that we are taking in and we have just been notified by the University Friends that they intend to raise our rent (it has been the same the entire 5 years we've been here).

New Changes:

  • No club fee exemptions. Rebecca Slivka, Jane Bissonnette, and Mike Frentz had been exempt from paying club fees as a token compensation for their work to support the club. Now they will each pay the standard club fee.
  • Moratorium on all prizes. We will still track the prizes (players can write down their accomplishments on the weekly "Session Prize Form") and they will now be published on the website along with the regular weekly stats.

Hopefully, these changes (and the increased attendence that usually comes in the fall/winter) will be enough to get us operating with a positive cash flow again. Once that happens, and we have rebuilt our account balance to at least two months rent, we can look at reinstituting cash prizes.

Fall 2009
Save the date for events this fall

Dates for the annual team interclub challenge tournaments have been set. Check the tournaments page for more details.

Portland-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament : Saturday, September 26th

Vancouver-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament : Saturday, November 21st

Another event we are excited about is the new Seattle Bookfest to be held in Columbia City October 24-25th. Our club will have a large booth at the festival where we will have boards set up to play demonstration games, encourage attendees to "challenge an expert", hand out word lists, etc. This is a great opportunity to get more visibility for the club and to attract new people. As the date gets closer we'll have people sign up to cover shifts during the event.

22 July 2009
New webzine: NASPA Tournament SCRABBLE Newsletter

To read the first NASPA Tournament SCRABBLE Newsletter go to Thanks to the many people who contributed articles, helped proofread and edit, and provided photos. A really special thanks to Aaron Daly, who took all the copy and art and put it on line as an interactive news site that enables readers to delve deeper into the stories. Aaron is amazing--creative, talented, and patient, never once complaining about last-minute changes and adjustments.

Approximately 50 people helped put this newsletter together--many of whom you'll meet as you read the various sections If you would like to contribute to future newsletters in any way, please let me know. Thanks, too, to our first advertiser. We are not supported by NASPA funds, so advertising will help keep us afloat. We also are happy to run personal ads (looking for ride, roommate, etc.).

We are eager to hear about club activities, tournament results, members' news, and media coverage of SCRABBLE. If you have news you think other NASPA members would like to share, send it in to

In order to be able to archive the articles, we are relying on links. Down the road we hope to have more of a magazine look--but for now, readers who wish to have hard copy should print each article separately.

Thanks, too, to NASPA and to Joe Edley for letting me work as the editor. I welcome suggestions for the next issue!

Cornelia Guest
NASPA Tournament SCRABBLE Newsletter Editor

Note: some Seattle club members (Peltiers) are mentioned in one article.

21 July 2009
Club prize structure changes

We are reinstituting a modification to the club prize structure that has not been in use for a few years, namely: when we get a small turnout for a club session we give out smaller prizes. We had discontinued this practice several years ago when our attendance was much higher, but now that our attendance has dropped for an extended period we need to stop giving out more money than we take in.


  • If we have 20 or fewer players at a given club session, the Category Prizes are $3 instead of $5.
  • Bingo Bonus prize is now a flat $5 every time (was $3 plus $1 per week it hadn't been won).
  • We will no longer give out $3 to the player sitting out.

11 July 2009
Seattle players dominate at one-day tournament

Seattle club players won every division in the final one-day tournament of the year, organized and directed by Jane Bissonnette.

  • The top division was won by Rafi Stern, with a 6-1 record.
  • In division 2, it was Christopher Grubb in the lead with 6-1 (even though he started his first game with only 12 minutes on his clock due to a "parking delay").
  • Midori Howard won division 3 with 5-2 record.
  • In division 4, Jim Porter could not be stopped; he finished undefeated.
  • And Ellen Lin finished 6-1, but needed every spread point to win division 5.

What a tournament! Congratulations to all the Seattle winners! And thanks again to all the Bissonnettes for putting on another well-run tournament.

Full details at: July 11 Results page.

28 June 2009
Alice wins in Croatia

Alice Goodwin won her division in the Croatia Scrabble Tour organized by Liz Ashby and Rich Baker ( Alice's son, and fellow club member, Dan Goodwin also played well and ended in third place in his division (after losing the final game for the top stop).
Full results on NSA cross-table.

Congratulations to both Goodwins!

1 August 2009
NASPA Rules Update effective Aug 1

On June 19th, NASPA Rules Commitee announced a minor update to the Rules, effective August 1, 2009. Printable versions of the rules and changes are available on the NASPA Rules page (links to the documents, below).

July 2009
No Tacoma Club session in July

Because the upcoming Seattle One-Day tournament will be on the second Saturday of July (the 11th), and other Saturdays aren't convenient (the first Saturday is July 4th), Tacoma Club Director Lynn Dreyer has announced that there will NOT be a Tacoma Club session in July.

Check the Tacoma Scrabble Club website for more information.

July 2009
Reno Tournament Controversy Resolved! Tournament WILL be NASPA rated

From Steve Pellinen's email posted to cgp:

The short version:

The Reno tournaments will be able to be sanctioned and rated as NASPA events, as the organizers/directors have taken (or will soon take) the steps needed to make that happen.

The longer version:

This has been a long, and, at times, painful process, but together we've worked out an acceptable framework within which this could happen now, in time for the July Reno tournaments (46 games!) - just part of the growth pangs as we learn to toddle as an organization, I guess. This will also cover other upcoming Bay Area tournaments. I say together, but to be honest the Bay Area Directors are making the bigger step vis a vis their previous positions. Speaking only for myself, I appreciate that and was what I hoped for in the spirit of short-term unity and desire for long-term changes for the good of all. Plus, I wanted to play Reno this year.

The various Bay Area directors don't all think the same on every issue that comes up, and neither does the NASPA Steering Committee. In this case, the issues raised by Jeff and Rick and others were well-received by some on the SC, and not so well-received by others, which is fine. That led to a number of other issues, not the least of which was the timing of everything - pressure on Reno due to the July 1 NASPA membership deadline, pressure on the SC due to that as well as all the ongoing organizational work and, especially, the upcoming NSC preparations.

The Reno organizers acquiesced to NASPA membership and player fee requirements in exchange for an assurance from me (with support from several other Steering Committee members) that we will continue to work on the governance issues within NASPA. We want the new player organization, and its decision-making structures, to be responsive to player needs as well as representative of the makeup of the entire competitive Scrabble community. We all recognized that this wasn't something that could be done quickly or under time pressure, at least not done satisfactorily.

The proposal I've made to the Steering Committee, to be taken up after the NSC, is to form a committee (tentatively called the Bylaws Review Committee) dedicated to addressing all of our governance issues, particularly our bylaws. The bylaws are the nuts and bolts of how we do things, how the Board of Directors/Trustees/Steering Committee acts and is selected, etc. - in short, the medium that shapes and describes who we are and how we do things. They can be changed as needed, but not willy-nilly. They require careful thought and consideration, and my hope for this committee is that it will help NASPA be the kind of player organization that the great majority of us want it to be, the kind of organization that, in the end, was the crux of what Jeff and Rick were really asking for.

It's impossible for us to completely satisfy every person's ideal, but together we should be able to come up with something that most of us are happy with, that will set the direction for our future as an organization and, not least importantly, let us play Scrabble to our heart's content.

Steve Pellinen
NASPA Steering Committee
Honorary Bay Area Director (the next NAST Final will be there in Feb 2010)


With the transition from NSA to NASPA sanctioning of tournaments there has arisen a controversy with the upcoming Reno Tournament. The Reno Tournament directors announced in late May that they were not happy with NASPA requirements and would run their tournament without NASPA sanctioning. NASPA representatives subsequently declared that the Reno tournament would not be rated. For more details, the Vancouver Club website has a write-up of the issues.

Parties on both sides are working through mediators to hopefully come to an agreement that will satisfy everyone and allow the tournament to be officially rated.

6 June 2009
Tacoma Club night meets First Saturday in June - June 6th

Tacoma Club Director Lynn Dreyer has announced:

For June only, we will meet on the first Saturday of the month, June 6. I will be out of town on the second Saturday and, after discussing various options among attendees last meeting, we decided to change the date for June only. In July, we will be back to the second Saturday of the month (July 11).

Check the Tacoma Scrabble Club website for more information.

25 May 2009
Rafi Stern takes Third Place at ArdenCup in Chicago

Though seeded 12th in a very tough field, Seattle club member Rafi Stern won 13 of the 20 games to place third at the ArdenCup Memorial tournament in Chicago (Skokie, actually), winning $240.

Nice going Rafi!

21 May 2009
NASPA Newsletter: "THE TILE BAG" welcomes YOUR questions!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Thurs, May 21, 2009
Contact: Doug Brockmeier


Doug Brockmeier here, reporting live from the Internet. I am VERY pleased to announce -- as part of the first issue of the NASPA Newsletter tentatively scheduled for publication online before the Dayton Nationals -- The Tile Bag, a column where I collect YOUR questions on ANYTHING Scrabble-related and seek out experts in the community for answers. I encourage you to join NASPA quickly if you haven't done so already; I'm told that our new official newsletter will be viewable online by only NASPA members, who might choose to print extra copies for nonmember friends.

Let me explain a bit more about "The Tile Bag." The idea is simple: You ask Scrabble questions; I find Scrabble answers. Think of it as a "Dear Abby" column, with a few minor adjustments (number one: I am male). I posed this idea recently to Connecticut's Cornelia Guest, who is chairing the NASPA Newsletter Committee, and she is excited about this format, too. Who wouldn't be excited about learning? Only boring people -- and I know that we have only vibrant, extraordinary, flavorful people in our community.

The most exciting part to me is that answers will come from players known to be experts in given areas. For instance: for Zyzzyva questions, we'd ask Mike Thelen; for Quackle questions, we'd ask John O'Laughlin; for Cross-Tables questions, we'd ask Seth Lipkin; for strategy questions, we'd ask any number of expert players; for Aerolith questions, we'd ask Cesar Del Solar; and so on. My job, in short, is to collect questions, find reliable sources of information, and relay that information back to you neatly and compactly. With participation from many players, we emphasize the concept of community and help to strengthen it, and as a bonus I personally don't get in trouble if I write something controversial.

I expect to field dozens (if not hundreds) of questions each month, and certainly there is no limit to the number of questions you can ask. I would much rather see hundreds of NASPA players asking several questions per month than only a few players asking one question each. The more, the merrier! And do not be afraid to ask a question you feel that 'everybody' knows the answer to. There is no such thing as a dumb question if you don't know the answer!

While we will answer as many questions as we have space for, don't be alarmed or upset if you don't see your question used this month. We'll keep all questions in a file, allowing us to track the topics we've covered in the past and to save some questions for future newsletters. Therefore, you will not need to resubmit a question once you've submitted it, because we will have access to a searchable record of every question we receive. I will try to acknowledge that I've received your question, but if I do find that I'm getting hundreds of them, I may have to revise that plan!

Do you have a groundbreaking idea? A simple question? An obscure question? Rules questions? Ethical questions? Word study questions? Equipment questions? This Q&A "ask the editor" format is a fine opportunity to have your voice heard and your questions answered! There are no real guidelines to the form or content of the questions, so you are free to let your mind run wild, and I promise to do my very best to satisfactorily find the person or people with the answers. I believe we will have a lively mix of questions and answers for our first newsletter. All questions are welcome! Plus, if you want to ask anonymously, you may do that as well.

How do you submit questions? Please email any questions you have about Scrabble to If you would like to help the Newsletter Committee or any other committee, please visit the NASPA website at

OK! So in a nutshell, that is the idea for "The Tile Bag" and I hope I've not forgotten anything. Are there any questions? I hope so -- bring 'em on! On your mark, get set, go! Let's have fun!

Finally, I'd like to send a large heaping online basket of thanks in advance to all contributors to this effort. I hope you all are as excited as I am! Our deadline is more than three weeks away but I want to have time to do a great job for the inaugural issue of the newsletter, so don't forget to start sending me questions right away, bing-bang-boom! Thank you!

Best regards,
Doug Brockmeier
Los Angeles, California

3 May 2009
Results: Oregon Tile Tournament

The highest finishing Seattle player was David Ruby who came in 4th place in the Early Bird to win $100 and a free entry into the NAST final. In the main event, Chris Grubb won $20 for high game (634!), and he also won a copy of Letterati, Paul McCarthy's tell-all book about the history of Scrabble, for playing the highest scoring word on the "poo list" (FARTING for 102pts). Mike Frentz won a copy of Mike Baron's WordBook for making the most number of words on a single play (6).

Nice going, guys!

And congratulations to Dielle Saldanha for winning the Main Event. She was 1.5 games ahead of Chris Cree to qualify for the final and beat Chris 2.5-1.5 in some exciting games to win the crown.

Complete details (including annotated final round games) on the Oregon Tile website.
NSA Crosstables:   Early Bird   Main Event   Late Bird

24-25 April 2009
National School Scrabble Championship

You can see full details of this biennial event at the School Scrabble Website.

