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Scrabble, a Big Hit at the Bedford Free Library

Jesse Federbush almost realized his the moment he made it.

But, it was too late. His opponent had already launched an attack that resulted in one word that tallied two triple-word scores.

“I should’ve blocked him off,” Federbush said as he examined his letters.

Corelina Guest, heads the mini-Scrabble club for students in 4th through 8th grades at the Bedford Free Library . She lives in Bethel, Conn., but teaches the game in Connecticut and New York.

She is also an official director with the National Scrabble Association and runs Scrabble tournaments. Her students include Mack Meller, an 11-year-old Bedford resident who became the youngest Scrabble expert in tournament history in June, and Seth Tilliss, a seventh-grade student from Bedford who placed third in the Nation School Scrabble Championship earlier this year.

But Guest said there’s no pressure at her workshops, which ended for the summer Monday and will start again in the fall.

“There’s no pressure,” Guest said of the scrabble group. “Many of the kids who show up aren’t really that interested in scrabble.”

Guest said she teaches ‘school’ Scrabble, a version of the game that has a timer and is played with teams of two people.

The students are taught tricks like popular two-letter words, words without ‘u’ that use the letter ‘q,’ and short words that use the letter ‘x.’

But Guest said the game also involves strategy and that players need to learn when to take advantage of certain spot on the game board and when to block their opponents from that spot.

“A lot of kids who are good at chess are great at Scrabble,” she said. “It’s more of a mathematical game than a word game.”

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