Jake has a way with words
PUBLISHED: 11:46 01 November 2006 | UPDATED: 12:05 04 May 2010
FOR most people Scrabble provides a bit of fun to while away the dark winter evenings, but for Jake Jacobs it s a serious business and his immense vocabulary has won him a place in the final of the National Scrabble Championship in London on Sunday. It is
FOR most people Scrabble provides a bit of fun to while away the dark winter evenings, but for Jake Jacobs it's a serious business and his immense vocabulary has won him a place in the final of the National Scrabble Championship in London on Sunday.
It is a personal triumph for Mr Jacobs, 57, chairperson of the Cambridge Scrabble Club, who suffered a heart attack in 2002.
"It really set me back," he said, adding that this year's tournament was the first since his illness. He was a highly ranked player in the years from 1998 to 2001. He modestly admits to being "over the moon" following his latest victory.
His highest personal score in the run-up to the final was 548 and the eight-letter word he most enjoyed playing was monoacid - acid with one molecule. A benchmark score for serious Scrabble players is 500.
He admits that many of the words in Scrabble, particularly the shorter ones, are words that a person would probably not use in everyday conversation.
Prior to settling at Wardy Hill, Mr Jacobs was in the Royal Air Force followed by a spell with British Aerospace.
In sharp contrast to his successes as a Scrabble master, he is also a former athlete and weightlifter, proving that brawn and brain can function side by side.
Mr Jacobs is planning to do a bit of cramming between now and Sunday when he takes on the other semi-finalist, Phil Brown, of Nottingham - the winner is to be decided from best of five games and the event will go out live from 10am on the internet (www.poslfit.co.uk).
Readers who would like to play Scrabble can go along to the local club. It meets on Wednesday evenings at the Hope Nursing Home, Brooklands, Cambridge. Mr Jacobs' can be contacted on 01353 778560.
*Other words used in the current championship include:
daystar - a poetic word for the sun, ctenidia - one of the comb-like respiratory gills of molluscs and epinasty -an increased growth of the upper surface of a plant part resulting in it bending.
According to the organisers, the highest scoring word used during the event so far was 'headland', which scored 167 points.