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THE FRANKLIN MINT SCRABBLE(R) TOURNAMENT SET FOR NOV. 21-22

 THE FRANKLIN MINT SCRABBLE(R) TOURNAMENT SET FOR NOV. 21-22
 What: The Franklin Mint SCRABBLE(R) Tournament
 When: Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 and 22
 Where: The Franklin Mint, U.S. Route 1, Franklin Center, Pa.
 Entry Fee: $25 -- Expert Division
 $20 -- Competitive Division
 $15 -- Recreational Division
 Format: First seven rounds: Modified speed matchups
 Rounds 8-10: Swiss system
 Prizes: $10,000 in cash and Franklin Mint prizes.
 Background:
 Facts, figures and history of the world's favorite crossword game, from the National SCRABBLE Association:
 -- SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Game was invented in 1931 by Alfred M. Butts, an out-of-work architect who was a lifelong devotee of anagrams and crossword puzzles. The game was originally called "Crisscross Words." Renamed SCRABBLE in 1948, commercial production began in a little red schoolhouse in Newtown, Conn. Since then, more than 100 million SCRABBLE brand games have been sold worldwide.
 -- There are an estimated 33 million leisure SCRABBLE players in the United States and Canada alone. Among these 33 million are more than 10,000 enthusiasts who belong to the nearly 200 licensed National SCRABBLE Association clubs, which meet every week throughout the United States and Canada. Their organization, the National SCRABBLE Association, is headquartered in Greenport, N.Y.
 -- Members of the National SCRABBLE Association receive a subscription to the SCRABBLE News, published eight times a year, as part of their membership. The newspaper features tips on how to play better, information on clubs and tournaments, diagrams of interesting matches, profiles of players, useful word lists and much more. Memberships are $15 per year. Canadians pay $20. Overseas memberships are $25.
 -- Each year more than 80 sanctioned SCRABBLE tournaments are held throughout the United States and Canada. These attract players of all levels from curious novices to experts and usually encompass 10 rounds of play over a two-day weekend. Contestants are allowed up to three minutes per turn, with games limited to a total of 60 minutes. A normal game will have 13 to 19 turns per side. Advanced players use chess clocks to time their moves, using up to 25 minutes per player.
 -- Tournament players are rated in relation to their SCRABBLE playing abilities. All players rated over 1600 are considered experts. There are more than 500 experts throughout the United States and Canada.
 -- The 10 best players in the last National SCRABBLE Open averaged 405 points per game.
 -- The most points scored in an official game in the United States was 719 by Chris Reslock, a taxi driver, at a tournament in Cleves, Ohio, in 1982. The world record for scoring the most points in a competitive SCRABBLE game is 725 by an Australian.
 -- The highest score in one turn in sanctioned U.S. club play was made by Jack Eichenbaum, Flushing, N.Y., using the word "antiques" for 293 points. The highest Canadian score was by Ron Manson of Toronto who played the word "reequips" for 302 points.
 -- The first World SCRABBLE Championship was held in London Sept. 27-30, 1991. There were 48 contestants from 20 countries. Milton Bradley Company sponsored the 11 players on the North American team. Eight North Americans finished in the final 16. The top five finishers were North Americans.
 -- The top-ranked SCRABBLE players in the U.S. are Peter Morris, East Lansing, Mich., graduate student in English literature and 1989 National Champion and the 1991 World SCRABBLE Champion; Robert Felt, Chicago, current national champion and computer programmer; Joe Edley, Riverhead, N.Y., former National Champion and associate director of the national organization; Ron Tiekert, New York City, book editor, and 1985 National Champion; Brian Cappelletto, Phoenix, Ariz., an undergraduate student at Arizona State and runner-up in the 1991 World Championship; Charlie Carroll, Richfield, Minn., and engineering manager, and Lester Schonbrun, Oakland, Calif., a legal analyst.
 -- Included among the highest-rated U.S. women players are Linda Gruber, a systems analyst from New York City; Pat Barrett, an administrative assistant from Houston; Jan Dixon, a businesswoman from Delaware; Rita Norr, a computer scientist from New York; Jean Carol, a teacher from Cincinnati, and Rita Dady, a tax assistant from San Francisco.
 -- In Canada the top-rated players are Joel Wapnick, a music professor, and Stephen Fisher, a lawyer. Top Canadian women include Marie Desjardins, a housewife.
 -- Experts at SCRABBLE, as in any other discipline, have their individualized styles. Some memorize word lists or computerized printouts of letter combinations. Some specialize in bluffing or using bogus words. All of them practice regularly, many playing at least one game of SCRABBLE every day.
 -- All tournament players make it a high priority to learn the 94 two-letter words, the nine Q-words that don't use a U (faqir, qaid, qanat, qat, qindar, qindarka, qintar, qoph, and tranq) and all the seven-letter words that can be made from the six commonly used letters in the word "satire" plus another letter (69 words).
 -- In tournament play, it is very common for both players to have at least one "bingo" per game. A bingo is played when all seven letters on a player's rack are used to make one word, thus achieving a 50-point bonus. Good players play defensively as well, trying to block possible bingos by their opponent. Bingo bonus plays represent more than 25 percent of an expert's normal score. Almost half of the points they score are earned with 2-, 3- and 4-letter words.
 -- The "bible" for SCRABBLE Crossword game players is the "Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, 2nd Edition," published by the Merriam- Webster Company. It contains more than 100,000 rules-acceptable words, complied from the four most popular lexicons available to word game players today. Well over 1 million copies, hardcover and softcover. have been sold since the original edition was introduced in 1978. The second edition, with more than 5,000 new words, supplanted the original OSPD in October 1991. For words over eight letters, "Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary" is used.
 -- SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Games, SCRABBLE and The National SCRABBLE Association are registered trademarks of the Milton Bradley Company, a division of Hasbro, Inc. (AMEX: HAS).
 CONTACT: Jack Wilkie, 215-459-7494, or Maureen Maguire, 215-459-6120, both of The Franklin Mint.
 /delval/
 -0- 11/5/92
 (HAS) CO: The Franklin Mint; The National SCRABBLE Association ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MK-MP -- PH031 -- 7832 11/05/92 15:05 EST
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Date:Nov 5, 1992
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