For event coverage, see: Early Bird tsh results,

See also: who’s registered for the main event and the early bird, past winners, past Toronto tournaments, Toronto Scrabble Club, NASPA Tournaments.

2011 Michael Wise Memorial SCRABBLE® Tournament
(Toronto’s 32nd Annual SCRABBLE® Players Tournament)
In support of the Michael Wise Memorial Fund at Princess Margaret Hospital
Friday, September 23rd, Saturday, September 24th & Sunday, September 25th, 2011

The Toronto SCRABBLE® Club (North American SCRABBLE Players Association Club #3) hosts its 32nd annual tournament this fall, an open SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game tournament. The event will be codirected by John Chew and John Robertson and other staff TBA. All events will be paired using tsh Chew pairings, using its default spread Gibsonization algorithm.

New This Year

Major changes:

The first of two big changes this year is a permanent one: in response to overwhelming demand, the top division is now an Open, where anyone can play regardless of rating.

The other change this year is that we are responding to long-standing requests for this event to be held at a hotel (rather than a community centre far away from any accommodation), and partnering with Tony Leah and his Toronto International SCRABBLE Open and 2nd Human vs. Computer Showdown (TISO) to share space at the recent venue of the 2011 Canadian National SCRABBLE Championship, the Bond Place Hotel next to Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. This comes with some pros and cons, and if you think that the cons outweight the pros, rest assured that we are not looking at this as a permanent move.

While we have a group rate at the hotel ($79/night until August 22nd, an amazing deal for the location), you are welcome to continue to stay with our club’s large group of players willing to host out-of-town visitors. Pro: can stay on site; con: we have to pay for the playing room, so entry fees are a little higher.

There are hundreds of restaurants within easy walking distance, ranging widely in cost and cuisine. Pro: much wider choice closer at hand; con: we cannot provide our traditional food and beverage service on site.

We hope you’ll give this once- or twice-in-a-decade changeup a try, and let us know what you thought of it after the event.

Minor changes:

We will not be offering a CSW division at the MWMST this year, because we expect all players interested in SOWPODS games to play in the TISO. We are experimentally offering half-price entry to the main event for youths under 18 years of age and unrated players, so that they do not suffer unduly from the increased entry fees.

This year’s main event is extended from 13 to 14 rounds: 8 games Saturday, 6 games Sunday. Pro: more games; con: later return travel.

This year’s main event starts an hour later on Sunday morning to accommodate users of public transit.

Please recheck this flyer online for last-minute changes before you leave for the tournament; because there are more than the usual number of differences, it is quite likely that the schedule or some other aspect of the event may require minor tweaks after the flyer is first published. (This is version 4 of this flyer, with additional information about parking, a slightly changed schedule, lower entry fees for the main event, more travel information, delayed start on Sunday and a 14-round main event.)

Tournament Details


Leah Katz Memorial Early Bird

Friday, September 23rd

13 games is not enough!

Unrated Pairs Event

Friday, September 23rd

More fun with a partner!

Unrated Speed Tournament

Saturday, September 24th

Three minutes is enough!

Michael Wise Memorial Main Event

Saturday, September 24th
Sunday, September 25th

In a spirit of friendly rivalry

Check In: 8:30 A.M. 6:45 P.M. 6:45 P.M. 8:30 A.M. Saturday
First Game: 9:15 A.M. 7:00 P.M. 7:00 P.M. 9:15 A.M. Saturday, 10:00 A.M. Sunday
Entry Fee: CA$45/US$45 CA$15/US$15
per player
CA$95 CA$85 CA$75 CA$70
US$95 US$85 US$75 US$70
Add $10 in each division after September 9th.
Half-price entry for youths (<18) and unrated players.
Prizes: 55–60%
of EF−PF
70% 70% 55–60% of EF−PF, including 30% to first place in each division ($360/$330/$300/$270 based on 20-player divisions); $100 to top unrated player (to be confirmed).
Format: One division, 8 rounds. T.B.A. based on registration and according to average rating of partners, 3 rounds. T.B.A. based on registration, 15 rounds. See for speed rules. One Open division (A) and three divisions (B, C, D) capped at <1600, <1300 and <1000 based on most recent available NASPA ratings. Players within 100 points may play up at their request unless division numbers become odd. EB results may be used to move players up, as long as other players are not unwillingly moved down as a result. 8 rounds Saturday, 6 rounds Sunday. Modified Swiss pairings by John Chew.
Location: Bond Place Hotel (basement level), 65 Dundas Street East, Toronto ON. Lost or late? Call John Chew at (416) 876–7675.

