There are no words for it: a Scrab­ble champ passes out

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JES­SICA ELGOT

A JEWISH Scrab­ble cham­pion keeled over in the mid­dle of an at­tempt to break a world record, and was hos­pi­talised for de­hy­dra­tion.

Wear­ing his red vel­vet kip­pah and with a lunch box packed with matzah, Ray­mond Tate, 55, was well on his way to beat the world record for the high­est score in one day last week­end, rais­ing money for his Ro­tary Club’s char­ity cam­paign.

“We were ac­tu­ally ahead of sched­ule, we had played 130 games over 15 hours. It’s a ver­sion of the game where you and your op­po­nent col­lab­o­rate, to try and score high.”

P a i s l e y - b a s e d Mr Tate, who at­tends the Glas­gow Lubav­itch Shul in the Park, passed out from de­hy­dra­tion af­ter stand­ing up to get some air.

He was taken by am­bu­lance to the Royal Alexan­dra Hospi­tal, but re­turned home on Mon­day.

The event was be­ing streamed live on the Ro­tary Club’s web­site, as play­ers aimed to beat the world record of 162,171 points in 24 hours. “I had scored 176 for the word what­sits,” Mr Tate said. “I’m very keen to try the chal­lenge again, maybe this win­ter.”

Me­dia re­port­ing his col­lapse ini­tially said that Mr Tate, ranked 6th in Scot­tish Scrab­ble and 293rd in the world, had been “fast­ing for Passover”, and that the fast had con­trib­uted to his col­lapse.

“That would have been a strange thing to have been do­ing,” he said. “My wife spoke to a re­porter and said she was glad Pe­sach had passed, and they must have mis­heard.”

He said his Jewish knowl­edge of­ten helped him win games of Scrab­ble. “You can use He­brew let­ters, spelt out, like aleph or gim­mel, and you can use some Yid­dish words.”

A mind fully con­cen­trated by matzah: Ray­mond Tate

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