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Lexington Scrabble® Club 2013-2014 Season

This reports on the season which ran from September, 2013 through August, 2014.

The Lexington, Massachusetts Scrabble® Club #108 has been running continuously since it was started by Edie Berman and Muriel Sands in January, 1980. We meet nearly every Thursday night of the year in a comfy basement meeting room of the First Parish Church, situated on Lexington Green behind the Lexington Minuteman Statue. Judy Horn has been directing this club for about 27 years. Judy Cole serves as associate director. Mike Wolfberg joined the club within its first month of existence, and he took on the role of club statistician within the first year. The club has operated with its own rating system, designed primarily by Alan Frank, since early 1981. Ratings are based on the percentage of points which each of the players scores in each game. The club web site includes a detailed description of this system.

This is a report of the highlights of this club's September 2013 through August 2014 Season. In this season, individuals played 3302 games, and so there were 1651 games in all. The average score in all of these games was 387. These numbers were 4048, 2024, and 385 for the previous season. Two seasons ago, the average was 386.

Of the 3302 individual games, 3038 were played by an "active player". We define an active player as someone who played at least 20 games in the season. The average score of the active players was 383 for the season. These numbers were 4048, 3757, and 383 for the previous season.

There were 50 club sessions during the season, and average attendance was 17.0, down nearly 3 from the previous season. These statistics indicate that each player played on the average of about 3.9 games per session. We realize this is higher than in many other clubs, and so some of this club's achievements in one season should be understood in this context.

105 different players have attended the club in the past 2 years. This is down from 111 one year ago and 126 players two years ago. During the 2013-2014 Season there were 34 (down from 40 and 42 the two previous seasons) active players, namely those who played at least 20 games, and here are the top 30, ordered by decreasing club average rating (not shown here, but these are in the other table below) :

Jamie Ryan        - averaged 434, won  40 of  59 games
Richard Buck      - averaged 414, won  47 of  71 games
Richard Spence    - averaged 418, won  16 of  22 games
Mike Wolfberg     - averaged 417, won 124 of 176 games, scored  73,445 points
Steven Saul       - averaged 411, won  94 of 143 games
Joel Horn         - averaged 414, won 179 of 260 games, scored 107,566 points
Mark Fidler       - averaged 397, won 101 of 148 games
Rebecca Lambert   - averaged 406, won  18 of  24 games
Jake Bergmann     - averaged 415, won  58 of  95 games
Aaron Green       - averaged 408, won  24 of  32 games
Rob Rosenthal     - averaged 388, won  13 of  20 games
Judy Horn         - averaged 401, won 145 of 241 games, scored  96,726 points
Bob Becker        - averaged 392, won  28 of  38 games
Wes Eddings       - averaged 381, won  17 of  29 games
Chris Kulig       - averaged 396, won 112 of 199 games, scored  78,817 points
Susan Kirchhausen - averaged 378, won  19 of  32 games
Larry Katz        - averaged 365, won  26 of  54 games
Carol McDonald    - averaged 382, won  78 of 178 games
Marvin Kraus      - averaged 370, won  68 of 170 games
Tim Lutts         - averaged 364, won  18 of  44 games
Diana Spiller     - averaged 385, won  21 of  54 games
Bob Lichtenstein  - averaged 370, won   7 of  20 games
Betsey Wood       - averaged 370, won  29 of  75 games
Wayne Yorra       - averaged 356, won  26 of  71 games
Claudia Cassel    - averaged 347, won  44 of 144 games
Emmanuel Aronie   - averaged 356, won   7 of  21 games
Linda Giovinazzo  - averaged 352, won  37 of 101 games
Jaya Tripathi     - averaged 344, won   9 of  33 games
Marc Goldstein    - averaged 347, won  15 of  50 games
Catherine Day     - averaged 344, won  20 of  60 games


These high-rated players attended our club during the season, but failed to
play the minimum of twenty games to qualify to be considered as active:
Joe Bihlmeyer, John Cheras, Judy Cole, Jesse Day, Carl Durdan,
Morris Greenberg, Karl Higby, Merrill Kaitz, Seth Lipkin, Jere Mead,
Jon Shreve, Chris Sinacola, Sinna Vijayakumar, Linda Wancel, Brad Whitmarsh.



           Season Average Ratings of the Top 30 Active Players
           ---------------------------------------------------
   1770.01    Jamie Ryan               1694.13    Susan Kirchhausen
   1764.24    Richard Buck             1692.88    Larry Katz
   1759.10    Richard Spence           1685.76    Carol McDonald
   1744.51    Mike Wolfberg            1663.79    Marvin Kraus
   1740.77    Steven Saul              1662.44    Tim Lutts
   1739.57    Joel Horn                1658.88    Diana Spiller
   1734.23    Mark Fidler              1645.86    Bob Lichtenstein
   1726.13    Rebecca Lambert          1629.81    Betsey Wood
   1725.29    Jake Bergmann            1628.82    Wayne Yorra
   1721.10    Aaron Green              1625.19    Claudia Cassel
   1720.01    Rob Rosenthal            1624.29    Emmanuel Aronie
   1716.10    Judy Horn                1614.69    Linda Giovinazzo
   1710.27    Bob Becker               1614.67    Jaya Tripathi
   1709.80    Wes Eddings              1612.07    Marc Goldstein
   1699.35    Chris Kulig              1606.22    Catherine Day

There are many notable achievements this season:

Club Web Site

The club's web site continues to be at http://wolfberg.net/scrabble/lexington, and it is also reachable using the shorter http://LSC.wolfberg.net. You can also click on the "Clubs" box at http://ScrabbleClub.com to get there.