One nice touch this year was a letter from President Barack Obama to each participant.

20 April 2009
Results: 7th Biennial Cascadia Team Tournament

Calgary Club Director Siri Tillekeratne sends this report:

Seventeen players each from the NW US and W. Canada met in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for the 7th Biennial Cascadia team tournament on April 18 & 19. Although the Canadian team was higher rated in both Divisions, the Americans did much better than expected clinching five of the top seven places in the top Division. Only the strong performance of the Canadian Division 2 saved the day, ending up in a Canadian victory of 129 - 109.


DIV. 1 (USA 69, CANADA 57)

1. Mike Baker (US) 1681, 12-2, +1272, $175
2. Rich Moyer (US) 1667, 11-3, +966, $100
3. Jeff Fleetham (CAN) 1623, 9-5, +197, $70
4. Ruth Hamilton (US), 1575, 9-5, -62, $50     
5. Karen Merrill (US), 1516, 8-6, +509, $30
6. Chris Williams (CAN), 1732, 8-6, +409
7. Dan Goodwin (US), 1678, 8-6, +29
8. Siri Tillekeratne (CAN), 1568, 7-7, +190
9. Wayne Clifford (CAN), 1599, 7-7, -467
10. Juraj Pivovarov (CAN), 1431, 6-8, -358
11. Noella Ward (CAN), 1327, 6-8, -217
12. George Bissonnette (US), 1055, 6-8, -398
13. PK Gott (US), 1420, 6-8, -398
14. Jane Bissonnette (US), 1171, 6-8, -438
15. Wendy McGrath (CAN), 1269, 5-9, -253
16. Brendan Huang (CAN), 1471, 5-9, -419
17. Huguette Settle (CAN), 1325, 4-10, -509
18. Mary LeCompte (US), 1144, 3-11, -671

High Game: Juraj Pivovarov 580
High Turn: PK Gott, SYRUPIER 167
High Non-bingo: Rich Moyer, EQUIP 80
High Loss: Jeff Fleetham, 432
Comeback Kid: Ruth Hamilton won after being behind by 124
Bingo Ace: Mike Baker 27 bingos
(All category prizes are $10 each)


1. Maureen Morris (CAN), 1200, 11-3, +843, $150
2. Marion Dimond (CAN), 772, 10-4, +79, $85
3. Ben Settle (CAN), 1051, 9-5, +377, $80
4. Betty Bergeron (CAN), 1122, 9-5, +231, $45
5. Sylvia King (CAN), 1003, 9-5, +163, $30
6. Anna Marie Cook, (CAN), 789, 8-6, +459
7. Zana Anderson (US), 1009, 8-6, +458
8. John Aitken (CAN), 1177, 8-6, +186
9. Ed Wilson (US), 846, 8-6, -85
10. Laverne Brookes (CAN), 830, 8-6, -99 
11. Sarah MCConahy (US), UNR, 6-8, -126
12. Skip Leasure (US) UNR, 6-8, -55
13. Tim LeCompte (US), 956, 5-9, -131
14. Peggy Crane (US), 663, 3-11, -741
15. Joey Cross (US), 705, 2-12,-751
16. Neva Hunt (US), 705, -908

High Game: Betty Bergeron, 517
High turn: Ben Settle, HANDLES, 101
High non-Bingo: Maureen Morris BRAZES, 96
High Loss: Tim LeCompte, 426
Comeback Kid: Ben Settle won after being behind by 103 
Bingo Ace: Maureen Morris: 19 bingos 
(All category prizes are $10 each)

Most outrageous successful phoney: Juraj Pivovarov - KABOOM

New ratings available at the NSA cross-table.

19 April 2009
NASPA Bulletin Available Now

North American SCRABBLE Players Association

The NASPA Bulletin is the North American SCRABBLE Players Association's monthly news bulletin. It is published as a two-page PDF file and made available for download exclusively to NASPA members for one week before a free public release. NASPA members can download the current issue from Member Services.

Back issues are available.

13 April 2009
Happy Birthday Alfred!

Alfred Mosher Butts, the inventor of SCRABBLE, was born 110 years ago today--on April 13, 1899.

Thanks Alf!

2 April 2009
There are a few slots available for the Cascadia Challenge Tournament

The 18-19 April Cascadia Challenge is the biennial Northwestern U.S. vs Western Canada Challenge Tournament. There are limited entries because both teams are balanced, but a few slots have recently opened up on the US team.
The Coeur d'Alene Golf and Spa Resort has also said they still have rooms available at the special group rate.

SO, if you are interested in participating you need to contact Ruth Hamilton ASAP!

More details on our Tournaments page.

29 March 2009
NSA membership no longer a must. NASPA taking over

With the transition of club and tournament SCRABBLE from the National Scrabble Association (NSA) to the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA), you NO LONGER need to be a member of the NSA to compete in sanctioned tournaments. You just need to be a member of the NASPA.

NSA memberships are NOT transferrable to the NASPA, so if you have recently received a reminder from the NSA to renew there is NO NEED to do so (unless you want to receive the Scrabble News--which is the only thing you'll get for your NSA membership from now on, and who knows how long they will be publishing it anyway?).

NASPA membership is required to compete in NSA/NASPA tournaments starting July 1st. But, from now until July 1, you can be either an NSA or an NASPA member to compete in tournaments--so if your NSA membership is about to run out, you only need to join the NASPA from now on.

March 30 UPDATE :   The NASPA has just updated their website to clarify the terms of membership:

Memberships purchased on or before December 31, 2009 have an extended initial term: your membership will be valid from the receipt of your dues through December 31, 2010. After that, each membership term is up to one calendar year (from January 1 through December 31).

SO... you DON'T have to join the NASPA by July 1 to get the "good until Dec 2010" deal. But, if you are playing in any tournaments after July 1st you will still need to join before playing.

As always, for the latest info check out the NASPA website:

29 March 2009
The Seattle SCRABBLE Club is now on Facebook

In keeping with the times, we now have a Facebook group for the Seattle Club. If you are already a Facebook member, you can just join the Seattle Scrabble Club group.

We'll use the group as a way to advertise our club, and as another way for club members to keep in touch, post images, etc. Feel free to sign up, write on the wall, start discussions, and all the other Facebook-y things.

28 March 2009
Another Successful One-Day Tournament

Once again, Jane Bissonnette has organized and directed another fun tournament at Horizon House. Seattle players took the top spot in three of the five groups. Highlights below:

  • Mike Frentz was the bottom seed of a very tight Division One, but he managed to earn the win with a higher spread than two other players with the same record.
  • Despite the distractions of directing the tournament Jane Bissonnette came in first place in Division 4 (edging past her husband George Bissonnette by spread).
  • In Division 2, visiting crossword constructor and naming maven Andrea Michaels took the top, followed by Dan Goodwin in second place and David Ruby in third.
  • A similar story in Division 3, where Miriam Saldanha went undefeated, and Lynn Dreyer taking second and Alice Goodwin in third.
  • Division 5 was won by Byron Nelson, with second place going to Ellen Lin and Norm Garvin in third.

Full details on the March 28 Results page.

22 March 2009
Pearls Before Swine

20 March 2009
New fees with NSA/NASPA changeover Effective July 1

As previously announced, the National Scrabble Association will be handing over responsibilities for Tournament and Club SCRABBLE® to the newly formed North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA) by 1 January 2010. Recently, the NASPA has announced (via their website) that some changes are happening effective July 1st.

The NASPA is making these changes to generate new revenue to replace that lost by the lack of funding from Hasbro. Some of the changes announced are:

  • Annual Player membership fee in the NASPA will be $30 (up from $20/$25 in the NSA). [they are trying to soften the blow by making the initial NASPA membership good until the end of 2010 if you sign up by July 1st--so you'll get 1.5 years for your first payment.]

  • NASPA membership is required to compete in NSA/NASPA tournaments starting July 1st. NOTE: From now until July 1, you have to be either an NSA or an NASPA member to compete in tournaments--so if your NSA membership is about to run out, you only need to join the NASPA from now on.

  • The old Tournament rating fees will be replaced by a "Tournament Participation Fee". The existing fee structure is a fixed amount per player per tournament ($1 per player per Local Club tournament, $1.50 per player for an open-rated tournament with 16 games or fewer, and $1.75 per player an open-rated tournament with 17 games or more). The new fee will be $.50 per player per tournament game.
    For example a one-day 8 game tournament under the NSA would cost $1.50 per player; but the new fee will be $4.00 per person. A three-day tournament with 20 games would cost $1.75 per player under the old system, but $10 per player with the new one. Players should expect that tournament entry fees will be raised and/or prize payouts will be reduced to accommodate this change.

  • Annual $30 fee for NASPA sanctioned clubs. [Apparently this is also due starting July 1st.] Also, Tournament directors must be members of NASPA for their clubs to retain active, sanctioned status.

What does all this mean for you?
Well, if you just come to club you shouldn't notice any change. We have enough money in our club fund to cover the annual sanctioned club fee so that is no problem. If you attend tournaments, expect to pay a little more for your NASPA membership (sign up by July 1st for the best deal to start with!), and expect to pay $5 to $10 more for every tournament you enter.

As always, for the latest info check out the NASPA website:

14 March 2009
Tacoma Club night changed to 2nd Saturday

Because the Tacoma club director and many of the club regulars will be in Vancouver BC the first weekend of March to attend the annual Vancouver Tournament, the March meeting of the Tacoma Scrabble Club will be moved to the second Saturday, March 14th.

It's Official!   Tacoma club Director Lynn Dreyer has announced:

Because of conflicts with several upcoming tournaments, as well as personal preferences of several of our founding members, the monthly meeting of the Tacoma Scrabble Club has been changed to the 2nd Saturday of the month (from March onwards).

8 March 2009
Seattle winners in Vancouver BC

Lynn Dreyer won Division 2 in the Early Bird Tournament (prize $100). Rebecca Slivka won $50 for finishing in third place in the top division.

In the Main Event, Seattle players did the best in Division 4, where Daval Davis took First place ($400), Lynn Dreyer took Second ($250), and Jim Porter placed 4th ($100 prize). Daval Davis also won the "Bingo Ace" award, getting the most number of bingos (27) in the tournament for his division to win $20.

David Ruby placed Second in division two (winning $400). Note that he had the same record as the top finisher, but just 12 points less cumulative--so spread matters! David also won the questionnaire drawing so he got a brand new Sam Board!

Congratulations everyone!

NSA Crosstables for:   Early Bird   Main Event

6-8 March 2009
Travel Alerts for Vancouver Tournament

From WSDOT: Heading to Canada in March? Plan ahead for I-5 work in Bellingham

Going to Canada, hey? You'd better plan some extra time into your schedule if you're traveling there during the first two weekends of March. Crews will close one lane of southbound I-5 north of Bellingham near the Northwest Avenue exit the weekend of March 6 and March 13 for panel replacement work.

Check for updates and get the full details at WSDOT website.

Also, make sure you are prepared for the border crossing, as new identification document requirements went into effect 31 January 2009.

Passport Requirement by Land or Sea

Effective January 31, 2008 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will no longer accept oral declarations of U.S. or Canadian citizenship from those traveling by land or sea.

U.S. and Canadian travelers will be required to present:

  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license AND
    A birth certificate or other proof of citizenship;
  • Or - for youth 18 and under - a birth certificate alone
OR one of the following from the list below:
  • A valid Passport*
  • NEXUS Card
  • SENTRI Card
  • FAST Card
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner's Card
  • Military ID and Official Orders
  • I-551 Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) for U.S. legal residents

Still have questions?   Check this US Government website.

21 February 2009
New NASPA website launched!

The web site for the new North American SCRABBLE Players Association is now up at:

North American SCRABBLE Players Association

As mentioned in the current (#225) issue of SCRABBLE News, NASPA will be taking over responsibility of club and tournament SCRABBLE from the NSA over the course of this year. We are extremely busy at the moment getting the new organization set up and preparing to run this year's NSC, but constructive feedback about the web site will always be appreciated.

John Chew (poslfit on MD/WD/PD)
Cochair, NASPA Steering Committee

Note: they mostly have just the framework up at this point. There's lots of info yet to be added, but you should check back there over the next few weeks or months for updates and news about the NASPA and the transition.

16 February 2009
Nigel Peltier wins early bird in Phoenix

Laurie Cohen 725 to Nigel Peltier 402, game 19 Phoenix Feb 2009

Nigel Peltier went 6-2 (+554) to win Division One Early Bird at Phoenix on Friday, February 13th. Congratulations Nigel!

Then, during game 19 of the Main Event, Nigel scored 402 against Laurie Cohen but that was not enough to win the game. Laurie scored 725(!) to win and their game becomes the second highest combined score (1127) in a Tournament Scrabble Game EVER!

Click on the image at right to see a close-up picture of the final board. You can also read a write-up (with some questionable facts) in this Arizona Republic article.

