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HISTORY OF SCRABBLE

Of all the board games out there, Scrabble has long been one of the most popular classics.
It is a fairly simple word game involving letter tiles with a score assigned to each letter.
Players draw seven tiles at the beginning and take turns creating words on the game board,
where certain squares offer bonus points. New words that are made must be attached to at
least one of the existing words on the board. It is somewhat akin to a crossword puzzle.
The ultimate aim is to get the highest number of points. Scrabble is a test of the players
vocabulary, as well as how versatile and flexible they are in their thinking. Over the years,
the game has evolved a good deal since its conception several decades ago. Here we take a
look back in time at the original inventor of Scrabble and the games subsequent
developers.

equipments
Here is the Scrabble equipment I use:

board
I use a custom board made by Ossie Mair. It is a folding, red, lucite board with matching (red) tile racks.

Timer
Adjudicator 3000 Game Timer (white). I like this timer because of the low-profile buttons and how the LED indicates
whose turn it is.

Tiles
I have two-sets of double-injection molded Protiles that I use regularly (red and white). I also have a set of purple tiles
that I received at the 2009 US National Scrabble Championship which I havent used yet.

Tile Racks
Extra-long non-tipping tile racks Ive sanded and spray-painted these red to match my board. I like these racks the
best because they are simple and unadorned. My only advice is to mark them somehow so that you can identify them
as yours as these racks are very popular.

Miscellaneous
I also use a custom scoresheet and have gone through several different iterations of sheets (Im always
experimenting). For each game, I also use a ball-point pen and highlighter. The highlighter is invaluable during the
end game to track the remaining tiles.

Software & References


I use Zyzzyva for studying and Quackle to review games. I also have copies of the Official Word List and the Official
Scrabble Tournament Players Dictionary .

Basic skills
Two Letter Words
Perhaps the single best way to increase your Scrabble effectiveness is to learn the 2-letter Scrabble
words. There is a list of two letter words, usually between 120 and 130 in all, that are included in most
official Scrabble dictionaries. When you learn these words, you will find your scoring and your defense will
improve.

Three Letter Words


Three letter words in SCRABBLE aren't quite as important as the two-letters, because they won't fit into
as many places and help you out of as many tight jams. That being said, learning the three letter words is
quite important if you are going to become a competitive player.

Shuffle Your Tiles Often


This is as simple as it comes, but maintaining a static rack of tiles is one of the most common mistakes
new players make in Scrabble.

Rules and regulations

Basic Rules
Here is a brief overview of Scrabble rules. For more precise rules, seek an
official Scrabble rulebook.
For each Scrabble game, there must be at least two-players and no more than
four.
The person who draws the earliest letter in the alphabet plays first.
Once the order of turns is established, each person draws six more tiles in that
order.
The game progresses as each player lays down tiles on the board that make up
words that connect to already played words, like making one big crossword
puzzle.
Tiles can only be placed from left to right or from top to bottom. Words placed
diagonally or backwards are not allowed.
After each turn, the tile values are added up and placed on the score sheet, and
the person draws the number of tiles they used for their last play, always
having seven tiles until all tiles run out.
The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.

1.1It is the responsibility of both players to determine before commencing play that there are 100 correct tiles.
There can be no appeal if an incorrect number or incorrect distribution is discovered later.
1.2 The pre-tournament information should specify how the first player in each game will be decided. This may be
by drawing tiles, use of a computer program, use of a "balanced start" record card, or another method as
determined by the tournament organiser.
1.3 Balanced starts: either a computer program or a record card of starts is used to determine who shall start each
game, with the objective being for players to have roughly the same number of starts. This system is referred to as
"balanced starts". When a record card is used, the player who has had fewer starts plays first. If both players have
had an equal number of starts, tiles are drawn (see 1.4) to see who plays first.
1.4 Drawing tiles: for each game, each player draws a tile from the bag placing it face up in full view. The player
with the letter closest to the start of the alphabet goes first. A blank is considered to come before an "A". If both
tiles are the same, the players will each draw again until there is a decision. The player who is to go second returns
the tiles to the bag and shuffles the bag, ready for the game to begin. No tiles shall be returned to the bag until a
decision is reached.
1.5 When the first player has taken a tile out of the bag, the time clock may be started.

