Last weekend's 24-game tournament, conceived and superbly directed by Steve Bush, was an all-around success. 41 players competed in the inaugural tournament, coming from 13 states and Quebec. Besides the border states, there were players from Georgia, Texas, South Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana and Missouri. The venue, the Fairfield Inn, received compliments on the rooms, and the staff service and the rate for the meeting room were excellent, allowing generous pay-outs for prize-winners.
Full results are on Cross-Tables (or soon will be), but here is a sampling of highlights:
Local club stalwart Betty King saw her rating cross the 1000 mark with a 4-1 finish in Friday's early bird, good for first in her division.
Jim Bledsoe, a club regular playing in his first tournament, finished with a 671 initial rating. Everyone who has played him at club knows that his rating will only go up.
Joel Pett, a Scrabble nut who doesn't like playing with a clock, nonetheless agreed to play in the four-game night bird and finished second with a 3-1 record, earning an initial rating of 1234! He still doesn't like the clock, but he agreed to play again sometime.
In the final round of the tournament, Maureen Kennerk and John Dearchs made a short game of it, each passing three times to end the game. Score: -8 to -9, Maureen winning.
Among the winners: In division one, Eric Harshbarger won his last eight games and was Gibsonized for the king-of-the-hill finale, finishing with a 12-3 record.
In division two, Julia Bogle won six out of her last seven to finish where she was seeded: No. 1.
In division three, top seed Trish Harrop lost only two games (by a combined 63 points) to take the crown.
In Friday's early bird, Marc Broering in division one and Victoria Bledsoe in division four ran the table, each finishing 5-0.
In Saturday's night bird, Steve Bush went 4-0 to not only win division one but crack the 1800 rating ceiling for the first time. In division two, Will Scott also went 4-0.
Many thanks to Steve for his time and effort, and to his daughter, Madeleine, who gave up her weekend to do data entry for a roomful of geeks. Also thanks to members of the Lexington club, whose dues collected over the year helped offset some expenses and who provided coffee and a variety of food over the weekend.