I’m going to tell you a story about a gal named Maliha, a guy named Bill, and a 12 letter word.
Many of you may know one of the most petite players on the scrabble scene, who is the one with the most dynamic when it come to contributing to exposure of long words. Maliha Mahmood came onto the scrabble scene in the late 90’s when her husband encouraged her to pursue her interest in the game of scrabble. English being her second or maybe third language, there were several obstacles for her to overcome. If you asked me to spell ‘persistent’ I would spell it ‘M’ ‘A’ ‘L’ ‘I’ ‘H’ ‘A’. Where other newbies gave up after experiencing a string of losses in their first few weeks at club, Maliha showed her grit by her persistence, always coming back for more, with a smile on her face, and a determination to conquer this game. Maliha’s prowess at the scrabble board has steadily built over te years. Today she can be a formidable opponent. She competes at clubs, tournaments, and has played more than once in the World Scrabble Tournament too.
A few years ago, the longer words, seldom played in scrabble competitions, peaked Maliha’s interest. Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Maliha worked diligently at home in her study, compiling an all inclusive word list of long words. Some of these words are 22 letters long and longer. About the same time Maliha developed the idea of creating a club to play ‘Super Scrabble’ where these longer words could find their way onto the board. In September of 2012, Maliha hosted the first Super Scrabble club in her home in Tustin, California. For players she recruited players from the local scrabble community. Like everything else she does, the event was elegant; there were the games, there was a catered meal, and she even funded prizes to create incentives. Since it’s beginning, the club has met twice each month on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays.
Each time the club met, Maliha contributed $5 into a pot that could be won if a player created a legal scrabble word of 12 or more letters long. Obviously, the only way to accomplish this feat is to play one or more extensions to some word already on the board. It is no easy task. Over the months the pot as grown and grown ever larger.
This is where Bill Lapinksi comes into the picture. Bill has been one of the regulars to play with the more than 20 other players through the months. Bill was focused on building his skills to possibly capture the pot. He and others talked extensively about what would have to occur to achieve playing a 12 letter word. Besides playing well and scoring points, to win the pot, some player would have to know and consider extensions when playing each play. And then yesterday, 8/28/14, at1:43PM, at table #3, against Gretchen Cowan, Bill extended ‘rational’ to form ‘rationalizes’ (see below). Sincere congratulations! ! Submitted by: Gary Moss, Scrabble Director, JFTSOI http://www.just4thespellofit.com