Oct 11, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
For Mary Carney, starting a local Scrabble club was all about filling a niche.
“Syracuse didn’t have one,” said Carney, who lives in Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood.
“Scrabble is my favorite game and I was looking for people to play with,” she added. “When you play a lot of Scrabble, you learn more of the unusual words (ZA, QAT) that give you a big advantage, and you want the challenge of playing against people who know those words, too.”
Carney got just that — a challenge — when she hosted the first meeting of the CNY Scrabble Club at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, in the Buckley Room of the DeWitt Community Library, located in ShoppingTown Mall. Carney faced off against Matthew O’Connor, 12, of DeWitt, a frequent tourney player who placed third with his partner, Seth Tilliss, in the 2011 National School Scrabble Championship last April in Orlando. Carney lost by 3 points — 342-345 — to O’Connor in their timed match.
“I was a bit intimidated,” Carney said. “Matthew’s a very serious player who clearly knows the tournament rules much better than I do. That said, we had a really good game. He only beat me by 3 points, so I’m definitely up for a rematch.”
The first meeting was a success overall, with Scrabble lovers young and old filling the Buckley room to near capacity.
“It was great,” Carney said. “I was really glad that we had a wide range of players and that everyone seemed to really enjoy the games. I knew there would be other people interested in this kind of group, but I’ve been really surprised at how many people have responded and are interested in meeting up.”
Two of those people were Dave and Madeline Bodner, of eastern Manlius, who are both retired. The couple had tried to start a Scrabble group at their home, but found that people weren’t willing to make the drive from Syracuse.
“We’ve been looking for something to do on our Sunday afternoons,” Madeline Bodner said.
Through the CNY Scrabble Club, Carney hopes to create more opportunities for people to play Scrabble face-to-face. All are welcome to join by going to www.facebook.com/groups/cnyscrabble, signing up for the group’s listserv at groups.google.com/group/cny-scrabble, or showing up to meetings the first and third Sunday of the month, same time and place as the first meeting.
“I know you can play Internet Scrabble at any hour of the day, but it’s not the same as playing an in-person game,” Carney said.
The CNY Scrabble Club’s next meeting is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at DeWitt Community Library. Players are encouraged, though not required, to bring their own board.