What is Scrabble?

Scrabble is essentially a word game which can be played by 2-4 players at a given time on a board which comprises a grid of squares in a 15 X 15 format. The squares are assigned different scoring attributes. There are 100 tiles to draw from and players must draw 7 tiles initially and maintain the same number on their racks till they are exhausted. Each tile has a point value attached to it. If all 7 tiles are used in a word an additional 50 points is added to the players score. The goal is to win by scoring more than your opponent. Scrabble is now increasingly played competitively across several countries on the globe and in several languages.

Featured post

Scrabble Resources

This is repost of an excellent write up by the  Scrabble Association of Delhi NCR   on scrabble resources you can use to improve your game: ...

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Scrabble Word Study Tools

 My colleague Ishika takes you through some useful tools for word study namely Zyzzyva, Aerolith, and Anagram Quizzer. I chip in on my favorite tool for word study Xerafin:


Sunday, 23 August 2020

Scrabble Resources

This is repost of an excellent write up by the Scrabble Association of Delhi NCR on scrabble resources you can use to improve your game:



Want to be a better Scrabbler? Read on!

 

There are three routes to traverse towards your destination as a Scrabble champ. You can work on all three simultaneously but if you’re a newbie, then you can start in the order shown.

·         Word Power

·         Strategy

·         Temperament

 

Word Power:

Perhaps MOST critical in learning words, is to ALSO learn their HOOKS (the letters that go at the front (front hook) or at the back (back hooks) to make other words).

Words are learnt as lists: Examples of word lists words that have only 2 letters, only 3 letters (2’s and 3’s), or 4 letter words that take a Z, the most common 7 letter words etc.

 

Most basic word lists: (with hooks)

·         2 letter words

·         3 letter words

·         7 letter words (top 2000)

·         8 letter words (top 2000)

 

There are several other lists that you can move on to as your word power improves:

 

Strategy / Game Play:

In addition to building word power, you also need to develop “board play”. This covers aspects like Board Vision (being able to spot the spaces where you can play bingos etc.), Rack Balancing and Rack Leave (engineering your tiles to get the best combination of letters for a bingo) etc.

 

This is best read about in the SCRABBLE PLAYER’S HANDBOOK:

https://strataji.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/scrabblehandbook.pdf

It’s hosted on the site: http://www.breakingthegame.net/handbook

 

This is a comprehensive guide written with the collaboration of some of the best scrabble players. It provide great insights into how to play the game with little quizzes and examples along the way. Easy to read. Highly recommended.

 

You can also look at the following sites:

·         http://www.youthscrabble.org/index.html Run by Karen Richards, this site explains has very practical “HOW-TOs”  offering tutorials on word play and scoring.

·         John Holgate’s site (5 time Australian Champion): Offers good scrabbling tips http://scrabble.org.au/strategy/index.htm


Temperament is the hardest thing to develop. If you’re the kind who has a live-in-the moment attitude and a positive attitude, you’re half-way there. Developing the right temperament is best learnt from a coach.

Academies / Classes: Ideal to learn strategy and develop the Zen-like temperament required to excel at Scrabble. While classes are typically for beginners or those who are reasonably good but want to improve their game, there are actually coaching sessions for expert players as well!

 

·         Wordaholix: Based out of Mumbai, Wordaholix offers coaching for beginners and experts in either standard modules or customized packages. For more details contact wordaholix@gmail.com or check out http://www.facebook.com/wordaholix

·         Irfan Siddiqui on-line coaching classes: Typically for a few weeks at a time, the coaching sessions are divided into two groups: Group A: for beginners and intermediate scrabblers and Group B: for advanced and expert scrabblers. For more details, email: mohd.irfan.s@gmail.com or WhatsApp +973-333-455-50.

·         Swati Gupta’s Scrabble Training Centre:  Located in Delhi, though originally a brick and mortar centre, the pandemic has moved her online, offering customized coaching, with a lot of interactive games, for beginners and intermediate players. Beginners will require a minimum of 4 sessions. To know more: swati.gupta78@yahoo.co.in.