Laurie Cohen was interviewed by Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday. Listen at: NPR website.

Nice article about Nigel and the game at ASU's website: Wordsmith breaks record: ASU student plays in 1,127-point Scrabble game.

13 February 2009
Hasbro wants your feedback on the newly-designed DIAMOND SCRABBLE

They don't ask very often. Here's your chance:

Hasbro wants your feedback on the newly-designed Deluxe SCRABBLE game, DIAMOND SCRABBLE. Before end of day Friday, February 13th please go to and click on the survey box to send off your comments.

We are thrilled the marketing team wants to listen to comments, so the NSA would apppreciate your constructive input on this.

Jane Ratsey WIlliams
National SCRABBLE Association
PO Box 700
Greenport, NY 11944

10 February 2009
Snow what! Club is still ON tonight!

Yes, it's snowing. But the roads are just wet, so I'll be going to club. Hope to see you folks there!

For detailed info on Puget Sound weather, check out the Cliff Mass Weather Blog.

8 February 2009
Fine for not turning in your card: $3

As you know from attending club, you are supposed to turn in your (white or blue) score card at the end of the night. The cards are used to generate the weekly Club Statistics.

Some folks are starting to get a little lax about this, and the missing score cards create a lot of extra work for our statistician so we are instituting a small stick fine of $3 in hopes this will eliminate the problem.

27 January 2009
No Emerald City Tournament this Year (2009)

As most Seattle club members are aware, Club Director Rebecca Slivka announced last year that she would not be directing another Emerald City Tournament after last year's 20th Annual Memorial Weekend tournament at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.

While Club co-Director Jane Bissonnette has been instrumental in bringing one-day tournaments to Seattle, no other director(s) have offered to take over the more demanding multi-day tournament. The Memorial weekend date has been problematic for us anyway, with declining attendance due to competition with other tournaments. So, even if the Emerald City tournament were to be revived it would likely be moved to a different date or back to a smaller venue.

Perhaps Seattle will offer a multi-day tournament again. Meanwhile, there are lots of other tournaments to choose from. SCRABBLE ON!

24 January 2009
Successful Tournament and Fundraiser January 24th

Another successful tournament organized by Jane Bissonnette. In addition to providing a great competition, we also raised $445 for the Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program.

Full details on the Jan 24 Results page.

Stone Soup Theatre presents: Eleemosynary

21 January 2009
Stone Soup Theatre presents: Eleemosynary

Stone Soup Theatre is offering discounted tickets to our Club members for their production of Eleemosynary. The lead character in Eleemosynary is a spelling bee champ in this lovely piece about 3 generations of brilliant women.

To get the discounted ticket price, just tell them you are with the Scrabble® Club and you will receive $5 off the normal price. Offer is good during the first 2 weeks of the production (Feb 19-March 4).

Thanks to Maureen Miko, Stone Soup Artistic Director, for making this offer available!

...and yes, ELEEMOSYNARY is acceptable in Scrabble®!

20 January 2009
Printable version of new Rules Available

The NSA has posted a printable version [pdf] version of the new rules at the NSA website. Since you are responsible for learning and following the new rules, it would be a good idea to print out your own copy (the NSA has not announced when a new booklet version will be available, so this is the only way to get a copy at this point).

What has changed?   The most significant change to the rules is that are no more "Guidelines"; they have all been incorporated into rules. Also the Rule numbering system has changed. There are some significant rules changes, but most of them apply more to Tournament than Club play.

To help with the transition, you can also view and print a Summary of Policy Changes. Remember, though that this summary document just paraphrases the changes--the Rules themselves are the official last word. The current rules (2004) remain in effect until 31 January 2009; the new rules become effective 1 February 2009.

14 January 2009
NSA Revised Rules: Effective Feb 1st

Until the rules have been posted on the NSA site, here is a link to them: NSA Rules Effective Feb 1, 2009
You can also view and print a summary of Policy Changes (formatted for viewing/printing from an email sent by Steve Oliger).

Text of recent email (13 January 2009) from Steve Oliger:

Last year, John Luebkemann became chairman of the Rules Committee. We lost former chair Joe Edley as well as members Charlie Southwell, Rod MacNeil, Larry Gradus, and Evan Berovsky. We gained Dan Stock, Steve Oliger, Mary Rhoades, David Boys, and Geoff Thevenot. Much of 2008 was spent reorganizing and reevaluating our somewhat outdated rules. The revision was then vetted by John Green, John Chew, Chris Cree, NSA staff writers, Joel Sherman, and Joe Edley. The RC considered all of their suggestions and has now finished the update (which will take effect on Feb. 1). Please see John Luebkemann's article in SCRABBLE NEWS, Issue 224, for a description of major changes. A fairly comprehensive list of policy changes is listed below. And below that is a table which cross-references the old "guidelines" to their positions in the newly organized rules.

Note that some of you will no doubt be dissatisfied with certain changes. The committee itself was split on a few issues (most notably "blank designation" and "resignations policy"). We compromised on those issues. (Note to Mike Early: It would have been great to be able to poll the NSA membership on the more difficult matters, although probably none of them are as significant as our lexicon issue.)

About nine rules changes were made just before the NSC this summer. Those are included in the following list. The terms of a few of those will change slightly on Feb 1. Until John Chew has posted the new rules to the NSA website, you can temporarily view them at:

Steve Oliger (for the Rules Committee)

13 January 2009
Recent NSA changes: Rules, Tournaments, Ratings

The NSA has recently announced a series of changes that will be going into effect the next month or so:

    The 2009 edition of the North American Tournament Rules will be posted to the NSA website very soon. The new rules will be effective February 1, 2009.
    -- John Luebkemann
    Chair, North American Scrabble® Rules Committee

    Check NSA Rules to see them when they appear. Note: rumor has it this is a massive rewrite--but I haven't seen a draft yet so it's anyone's guess.

    The NSA website will have minimal information about tournaments--instead directors and players should look to to post and view detailed tournament listings.
    Read the full announcement on the NSA website.

    As posted previously, the new Ratings Formula went into effect 7 January 2009. See below for more details. On Jan 13th, the NSA posted a notice about the new ratings on their website.
    They have also posted a new online rating calculator that uses the new ratings formula.

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

snow-covered branches

23 December 2008
Club CANCELLED for Tuesday Dec 23rd

With all the snow, ice, and poor road conditions, we are CANCELLING club for this Tuesday, December 23rd.

Stay home and keep warm! We'll see you all next week.

(Go online and play on ISC instead!)

2 December 2008
NSA Announces New Ratings Formula Effective 7 January 2009

They have announced a date for the adoption of the new Ratings Formula.

On Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, the new rating system, currently in testing on the NSA web site, will officially take effect. On that day, player ratings data will be copied again from the traditional rating system, erasing the test data currently being posted, and from that point forward only the new ratings will be computed and displayed.

Qualification systems in progress (such as for the WSC, CNSC and PC) will switch to using the new ratings on the same day.

John Chew
NSA Webmaster

Note: in addition to changing the win probability calculation (see new formula below), they are also proposing to reduce the threshold for bonus points to 3.5 points per game (from the current 5).
For more background, check out John Chew's page explaining How Ratings Work.

1 December 2008
NSA Announces New Ratings Formula

In a recent Scrabble® News, the NSA announced that work was being done on revising the Ratings formula. They have used the new formula* on all tournaments in October 2008 and published the ratings side by side on cross-tables linked at the NSA website.

If you are curious how this affects your rating, you can download the following Excel Spreadsheet and play around with it (thanks to Adam Boocher who created the spreadsheet several years ago - I just modified it to add the new stuff). The spreadsheet also includes a chart comparing the old and new Probability functions, if you are interested.

The NSA has not yet announced when the new ratings formula will become official (or if any modifications will be made to this current formula).

The message below was posted to CGP on Dec 1st:

As you are now aware, pro forma cross tables implementing the "Traditional" and the "2008 Revised" ratings systems have been posted at the NSA website. Thanks to John Chew for doing this work.

As many of you will remember, one of the motivations for this work was the perception that the Traditional ratings calculations were inherently unfair to the higher rated player.

[A quick technical background on ratings calculations: The amount of points gained or lost are driven by a function that estimates the probability the higher-rated player would win based on the difference between the two players' ratings. The Traditional ratings system uses a function that overestimated this probability when compared against actual historical results. The RRC looked at several years worth of game data and constructed a function that provides this probability based on that actual game data. This is the basis for the "2008 Revised" system.]

The major case-in-point raised in many of the threads is Brian Williams. He would typically win the tournament, but lose ratings points because his rating is that much greater than the fields'. Look at the Nov 1 results: Brian wins, going 11-2 with a spread of +1074. Under the traditional system, he loses 12 points. Under the 2008 Revised system he gains 19 points.

The RRC, when initially discussing the Traditional system, identified other areas for study and possible adjustment. These included:

(1) The ratings deflation / compression phenomenon
(2) Initial ratings calculations for new players and the effect on their opponents' ratings
(3) Long term methodology / process for maintaining the system to minimize systemic bias.

We chose to limit our scope of the initial recommendation in order to minimize the overll impact and allow for a smooth transition to the ultimate ratings system. What you are seeing is the first step in that evolutionary process. The RRC is committed to a long term study of the ratings system and the implementation of a system that produces accurate and stable ratings for their stated purpose.

I invite feedback on the 2008 Revised system. Please bear in mind that I have run many simulations of the system using actual game data and have a decent feel for the short term (i.e. one or two tournament) impact to an individual. When commenting, please try to take a broader look - consider the entire division or tournament when assessing the impact. I will be monitoring the CGP listserve (although my yahoo account seems to be a spam magnet recently, so I need to sift through much drek to find your pearls of wisdom.) I will try to respond to questions / comments posed directly to me in a timely fashion, however the Austin tournament is this weekend and I have plenty of work to prepare for that.

Best regards,

Jim Hughes
Managing Director, NSA Ratings and Recognition Committee

*New Rating Formula (to calculate win probability P):

P = e coefficient * Ratings difference / (1 + e coefficient * Ratings difference)

There are two parameters to the logistic regression model:

Rating difference - provided for each game
Coefficient - used as weighting factor in the equation

We analyzed game data and determined the coefficient to be 0.0031879.

The formula can also be written as:   P = 1 - 1/(1+exp(0.0031879*(Rating difference)))

Summer/Fall 2008
NSA Announces new Rules

Just prior to the Nationals in July 2008, the NSA announced some changes to the Official Tournament Rules. Some of the changes were to existing rules, and some new rules were added.

The proposed rule changes were put into effect 25 July 2008, and are still labeled "Draft" however it appears they are officially effective as the changes have been incorporated into the online version of the Rules. You can read the summary of changes on the NSA website. We have also created a printable version.

15 November 2008
Seattle WINS Vancouver-Seattle Interclub Challenge!

Seattle Team

On the heels of winning the Portland-Seattle Challenge earlier this fall, in a closely matched contest Seattle came out ahead with 92 wins to Vancouver's 84 for the victory in this team challenge tournament.

Division A had the strongest showing, with the most number of Seattle wins and Seattle players taking the top three spots: Club director Rebecca Slivka came in first, followed by Dan Goodwin and then Rafi Stern. Dan also won a prize for High Game.

Claudia Finn won Division B, and Geoff Tongue placed third (and High Loss) and Mark Peltier took fourth place. David Ruby also won a prize for High Game.

In the (larger) Division C Jane Bissonnette took second place, followed by Jim Porter in third (a great performance in his first tournament), Dave Foerstel in fourth, Georgianne Fiorini in fifth, and Matthew Nelson in sixth place. Byron Nelson won a prize for High Loss and Lynn Dreyer won for being closest to the middle (she was 4-4 -3).

Thanks to the Vancouver club for organizing and to all the Seattle players who showed up and helped us to Victory!

Full details and pictures! at: Vancouver-Seattle Results page.

1 November 2008
Portland Results

NINE Seattle club members went down to Portland for their one-day tournament at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). It was a lovely venue, with very cool exhibits and a tasty cafe on site.

Matthew Nelson came in 4th place in Division 5, while his father Byron Nelson finished one place above, in 3rd. In Division 3, it was Dave Foerstel in 4th Place and Midori Howard in 3rd. And, the highest placing Seattle finisher was George Bissonnette who had high game and finished in 2nd place in Division 4.
Congrats to all for making the trek and doing so well!

Complete results: NSA Cross-table

15-19 October 2008
Calgary Results

Several Seattle club members went to the Western Canadian Championship in Calgary. The table below shows awards won by Seattle members. Nice job folks!

