Not quite across the border

Friday, 4 June 2004 — 1:07pm | Scrabble

Never mind that I have yet to send in my registration for this year’s National Scrabble Championships; it’s enough of a pickle to pick a division in which to play.

It so turns out that I did well enough at the last Calgary Summer Tournament for my NSA rating to shoot up by 112 points, which puts me at an all-time personal best of 1399. 1399, as it turns out, is a nasty little bugger of a boundary value. Players rated in the 1200-1399 range are slotted in Division 4 but eligible for Division 3, and the same ability to “play up” applies to the other divisions above and below, so should I play in Division 4 – as was the plan back when I sat pretty in the mid-1200s – I would be the top seed in what is effectively a 1000-1399 competitive pool. While that would theoretically give me a clear shot at $1500 USD, it does mean I would have to win almost all my rounds just to keep my rating afloat. Now Division 3 looks almost a certainty, though the expectation would be to break even – and I am but one rating point short of tackling Division 2, which is well into the 1600+ expert range, which would have been optimal for boosting my rating, though picking up some hard cash would not be a reasonable expectation.

Division 3 will still be a challenge, though. I will be playing with the likes of Robert Gillis, author of indispensible reference Bob’s Bible, and the mystery man known only as Winter, who registered under the fill-in surname “Zxqkj” (which, he explains, is “not for human consumption, but rather only for reporting results to the NSA computer”) and has achieved some renown for his epic quest to visit every Starbucks in the world.

But first, I need to register.

My next post, when it comes, will be to one extent or another a discussion of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I am seeing later today at an IMAX screening. It is unlikely I will afford it quite the same depth of analysis as I did The Return of the King in my extensive adaptation notes, but I make no promises either way.

Flames, once again, in six.


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