Friday, August 10, 1984

The Fifth National Scrabble Tournament was held in Ashkelon from July 26 to July 28.  Scrabble master Roz Grossman of New York, who organized the world’s first Hebrew Scrabble tournament in Los Angeles several years ago and is a veteran tournament director and word judge in the U.S., was on hand to assist and observe.

The top 18 players among the 76 participants made up the Advanced Division, undoubtedly the finest and toughest field in Israeli tournament history.  Haifa Scrabble Club director Fred Reifenberg beat Sara Schachter of Jerusalem for top honours. Ari Shanan of Tiberias won the Competitive Division over second-place Moshe Feingold of the Haifa Club; and Michele Blum of the Jerusalem Club won nine of her ten games to head the Casual Division over kibbutznik Cindy Monashim.  Pamela Loval scored 512 and became the first player in an Israeli Scrabble tournament to crack the 500 barrier.

The most remarkable aspect of the tournament, however, was that it brought together nearly 100 Israelis (including non-players) who, for two days, did not once speak of politics, the economy or inflation.  The sole reference was the lovely bingo UNLINKED, a word no Israeli would challenge.