Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

W-I-N-N-E-R! Oregon man crowned Scrabble champ

By
From page A10 | August 14, 2014 |

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Conrad Bassett-Bouchard started his championship Scrabble game Wednesday with the word “zilch” and finished with the opposite – the $10,000 prize and the title of national Scrabble champion.

The 24-year-old player, from Portland, Oregon, beat 29-year-old Jason Li, of Montreal, in the final round of the five-day 25th National Scrabble Championships played at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Bassett-Bouchard, the tournament’s second seed, said he knew luck was with him when he drew a wild-card blank tile and an “s” on his first seven-tile rack. He led for most of the match, winning by a score of 477-350.

Li, the 18th seed, said, “I was playing catch-up right to the end.”

Li had the letters to play an obscure but potentially high-scoring word but didn’t see it, creating a buzz among experienced onlookers.

“He’s going to be kicking himself for missing ‘gramarye,’ ” tournament director John Chew said after the play.

Chew, co-president of the North American Scrabble Players Association, the event’s sponsor, called Li’s presence in the final round the biggest surprise in the tournament, which saw an emerging group of younger players edge out the old guard.

Six of the top 10 finishers are in their 20s, and one, Mack Meller, from Bedford, is 14.

Tournament favorite and five-time champion Nigel Richards, 47, described by one competitor as the Michael Jordan of the game, finished a surprising 16th.

“All these younger players are avid online players,” said Will Anderson, 29, trying to explain the success of the tournament’s 20-somethings at an old-fashioned board game.

“These guys have all played thousands of games on the Internet to hone their skills and meet each other before they’ve ever met in person,” said Anderson, of Croton-on-Hudson, who finished fifth in Buffalo after placing third last year.

The final game saw Bassett-Bouchard and Li at a white-linen-draped table while a tournament representative live-tweeted their every move. Although it was just one of dozens of games taking place inside the cavernous meeting room, the muffled clattering of tiles as players shook and drew from cloth drawstring bags was virtually the only sound.

The winning board contained the words florigen, trooz, venerate, contuse and barf.

Bassett-Bouchard said his win seemed imminent when Li played “jug,” giving him room on the board to spell “docents” and pull further ahead.

“From that point on,” he said, “it was going to be pretty hard for me to lose.”

The tournament began days after the announcement that 5,000 new words had been added to “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” but players won’t be able to use those entries — including much-anticipated two-letter words da, gi and po, along with selfie, hashtag and bromance — until after this year’s championship.

The 25th National Scrabble Championships drew 525 players from 11 countries.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 8 Comments

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
 
Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
New school finance strategy lacks accountability

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

 
Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 2 Comments

Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Marian Kay Zutz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Bart Ferro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics