I didn't know about competitive Scrabble for many years. A friend of mine told me about it. I was living in Florida at the time. When I found a Scrabble club in my town, I was ecstatic. I began going weekly and began competing in local tournaments. Scrabble was my favorite pastime.
Now I teach Scrabble.
I teach it to people to exercise their brains.
I teach it to people who never expected the game to be so challenging.
I teach "competitive" Scrabble, not that it's much different from the original rules created more than 70 years ago but one needs to know the differences to play at a club or a national competition.
I learned to play with a wooden wind-up chess clock. Now the clocks are digital.
I learned to keep score of both players as well as track letters.
I learned all the two letter words and most of the three letter works.
I learned that there were "q" words that don't require a "u."
I learned words that were called vowel dumps -- naoi and unai for example.
I learned strategy -- opening plays and end games.
And the more I learned, the more I loved the game.
I try to teach what I have learned over the last fifty plus years of playing. In teaching I have to clarify my thinking to explain it to others. I want the seniors who come to my class to go away mentally exercised. I want them to think. Studies have shown that Scrabble (or any analytical game) will help keep away dementia and Alzheimers.
Thanks to the Internet I will never want for a partner. I can play with real people any time of the day or night. Playing on the Scrabble server, I've met people from Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, to name a few. When you play late at night like I do, that's where you find people still awake. Scrabble is an international game. It is made in many different languages but most of the major competitions are in English. The national prize is $25,000.00 and the next nationals is in July, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. To practice I play at clubs in Oakland and Clayton.
Isn't it amazing how 100 tiles can create so many words?
Did you know Scrabble is in the Toy Hall of Fame?
Hasbro sells more than two million sets a year. I have five. If you want to know more about Scrabble, please contact me.
This story contains 461 words.
If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.
If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.