·         ISC beginners group: Run by Archana Aggarwal and Hema Shah, they offer coaching, tips and practice games on-line. One-to-one coaching sessions are also offered at a nominal cost. For more, reach out to either Archana or Hema

o   Archana: archana.aggarwal70@gmail.com

o   Hema:  kssa.scrabble@gmail.com

·         Listening to Scrabble commentary of the matches taking place from our league matches to international tournaments. You learn a lot about strategy and board play – and a few words along the way. I would recommend this highly. This is the only time you can actually get into the mind of an expert scrabbler – absolutely invaluable. Try not to miss any. To follow the tournaments that are going on, get yourself to the nearest administrator of a scrabble club/ group or a senior scrabbler and you can be added to the whatsapp groups on which the schedules and links are posted.

·         An interesting YouTube channel to watch, particularly for beginners, is David Webb’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-8sPGr787Ep8m2JCmkw0tA 

 

And if you want to get in that much needed practice on your own, here are some self-learning tools:

 

·         Zyzzyva:. Offered by Collins https://www.collinsdictionary.com/scrabble/scrabble-tools/, Zyzzyva is an anagramming program typically downloaded on a computer. You can learn not just basic lists but also list of words by probability of occurrence. Provides hooks and meanings of every word. Make sure to use the Cardbox feature to only re-learn those words you don’t know.

·         Anagram Quizzer: An app that allows you to learn on the go. Typically free unless you want to use special features of the program

·         Aerolith: www.aerolith.org Quizzes of 2- 11 words provided daily. Plus word builder puzzles. These are to be completed within a specified time. Helps cement word knowledge. Also provides explanations of the words – with hooks and meanings.

·         Quackle: http://people.csail.mit.edu/jasonkb/quackle/ Helps to simulate games and look at alternative plays (for more experienced players). This site http://www.word-buff.com/free-scrabble-game.html offers an easy ‘how-to-use’ method.

·         Xerafin:  xerafin.net is a website to facilitate learning words for Scrabble or other word games. It features anagramming practice with build-in spaced repetition as well as other mini-games, leader boards, and live chat which make it fun to learn. Visit it at https://www.xerafin.net/ using your google or Facebook login. 

 

Resource People for any of the Word Tools above: If you’re finding it difficult to navigate any of these, you can contact either of the word tool experts:

·         Ishika Shivalingaiah : ishika2k@yahoo.com

·         Rajveer S Rawlin:  Samuelrr@yahoo.com

You can also read Rajveer’s blog at https://rajveersscrabble.blogspot.com (For those who don’t know him, Rajveer was the A division runner up at the 2019 GOA WESPAC tournament.)

 

Practice: Actually playing the game:

In these CoVid times, apps and the internet rule! So the two places you can find other scrabblers are:

 

·       ScrabbleGo: A free app on your phone that you can play on the go. Opponents can either be your friends or random others. There is no time limit on a move or the game. The software doesn’t allow you to make a fake word, so you learn as you play, especially if you experiment with words. It also has a series of other single person games that help with speed and anagramming.

·         Classic Words: An app for Android phones. Helps with practicing game play.

·        Internet Scrabble Club (ISC): www.isc.ro. This is where scrabblers converge for friendly matches and tornaments. You can select the timing of your game, the type (whether you want to play VOID – where you can only make correct words (like ScrabbleGo) – or challenge games with penalties for making a fake word. Explore and choose the setting that suits you. Every player has a “handle” that may or may not indicate their names. Some of our favourite Delhi players are Rudish (actually super polite), Armpit (not smelly!), Zephyr 19(very pleasant indeed) and Vandanag (that’s really her!)..

