The Arizona Republic reported last month that a new world record was set by members of the Tempe Scrabble Club. Laurie Cohen and her opponent Nigel Peltier scored a combined 1,127 points, surpassing the previous record of 1,108.
Cohen picked up the bulk of those points with her 230-point triple-triple play of JOBNAMES, a word you probably won’t find in any household dictionaries but you will find in our Scrabble dictionary and anagrammer.
Despite Cohen’s massive game (she totalled 725 points), she finished 13th out of 20 in the tournament, adding credence to a wise man’s claim that “if you get the right tiles, you can beat God.”
What confuses me about this story, though, is that it was previously reported by none other than Scrabble documentarian Stefan Fatsis that the total-game record was 1,320, set in late 2006 by a carpenter who had the fortuitous triple-triple play on QUIXOTRY (the board is detailed here).
I am contacting Mr. Fatsis to get to the bottom of this.
UPDATE: Stefan Fatsis explains in the comments that the recent record is specifically for tournament play. The record-winning game in 2006 was non-tournament.