How could I not know that there were Scrabble champs among us? Fortunately, Stefan Fatsis--Scrabble's uber-scribe--knows and tells all in Slate this week:
On Oct. 12, in the basement of a Unitarian church on the town green in Lexington, Mass., a carpenter named Michael Cresta scored 830 points in a game of Scrabble. His opponent, Wayne Yorra, who works at a supermarket deli counter, totaled 490 points. The two men set three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320), and the most points on a single turn (365, for Cresta's play of QUIXOTRY).One of the most interesting things, Fatsis points out, is that Cresta and Yorra aren't considered particularly good players--they rank in the bottom third of tournament players nationwide. A case of, eh hem, "score" one for the little guys, right?
In the community of competitive Scrabble, of which I am a tile-carrying member, the game has been heralded as the anagrammatic equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962 or Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series: a remarkable, wildly aberrational event with potential staying power. Cresta's 830 shattered a 13-year-old record, 770 points, which had been threatened only infrequently.
(Triple bonus points for the event occurring on my mom's birthday. No one loves words like my mother!)