Early Bird 1   Alice Goodwin : 2nd Place, Division 2
Early Bird 2   Dan Goodwin : 2nd Place, Division 1
Rebecca Slivka : 4th Place, Division 1
Alice Goodwin : 4th Place, Division 2
Main Event   Rachel Christensen : 4th Place, Division 2
Rachel Christensen : High Game (550), Division 2
Rachel Christensen : High Play (194 PORTABLY), Division 2
Alice Goodwin : Bingo Ace, Division 2

Full results, including links to the NSA crosstables at the Calgary Club website:

27 September 2008
Seattle WINS Portland-Seattle Challenge!

For the first time in at least eight years, the SEATTLE TEAM WINS!!!

Seattle team players dominated in the Second Division, with Walker Willingham taking first place, followed by Daniel Goodwin in second, and Richard Johnson in third place. Dan also got high game and Walker got high loss.

Seattle also did very well in the Fourth Division, where Dave Foerstel (in his debut tournament) came in first place, followed by David Grochowski in second, and Dawn Camille Wisniew in third place.

George Bissonnette placed third in the Third Division. George also had the High Game, and Midori Howard had the High Loss. Matthew Nelson had the High Game in Division Four and Mike Frentz got High Game and High Loss in Division One.

Full details at: Portland-Seattle Results page.

4 October 2008
Tacoma SCRABBLE® Club moves to First SATURDAY

Tacoma SCRABBLE® Club will be meeting at a NEW location (see below), and start earlier (4 pm) and move to Saturday. The next session will be Saturday October 4th.

Where:   Windermere Tacoma Central Office
6221 Tacoma Mall Blvd
, Tacoma
When:   4 pm to 10 pm, 1st Saturday of the month (you do not need to stay the entire time)
What:   Bring your own equipment (boards, tiles, clocks, score sheets, writing implements)
Who:   All players are welcome!
Director:   Lynn Dreyer 253-579-3004,
Website:   Tacoma Scrabble Website
View Larger Map

Directions from the North:

1. Drive South on I-5 (about 33 miles from Seattle)
2. Take Exit 130, S. 56th St (0.2 mi)
3. Take the Tacoma Mall Blvd ramp toward 56th St W (0.2 mi)
4. Turn Left on Tacoma Mall Blvd (0.5 mi)
5. End at 6221 Tacoma Mall Blvd (on left)

Directions from the South:

1. Drive North on I-5 (about 24 miles from Olympia)
2. Take Exit 129, 72nd St (0.3 mi)
3. Turn Left on 72nd St (0.1 mi)
4. 72nd St becomes 74th St (0.1 mi)
5. Turn slight Right onto S Sprague Ave/Tacoma Mall Blvd (0.7 mi)
6. End at 6221 Tacoma Mall Blvd (on right)

20 September 2008
Scrabble at Erika's in Blaine

Val Gallant and Erika Werdal are hosting a scrabble party Saturday September 20th and would love it if some southerners would come. It will be from 1pm until the last person gives up the ghost, and there will be food.
Says Erika:   I do have several beds available if folks (that we know and like, lol) want to come up Fri or stay over Sat night.

If you plan to attend, please contact Erika at (360) 306-8769 or so they know how many people to expect (they'll also send you directions).

5 September 2008
New SCRABBLE Club starts in Tacoma

Newly sanctioned director Lynn Dreyer and Geoff Tongue have organized a SCRABBLE Club for Tacoma. They will be meeting once a month to start with, on the First Friday of the month, with the first session scheduled for this Friday September 5th.

Where:   Tully's Coffee, 764 Broadway, Tacoma [intersection of Broadway, St. Helen's, and 9th (the triangle building)]
When:   6 pm to 10 pm, 1st Friday of the month
What:   Bring your own equipment (boards, tiles, clocks, score sheets, writing implements)
Who:   All players are welcome!
Director:   Lynn Dreyer 253-579-3004,
Website:   Tacoma Scrabble Website

Lynn reports about the first session of the Tacoma Scrabble Club:

I think it went really well. Geoff Tongue, Ken Clark, Georgiana Fiorini, Betsy Moschetti, Shannon Kreuger, Jane and George Bissonette, and yours truly were in attendence. We played only 3 games since Tully's closes at 9 pm.

There was some interest from people walking by and I handed out some flyers. Considering that the meeting was virtually unpopularized, attendance was excellent. I had a good time and hope others did too. We are looking for a venue change so we can play until 10. Friday looks best for people since it is not a school/work night for most.

See you soon,


29 August-1 September 2008
DAVID RUBY wins Division 2 Portland Tournament

David Ruby took first place in the Second Division of the Labor Day Tournament in Portland. Way to go David!!!

Matthew Nelson placed fourth in Division Four, and Alice Goodwin placed fifth in Division Three. Additionally, Frank Kashuk got High Play in Division Two (RECEIVED for 140 pts) and Mike Frentz got High Game in Division One (660 pts).

23 August 2008
Fabulous Scrabble Saturday at Eileen's on August 23rd

Returning Seattle clubmember Eileen Gruhn hosted a SCRABBLE Saturday at her residence on Saturday, August 23rd. Sit-down lunch (salmon, rice pilaf, vegetables) was served at Noon in the 19th floor room with stunning views to the North, West, and South (Mt. Rainier was out and lovely).

After lunch was consumed (thanks Eileen for hosting!), the tables were quickly transformed to their true purpose: holding Scrabble games. Mike Frentz coordinated the collection of $3 entry fee for prizes and announced the prize category and winner for each round. Prizes were give out for the first six rounds (e.g., "best seattle word", "highest-scoring phoney that stays on the board", "most words formed in the play", "I Spy"--something visible out the window, etc.).

Several people brought snacks (chips, pretzels, cheese, crackers, brownies, wine, and beer) which were appreciated later in the afternoon. Some folks got as many as eight games in before we were all kicked out at 8pm.

Folks who attended (doing this from memory...I'm sure I've forgotten someone):

Seattle Scrabble Club celebrates at Horizon House
  • Jane & George Bissonnette
  • Uri & Dinah Breda
  • Alice & Daniel Goodwin
  • Bob & Jane Jackson
  • Ann Ferguson
  • Mike Frentz
  • Eileen Gruhn
  • Claudia Finn
  • Ben Collett
  • Bev Nelson
  • Christina O'Sullivan & Tobin Lathrop & Charles
  • Steven Jones & Jennifer & Madeleine
  • Bob Sluys
  • Dawn Camille Wisniew
  • Lynn Dreyer
  • Rebecca Slivka
  • Robert Kearn (visiting from Kentucky)
Seattle Scrabble Club celebrates at Horizon House

16 August 2008
RAFI STERN wins Vancouver One-Day Tournament

Rafi Stern took first place in the Top Division of the August 16th Tournament in Vancouver, B.C. Frank Kashuk placed second in Division Two of this very well attended (52 players!) one-day tournament.

Other Seattle club prize winners: Nigel Peltier placed 4th in Division One, Jane Bissonnette placed 4th in Division Four, Georgianne Fiorini placed 9th in Division Five, and Ellen Lin placed 10th in Division Five. Congratulations everyone!

You can view complete results at the Vancouver Club Website.
NSA crosstable (shows new ratings)

25-29 July 2008
Live Coverage of the NSC in Orlando

Once again folks who can't make it to the National SCRABBLE Championship can follow along LIVE.

It's Over!!! Seattle-area player results:

Alice and Dan Goodwin enjoy a Luau in Orlando:

Alice and Dan Goodwin at a Luau in Orlando

7 July 2008
Seattle Club members win in Reno!

Lynn Dreyer holding her FOTD prize: a bendy robot clock

Early Bird Congratulations to:

  • Lynn Dreyer for winning Group 5 ($210)
  • Eileen Gruhn for winning Group 4 ($210)
  • Nigel Peltier for winning Group 1 ($210)
  • Mark Peltier placed third in Group 4 ($80)
    Rebecca Slivka placed second in Group 2 ($120)
  • .

Main Event Congratulations to:

  • Mark Peltier for placing fifth ($250) in the Advanced Division
  • Matthew Nelson who won the performance prize ($110) in the Recreational Division (Matthew also scored 573 in game 12!)
  • Lynn Dreyer who won a performance prize ($40) in the Advanced Division (she split the prize with Betty Toole)

Mark Peltier and Lynn Dreyer also won "Friend of the Director" prizes.
Kudos to Eileen Gruhn for her strong performance after a tournament (and club) hiatus of almost three years. Welcome back Eileen!

Seattle Tournament: 28 June 2008

28 June 2008
Nigel Peltier wins Seattle One-Day June 28 Tourney!

Congratulations to Nigel Peltier for winning the top Division at the (hot!) one-day tournament June 28th. Rafi Stern came in a close second. Congratulations also to Frank Kashuk for winning Group C!

Other strong Seattle club performers: Richard Johnson placed second and David Ruby took third place in Group B, and Byron Nelson placed second in Division E. Great job all!

Complete Results of June 28 One-Day Tourney

24 June 2008
Club Rate Increase Announcement: $5 starting July 1st

For the first time in almost 7 years, the rate for attending Seattle Club will go up—from $4 to $5 per evening. This increase is a result of many months of thoughtful consideration and appears to have the support of most of the club membership. I've listed a few questions/answers on the subject, which I hope will explain why we've chosen to do this.

Q: Why the increase?

A: Our club expenses have increased and our attendance has dropped a little, so our current rate is not enough to cover all our expenses. When we moved from Fare Start to the University Friends in 2004, our rent almost doubled. At the time, we had a moderate balance in the club account, which has allowed us to maintain the same entry fee for 4 years, even as our attendance suffered from the change in location and attrition from other causes. Additionally, the club is now paying monthly for insurance. Increasing the club fee will help cover the increased costs, and give the club more of a buffer for future uncertainties.

Q: When is the change effective?

A: The rate change will be announced at club Tuesday June 24th and will go into effect the following week, July 1st 2008. We hope the rate change does not present a financial burden to our members. Please speak to the director privately if this is an issue for you.

Q: What are all the club expenses?

A: Club fees are used to pay rent at UFM ($230/month), insurance ($35/month), website hosting ($5/month), photocopying of score sheets, score cards, word lists, information sheets, postage (score cards are mailed to the statistician), game equipment (clocks, tiles, etc.), clock batteries, pens & pencils, and of course prizes at club ($20-30/week). Club funds are also used to subsidize the tournaments (refreshments for 1-day events, rent for the multi-day-all other tournament costs are paid from entry fees). Club directors, treasurer, statistician and other volunteers receive no compensation for their time (other than waiver of club fee).

Q: If I only play 2 games, shouldn't I pay less?

A: Even if you play only one game a night, you cost the club the same amount as someone who plays 4 games. You are still using the space (we pay rent for the space), equipment (boards, clocks, tiles), and score sheets, score cards, etc.

Q: What is the history of the club entry fee?

A: The last time the club fee was raised was October 2002, when it was increased from $3 to $4 per week. The previous rate had been in effect for at least 6 years at that point.

Q: How will this affect the weekly prizes?

A: Starting July 1st, prizes/bonuses will be paid for the following milestones:

Category word:   $5 (games 1-3 only)
75+ non-bingo:   $1
100+ play:   $1
500+ game:   $1
600+ game:   $2
700+ game:   $3 + undying awe and respect of your peers
Bingo Bonus:   $3+ (pot accumulates)
[Blue card: 3+ bingos in a game;
white card: 3+ bingos in a row]
Sitting out:   $3 (when players are uneven, rotates)

If you have suggestions for additional prizes/bonuses, please let me know. We like to reward players for great playing and improved playing. If you have ideas on getting more prizes to newcomers, I'd like to hear it.

I hope this answers all your questions and I look forward to continued improvement and expansion of the Seattle Club.

Thank you,

Rebecca Slivka

7 June 2008
Rebecca Slivka takes 2nd place at Calgary Summer Tournament

Lake Louise

Seattle club members Lynn Dreyer and Rebecca Slivka went on a road trip to Calgary to compete in their 25th annual Summer Tournament.

On the way, they stopped at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise (the view on the right was what they saw out the window of their hotel room while they were playing a few games of Scrabble).

Rebecca was unable to repeat her winning performance at the same tournament in 2005, but placed 2nd in the top division. She also won a prize for high game (518).

25-29 July 2008
National SCRABBLE® Championship Registration Open

Registration for the July 25-29, 2008 NSC in Orlando is now open and available online at the NSA website at a discounted rate.

Note: All registrations go up $30 as of June 9th! (Last day to register is July 1st!) Issue 219 of the SCRABBLE News has a printed entry form. There is an additional $10 handling fee for mailed in and faxed entries.

26 May 2008
DAVE WIEGAND wins Seattle Memorial Weekend Tournament!

Congratulations to DAVE WIEGAND for winning the 2008 Emerald City Tournament! Dave won the Memorial Weekend tournament in 2004 and 2005, but was kept to just 2nd place last year and 2006. What will happen next year?

Final Standings

29 March 2008
Dave Wiegand wins Seattle One-Day Tournament

Dave Wiegand, the only Portlander to come up for the tournament, went undefeated to win Division One at the Seattle one-day tournament. Seattle Club Statistician Mike Frentz was right behind him with a 6-1 record, and Chris Grubb came in third.