Once upon a time we used to have Scrabble meet-ups, where we would meet to play games across a board. This differs from playing on-line in several ways:

o   You have to tile-track: you can’t see the remaining tiles in the bag at the click of a button. If you’ve made a mistake in tracking the tiles played, you might lose a game!

o   Board vision: Many top-rated players have been making two-letter phoneys on ISC, purely because of the difference being able to see the spots on the board.

o   Timing: You have to press a clock and watch your time: not automatic as it is on-line. If you forget to press the clock, you will be losing time.

 

So while it’s good to get on-line practice, try to play across a board too. Hopefully, we will start our scrabble meet-ups soon.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Global GO KO Scrabble Tournament - Round1

Here are my game boards from the ongoing Global GO KO Scrabble Tournament:
Round 1 Game 1:
Was pleased with my high probable 9 letter find in a loosing effort:

Round 1 Game 2:
Hit a bingo early and maintained a lead throughout:


Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Scrabble Training Workshop

A scrabble training workshop is being organised by my very good friend and a top scrabble player in the world Irfan Siddiqui. Details from him are below:

The best way to deal with today's situation is through positive energy, thoughts and actions.

Some people are staying positive by utilizing the lockdown πŸ”’πŸ”’period to enhance their skills  or by learning a new hobby/activity

I would like to help you learn and excel at a new hobby and am excited to launch my *ONLINE  SCRABBLE WORKSHOPS*  for *adults and children*  

A little about me:

*Irfan Siddiqui* based in Bahrain; pro Scrabble player for 2 years

6 time World Scrabble Championship πŸŒπŸ† participant, ranked 4 in *India*  & 169 in the world

Learning & Development professional with nearly 10 years of teaching experience.

For more details regarding the workshops, please refer to the attachment below or contact me on
+973 33345550 (WhatsApp) or email me on mohd.irfan.s@gmail.com

You can register for any of the workshops using the following link: https://forms.gle/3TKZoR5LWftfPZAE6


BEGINNER
WORKSHOP
Date & TimingsSat, 25th April
2.15 - 3.45 pm
Sun, 26th April
4 pm - 5.30 pm
Mon, 27th April
2.15 - 3.45 pm
Tue, 28th April
2.15 - 3.45 pm 
Wed, 29th April
2.15 - 3.45 pm
Fri, 1st May
5.30 - 6.15 pm
SESSION
ITINERARY
 
  1. Introduction to Scrabble
  2. Board & Premium squares
  3. Tile distribution & tile values
  4. How to play: Rules
  5. Introduction to 2-letter words
  6. Summary
  7. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous session
  2. Scoring tutorial
  3. Word exercises
       a. Sub-anagrams
       b. Hooks
       c. Bingos
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. 2-letter words exercises
  3. Scrabble study:
     a. Why? What? Where? When?How?  
  4. Mini Scrabble game
  5. Summary
  6. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Basics of strategy
       a. Rack balancing
       b. How to spot words
       c. Exchanging tiles
       d. Elements of Luck & Skill
  3. Mini Scrabble game
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
 1. Review quiz of previous sessions
 2. Consensus game 1 with analysis
 3. Consensus game 2 with analysis
 4. Summary
 5. Q & A
FREE BONUS

SURPRISE SESSION

DON'T MISS IT!!
Target audience a. Children & adults who have no/minimal experience of playing Scrabble face-to-face or online
 b. Children & adults who have never played Scrabble at a club or at a competitive level
Registration fee Rs 3,000 per participant for the entire workshop (5 sessions)
Requirements 1. You do not need to have a Scrabble set for the sessions. However, if you have a set then please keep it ready during the session
 2. Notebook/Paper
 3. Session notes/presentation will be emailed to all participants after each session
        
INTERMEDIATE
WORKSHOP
Date & TimingsSat, 25th April
4 pm - 5.30 pm
Sun, 26th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Mon, 27th April
4 pm - 5.30 pm
Tue, 28th April
4 pm - 5.30 pm
Wed, 29th April
4 pm - 5.30 pm
Fri, 1st May
5.30 - 6.15 pm
SESSION
ITINERARY
 
