For event coverage, see: Early Bird tsh (TWL), Early Bird tsh (CSW), Night Bird, Pairs, Main Event tsh (TWL), Main Event tsh (CSW), Speed.

See also: who’s registered for the main event and the early bird, past winners, past Toronto tournaments, Toronto Scrabble Club, NASPA Tournaments.

2012 Michael Wise Memorial SCRABBLE® Tournament
(Toronto’s 33rd Annual SCRABBLE® Players Tournament)
In support of the Michael Wise Memorial Fund at Princess Margaret Hospital
Friday, September 21st, Saturday, September 22nd & Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

The Toronto SCRABBLE® Club (North American SCRABBLE Players Association Club #3) hosts its 33rd annual tournament this fall, an open SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game tournament. The event will be codirected by John Chew (who may play CSW games, but only to make numbers even) and John Robertson with help from Lynda Wise (catering), Tony Leah (supplies), and Vivienne Muhling (billeting) and other staff TBA.

New This Year

We are back at our regular location, Earl Bales CC.

We are back to our old (2009) Saturday-Sunday lunch schedule.

Last year, we delayed the start of the Sunday schedule by an hour to 10:00, to make it easier for players travelling by public transit. This turned out to be a very popular move, but out-of-towners complained that we finished up too late. We'll keep the late start, but drop a round to go back to a 13-round schedule, in the hope of pleasing everyone.

We have changed the divisions to better match the actual playing population. We found last year that all of what would have been the Division A players preferred to play in the CSW division, which led to some rushed last-minute changes. This year, we will offer three TWL divisions rather than four, with the upper cutoff being 1500 rather than 1700. In addition, unlimited play-up will be permitted, so if your rating would normally place you in Division C, you may play in Division A or B, and if your rating puts you in Division B, you may instead play in Division A.

We are considering offering a six-round Night Bird, consisting of two three-round sessions starting at 7:00 P.M. on the Friday and Saturday nights, and will do so if the requisite four players register; this change to the original flyer has been approved by the Tournament Committee.

Tournament Details


Leah Katz Memorial Early Bird

Friday, September 21st

13 games is not enough!

Unrated Pairs Event

Friday, September 21st

More fun with a partner!

Unrated Speed Tournament

Saturday, September 22nd

Three minutes is enough!

Michael Wise Memorial Main Event

Saturday, September 22nd
Sunday, September 23rd

In a spirit of friendly rivalry

Check In: 8:30 A.M. 6:45 P.M. 6:45 P.M. 8:30 A.M. Saturday
First Game: 9:15 A.M. 7:00 P.M. 7:00 P.M. 9:15 A.M. Saturday, 10:00 A.M. Sunday
Entry Fee:
US$ for US residents only
CA$35/US$35 CA$15/US$15 CA$15/US$15
CA$80 CA$70 CA$60 CA$50
US$80 US$70 US$60 US$50
Add $10 in each division after September 5th.
Prizes: 70% of EF−PF 70% of EF−PF 70% of EF−PF 55–60% of EF−PF, including 30% to first place in each division ($480/$420/$360/$300 based on 20-player divisions); $100 to top unrated player.
Format: One division, 8 rounds, Chew pairings (including Gibsonization) with three-round initial fixed pairings. T.B.A. based on registration and according to average rating of partners, 3 rounds. T.B.A. based on registration, 15 rounds. See for speed rules. Players will be assigned to TWL divisions using their NASPA ratings at time of registration; but may request reassignment based on newer ratings, up to and including the EB results. If your rating is 1500 or over, you must play in Division A. If your rating is 1200 or over, you must play in Division A or B. If you do not specify a rating when you register, you will be placed in the lowest permitted division. 8 rounds Saturday, 5 rounds Sunday. Modified Swiss (TSH) pairings (Gibson rule in effect) by John Chew.
Food: Refreshments, opt-in pizza. Refreshments. Refreshments. Refreshments and opt-in pizza served Saturday; lunch provided by Toronto SCRABBLE Club members on Sunday.
Location: Earl Bales Community Centre in Earl Bales Park, 4169 Bathurst Street, Toronto ON. Lost or late? Call John Chew at (416) 876–7675. When asked to search for the park’s access road, Google’s on-line map puts a marker right outside the community centre.

Tournament Schedule

September 21st

08:30–09:00Early Bird Registration
09:00–09:15Early Bird Announcements
09:15–13:15Early Bird Games 1–4
13:15–14:00Lunch break
14:00–18:00Early Bird Games 5–8
18:00–18:30Early Bird Awards Ceremony
18:50–19:00Pairs Registration
19:00–21:55Pairs Games 1–3
21:55–22:00Pairs Awards

September 22nd

09:00–09:15Main Event Announcements
09:15–12:30Main Event Games 1–3
12:30–13:15Lunch (pizza for sale)
13:15–18:15Main Event Games 4–8
18:55–19:00Speed Registration
19:00–21:55Speed Games 1–15
21:55–22:00Speed Awards

September 23rd

10:00–13:00Main Event Games 9–11
13:00–13:45Lunch (provided)
13:45–14:00Announcements of Upcoming Tournaments
14:00–16:00Main Event Games 12–13
16:00–16:30Main Event Awards Ceremony

Clocks will be started promptly to maintain the above schedule, and any player who misses a scheduled game may be removed from subsequent pairings until they return and the next pairings are calculated.


If you’re travelling from out of town and would like to stay with a local player, please contact billeting coordinator Vivienne Muhling at (416) 603–0625 (phone or fax) or (Please indicate smoking preference, parking requirements, special food needs and arrival and departure times.)

We also have a list of downtown and uptown hotels that past players have recommended.

Please note that games start on Sunday morning before the subway starts running, and allow extra time to travel on surface routes if you’ll be using public transit.

International Travel

As per the United States’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, American citizens intending on returning to their country now require one of the following two forms of identification (driver's licenses are no longer acceptable, though it is remotely possible that friendly officials may just issue warnings):

  1. Passport
  2. NEXUS card

The nearest U.S. airport is Buffalo International Airport (BUF). Shuttle buses operate to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) at a cost of about USD 80.00 one-way; there are also usually a reasonable number of players driving to the tournament from Buffalo who may have room for passengers. Domestic flights to BUF may be sufficiently cheaper than flights to YYZ that there might even be a small cost savings in taking this route. The tournament site is 112 miles from BUF (or 12 miles from YYZ), almost all of it along Interstate or the Ontario equivalent 400-series highways.


Send your entry fees (see above for calculation) to John Chew, 9 Fulton Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1X6 by Friday, September 14th, 2012. Entries after that date (including walk-ins) will be accepted on a space-available basis, paid in cash. You may also pay John in person at the Toronto Scrabble Club most Wednesday evenings, or by INTERAC Email. Please include your name, telephone number, address, valid NASPA membership number (unless this is your first tournament) and preferred division. If you would like confirmation of your registration, please also include your e-mail address. You may choose your division according to your current rating; you will not be required to change divisions should your rating change after registration. If you are eligible to play in more than one division, and are willing to play up or down in order to make division sizes even, please let me know; if you are the lowest-ranked such player in your division, we will refund you $10 after registration closes. For more information, please contact John Chew at +1 416 876 7675 or