Seattle players dominated Division Three, with Frank Kashuk in first, followed by Midori Howard in second, and Mark Peltier in third.

Congrats to Matthew Nelson for winning Division Five.

Other money winners: George Bissonnette placed Second in Division Four, Lynda Shayne came in Third place in Division Two, and Georgianne Fiorini placed Third in Division Five.

View complete results.

9 March 2008
New stat: Milestones

Club Statistician Mike Frentz has come up with a new statistics report for the weekly club session: Milestones. This new report lists significant events or milestones for the session, and is also appended to the bottom of each session report on the Stats page (starting with Feb 19th session).

2 March 2008
Geoff Tongue wins Div 2 in Vancouver BC

Geoff Tongue wins Division Two in the annual spring tournament in Vancouver, BC. That's two in a row for Geoff--he won the same division last year! Keep it comin' Geoff!

Chris Grubb placed 4th in Division One and upped his rating to 1705.
Daval Davis placed 2nd in Division Four. Congratulations Guys!

There was a newspaper article about the Tournament in the March 1st Vancouver Sun, and Global BC did a short video story centered on Matthew Nelson, one of the youngest players to come to the Seattle club (he lives in Poulsbo, so he doesn't come to club often--but has made it to a few of our tournaments).

NSA Cross-table [complete results and new ratings]

18 Feb 2008
Bob Jackson wins Div 5 and Nigel wins Phoenix Early Bird

Bob Jackson wins Division Five in the main event at Phoenix. Bob was ahead early on then slipped a little (he was in 4th place at the start of the last day), but then came back to win. Way to go Bob!

Nigel Peltier placed 4th in Division One in the main event, and won Division One Early Bird in Phoenix. He also won the "Friend of the Director" drawing (early bird).   Congratulations Nigel!

Frank Kashuk placed 2nd in Division Four in the main event (and he placed 3rd in group four in the Early Bird).   Nice going Frank!

17 Feb 2008
Unrated one-day Handicap Tournament in Vancouver: 23 February

Norbert Saldanha is organizing an 8-game one-day Unrated Handicap Tournament.

TIME: 9.30 AM, REGISTRATION AND DRAW: 9.15 AM [Estimated close: 6.30 pm]
WHERE: The Masonic Lodge, 1495 W. 8th Ave. (1/2 block east of Granville).
Entry fee: CDN $25.00 (Including Lunch)

Please register with Norbert Saldanha. Only cash entries will be considered firm.
Last date for registration Thu 21st Feb 2008.
Tel: 604-277-5580 Cell: 604-377-9477

Complete details on Tournament Flyer.

15 Feb 2008
New OSDP4/OWL2 Franklin Available!

OSPD4 Franklin

It's here! The newly updated Franklin. Features over 100,000 2-8 letter words that are acceptable under the rules of SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Game. Main dictionary entries include a brief definition, part of speech label and inflected forms. Adjustable skill levels for word building exercises. OSPD4 endorsed by the National SCRABBLE Association (NSA) for recreational and school use.

SPECIAL FEATURE for NSA members!   Shipment will include a password to activate the Offical Club and Tournament Word List, Second Edition (OWL2). The OWL is a complete list of words that the NSA considers suitable for tournament play.

Requires 4 AAA batteries, not included. SHIPMENTS START WEEK OF FEBRUARY 25.
Order now from

[....of course, if you already have a PDA device that runs Palm OS, you can get Paul Sidorsky's LAMPWords for free....]

26 Jan 2008
Dan Goodwin wins Seattle NAST Jan 26th!

Dan Goodwin went undefeated (6-0 +476) to win the one-day NAST Satellite Tournament on Saturday, January 26th. In addition to the $125 first prize, Dan qualifies to enter the NAST final to be held in Minnesota this coming June. Lam Tang finished second with 5-1 +118, taking home $75 and also qualifying for the NAST final.

Complete results

21 Jan 2008
Congratulations Mark!

Mark Peltier went 7-1 (+830) to take 1st place in Group 6 of the Early Bird at the Reno Tournament over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Dawn Camille Wisniew (who just recently relocated to the Seattle area from Pullman), placed 4th in Group 8 with a 5-3 (+17) record.

Some other Seattle club members were not so fortunate; many rating points were exchanged.

1 Jan 2008
Congratulations Nigel!

Congratulations to Nigel Peltier for taking 3rd Place at the New Year's Tournament in Albany, New York.
Nigel performed well against a very strong field.

Mark Peltier (Nigel's father) and Adele Peltier (his grandmother) also competed at the tournament.

There is also a short news video story on the tournament (scroll down and click "play" button, you have a view a short ad, then the story comes on after a blank screen). Nigel is visible for a short bit, and Mark says you can see the back of Adele's head.

1 Jan 2008
Scrabble at Nancy's

Because our normal club venue was closed, we had a special Scrabble gathering at Nancy Roeder's house on New Year's Day. Folks started showing up about 3pm and Nancy kicked the last people out a little after 10pm. Nancy made a delicious chicken curry, with a plethora of condiments. Others brought snacks and drinks. Yum!

Folks who attended (in no particular order--and I hope I got everyone):

  • Dawn Camille Wisniew
  • George Bissonnette
  • Jane Bissonnette
  • Ben Collet
  • Lynn Dreyer
  • Diana Carter
  • Mike Frentz
  • Claudia Finn
  • J. Midori Howard
  • Adam Henderson
  • Dave Zick
  • Lynda Shayne
  • Frank Kashuk
  • Uri Breda
  • Dinah Breda
  • Tod Taylor
  • Bob Jackson
  • Jane Jackson
  • Georgianne Fiorini
  • Rebecca Slivka

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

31 Dec 2007
2007 Year-end Individual Stats

Year-end club statistics for members who have played at least 12 club games in the calendar year have been computed and posted. Go to the Stats Page to see your year in Scrabble.

17 December 2007
Live Chat with NSA Executive Director John D. Williams Dec 17th

There will be a Live Chat with National SCRABBLE® Association Executive Director John D. Williams, Jr., on Monday Dec 17th, 2007, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM Pacific Time.

To join the chat, go to the NSA Live Chat page (during the appointed time) and sign in.

6 December 2007
ALERT: Special "Club" January Nancy Roeder's house!

The UFM building will be closed January 1st, so we WILL NOT have a regular club session Tuesday, January 1st.

However, club member Nancy Roeder has graciously volunteered to host a Scrabble get-together at her house on the 1st. So, please come starting about 3pm (we'll stay and play until Nancy kicks us out). Bring your own equipment (and score sheets)!

Nancy said she'll provide some food, so bring a beverage of your choice. If you want to bring something to eat, please keep in mind that Nancy doesn't have a very large kitchen and we'll be using all available surfaces to play scrabble.

Rebecca will send email to all clubmembers with Nancy's address and directions. If you have not received an email notice by Dec 7th, please contact Rebecca (perhaps she has misplaced your email, or you were never on the list...this is her chance to get updates).

Happy New Year!

27 November 2007
ALERT: NO CLUB Tuesday December 25th!

There WILL NOT be a club session Tuesday, December 25th.

It looks like the UFM building will also be closed on Tuesday, January 1st, so we are looking for an alternate location (suggestions welcome). Happy New Year!

25 November 2007
Adam Henderson wins Division 2 at Lake Oswego One-Day Tournament!

Congratulations to Adam Henderson for taking first place in the second division at Lake Oswego on Sunday, November 25th. Five Seattle-area players attended the one-day event.

17 November 2007
Mike Frentz wins Vancouver-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament!

Congratulations to Mike Frentz for taking first place in the second annual Vancouver-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament, held in Bellingham Nov 17th. Geoff Tongue won the second division, and Ken Clark placed second in the top division, and Ben Henwood took second place in division three.

Thanks to Jane Bissonnette for organizing and directing (as well as playing in) this tournament!
View complete results.

7 November 2007
World SCRABBLE® Championship: Live Coverage

The World SCRABBLE® Championship takes place November 9-12 in Mumbai, India. You can Follow along LIVE.

1 November 2007
New SCRABBLE® Study WordBook Available

Mike Baron's SCRABBLE® Word Book

Mike Baron has released an updated version of his popular study guide. The price is still a bargain: only $9.95!

The newly titled SCRABBLE® Word Book has been updated to include the new words from OWL2, but has been expurgated. You can view a list of the expurgated words on our website, or get a printed copy of the list (in the form of a bookmark) from Mike Baron.

For more printed study guides, check our Study Tools page.

28 October 2007
Seattle players stand out in Tucson & Lake Oswego

Congrats to Mike Frentz and Nigel Peltier for their performances at tournaments the weekend of Oct 28-29.

Mike Frentz took second place in the Lake Oswego NAST qualifier (earning him a spot in the Final event to be held in Minnesota next summer), and Nigel Peltier came in third place in the Tucson weekend tournament.

17 October 2007
Goodwins suffer a loss   -   Memorial scheduled Sat Oct 27th

On a sad note, George Goodwin (father of Dan Goodwin and husband of Alice Goodwin) died October 4th. George was not a Scrabble player, but he often accompanied Alice and Dan to tournaments. He will be missed.

Memorial Gathering: Saturday Oct 27th, FareStart (7th & Virginia), 2-4pm. Please RSVP to Alice Goodwin if you are planning to attend, so she can give the restaurant an accurate estimate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Seattle Youth Symphony.

17 October 2007
NSA asks all members: Activate your NSA membership profile

The NSA has asked directors to ask all members to activate their membership profiles. This can be done by going to the NSA website and clicking the big red prompt or by clicking "Join or Renew" then clicking "Access Your NSA Membership Page".

Be sure to enter your zip code EXACTLY as is listed on your newsletter (9 digits) and your name EXACTLY as it is listed on the ratings list/on your NSA newsletter.

What are the benefits of doing this? For starters, a whopping $5.00 off of your annual membership when you use this forum come re-up time. You also get access to: online wordlists, info sheets, copies of past issues of newsletters, etc.

Once you activate your profile, you can choose how much info is published to other members.

Please direct any Membership questions to Jane Ratsey Williams or Theresa Bubb, Membership Director (631-477-0033 ext. 15).

14 October 2007
Seattle players perform in Calgary

At the Western Canadian Championship, Lynda Shayne placed 2nd in Division 2 of the Main Event (she also won money for High Loss, 430).

Dan Goodwin placed 4th in the First Early Bird. In the Main Event, Frank Kashuk got the High Play (134, RETINAS) in Division 2, and in only her second tournament, Lynn Dreyer finished just out of the money in Division 4.

30 September 2007
Portland-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tourney Results

In only his second tournament, Dave Zick had 5 wins (2 against Dave Wiegand) to finish just out of the money in Division 1--but with a new rating of 1705!

Ben Henwood won Division 4, with Debbie Goldy in second place and John Connell taking third.
Lynda Shayne and Walker Willingham placed second and third, respectively, in Division 2.

Complete results on our Interclub Challenge Results page.

6 September 2007
New Peace Arch International Scrabble Club

The club will be sanctioned by the National Scrabble Association and will meet for the first time at Blaine Public Library (610 - 3rd Street, Blaine ) Saturday September 8th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Read more about the new club in the Peace Arch News article: Words across the border.

For more information about the Peace Arch International Scrabble Club, contact Erika Werdal at 360-927-2575 or, or Valerie Gallant at 778-292-1904 or

5 September 2007
Portland Labor Day Tourney Results

Club director Rebecca Slivka won Division 2 at Portland. Christopher Grubb also had a very strong showing, coming in 3rd place in the same division. Christopher's rating jumped 167 points to 1632! Way to go Chris!

Other Seattle club winners: Frank Kashuk won a prize for high play (203 for DITCHERS) and Jane Jackson placed 10th (in the money) in divison 4.

NSA Crosstables:

27 August 2007
NSA Announces Shared Membership changes

Do you have a shared membership with the NSA?
We received the following message from the NSA about membership changes that affect you.


Dear Directors,

As you all know, coming this September our NSA Membership process will be changing. Members will have on-line access to create their own page and manage their memberships. We will use their membership numbers as their usernames. This will eliminate confusion when people change names, have nicknames, forget what name they play under etc. The on-line cost for one year for both US and Canadian members will be $20. Postal memberships will cost more.

BEFORE WE LAUNCH THIS (hopefully by 2nd week of September) We ask that you please inform your club members that anyone who currently shares a NSA membership should contact me ASAP, and I will split the membership at no extra charge. Each party will receive the current amount of issues left on the membership. This offer will not be available after we launch.

Once we are on-line, each person will have to register to activate their account and the first person to do so will keep the original membership number. The second person will have to pay for a full renewal before they can sign up and be current again. Inactive members will not have access to their pages until they renew.