  1. Introduction Quiz
  2. Skills & Knowledge gap analysis
  3. Scrabble study:
       a. Order of study
       b. Word study tools
       c. How to examine a game
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous session
  2. Strategy modules
      a. Rack Balancing
      b. How to spot words
      c. Board vision & hotspots
      d. Luck vs Risk
  3. Mini Scrabble game
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Basics of strategy
       a. Opening move
       b. End game
       c. Exchanging tiles
  3. Mini Scrabble game
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Tournament Scrabble:
       a. Tips for preparation
       b. Common mistakes
       c. Playing the rack vs player
       c. Challenging words
       d. Phony plays
       e. Time Management
       f. Scoring & tile tracking tips
  3. Summary
  4. Q & A
 
 1. Review quiz of previous sessions
 2. Consensus game 1 with analysis
 3. Consensus game 2 with analysis
 4. Summary
 5. Q & A
FREE BONUS

SURPRISE SESSION

DON'T MISS IT!!
Target audience a. Children & Adults who have played Scrabble face-to-face or online but not at a serious/club/competitive level
 b. Unrated (SAI/WESPA) players
 c. SAI/WESPA rated players with rating less than 1000
Registration fee Rs 4,000 per participant for the entire workshop (5 sessions)
Requirements 1. You do not need to have a Scrabble set for the sessions. However, if you have a set then please keep it ready during the session
 2. Notebook/Paper 
 3. Session notes/presentation will be emailed to all participants after each session
        
        
DECATHLON
ADVANCED WEBINARS
Date & TimingsSat, 25th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Mon, 27th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Tue, 28th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Wed, 29th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Thu, 30th April
6 - 7.30 pm
Fri, 1st May
5.30 - 6.15 pm
SESSION
ITINERARY
 
  1. Introduction Quiz
  2. Webinar 1: Luck vs Skill
  3. Webinar 2: Scrabble study:
       a. Order of study
       b. Word study tools
       c. How to examine a game
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous session
  2. Webinar 3: Opening move
  3. Webinar 4: Exchanging tiles
  4. Consensus game with analysis
  5. Summary
  6. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Webinar 5: Board vision &
       hotspots
  3. Webinar 6: Time Management
  4. Consensus game with analysis
  5. Summary
  6. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Webinar 7: End Game
  3. Webinar 8: Tournament Scrabble
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
 
  1. Review quiz of previous sessions
  2. Webinar 9: Risk vs Reward
  3. Consensus game with analysis
  4. Summary
  5. Q & A
FREE BONUS

SURPRISE SESSION

DON'T MISS IT!!
Target audience a. Children & adults with competitive Scrabble experience
 b. SAI/WESPA rated players with rating more than 1000
Registration feeRs 1,500 Rs 1,500Rs 1,500Rs 1,500Rs 1,500
Rs 6,000 for the entire DECATHLON package (all 5 sessions)
Requirements 1. You do not need to have a Scrabble set for the sessions. However, if you have a set then please keep it ready during the session
 2. Notebook/Paper
 3. Session notes/presentation will be emailed to all participants after each session

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Scrabble Words Containing Corona

We have all been inundated with the coronavirus which is a valid word  in CSW19. Here are a few more out of Zyzzyva:

Front Hook
Word
Back Hook

geocorona
es

coronach
s

coronae


coronal
s

coronally


coronas


coronary


coronate
ds

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Different Words Same Meaning

