Playing with words

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A library and the classic board game Scrabble seem to be a perfect match.

Kandace Groenewegen, left, and Tatiana Petrov, the program librarian at NWT Centennial Library, demonstrate how to play Scrabble. The library will be hosting the Deep Winter Scrabble Tournament on Feb. 23. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Kandace Groenewegen, left, and Tatiana Petrov, the program librarian at NWT Centennial Library, demonstrate how to play Scrabble. The library will be hosting the Deep Winter Scrabble Tournament on Feb. 23.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

“Playing with words,” said Tatiana Petrov, the program librarian at NWT Centennial Library. “You can’t go wrong.”

The library will host the Deep Winter Scrabble Tournament on Feb. 23.

“I think it’s a wonderful game to play within the context of the family and teaching kids to play with words, learning new words, increasing their vocabulary,” said Petrov.

And along with the literacy advantages of Scrabble, the tournament is designed to be fun.

Petrov noted she participated in a couple of Scrabble tournaments while living in British Columbia and they were both really fun.

“So I thought it would be a good thing to do in the middle of winter, and bring people out and do something fun on a Saturday,” she said. “It’s just a nice way to connect with people.”

Petrov added she comes from a Scrabble family and enjoys the game, and will be playing in the upcoming tournament.

She said it would be nice to have at least 15 participants for the library’s first Scrabble tournament, and she is encouraging people to register before Feb. 22 so she can schedule the games.

The tournament will start at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23, and each participant is going to have a minimum of two games in the morning. The semi-finals and finals will happen in the afternoon.

“So it could be an all-day event for some,” said Petrov.

Participants must be 16 years of age or older.

Each game will be 40 minutes in duration, said Petrov. “So each player will have 20 minutes, and we’ll be using a timer.”

There will also be monitors so that if someone challenges a word they’ll be able to look up the word on the official Scrabble Dictionary website and determine whether it is an acceptable word or not.

“You don’t have to know exactly what the definition of a word is, but you do have to know that it exists,” Petrov explained.

Casual players are welcome to participate.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Petrov. “It’s a light-hearted tournament is how I would describe it. We’re here to enjoy ourselves and play.”

Entry to the tournament will be by donation of a non-perishable food item for the Hay River Soup Kitchen.

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