Theresa Bubb, Membership Manager
National SCRABBLE Association
PO Box 700
Greenport, NY 11944
631-477-0033 x 13

8 August 2007
Congratulations James Leong - Winner of 2007 Player's Championship

Many of you know Vancouver's James Leong from local tournaments. Few of us are surprised at how well he did in Dayton, and we are cheering for him now. Way to go James!
Read Vancouver Sun article.

Our own Rafi Stern finished 2nd Place in Division 2 of the Player's Championship. Rafi was at the top table for the last two days of the tournament, but couldn't beat Ben Harrison enough times to get the win. I'm sure he's happy with the $1250 prize. Nice going Rafi!

Frank Kashuk and Mike Frentz each won a Scrabble Rug for low win. Frank's was 308, but Mike's low win was 28-11! His account of the game:

I opened with FIG (8G) keeping AITV. Jean responded with ZIT 7F, blocking my AV(I)ATION. I played VI(G)A I6, keeping ANOT. Here's the board situation (the I in FIG is on the star):

     * - - V *
     Z I T I -
     - F[I]G -
     - - - A -

Score: 38-21, my favor.

Jean trades five. My rack is AAMNORT. Since the I for ANIMATOR got blocked, there's really no reason to make a play on this board, so I trade AMO. Jean trades five again, and now I have AEENRTW, Again, there's no reason to do something live VAW or AWE, so I trade EW, effectively forcing her to make some kind of play,

Jean trades four (the fifth consecutive score of zero), and according to her, she realized what she'd done about five seconds too late. My rack is now AEENRTV, and NERVATE actually plays at J9. However, after thinking it over for a few seconds, I realize that once again, there's no reason to make a play... or rather, there's a very good reason not to make one! I probably should have exchanged the V, but was too hasty and decided to pass. We both had ten points on our racks, so the final score was 28-11.

If this doesn't hold up for low win, I'll need to be carted out on a stretcher. Honestly, I felt a little embarrassed about it, but I'll take wins anywhere I can get them in this field.


Seattle Club members who played at Dayton (click on name link to go directly to their performance during the tournament):

3 - 8 August 2007
Player's Championship - Follow Live

Even if you are not attending the Player's Championship in Dayton, Ohio, you can still follow the action live. Just click on PC07 Live Feed.

26 June 2007
New Club Statistician: Mike Frentz

Mike Frentz has stepped up to take over the job of Club Statistician from Doug Kruyt.

Doug has faithfully done the club's stats for the past year and a half (since January 2006). Even though Doug was not able to make it to club much, he has done our stats every week. Not only that, but since Doug travels for work he's often had his wife scan the score cards and email them to him so he could do the stats on his laptop computer on the road! Talk about dedicated. But, all good things must come to an end, and Doug is happy we've found a replacement.

Thanks again to Doug for all his hard work, and thanks to Mike for taking on this new responsibility.

28 May 2007
RAFI STERN wins Seattle Memorial Weekend Tournament!

Congratulations to RAFI STERN for winning the 2007 Emerald City Memorial Weekend Tournament!
Rafi put on a great performance, besting previous tournament winners Gail Wolford, Michael Baker, and Dave Wiegand. Way to go RAFI!

Final Standings

Crosstables from NSA:

Press on tournament:

22 May 2007
Press Release: Emerald City SCRABBLE® Tournament 26-28 May 2007


Seattle SCRABBLE® Club
Rebecca Slivka, Club Director

ZA beats QAT!
The 19th Annual Emerald City SCRABBLE® Tournament:   Memorial Day Weekend (26-28 May 2007)

SEATTLE, Wash. -- (22 May 2007) -- The word qat, a middle eastern shrub, used to be considered the most popular word played in competitive Scrabble®, but now it's a toss-up between ZA and QI (two of several thousand new words added to the SCRABBLE® Dictionary last year). Word freaks and the curious can observe this year's Emerald City SCRABBLE® tournament at the Lynnwood Convention Center over the Memorial Day Weekend, and discover these words for themselves.

The three day tournament will begin Saturday, May 26th at 9am. With 95 participants, separated into 5 divisions, over $6000 in prize money will be given out to the top finishers. The 20-round tournament will be played Round Robin style with a king-of-the-hill game at the very end to determine final standings. There will be eight games on Saturday, eight on Sunday and four on Monday.

Once again, this year's tournament is family-friendly. Mark Peltier and his son Nigel have been coming to the Seattle Club for several years; then they enticed Mark's mother, Adele, into joining the competitive SCRABBLE® scene. Adele will be flying out from New York State to join them at the tournament.

The ultimate SCRABBLE® family is from Vancouver, BC. Norbert and Miriam Saldanha immigrated to Canada, and began playing Scrabble with their children to help them learn English. The oldest, Dean, is now vying with his youngest sister Dielle to become two of t he top players in the world. Both parents and all three children, Dean, Dion and Dielle, regularly attend Scrabble® tournaments in Canada and the US.

Participants are coming from all over North America, some from as far as New York and Hawaii. The youngest participant is Matthew Nelson, 11, from Poulsbo (who has convinced his father, Byron, to join him at the tournament). The highest rated participant is David Wiegand, 2005 National Champion from Portland, who's currently ranked 3rd in North America.

Rebecca Slivka is the organizer of the tournament, as well as the Director of Seattle's SCRABBLE® Club. She is entered in the tournament, but will be available to answer any questions.


National SCRABBLE® Association Club #253, Seattle is in its 22nd year of existence, with approximately 55 members. The club meets every Tuesday at 6 pm at the University Friends Meeting House in Seattle, and new attendees are always welcome. For more information please visit the club website at

4 April 2007
Dan Goodwin does it again in Coeur d'Alene!

Still waiting for complete results, but here are the top finishers:

Division 1 (16 players)

  • 1st: USA Daniel Goodwin
  • 2nd: CAN Randall Thomas
  • 3rd: USA Nigel Peltier
  • 4th: CAN Jeff Fleetham

Division 2 (14 players)

  • 1st: CAN Pam Taylor-Bailey
  • 2nd: CAN Betty Bergeron
  • 3rd: USA Jane Bissonnette (Played as an honourary Canadian however)
  • 4th: CAN Juraj Pivovarov

High Game: Ruth Hamilton 587, Juraj Pivovarov 534
High Loss: Rachel Christensen 437, Joey Cross 391
Low Win: Mary LeCompte 322, Betty Bergeron 315
High Bingo: Ruth Hamilton ESSAYING 185, Tim LeCompte DEAFNESS 140
High Non-Bingo: Dan Goodwin JEWEL 83, Pam Taylor-Bailey DOZENS 78
Comeback: Siri Tillekeratne 120, Juraj Pivovarov 85

Most Outrageous Phoney: KHIBLIS#, Randall Thomas, with a close runner up for WEDELNED# by Huguette Settle.

Congratulations all!

4 March 2007
Seattle players dominate in Vancouver!

Seattle players won every division at the spring tournament in Vancouver:

  • Div 1 Winner : Daniel Goodwin [11 wins, +1000]
  • Div 2 Winner : Geoff Tongue [10 wins, +749]
  • Div 3 Winner : Tod Taylor [10 wins, +839]
  • Div 4 Winner : Daval Davis [12 wins, +1067]

Some other Seattle players also did well:

  • Nigel Peltier : Div 1, 3rd Place
  • David Ruby : Div 2, 3rd Place
  • Jane Bissonnette : Div 3, 4th Place
  • Rachel Christensen : Div 3, 5th Place

Congratulations all!

View Complete Tournament Standings, or see your new rating on the NSA Crosstable.

Read the newspaper article about the tournament in the Vancouver Sun.

25 Feb 2007
Seattle players win in Phoenix

Seattle club-member Lynda Shayne cleaned up at the Phoenix Tournament last weekend. First, she went 7-1 in the early bird to win group 4; then she went 16-4 in the main event to win Division 4. Lynda's rating rocketed from 1393 to 1512. Congratulations Lynda!

[Lynda's husband Frank Kashuk came in 4th place in Division 4]

15 Feb 2007
Another One-day tournament announced: August 4th

Jane Bissonnette is planning another one-day tournament.
Unlike the Feb 3 club tournament, this August tournament will be fully-rated!

Register online NOW! Full details at our One Day Tournament Page.

3 Feb 2007
First One-day Club tournament a success!

32 players (mostly from Seattle, but a few from Oregon, BC, and Eastern Washington) came to our first one-day club tournament Saturday February 3rd. Jane Bissonnette directed and Renee Bang helped with data entry. Others (George Bissonnette and Jim Ryan) helped with setup and cleanup. It all went so well that Jane is planning future one-day tournaments. We'll post dates soon.

Seattle Club Tourney Results

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

29 Dec 2006
2006 Year-end Individual Stats

Year-end club statistics for members who have played at least 12 club games in the calendar year have been computed and posted. Go to the Stats Page to see your year in Scrabble.

22 Dec 2006
Toby Cozens (1928 - 2006)

Toby Cozens (1928 - 2006)

Long-time Seattle Scrabble Club Treasurer Toby (Thora) Cozens passed away the morning of December 22nd. Toby had been battling brain cancer for months and was able to stay in her own home until the last few weeks (she was assisted in maintaining her independence as long as possible by her very supportive family).

In addition to being the Treasurer of the Seattle Scrabble Club, Toby also recorded game stats for every club session for years, and provided incomparable assistance at every Memorial Day Tournament. Toby also volunteered with several other organizations and libraries.

Toby has been part of the Seattle Club from the very beginning--she became involved initially as the babysitter of club co-founder Mark Oppenheimer. She will be missed.

Condolences and remembrances on our Memorial Page.

Toby was cremated. At this point, there are no plans for a memorial service (Toby thought they were "a waste of money"), but if that changes the information will be posted here.

17 Dec 2006
White/Blue Card Cutoff changed to 365

After the new wordlist (OWL2) was adopted, the cutoff between Blue Card and White Card was raised from 360 to 375, anticipating that scores would rise significantly with the addition of QI and ZA with OWL2. Scores haven't gone up that much and the unanticipated effect of the change was that Blue Card players have won the Bingo Bonus about 85% of the time in the last year (compared to about 50% in preceding years). So, we're dropping the cutoff back down to 365.

Cutoff history: it was 350 until 2002 or 2003, when it was raised to 360. The next change was February 2006, when it was increased to 375. The most recent change (from 375 down to 365) becomes effective 1 January 2007.

17 Dec 2006
Cascadia Challenge Tournament: March 31-April 1st 2007

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is the place! 14 games.
WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, UT (Team 49 South) v. BC, AB, SK, MB (Team 49 North)
Complete details, and printable registration form Cascadia Challenge Brochure [PDF].

12 Dec 2006
One-Day Club Tournament: February 3rd

It's official! Seattle club member Jane Bissonnette will be directing Seattle's first one-day tournament Saturday February 3rd. There is only room for 32 players, so sign up soon!

Complete details, including online registration on our One-Day Tournament Page.

1 Dec 2006

NSA Ombudsman Chris Cree announced the 2007 Players Championship Tournament, a player-organized national tournament to take the place of the USSO/Nationals that will not be held next year. Read the announcement Chris sent out a few days ago:

30 November 2006

I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the Dayton Convention Center in Dayton, Ohio to house the 2007 Players' Championship August 3-8, 2007.

The reasons for this choice include:

Reasonable geographic centrality, reasonable accessibility, an incredible amount of meeting space for playing, registration, after hours play, etc., a very reasonable rate for the facility and hotel rooms, and a "medium sized fish in a medium sized pond" scenario to name a few. One of the most significant reasons is that a Scrabble player, Lois Greene, is the director of the Dayton Convention Center, and therefore, knows from national tournament experience a great deal about what it is that we need.

The host hotel will be the Crowne Plaza which is joined by skywalk to the Convention Center at a room rate of $99/night. It is my understanding that this rate includes a king or two queen sized beds.

I stayed at the hotel the past two nights and found the accomodations to be pretty darned good.

****PLEASE DO NOT make hotel reservations until we announce the reservation code****.

There are so many things to be done - this is only Step One.

Step Two - Find a director who has lots of experience directing major events. OK, got one. Mary Rhoades has agreed to direct this event. No doubt she will assemble a crack supporting cast.

She will also arrange for The Players' Championship to have a website. She said that she will have this done by year's end.

The schedule, divisions (we are shooting for 6 divisions), prize money, hotel registration info, best air routes and fares, answers to the questions that we will get, etc. - details to be announced on our website, CGP and OSPD by year's end, but no later than January 15, 2007.

The only way that this thing will work is with the support of the players - both in attending the event and by room nights purchased at the host hotels.

Not everybody is online, so please spread the word.

Game on!

Chris Cree

28 Nov 2006
Club cancelled due to weather

The Club Director cancelled our regular Tuesday evening session due to treacherous road conditions, and anticipated continued icy roads.