Citolas, Citoles, Cithrens, Citherns, Cithers, Citterns - A Guitar
Waivode, Waiwode, Woiwode, Voivode - An army leader
Cagouls, Cagoules, Kagouls, Kagoules, Kagools - An anorak
Eulachan, Eulachon, Oulachon, Oulakan, Oolakan, Ulikon - A candlefish
Kiester, Keister, Hurdies, Patootie - The Buttocks
Didakei, didakai, Diddicoy, Didicoi, Didicoy - A Tinker
Cabala, Cabbala, Kabala, Kabbala, Kabbalah, Qabala, Qabalah - a Jewish doctrine
Yoghurt, Yaourt, Yogurt, Yoghourt - A type of curd
Narwal, Narwhal, Narwhale - An Arctic aquatic mammal
Lekythus, Lecythus, Lekythos - An ancient oil Jar
Germen, Germain, Germaine, Germin - Something that serves as an origin
Filemot, Philomot, Philamot - A dull brown shade
keblah, Kibla, Kiblah, Qibla - The direction muslims face while praying
Litchi, Lichi, Lychee, Lichee - A fruit
Poursue, Pursue, Persue, Poursew Pursew - To follow
Pummelo, Shaddock, Pompelo - A citrus fruit
Repreeve, Reprive, Repryve - To delay
Baklava, Baklawa, Baclava - A middle eastern desert
Nilgai, Nilgau, Nilghai, Nilghau, Nylghai, Nylghau - a large antelope
Cassina, Cassene, Cassine, Cassena - an evergreen tree
Narghile, Narghily, Nargile, Nargileh, Nargily - a hookah
Dirdam, Dirdum, Durdum - uproar
Shechita, Shehitah, Shehita - krosher killing of animals
Mezuzot, Mezuzoth, Mezuzah, Mezuza - a Jewish scroll

Combo Words of Two Words that are Good Both Ways

Bedrail - Railbed
Dovering - Ringdove
Hangover - Overhang
Turnover - Overturn
Runover - Overrun
Roadside - Sideroad
Outburn - Burnout
Woodworm - Wormwood
Linecut - Cutline
Outpass - Passout
Outspeak - Speakout
Comedown - Downcome
Upclose - Closeup
Outback - Backout
Pinhead - Headpin
Mateship - Shipmate
Cutover - Overcut
Upstart - Startup
Outshoot - Shootout
Overwing - Wingover
Fantail - Tailfan

Common Words with Not so common Anagrams

Tailors - Oralist, Rialtos, Sliotar
Almonds - Dolmans
Mustard - Durmast
Stadium - Dumaist
Romance - Cremona
Cauldron - Crunodal
Acolyte - Cotylae
Cilantro - Contrail
Decagon - Congaed
Ethical - Alethic
Strongly - Strongyl
Ungrazed - Gazunder
Expires - Prexies
Detangle - Danegelt
Teardown - Danewort
Erasions - Sensoria
Innovate - Venation
Inundate - Antidune
Invocate - Conative
Antidote - Tetanoid
Liaises - Silesia
Coalise - Celosia
Isotherm - Moithers
Heroism - Moreish
Sedation - Astonied
Marries - Simarre
Tsunami - Manitus, Santimu
Cheerio - Echoier


Those Handy Pyramid Words!

Pyramid words are words which start at 2 letters but can be extended to 7 letters and beyond. For example take the word loofahs, we start with lo, next we get to loo, followed by loof, loofa, loofah and loofahs. Thus by knowing loofahs we get to know a total of 6 words. Other examples include:
Abasers, Amenders, Amusers, Barbers, Bingers, Chained,
Chiasmal, Daledhs, Divests, Erasers, Fasties, Godsons, Hookahs, Jambees, Jamboks, Kaingas, Kinases, Lapsers, Maliced, Mentors, Nursery, Parkiest, Poleyns, Reeders, Reposes, Singers, Skaters,Tapetis, Teasers, Ureases, and Woosells.

There are some reverse pyramid words too. Take the word drooped for example, we start with ed, then ped, then oped, then ooped, rooped and finally drooped.Other examples include:
Aemules, Afeared, Borates, Cleared, Demures, Escapes, Glaired, Hamates, Lemures, Mananas, Penates, Retapes, Scraped, Testates, Upreach, Vacates, Whooped, Yslaked and Zananas.