Collins Club Ratings

This club started keeping statistics for games played using the Collins lexicon for the 2011-2012 season. A Collins-specific weekly stats report is now issued by email and posted on the club web site even when there were no Collins games played. The weekly news includes challenged and considered words in OWL2 games and Collins games (if any), and the acceptable words shown are based on the CSW2012 Lexicon. Collins games were played on 26 evenings during the season and on 29 evenings during the previous season.

In this season individuals played 116 Collins games, and so there were 58 such games in all. The average score in all of these games was 427. These numbers in the previous season were: 146, 73, 425.

These are the average ratings of the players who played at least 20 Collins games in the 2013-2014 Season:


   1795.73    Jake Bergmann
   1770.60    Richard Buck

NASPA ratings

We usually have about 4-8 players in the top 100 rated tournament players in North America, based on the North American Scrabble® Players Association (NASPA) ratings. NASPA took over the from the National Scrabble® Association (NSA) in July, 2009. Our club roster lists NASPA ratings of active players; these are updated a few times each year.

ISC Players

Several of our club members are active at the web-based Internet Scrabble® Club. Our club roster includes ISC handles for many of these folks.

Challenges and Postmortems

The club has continued to use the WHAT program on one or two laptop computers available to all players at the club. Players tend to handle their own challenges using the program, and they often check on racks, etc. after a game is completed to see what was possible. Since WHAT can provide definitions, this is an efficient method of doing postmortems.

High Games

The highest game score in a club session during this season was 717 by Jamie Ryan on 27-Feb-14. This was the third-highest score ever achieved in the Lexington Club. This game was unfortunately "contaminated" with two accepted phonies which were the first plays of each of the players. The first-played word, LADDY, was to become acceptable a few months later in the OWL3 Lexicon. This game was also significant in that Jamie played six consecutive bingos starting on his second move; the first of these was a triple-triple for 185 points. With the losing score of 339, the total for the game was 1056. This game can be viewed here.

Other games above 599 were: Merrill Kaitz 674, Sinna Vijayakumar 653, Karl Higby 648, Jake Bergmann 637, Judy Horn 628 and 625, Jesse Day 620, Mike Wolfberg 605.

Most Games

Joel Horn played 260 games, which is 16 lower than his previous season's number. Judy Horn played the second-most games during the season, with 241 games, which is 21 lower than her previous season's number. Nine seasons ago Judy Horn played 406 games, which broke the record for the most games in a season.

Most Wins

With 179 wins, Joel Horn had the most wins, and the runner-up was 145 wins by Judy Horn. In the previous season, Joel also had the most wins with 187.

Most Points

With a total of 107,566 points, Joel Horn scored the most points in this season, down from 114,900 in the previous season. Judy Horn scored 96,726 points. In the previous season Judy scored 104,077 points.

Highest Percentage Above Average

In order to qualify for the highest percentage above average accolade, you must have already played at least 20 games in the season. The highest such game was Judy Horn's 628, and that was 56.3% above her average. Runners up were Jake Bergmann with 54.9% and Marvin Kraus with 52.6% twice during the season

Many Bingos by One Player

There was one 6-bingo game played in this season by Jamie Ryan, and the bingos were played consecutively, starting on his second move. This game was mentioned above as the highest-scoring game of the season.

There were three games in which one player played five bingos. The players who did this were: Sinna Vijayakumar, Chris Kulig, and Mike Wolfberg. Even though he played that many bingos, Chris's game score was under 500, namely 495.

High Losing Score

The highest loss during this season was Mike Wolfberg's 459 (to Carol McDonald's 475). In second place was Marvin Kraus's 454 to Jamie Ryan's 495.

High Total Points

The highest total score for the current season was also the fourth-highest total to date in this club's history. The total of 1056 points was achieved in a game on 27-Feb-14, in which Jamie Ryan defeated Susan Kirchhausen 717-339. The game can be viewed here.

High Bingo

In September, 2013 Richard Buck scored 185 for SURTAXES.

As mentioned above in the description of the highest-scoring game of the season, Jamie Ryan also made a 185-point triple-triple OUTCAtCH.

Runner-up high plays during the season were both by Mike Wolfberg: CURTSIES for 149 and PILLAgER for 131.

High Non-Bingo

On 10-Oct-13 Judy Horn set a new Lexington Club record for the highest non-bingo in its history. AZO was on the board at A3, and she surrounded it with 5 tiles to form the 162-point triple-triple DIAZOLES. She could have played the bingo RESILED elsewhere on the board for a lot fewer points. The previous club record was Jamie Ryan's similar kind of play which scored 144 points almost exactly three years before that day.

Long Words

On 5-Sep-13, the first night of the season, Jake Bergmann played AgONIZE for 103 points at 1D. Later in that game Joel Horn prefixed it with ANT to make the 10-letter ANTAgONIZE for 54 points.

On 24-Oct-13 Judy Horn made the 10-letter DISGUISERS for 65.

On 24-Apr-14 Richard Buck played the natural 9-letter AMAZONITE through IT for 92.

Other Interesting Happenings

On 3-Oct-13 Joel Horn made a 6-way overlap play with DEALER at 5H alongside FORDONE at 6G.

On 22-May-14 there were two interesing events:

On 12-Sep-13 in a game between Carol McDonald and Joel Horn the first four plays of the game were bingos each scoring in the 70s, and the fifth play was a non-bingo for 72 points.

On 7-Aug-14 Joel Horn defeated Mike Wolfberg 331-321. These are very low scores for each of these players, whose season averages were 414 and 417.

High Session Attendance

The highest attendance during this season was 24 players on 24-Jul-14.

More Details

Further details for many of the club records mentioned above can be found on this club's statistics page.


back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on October 05, 2014 .