History of chess
The history of chess spans over 1500 years. The earliest predecessor of the game probably
originated in India, before the 6th century AD. From India, the game spread to Persia. When the
Arabs conquered Persia, chess was taken up by the Muslim world and subsequently spread to
Southern Europe. In Europe, chess evolved into roughly its current form in the 15th century. The
"Romantic Era of Chess" was the predominant chess playing style down to the 1880s. It was
characterized by swashbuckling attacks, clever combinations, brash piece sacrifices and dynamic
games. Winning was secondary to winning with style. These games were focused more on artistic
expression, rather than technical mastery or long-term planning. The Romantic era of play was
followed by the Scientific, Hypermodern, and New Dynamism eras.

Equipments
Chess Sets
Chess set usually means a board plus pieces. Some players say set to mean just the pieces.
Sets can be bought as a board together with pieces or assembled by combining a board with
separate pieces.
The important thing about a chess set is that it be esthetically pleasing. The size and color
of the pieces should match the size and color of the squares on the board.

Chess Pieces
The most familiar and popular pieces follow the Staunton pattern, first registered in 1849 by
Nathaniel Cook. Staunton pieces are required for most tournaments. They are normally
made from wood or plastic, although other materials can be used.

When purchasing a chess set, consider the colors of the opposing armies, the material used,
the weight, the base size, the height of the pieces, and whether the pieces are felted or not.
Pieces for beginners sometimes have the legal moves printed on each piece. These are like
training wheels for a bicycle and are soon replaced by a normal set.

Chess Boards
Although most chess positions are diagrammed with white & dark gray squares, very few
boards use those colors or use white & black. Inexpensive boards often come with red &
black squares, but these are hard on the eyes.
Boards are also sold built into the table. The board should have adequate borders to place
the clock and captured pieces.

Chess Clocks
The first clocks, used in the 19th century, were sandglasses, which kept track of each
player's time on a different device. These were soon superseded by two connected analog
clocks. One player's clock starts as soon as the other player has made a move and punched
the clock.
Analog clocks are equipped with a flag located between 11:00 and 12:00 on each clock face.
As the minute hand gets close to 12:00, its tip catches the flag, and as the clock continues
to run, the flag is pushed from a vertical to a horizontal position.

Other
Travel bags to carry the board, pieces, clock, and supplies are a necessity for the
tournament player. This is especially true in the USA, where chess sets & clocks are
normally not provided for tournament play.

Basic skills
1. Calculation
If you have read my previous articles, calculation is a skill that all players need. It involves an in-depth
analysis of the consequences or variations that you may face when you enter a particular line or position.
This may also include the sequence or order of moves that you need to make for the best possible
continuation. It also entails that you need to count the number of attackers and defenders over a certain
square or piece so that you would know whether you will win or lose when exchanges occur. I think that it
may help if you train your brain not only in chess but also in fields of mathematics so that you may keep
your mind active and always alert to make the right calculations.

2. Pattern Recognition
Another concept that I have been reiterating in my previous articles was pattern recognition and this is
important because there are certain positions when you can immediately get an advantage, usually a
material one although sometimes it may even be a mating combination. Tactical puzzles is one way of
training your pattern recognition, however, I believe that there are also certain 'strategic' patterns that you
might encounter as you play chess. This might explain why pawn tensions are kept in certain lines like in
the Queen's Gambit Declined.

3. Timing/Time Management
In chess, time is a very crucial element and one which we do not usually have the luxury to waste which
is why it is best to prepare your openings, to construct solid plans that you are able to maneuver around
or positions in which you are really comfortable with, and to enhance your endgame technique by
memorizing certain endgame patterns and how you can win endgames with the resources that you have.
It is also important to know when the right moment is to make a move or whether there is an opportunity
to perhaps provoke a disadvantage or positional weakness in your opponent's field. Of course, you also
have to keep track of the clock so that you would not lose on time.

4. Visualization
You need to have retention and an imaginative mind especially when you are calculating deep into move
sequences. I think one of the difficult challenges that I have faced in chess is trying to visualize the plan
that I want to execute because you really need to have a vivid mental picture of the position you are trying
to analyze and be able to move around the pieces in your head. So you really need to have good mental
visualization. Maybe you can try to imagine geometric shapes when you visualize.