27 Nov 2006
On-line chat with NSA's John Williams, Nov 28th

NSA Executive Director John Williams will host the first in a series of on-line chats on Tuesday, November 28th, from 6:30-8:00 PM (EST) [3:30-5:00 PM Pacific Time]. Just log on to the NSA site during the designated time and click on the On-Line Chat icon and sign in. At that time NSA members may email any questions they may have about the current state of the organization, upcoming plans, etc. John will reply as best as possible on a "first come/first served" basis. The next chat will be after the holidays.

National SCRABBLE® Association

27 Nov 2006
Vancouver-Seattle Challenge Trophy

Hey Scrab Club members:

I brought the 'Trophy' to Club tonite, so those who couldn't make it up to Bellingham could see it. The Grail is brass, tall and fancy, I think. We, as a club, won a year's storage/ownership of it in the Vancouver Border Battle.

I think Rebecca asked me to hold onto it when we were filing out of the tournament partially because I was in one of the last few packs of people to leave, and partially oh, because Nigel and I had a fairly good tournament.

It kind of reminds me of the Stanley Cup in Hockey, so I would like to push forth a tradition that it spend a little time in everyone's house who was on our Roster in Bellingham. Or, as time and logistics allow, anyone in our Club who wants a turn with it. Anyone who played contributed to our 103.5 -to- 89.5 WINS victory. And in a sense, we train together so everyone has a hand a club Win.

If you don't know the NHL tradition, each player gets about a week with this big ol' trophy that has grown to about 4 foot tall since it's creation in 1910 or 1920.

I don't mind at all hanging onto it myself, but I've gotten enough mileage out of it and I want to make sure everyone who would enjoy showing it off to friends and family gets a chance. There isn't nearly enough 'hardware' in the prize pools of this great recreation of ours, so please take a turn - you've earned it.

As the initial keeper of The Grail, I feel a responsibility to not lose the thing, so I would like to know WHO has it at all times. Just drop me an e-mail, phone or tell me in person that you gave it to _____. If you are not sure who's next just bring it to club on Tuesday (or even to 3rd place books Sunday (Lk Forest Park)). For now it's be a free-for-all. First come, first served, so I'll make a schedule if there's a lot of you who jump on the offer.

~MARK P.   H 206-784-9706

updated 20 Nov 2006
Portland One-Day Tournament - November 26th

It's all over: Lake Oswego Tournament Results
Congratulations to Seattle club-members: Mike Frentz and Geoff Tongue, who came in first and second respectively in Division B, and Tod Taylor who placed 2nd in Divison C!

Dave Wiegand is organizing a one-day (6-game) tournament in Lake Oswego (just south of Portland), on Sunday, November 26th. Play starts at Noon. Format is RR and KOH. Entry fee: $20. Limited to 36 players! Tournament Flyer [pdf]

Lakewood Center for the Arts   - [Google Map Directions]
368 S. State St.
Lake Oswego, OR

You must pre-register by phone or email by 11/25. The Official Lake Oswego Tournament Details can be found on the NSA website. Contact David by email or phone (971) 404-5205 to register.

17 Nov 2006
SCRABBLE® Publicity Event in Seattle, Nov 17th

Seattle-based Real Networks purchased the on-line rights to SCRABBLE® earlier this year. RN and NSA are coordinating a publicity event in Seattle to highlight their new SCRABBLE® product. There will be a "Man-versus-Machine" match where Jim Kramer (2006 USSO Champion) will play the RN Scrabble® program for money.
The event will take place on Friday, November 17th at Westlake Center from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM.
MAN vs. Machine Press Release

It's Over!   See Results, Quackle game data, etc. on Jim K v. RN Machine page.

12 Nov 2006
Vancouver-Seattle Challenge Results

The tournament is over, and Seattle edged out Vancouver to win 103.5 wins to 89.5.
Read Mark Peltier's VCR-SEA Trip Report.

Full results posted on the Vancouver Club Website

New ratings from NSA crosstable published on our Interclub Results page.

13 Nov 2006
Vancouver Tournament, 3-4 March 2007

Vancouver Club has announced details of their annual tournament: two days, 14 games, beautiful scenery, nice people, good eats--what more could you ask for?

Full details at Vancouver Club Website

12 Nov 2006
Spelling Bees in Seattle

Not SCRABBLE®, but it does involve words:   there is a monthly Seattle Spelling Bee at the Rebar, 1114 Howell St (@ Boren). WHEN: The first Monday of every month. The next one is either December 4 or December 11 (2006).
For more info, check out the Seattle Spelling Bee Website

8 Nov 2006
French SCRABBLE® - SCRABBLE® Française!

A small group meets the first Friday of every month at 7:00 PM and the third Saturday at 10:00 AM at the Alliance Française de Seattle, Suite 205, The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Note that Suite 205 is the official address of the AFdeS, but they vary which room we meet in, depending on what else is going on. Often they meet in the library, which is kitty-corner across the hall, but it will be obvious where they are. Also, there are two parking lots on the property.

For more info, contact Bob Mauritsen.

18 Oct 2006
No Nationals (USSO) in 2007

In a press release on their website, the NSA has announced that there will NOT be a U.S. Scrabble Open in 2007. The next USSO will be 2008, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the game. This shouldn't be a big surprise, since it was hinted at by NSA and Hasbro officials during this year's Phoenix USSO.

You can read the full text of the press release for more details.

16 Oct 2006
Carl Barish (1941? - 2006)

Carl Barish (1941?-2006)

A good friend and a kindly man. Always ready to do a favor without any expectation of repayment. Carl Barish played a very sharp SCRABBLE game, and was a regular member of the Seattle Club for over 14 years. He loved to tinker with electronics and radios. Carl designed and sold his own line of digital Scrabble clocks the '2Timer' that is still in use today at the Seattle Scrabble Club and elsewhere. He was also a member of the Mike and Key Amateur Radio Club (his callsign: KC7ZK).

Memorial Service (Casual):

3pm Thursday Oct 26th
Customer Research Company
2108 SW 152nd, Burien, WA   Map
206-242-9969 (ask for Dolores)

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a no-kill animal shelter.

Condolences and remembrances on our Memorial Page.

3 Oct 2006
Portland does it again!

This year's Portland-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament was held Saturday September 30th, at the Kit Carson Restaurant in Chehalis, Washington. This fully-rated, one-day tournament was open to Seattle-area and Portland-area players only. Seattle Club Director, Rebecca Slivka, directed.

Tournament Results and NSA Crosstables posted on our Interclub Results Page.

6 Sept 2006
Seattle Players clean up at Portland

17 Seattle players made the trek to Portland's annual Labor Day Weekend tournament last weekend. The following Seattle players won prizes:

  • Nigel Peltier - 1st Place, Div 2
  • Lynda Shayne - 2nd Place, Div 3
  • Jean Bryant - 2nd Place, Div 4
  • George Bissonnette - 3rd Place, Div 4
  • Dan Goodwin - 4th Place, Div 1
  • Walker Willingham - 6th Place, Div 2
  • [EB]Nigel Peltier - 2nd Place, Group 3
  • [EB]Mark Peltier - 2nd Place, Group 4

Tournament cross-tables have been posted on the NSA website.

9 August 2006

Rafi Stern wins Division 3!

Congratulations Rafi!!!

Rafi finished with an incredible 20-8 record, with a spread of +1708!

You can see detailed coverage of Rafi's performance at this year's US Scrabble® Open at the Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.

Photo at left [taken from NSA website] shows Rafi receiving the winning trophy from John Chew. (He'll get a check for $2,500 in the mail, later).

14 July 2006
Save the date: VANCOUVER-Seattle Challenge Nov 11th

Vancouver SCRABBLE® Club Director Val Gallant is organizing the first ever Vancouver-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament. She is finalizing details for a one-day tournament in Bellingham, Saturday November 11th [Note: date change].

Entry Fee: $15. Seattle players contact Rebecca Slivka to sign up (Vancouver players register with Lam Tang). You don't have to be an NSA member to play in this rated tournament (if it is your first tournament), but you must be a Seattle (or Vancouver) club member to play.

Full details on this tournament (including who's signed up so far) on our Interclub Challenge Tournaments page

21 June 2006
Portland-Seattle Interclub Challenge Date Set

This year's Portland-Seattle Interclub Challenge Tournament will be held Saturday September 30th, at the Kit Carson Restaurant in Chehalis, Washington. This fully-rated, one-day tournament is open to Seattle-area and Portland-area players only. Seattle Club Director, Rebecca Slivka, will be directing.

7 Games
$10*  Entry fee [*As in past years, in lieu of paying rent for the tournament room, players are expected to eat lunch in the restaurant. No outside food allowed.]
9:30am Check-in and Setup don't be late!

You don't have to be an NSA member to play in this rated tournament (if it is your first tournament), but you must be a Seattle (or Portland) club member to play. Seattle players contact Rebecca Slivka to sign up (Portland registration person to be announced).

Full details on this tournament (including who's signed up so far) on our Interclub Challenge Tournaments page

8 June 2006
2007 Tournament Details Finalized

Next year's Memorial Weekend Tournament will be at the Lynnwood Convention Center May 26-28th, 2007. The tournament hotel will be the Hampton Inn & Suites in Lynnwood.

Complete details at our Tournament Page (it's never too early to sign up!).

8 June 2006
New Study Tools Page

Information about improving your game, and links to various word lists and study tools have been consolidated onto our new Study Tools Page.

31 May 2006
Computerized word judging at Club

Our Statistician, Doug Kruyt, has donated an old laptop computer for Word Judging at club. The program we are using is Zyzzyva written my Michael Thelen. Thanks Doug!!!

30 May 2006
NO CLUB Tuesday July 4th!

Because we anticipate really bad traffic due to proximity to the Lake Union fireworks display, there will be

NO CLUB Tuesday July 4th!

So, you'll have to go have a picnic, watch fireworks, or otherwise amuse yourselves....

29 May 2006
Our Memorial Weekend Tournament, 27-29 May 2006, is complete!

Read complete tournament results on our Tournament Page

Crosstables from NSA:

7 May 2006
Seattle contingent cleans up at Oregon TILE!

The inaugural Oregon TILE Open Tournament May 5-7th in Portland was a great success! Jim Geary bested Brian Cappelletto in the finals, and several Seattle players came away winners:

1st Place, Group B ($325) - Dan Goodwin
High Game, 591 ($50) - Dan Goodwin
2nd Place, Group B ($175) - Rebecca Slivka
High Play, 212 ($40) - Rebecca Slivka [QUIETENS, triple-triple]
1st Place, Group C ($200) - Rafi Stern

28 April 2006
Toby back home. Why not stop by for a visit?

Toby Cozens is settling in back home. Her offspring and their spouses are helping her adjust. She won't be driving any time soon, so if you want to stop by for a visit (or to play some Scrabble), I'm sure she'd appreciate it. Her phone number is: 206-937-7872

25 April 2006
Toby coming home tomorrow!

I just got a telephone message from Toby. She is being released from the rehab facility today. She'll spend the night in a hotel near Orlando, then fly home tomorrow morning (her son Paul is with her). She says she feels incredibly better than expected and looks forward to being home. Apparently most of the mail she was sent was forwarded back to her home address, so she'll be getting lots of cards tomorrow!

18 April 2006
Toby moved to rehab facility

I just spoke with Toby's daughter-in-law, Mary-Ann, who gave me the following updates:

The surgery went very well; the tumor was removed. The day after the surgery, Toby was answering crossword puzzle clues. Toby was discharged from the hospital on Sunday (April 16th) and was driven by her sons Paul and Bruce to the:

Sea Pines Rehabilitation Hospital
101 E. Florida Ave
Melbourne, FL 32901-8301
(321) 984-4600
(she is currently in room #112A)

Toby had very little control over her left side at first, but is now walking, and can move and grasp with her left hand. They are working on getting her strength back and teaching her how to move. She does not need any speech therapy.

Toby will be at the rehab hospital for at least one more week (she sees the neurosurgeon again next Monday). They expect she should be able to live on her own again after getting out.

Toby was on vacation in Florida with her son Bruce and his family. Bruce is still there with her (his wife & kids returned home) and son Paul also flew down to be with her. Paul will stay down there through at least May 1st (assuming she is there that long). Doctors don't want her to fly back home, so one of her sons will drive her back home. At least, that is the plan so far.

*** Just spoke with Toby @ 1:15pm. *** She told me she was playing SCRABBLE® with her sons. She sounded good, though a little tired. They didn't have to shave her entire head, for which she is grateful. She is hoping to fly home early next week (if the doctors say it's okay to fly).

16 April 2006
Ken Clark's OWL2 word lists posted

Added links to OWL2 Word Lists created by our club-member (and club co-founder) Ken Clark. Thanks Ken!

11 April 2006
Toby recovering from surgery

Message from Toby's son Paul:
Her surgery went as expected; the small tumor was removed. She has very limited mobility on the left side, but the mobility is slowly returning. The neurologist seems optimistic, but the recovery will be slow. Bruce and I will be in town for a while and will send updates as necessary.
Rebecca brought cards to club tonight and people wrote messages to Toby. They will be mailed tomorrow.

