No, 830 is not the total game score, but the winner's score. The loser scored 490, and so the total was 1320. This record-breaking game was played on October 12, 2006 at the Lexington, MA SCRABBLE® Club #108. The players were two experienced novice players, at least in the sense of their current NSA tournament ratings. Winner Michael Cresta, NSA-rated 886, had recently returned to club play after a 5-month hiatus. He has been playing off and on for about 3 years. Michael has enjoyed studying interesting words, and this game demonstrates how this has really paid off for him. Able loser Wayne Yorra, NSA-rated 841, has been an active player at two clubs in the Boston area for about 4 years. Although Wayne does not seem to be a studier, he picks up a lot of word knowledge by club experiences, and he often lays down made-up words, some of which turn out to be acceptable. This game demonstrates this tendency.
So the game was off and running when Wayne opened up with a 96-point vertically-placed JOUSTED. Michael traded 7, and then Wayne played LADYLIKE for 73, leaving the first letter in the left column. So the score is 169-0, but Michael takes the lead by playing FLATFISH through that L for 239 points. With such a high score, Wayne challenges, but it stays. Three turns later, Wayne bingos again with SCAMsTER. That R is in the rightmost column. Michael trades 2, holding QUIXY, fishing for the perfect letters. Wayne leaves that area of the board alone by bingoing for the fourth time with UNDERDOG. The score is now 365-249, and once again Michael regains the lead by laying down QUIXOTRY for 365 points!. At this point, Michael has put three words onto the board for a total of 614 points! The game continues more normally, but there are plenty of letters yet to be played. Michael makes a 66-point Z play. When it is all over, Michael wins 830-490. No phonies are left on the board.
Michael's score was 139% higher than his average. Wayne's score was 47.8% above his average. Wayne was listed as achieving the high-above-average score for the club session, since a player must have played at least 20 games in a season to be eligible for this accolade, and Michael was not there yet. This is the first time in club history that the loser of a game was announced as having the high-above-average score.
This game broke the long-standing club record for the highest game score, which had been 709, set in November of 1982. It has the second-highest losing score ever seen in the club. The highest scoring loss has been 500, and the runner-up highest losing score had been 486. Until this game, the highest-scoring play had been 293, but Michael's 365 broke that record. We have not kept track of comebacks, but notice Michael was behind by 169 and went on to win by 340, turning the game around by 509. Until this game, the highest total score seen in this club was 1062.
It appears this game also broke at least three NSA records.
There was an attendance of 31 players on this historic night, with several NSA club directors present. There were other achievements in that club session, such as 3 other games with totals above 900, 7 games with a winning score of at least 500, one of which was 571, 7 games with a loss of over 400, etc.; but these stats were dwarfed by this 830-490 fluke of a game.
Here is the historic game...
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o ----------------------------- 1|G B L E E P ' Q| 2|I - A " " C U| 3|B U N T ' ' O I| 4|E E J - R A X| 5| U N D E R D O G N O N O| 6|O P " U Z A " T| 7| ' ' S C A M s T E R| 8|F E T S ' Y| 9|L A D Y L I K E ' ' | 10|A W E " A D O " " | 11|T A I - E S M I T E V| 12|F N ' H A I R| 13|I - G ' ' I O| 14|S - " " V R O W| 15|H E I R = ' s| ----------------------------- a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Wayne Yorra Michael Cresta ---------------------- ----------------------- JOUSTED H4 96 96 trade 7 0 0 LADYLIKE 9A 73 169 FLATFISH A8 239 239 challenge 0 169 trade 3 0 239 EYEING D8 22 191 trade 2 0 239 AWA B9 29 220 ADO 10G 10 249 SCAMsTER 7H 65 285 trade 2 0 249 UNDERDOG 5B 72 357 QUIXOTRY O1 365 614 challenge 0 357 trade 7 0 614 AN N4 13 370 OP 6A 20 634 COR M2 20 390 BATED D1 22 656 BLEEP 1D 27 417 MITE 11I 16 672 BUNT 3A 12 429 ZA 6J 66 738 HAIR 12L 26 455 VROWs O11 30 768 NONLESS 13F 0 455 challenged off NONLESS, EHS VROW 14L 20 788 NO 5K 14 469 GIBE A1 24 812 ES 11F 9 478 HEIR 15A 8 820 ZAS J6 12 490 AIR M12 6 826 (L,N) 4 830 FINAL SCORE 490 830