5. Logical Reasoning
One of the things that I have learned is that you always need to have a reason for making moves and you
always need to ask yourself what your opponent wants to do and what you want to do then try to find a
way to prevent your opponent from executing his plan while at the same time executing your own. Of
course, this all comes down to what plan you have and what pieces you need to execute your plan. Along
the way, you may sacrifice your 'expendable' pieces so that you may end up checkmating your opponent.
Basically, in every move that you will make, you have to ask yourself why and how it fits in to your plan.

Rules and regulation


Times
Teams should plan to arrive at the venue at 9:00am in anticipation of a 9:30am start to the first game.
Some events have modified times (eg. Many regional events start at 10am). Please check the
Tournament Summary information for details.
If you are going to be running late arrangements can be made please notify the organisers.

Game Format
The Swiss Format ensures that all students will play against players of a similar standard; we expect
both beginners and experts to enjoy a fun, learning and social experience.
All players play 7 games, regardless if they win or lose.
If a player wins a game, they score 1.0 point. In the subsequent game they play against a harder
opponent. If a player draws a game, they score 0.5 points. In the subsequent game they play against a
similar opponent. If a player loses a game, they score 0.0 points. In the subsequent game they play
against an easier opponent.
(Where possible) students from the same school will not compete against each other.
Each game will be timed, with a maximum of 15 minutes per player, per game (see Rules for Players)

Divisions
Primary competitions are open to all players from Prep Grade 6 (Grade 7 in SA and QLD - or ages 5-12
years)
Middle Years competitions are limited to players from Grade 5 Year 9 (ages 11-15 years)
Open Secondary competitions are available to all players from Year 7 Year 12 (ages 13-18 years)
Your age for the current season is calculated as <current year>-<year of birth>. For schools with
accelerated learning programs a student may compete in the year level they are currently in or the year
level they would have been in if not in an accelerated program.

Teacher Duties
In order to manage the large (and growing) number of players in each event and to facilitate a smooth
running and timely finish to the day we ask that each teacher assist in the following ways:

1. Ensuring player behaviour is appropriate at all times and supervision of students


2. Teaching students how to set clocks and answering the never-ending stream of requests to set
clocks! (Arbiters will teach you how to set clocks if you dont already know)
3. Taking turns to record scores at the results table
4. Being visible in the playing area this helps remind students that there are umpires around and
makes them more likely to self-enforce rules! It also gives players more confidence to ask
questions if they are uncertain of something.
5. Answering players questions (if you feel comfortable)

6. In the interest of impartiality we request that teachers refrain from making decisions in games
involving players from their own school
7. If the question is too technical or you arent certain of the answer, please attract the attention of
the head arbiter to solve the problem
8. Assisting with pack-up (or directing kids to do so) of the room at the end of the day

History of domino
The oldest confirmed written mention of dominoes in China comes from the Former Events in Wulin (i.e.
the capital Hangzhou) written by the Yuan Dynasty (12711368) author Zhou Mi (12321298), who listed
"pupai" (gambling plaques or dominoes) as well as dice as items sold by peddlers during the reign
of Emperor Xiaozong of Song (r. 11621189).

[1]

Andrew Lo asserts that Zhou Mi meant dominoes when

referring to pupai, since the Ming author Lu Rong (14361494) explicitly defined pupai as dominoes (in
regards to a story of a suitor who won a maiden's hand by drawing out four winning pupai from a set).

[1]

The earliest known manual written about dominoes is the (Manual of the Xuanhe
[1]

Period) written by Qu You (13411437). But some Chinese scholars believe this manual is a forgery
from a later time.

equipments

. Game Tables
A card table with the traditional green felt surface is good for dominoes for the same reason that it is
good for playing cards. The felt keeps the faces and backs of the tiles from getting scratched. The bad
news is that tiles made with a metal spinner in the center can cut the felt surface and are better used on a
hard surface where they might scratch the surface, but not the faces of the tiles.
In Puerto Rico special moulded plastic tables are used. The photograph to the right was taken by Jose
Carrillo in Juana Diaz town square. They are also found in bars and other places where domino games
are played.

Tile racks
Most domino players arrange the tiles of their hand in a semicircle on the table top in front of themselves
by standing the tiles on their sides. Players with larger hands will hold the tiles in one hand, stacked side
to side in a column. Most people are not physically large enough to handle more than six tiles at one time
unless the tiles are very small.

Chips
Poker chips are also handy for some domino games, in particular the Asian gambling games. The usual convention
in the United States is to value the white chips as one unit, the red chips as five units and the blue chips as twentyfive units.The size of the chips will vary depending on their use. Larger chips of various denominations are easier to
handle for betting games. It is also handy to have chip racks for the players, so they can sort and stack their chips
neatly.

Dice
Dice are used in Asian games to determine which stack of tiles is dealt from the woodpile, but are not
often used in Western games.

Doubling Cube
The doubling cube can be used as the puck in some Asian gambling games, such as Tien Gow, where
payoffs can be doubled. This is a Western adaptation and not part of the original games.

Magnetic Domino Sets


Cardinal Industries of New York has a set of smaller tiles (about one by two inches) with circular
magnetic recessed into the center of their backs. They look like small refrigerator magnets. The tiles come
in a folding box with a ferrous surface encased in a gray flexible plastic. The box unrolls to provide a
playing surface.

Basic skils
Bank Early Points
In a game like Dominoes where both players are racing toward a point total goal, players
must attempt to score points as early as they can in each game. Players can start with
ten points right off the bat by placing a 4-6 or 5-5 tile on their first turn. If players dont
have this option, a double tile is a great alternative to starting a game because it gives a
player control over the tile layout from the start to the finish of the game.

Maintain a Variety
To be prepared for any situation that may arise during the Dominoes game, keep as
many different tile values in your hand as you can. This way, you can avoid having to
draw from the "boneyard."

Know Your 5 Times Table


Many new players have trouble calculating multiples of five during play. The 5 times
table is the magical formula in this game, so its worthwhile to make a quick study of the
numbers. Dont forget that multiples of five extend to the options of 10 and 15 as well.

Players should also keep in mind that previous totals can be minimized to a multiple of
five.

Study Your Opponent


Keep your eyes peeled for weaknesses in your opponents game. The easiest way to
mark what your opponent is lacking is by watching when they have to dip into the
boneyard to draw additional tiles. This observation reveals exactly which tile your
opponent is missing in his hand. Apply this knowledge by deliberately playing the tiles
that you know your opponent cannot match in order to force him to continue to draw
additional tiles.
For players with great memories, theres another way to know exactly which tiles your
opponent is holding in his hand. Keep a tally of which tiles have already been played,
pair this knowledge with the tiles from your own hand, and then use this calculation to
figure out your opponents tiles. Prevent your opponent from playing his tiles by creating
ends with values that you know your opponent lacks. This strategy is especially effective
at the end of the game.

Keep a Small Pip Total


Dont forget that at the end of the game your opponent is going to benefit from the
remaining pips on your in-hand tiles. The more pips you have, the more points you have,
and the more points you donate to your opponent. Try applying a strategy of keeping
small tile values in hand so as not to contribute to your opponents potential victory.
Generally, players are recommended to keep 20 or less pips in hand.

Counting and Blocking


Sometimes players manipulate the game to create a block. Players employ this strategy
when they have been counting the suits of the tiles laid out in the chain. When all of the
suits tiles have already been played in the domino chain layout, players will block to
ensure that they will have the lowest negative score.

Playing to Domino Strategy


This strategy, a type of blocking strategy, ensures that a player will score a zero, the
lowest negative score possible in the game.

Simply Scoring
The most direct of all the Dominoes strategies, this path is adopted by players at the
games beginning. Players who use this strategy focus solely on the goal of scoring the
highest number of points without giving thought to any other strategic considerations.

