"He's watching me," Edley suddenly declares during Game 11. The faintest hint of a smile creeps over Cappelletto's face as Edley tries to explain to the judge that he doesn't like being watched. Cappelletto stares intently at his tiles as the tournament director refuses to allow Edley a change of tables.
Despite his strong opening against Schonbrun, which includes both SEVERELY and PRIVILY, Cappelletto begins to fade about the time he plays FADING for 30 points. Schonbrun draws from the bag x, Q, z, a blank and two s's. He uses them smartly, and Cappelletto is left holding letters he can't win with. Schonbrun beats Cappelletto 397-373. Immediately next to them Edley loses his third game in a row, this one by 80 points. As it happens, if Cappelletto had defeated Schonbrun by 58 points or more, he would have taken the tournament. Instead, when the grand calculation is complete, he stands fifth and Edley has won the Boston Open.
The pro and the kid will meet again. Perhaps it will be in London, since they both have qualified for the trip. But whether it's in London, next year in Boston, or somewhere else, they'll meet again. It's a small society atop the Scrabble heap, where top players feed off the tension, and one another, to push a board game to new limits.