In honor of National Scrabble Day, students answer to importance of mind games, Scrabble

Daniel Tian, Student Section Reporter

Members of the Scrabble Club pose with the sign at the 2020 Indiana School Scrabble Championship. Member sophomore Ishaan Singh said that he enjoyed the championship and playing with his friends. (Ishaan Singh: Submitted Photo)

President of Chess Club and junior Akash Bhowmik

How and when were you introduced to chess? What about Scrabble?

Akash Bhowmik: Submitted Photo

My first experience with chess was in 1st grade, when my dad taught me the rules of the game. On the other hand, I learned Scrabble much later, sometime during quarantine in 2020 after playing a series of Scrabble games on isc.ro. 

How have board games affected your way of thinking? Do you feel you are more analytical, perceptive, etc.?

I think board games have allowed my thinking to be much more methodical; since when I first started playing chess and Scrabble, I would rely on “hoping” that my opponent would enter a position that I liked. This wasn’t a solid mindset to play with, however, and I’ve learned to rely more on my calculations in complicated positions by working out variations by brute force and deciding which line I like best. I think that would make my thinking more analytically based, as I rely mainly on my own calculations rather than memorizing random openings or traps.

Do you participate in chess competitions? Scrabble competitions? If so, which ones?

I have actively played in chess tournaments since fourth grade, some of which include the Indianapolis Open, Indiana State Grade Championships, and ISCA Class Championships. I have also participated in various events with the CHS Chess Club, such as the United States Amateur Team Tournament (USAT). I haven’t played a competitive Scrabble tournament yet, though I plan on attending the Indiana State Scrabble Championships this April.

Ishaan Singh: Submitted Photo

Co-President of Scrabble Club and sophomore Ishaan Singh

How and when were you introduced to Scrabble?

My first experience with Scrabble was when my parents brought out the old Scrabble board, just to play for fun.

How have board games affected your way of thinking? Do you feel you are more analytical, perceptive, etc.?

I think Scrabble has affected my way of thinking in terms of English and word choice. Scrabble has taught me many new words that I use to write essays in English classes.

Do you participate in Scrabble competitions? If so, which ones?

I have only participated in last year’s Indiana State Scrabble Championship. I did it with friends, and I had a lot of fun.

Elise Varhan
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