Rules & Regulations


DOUBLE SIX RULES
1. The matches will be played using the International Domino Federation rules. The
tournament is organized through Swiss rounds, and the number will be determined based
on participants attendance. Matches will be played for either 200 points or 40 minutes,
whichever comes first. Every game started must be finished by the end of the regulation
time. This means that at the end of the 40-minute period, the team with the highest score
wins.
2. For a match to start, all dominos must be shuffled and the player that picks the double
six (6/6) tile will be the one with the lead. Players will then take turns, rotating around the
table in a counter-clockwise fashion. Dominos must be picked up and placed in the table
without further accommodating the tiles.
3. Once the game has started, no comments, gestures or movements that may signal a play
are allowed. Hands are to remain underneath the table during the game. If any of these
rules are violated, those players who commit the infraction will be fined by subtracting 25
points from their score.
4. If a player passes (skips his/her turn) having a tile which can be legally played, he/she will be fined
by subtracting 75 points from his/her score. If a player intentionally passes so as to prevent a lock,
he/ she will forfeit the game. A judge will verify the play and make the final decision.
5. If a player touches a tile, he/she must play it. If the domino tile doesnt fit, it must be placed on the
table facing up and played at the first opportunity possible. If the player wins with that uncovered tile,
no points are added to his/her score. They will be fined by subtracting 25 points from their score and
the rotation will continue.
6. Playing a domino tile ahead of time will cost the player 25 points to be subtracted from his/her
score.
7. If a player picks five (5) doubles, he/she has the right to turn them over, before the game starts.
The tiles are then reshuffled and the game resumes following the same order.
8. If a player sets up a general pass or corrida (where no one but him/her can play), such player
shall notify the other players before playing his/her next tile. Failure to do so will represent a fine of
25 points to be subtracted from their score.
9. In a locked game, each players un-played dominos are added up and the player with the lowest
amount wins. In case of a tie, the game will not count (no points are added to the score) and the
rotation will continue.

10. If the first tile played at the beginning of a game is a double, it must be played horizontally. If the
first tile played is a mixed one, its placed so the lowest number faces the lead player.
JUDGES HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE AN Y DECISIONS THA T MAY NOT BE COVERE D IN THE
SE RU LES. ALL SUCH DECISIONS ARE FINAL.

DOUBLE NINE RULES


1. The matches will be played using the International Domino Federation rules. The tournament is
organized through Swiss rounds, and the number will be determined based on participants
attendance. Matches will be played for either 150 points or 30 minutes, whichever comes first. Every
game started must end by the end of the regulation time. This means that at the end of the 30-minute
period, the team with the highest score wins.
2. In order to begin the match, all dominoes are shuffled, each player picks one tile and its value is
determined by adding up its two sides. The player whose tile has the highest value is the one who
starts the game. If there is a tie in the sum of two or three tiles, the one with the single highest
number wins. For example, 4/4, 5/3 and 6/2 all add up to eight points; in this case, 6/2 wins. Players
will then take turns, rotating around the table in a counter-clockwise fashion.
3. Once the game has started, no comments, gestures or movements that may signal a play are
allowed. Hands are to remain underneath the table during the game. If any of these rules are violated,
those players who commit the infraction will be fined by subtracting 25 points from their score.
4. If a player passes (skips his/her turn) having a tile which can be legally played, he/she will be fined
by subtracting 75 points from his/her score. If a player intentionally passes so as to prevent a lock,
he/she will forfeit the game. A judge will verify the play and make the final decision.
5. If a player touches a tile, he/she must play it. If the domino tile doesnt fit, it must be placed on the
table facing up and played at the first opportunity possible. If the player wins with that uncovered tile,
no points are added to his/her score. They will be fined by subtracting 25 points from his/her score
and the rotation will continue.
6. Playing a domino tile ahead of time will cost the player 25 points to be subtracted from his/her
score.
7. If a player places a tile that is unplayable on either end, it is called a MISFIT. The player who
commits this infraction will be fined by subtracting 75 points from his/her score and the rotation will
continue.

8. If a player sets up a general pass (where no one but him/her can play), such player shall notify the
other players before playing his/her next tile. Failure to do so will represent a fine of 25 points to be
subtracted from his/her score.
9. In a locked game, the player with the lowest amount wins. In case of a tie, the game will not count
(no points are added to the score) and the rotation will continue.
10. If the first tile played at the beginning of a game is a double, it must be played horizontally. If the
first tile played is a mixed one, its placed so the lowest number faces the lead player.
JUDGES HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS THAT MAY NOT BE COVERED IN THESE
RULES. ALL SUCH DECISIONS ARE FINAL.