Tournament Schedule

September 22nd

09:00–15:00School SCRABBLE event
12:00–13:00TISO registration
13:00–19:00TISO Games 1–6

September 23rd

08:30–09:00Early Bird Registration
09:00–09:15Early Bird Announcements
09:15–13:15Early Bird Games 1–4, TISO Games 7–10
13:15–14:00Lunch break
14:00–18:00Early Bird Games 5–8, TISO Games 11–14
18:00–18:30Early Bird Awards Ceremony
18:50–19:00Pairs Registration
19:00–21:55Pairs Games 1–3
21:55–22:00Pairs Awards

September 24th

09:00–09:15Main Event Announcements
09:15–13:30Main Event Games 1–4, TISO Games 15–18
13:30–14:15Lunch break
14:15–18:15Main Event Games 5–8, TISO Games 19–22
18:55–19:00Speed Registration
19:00–21:55Speed Games 1–15
21:55–22:00Speed Awards

September 25th

9:00–10:00TISO Game 23
10:00–13:00Main Event Games 9–11, TISO Games 24–26
13:00–13:45Lunch break
13:45–17:00Main Event Games 12–14, TISO Final Games 1–3
17:00–17:30Main Event Awards Ceremony
17:30–18:30TISO Final Game 4 (if needed)

Clocks will be started promptly to maintain the above schedule, and any player who misses a scheduled game may be removed from subsequent pairings until they return and the next pairings are calculated.


If you’re travelling from out of town and would like to stay with a local player, please contact billeting coordinator Vivienne Muhling at (416) 603–0625 (phone or fax) or (Please indicate smoking preference, parking requirements, special food needs and arrival and departure times.)

Local Travel

A limited number of parking permits for the hotel's indoor garage (located across the street) are available to players for $15/day. If you're interested, please pay this amount (indicating which days you want to park) to John Chew by Monday, September 5th. Local parking prices vary significantly according to what else is going on in the neighbourhood, and could range from $10 to $25 in other nearby lots.

Please note that games start on Sunday morning before the subway starts running, and allow extra time to travel on surface routes if you’ll be using public transit.

International Travel

As per the United States’ Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, American citizens intending on returning to their country now require one of the following two forms of identification (driver's licenses are no longer acceptable, though it is remotely possible that friendly officials may just issue warnings):

  1. Passport
  2. NEXUS card

The nearest airports are Toronto City Centre Airport (YTZ) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The nearest U.S. airport is Buffalo International Airport (BUF). Shuttle buses operate to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) at a cost of about USD 80.00 one-way; there are also usually a reasonable number of players driving to the tournament from Buffalo who may have room for passengers. Domestic flights to BUF may be sufficiently cheaper than flights to YYZ that there might even be a small cost savings in taking this route. The tournament site is 112 miles from BUF (or 12 miles from YYZ), almost all of it along Interstate or the Ontario equivalent 400-series highways.


Send your entry fees (see above for calculation) to John Chew, 9 Fulton Avenue, Toronto ON M4K 1X6 by Friday, September 16th, 2011. Entries after that date (including walk-ins) will be accepted on a space-available basis, paid in cash. You may also pay John in person at the Toronto Scrabble Club most Wednesday evenings, or by INTERAC Email. Please include your name, telephone number, address, valid NASPA membership number (unless this is your first tournament) and preferred division. If you would like confirmation of your registration, please also include your e-mail address. You may choose your division according to your current rating; you will not be required to change divisions should your rating change after registration. For more information, please contact John Chew at +1 416 876 7675 or