10 April 2006
Toby in the hospital

Our club's Treasurer, Toby Cozens, is at Celebration Health Hospital in Florida awaiting surgery. She was on vacation when she had a small stroke and when they did an MRI, they discovered a brain tumor. The tumor is operable and they are going in tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to remove it. I spoke with her this noon and she sounded fine--just bored and not looking forward to spending the rest of her vacation in a hospital(!). There is some weakness in her left side from the stroke (and the tumor), but otherwise she seems okay.

You can write to her at:

Patient: Thora (Toby) Cozens, rm #437
Celebration Health Hospital
400 Celebration Place
Celebration, FL 34747
The phone number at the hospital is: 407-303-4000. As of today, Toby is in room #437 (Intensive Care).

29 March 2006
Stats Page Improvements

Stats page has been updated so now you can navigate between Session and Standings Pages using "Next" and "Previous" Links. You can also click through all the "other stats" the same way. Try it!

29 March 2006
Alternate Tournament Accommodations

Uh Oh! The Red Lion is filling up fast!
We are looking into some alternate accommodations, for when the rooms run out. Check our Alternate Accommodations Page to see where else you might stay.

5 March 2006
Congrats to Keith!

Keith Valentine came in 2nd place in Division Two of this weekend's Vancouver Tournament, the first regional tournament using the new words. Congratulations Keith!

28 February 2006
NSA Announcement: Improved Communications

The following email was received from the NSA on 28 February 2006:

Dear NSA members:

Thanks for your support during this time of great change in the NSA.

Recent events have made it clear we need to better communicate to NSA members about the NSA's role and the realities of our operation. With that in mind, I'd like to announce a couple of things:

I am sending this email out to all club directors, committees, CGP and a list of all recent NSC contestants. I'd like to invite you to email me any questions or comments you have about the organization, why we do things, etc. Then we will consolidate your inquiries in regards to duplicates, etc. and post them on a new "Ask The Executive Director" section on the NSA website with a reply. We will acknowledge the senders. Our goal is to have this posted by the end of March.

Another step I'd like to announce is the creation of a new position. It will be an official NSA Player Delegate, sort of an ombudsman who challenges/questions the NSA on issues the players feel are not adequately addressed or prioritized. This Delegate would have carte blanche to ask the NSA pretty much anything and share the findings directly with players both in person and on-line.

I am thrilled to announce that Chris Cree has accepted our offer to be this first individual in this job. Chris is uniquely qualified. He is highly respected in the NSA community both as a player and a person. He has extensive and highly successful business experience and a realistic take on how the world works. While he is a good friend of mine, Chris has no problem disagreeing with me or anyone else at the NSA. I know he will do this job in an articulate and passionate manner. Chris will hold the position for two years, after which we will have an open election, decided by the players. Anyone can be nominated and run.

The NSA thanks Chris Cree for stepping up during this important chapter in our history. We look forward to working with him for the common good.



John D Williams, Jr, Executive Director
National SCRABBLE Association
PO Box 700
Greenport, NY 11944
631-477-0294 Fax
send email to JDW

Contact info:

24 February 2006

Note that errors are continuing to be found both in the printed OSPD4 and the printed OWL2, as well as the Scrabble News (#201, announcing the new words did not include some expurgated words and had at least one typo). Check the NSA's ERRATA list (link below) for the final word.

  • [NSA] OWL2 Errata (scroll to the bottom) * NOTE: Check this link often for the most recent updates!
  • Printable OWL2 Errata [Word doc] *note updated 24 Feb 2006, check with NSA website for latest corrections*
  • Printable OSPD4 Errata [Word doc] Includes Errata for OSPD4 as well as all new "expurgated" words (shorter than 10 letters)

For OWL2 word lists and other information about the changeover, see our OWL2 Transition section below.

15 February 2006
More Stats than you know what to do with

At the urging of our new statistician, Doug Kruyt, we now have even MORE stats. In addition to the Regular Weekly Stats (Session Summary and Regular Standings), we now have "most number of bingos", "winning streaks", "high loss", and many, many more. Enjoy!

14 February 2006
Cutoff between Blue Card and White Card 375

Average scores in club have been increasing, and with the addition of QI and ZA we expect the scores to go even higher. So, the cutoff between Blue and White Card has been raised from 360 to 375. We'll evaluate the situation in a few months, but we anticipate this should work for quite a while.

30 January 2006
The OWL2's are here! The OWL2's are here!

They just arrived today (Monday). I will be bringing them to club tomorrow (the 31st). If you will not be able to pick yours up tomorrow, please contact me so we can arrange another time (hopefully, just next Tuesday).

So starting Tuesday, January 31st, we will be using the NEW WORDS! Free challenges for new words until March 1st.

28 January 2006
Statistician Retires! Long live the new Statistician!

After faithfully doing the club stats for the last 7 years(!), Christina O'Sullivan has passed the Statistician "baton" to one of our newest club members, Doug Kruyt. A huge, HUGE Thank You! to Christina for her years of dedication. And, thanks to Doug for taking on this task.

27 January 2006
NSA Announcement: 2006 U.S. SCRABBLE® Open in Phoenix!

"The National SCRABBLE® Association (NSA) is pleased to finally announce preliminary details about the summer's upcoming tournament. First, we should note that the event's name is now being changed to the U.S. SCRABBLE® Open. We feel the new name better reflects the international nature of the tournament and falls in line with other events such as golf, tennis and the like.

We also appreciate the patience of everyone in awaiting this announcement. As many of your know, we had been all set to return to New Orleans for 2007 and had our plans change due to Hurricane Katrina. The NSA's Jane Williams and Sara Hallock have been scrambling over the last four months to find a new venue. They visited numerous cities and hotels, scoured the Internet and worked with an event consultant. There were very few places available on such short notice, and we are thrilled to have found a first-class resort and hotel complex that promises to be one of the most beautiful and accommodating venues ever.

We know there are many more details to be shared such as the Division setup, schedule, etc. But we wanted to get this information out so people can start planning. Please watch for further details. We'll see you in Arizona!"

John D Williams, Jr, Executive Director
National SCRABBLE Association

Note: Check NSA website for the latest info, but here are the details as we know them now:
Friday, August 4th to Wednesday August 9th
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
2400 East Missouri
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Code: NSA06
Room price (single/double): $140 per night + tax ($120 + $20 resort fee). Limited availability
"Open to all current members of the NSA who have played in [at least] one rated tournament."
"Details to follow. Entry form will be up March 1, 2006"

18 January 2006
Great Performance!

Nigel Peltier and Rafi Stern finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in Division 3 of last weekend's Martin Luther King Tournament in Reno. Nigel was doing so well he was "Gibsonized" after the 17th round. Way to go guys!

4 January 2006 [updated 24 February 2006]
Transition to OWL2

NSA has announced March 1st as the official start date for using OWL2. That means that as of March 1st, OWL2 is the official word source for both CLUB and Tournament play.

In order to facilitate the change over, we will begin using the new words at club in mid-January (as soon as we get the printed OWL2). During this transition period, there will be free challenges for the new words only for everyone [amended: no free challenges for words less than 5 letters long]. I have created a Cheat Sheet with the list of new words that folks can use during play (there are over(!) 10,000 new words, so this "cheat sheet" will only contain new short words, JQZX words, and high probability 7's an 8's).

This should give us about 4-5 weeks to get used to the new words. Of course, if the release of the printed OWL2 is delayed, this schedule will be adjusted.

Word lists and study tools for new OWL2:

Note: these MAY NOT have been updated with the latest errata! Check the NSA's Errata list (below)

  • Cheat Sheet [Word doc] - New 2s, 3s, 4s, JQZX, expurgated, Type I+II 7 & 8's
  • Fives to Tens [Word doc] - New 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, K words
  • Combined new words [Word doc] - New 2s, 3s, 4s, JQZXK, expurgated, Type I+II 7 & 8's, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s

Links to other Word lists and study tools for new OWL2:

Many more links to word lists for OWL2 can be found on our Links Page.

ERRATA for OWL2 and OSPD4:

Note that errors are continuing to be found both in the printed OSPD4 and the printed OWL2, as well as the NSA's website and the Scrabble News (#201, announcing the new words). Check the NSA's ERRATA list for the final word.

  • [NSA] OWL2 Errata (scroll to the bottom) * NOTE: Check this link often for the most recent updates!
  • Printable OWL2 Errata [Word doc] *note updated 24 Feb 2006, check with NSA website for latest corrections*
  • Printable OSPD4 Errata [Word doc] Includes Errata for OSPD4 as well as all new "expurgated" words (shorter than 10 letters)

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31 December 2005

December 13 stats are missing, sorry. Probably delivered to the North Pole by mistake. The 2005 cumulative standings are up.

23 December 2005
Bulk order of new OWL2 has been placed

45 copies of the new OWL2 have been ordered from NSA (Word Gear). I'll let you know when the order arrives, but at this point I wouldn't expect it any earlier than the 3rd week in January. If you haven't paid for your copy yet, I'll start bugging you after the first of the year.

These people have all paid already:

  • Dave Zick (1)
  • Alice Goodwin (1)
  • Rafi Stern (1)
  • Walker Willingham (2)
  • Geoff Tongue (1)
  • Doug Honig (1)
  • Suzy Stern (1)
  • David Ruby (1)
  • George Bissonnette (1)
  • Doug Kruyt (1)
  • Chris Schneider (1)
  • Carl Barish (3)
  • Midori Howard (1)
  • Ken Clark (1)
  • Mark Peltier (2)
  • Bob Jackson (1)
  • Uri Breda (1)
  • Adam Michelson (1)
  • Christina O'Sullivan (1)
  • Susie Han (1)
  • Toby Cozens (1)
  • Rachel Christensen (1)
  • Mike Frentz (1)
  • Aaron Caplan (1)
  • Debbie Goldy (2)
  • Steven Jones (1)
  • Ben Henwood (1)
  • Nancy Roeder (1)
  • Scrabble Club (2)
  • Ben Collett (1)
  • Vicki Perry (1)
  • Ann Ferguson (1)
  • Rebecca Slivka (2)
  • Karla Tofte (1)
  • Starlite Clark (3)
  • Claudia Finn (1)

13 December 2005
Bulk order of new OWL2   Volume discount right now!

As announced at club a few days ago, I will be doing a bulk order of the new OWL2 (a.k.a., OCTWL2 or Official Tournament and Club Word List, 2nd Edition), which the NSA has announced: "has an expected delivery date of mid-January". By ordering in bulk, we save a significant amount on shipping so the cost is ONLY $16 per book. (This is $2-3 dollars less per book than ordering just one or two: it's $19.20 for one, or 18.70 each if you buy 2, etc.). See NSA OWL2 Listing

So, if you want to get in on this deal, please bring cash or a check to club next week (December 20th) (checks made out to Rebecca Slivka, please--I'll be charging the order on my credit card). The amount is $16 per book (this includes shipping; there is no tax).

If you can't make it next week, but still want to participate, you could just mail me a check. (Rebecca Slivka, P.O. Box 9069, Seattle WA 98109). I'll be placing the order December 21st, so please contact me by then.

5 December 2005
Just added: Club Player Roster!

Check out the newest page on our website:   Club Roster.

2 December 2005
News Flash!   Vancouver Tournament is back on!

The following notice was received 2 December 2005:

Following yesterday's announcement about canceling our spring tournament, I received many emails expressing disappointment and offers of help.

Due to this strong response, the decision has been reversed. Our tournament will proceed as previously scheduled.

I look forward to seeing many of you and I apologize for the confusion. This decision is permanent!

See you March 4th and 5th at the Vancouver tournament.


Valerie Gallant

The following notice was received 1 December 2005:

Unfortunately The Vancouver Scrabble Club has decided not to host an NSA rated tournament this year. The NSA will be posting a cancelled notice for the tournament scheduled for early March.

We apologize to any who have been inconvenienced. Thanks to all who have helped us with their time and moral support in years past!


Val and Judy

If you are stressed over the cancelled reinstated tournament, you might be interested in a relaxing massage for "way less than the cost of playing those intense word games, and all that expensive travel". One-time Seattle Club member Tod Taylor is now a licensed massage therapist and has opened his studio in West Seattle. He even has a website:

Way to go Tod!     p.s., this free plug won't be here for long.... ;-)

1 November 2005
OSPD4 is out but not yet official for Club play

As you may know, OSPD4 was published in June 2005. However, OSPD is NOT the official word list for Club and Tournament Play. The National SCRABBLE© Association has posted a tentative update for the OWL, but the printed version will not be available until at least March 2006.

A list of differences between OSPD3 and OSPD4 can be seen at:

New 2's and 3's
List of OSPD3/OSPD4 changes

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A Steve Wilkie Health Update

Robert Jamieson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist, revisits Seattle Club member Stephen Wilkie: 26 May 2004.

Previous articles:

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