- Publication title: Newswink
- Whole number: 19
- Publisher: North American Tiddlywinks Association
- Publication date: 23 November 1985
- Publication location: Falls Church, Virginia USA
- Number of page sides: 20 pages
- Editor: Rick Tucker
- Preparation: PC-Write software on an MS-DOS computer
- Production: Printed in black and white on an Epson FX-100 dot-matrix printer; photocopied on 8½” by 11″ white paper for distribution
- NATwA archives artifacts: digital originals; original photoduplicated pages; digitized images of original photoduplicated pages.
- Date updated: 17 August 2022
The Editor's Corner
by Rick Tucker
Yes, it’s been a year since the last Newswink appeared. Newswink 19 is being issued in conjunction with the tour of England in November of American “All-Stars” Arye Gittelman, Charles Frankston, Jim Marlin, Dave Lockwood, Larry Kahn and your editor. It is a mite larger than most recent Newswinks due to the mailbag from Bahrain and the Silver Spring shuttle. This issue is the tenth under my editorship in five and a half years. I would like to thank all the regular contributors for their articles, which seem to get better each year, although perhaps not quite up to the par of Winking World, which has 27 more issues behind it; who is Graham Gooch anyway?
It was a particular surprise when the first two letters in the mailbox at my new home were not bills but letters from Bahrain! However, three articles sent to Newswink also were sent to Winking World, which published them all, so I have not duplicated all of them here. And by the way, the inventor of the eponymous crud shot is John Good, not Goode as some mistakenly spell it. Also, Charles Frankston submitted the Minutes for the 1985 NATwA Congress, which are here reproduced: “Adjourned 18:36.”
I wish to thank Charles Relle for sending me each Winking World that he has brought out, and commend him for a consistently fine product (although my copy of WW46 was missing 8 pages). Unfortunately Charles seems to have bowed out as editor, and # 46 was his last.
In the offspring department, congratulations to the parents of Andy Shapiro, Daniel Sachs, and Tom Gammerdinger (see Bill’s letter). And there’s word of more on the way.
Attached to this Newswink is the current NATwA address list. Please report changes and corrections to either me or Larry Kahn. This is particularly important now that Newswink is being distributed by mail.
– Rick Tucker
5505 Seminary Road, #1206N
Falls Church, Virginia 22041 USA
Home: (703) 671-7098
Work: (703) 883-6699
10416 Haywood Drive
Silver Spring, Maryland 20902 USA
Home: (301) 681-9345
Work: (301) 840-3315
Remembrances: Memorable Games
by David H. Lockwood
One of the biggest attractions of Tiddlywinks for established players is the uniqueness of each game amid patterns that are often similar. It gives me pleasure to look back and remember some of my most memorable games. I hope you enjoy them and I also hope you will submit articles on your own winking experiences.
Game 1. World Singles 10, August 1980, New York City. Larry’s first attempt at the World Singles. He leads 16-12 after four games with 24 2/3 needed to win. Great squopping by both creates many piles and few free winks. Mid-game sequence of spectacular shots leaves spectator Severin Drix saying “It was my greatest winking experience!” Larry misses critical half inch squop of triple to leave me a 6-1.
Game 2. World Singles 8, February 1980, Cambridge, UK. First game of Jon Mapley’s first attempt at World Singles. Tight game with Jon just ahead most of the way. Two good Bristols in rounds yield 3-3-3-1 color points. 4 2/3 – 2 1/3 victory to me. No winks were in the cup and the color with one time-limit-point finishes game with nothing probable enough to attempt.
Game 3. 1984 ETwA Singles, November 1984, London. Larry and I are tied at end of finals round robin and must play extra game for title. I need the game much more than Larry since the winner gets a World Singles challenge. First half of game is straightforward as I get 11 of Larry’s winks. Ugly three-shot sequence of Larry’s, consisting of 3 foot bomb, Good, and extremely lucky blowup turns game totally around to Larry who controls for 6-1.
Game 4. 1984 ETwA Singles. Finals round robin versus Jon Mapley, defending champion. I am well ahead throughout the game but Jon finally gets to blow up the largest pile in the fourth round. Red (me) ending the fourth faces many free winks. I decide to put pressure on Jon’s potting by potting as many reds in the cups as I can. After four free winks successfully potted, I put the fifth in off a big of Jon’s from about 5 inches. My sixth wink is on four winks and elevated off the mat. I’d like to pot it but I want to make sure I miss long into a relatively empty area. I am ecstatic when I see it land in the cup. Jon doesn’t run six and I do for one of my most satisfying sevens.
Game 5. 1976 NATwA Pairs with TDI versus Sev and Larry for the title. We need 5 to tie. Exciting fifth round includes bounceout, critical miss, and two pressure pots. Severin grabs 2 1/2 points to take championship by 2/3 of a point.
Game 6. December 1970, MIT tournament. My first match. In a game in which I do what I’m told and don’t understand much, my partner Dan Bricklin says we’re losing. For lack of something better, Dan attempts to pot from the edge about 2 feet away. Surprisingly, it goes in and we win 5-2. The drama focused my interest and my interest increased (if you hadn’t noticed).
Game 7. Sometimes you can see a whole game unfolding from the first shot. The second time Jon played for the World Singles (WS 12, July 1981), I threw winks at him from the start. My supposition, correct as it turned out, was that if I kept him busy from underneath, eventually the piles would become unstable. At that point, I will blow the pile and take advantage of my superiority in winks numbers. It works.
These are just a few of the memorable games in my career to date. Some others seem to stand out as significant milestones in my development as a winker. I remember Saturday nights in Weston with the Zoo doing heavy-duty winks, strategy, black light parchesi, and music. One strategic milestone occurred in a game with Dave York against Bill Renke and Craig Schweinhart. The normal flow suggested one approach around the cup. I saw something else. Blitzes are an important weapon in quality winks and I remember a beautiful double blitz against Alan in 1975. His defense was always one turn too late as I forced the pace. Misses teach an important lesson as well. Often, it’s that more practice is required. But it may also be that the estimate of the probability of the shot was too high. While running six is fantastic, running five only to miss among your opponents is not. I’ve experienced both.
This article has brought a smile to my face as I revel in the remembrances of these battles of wits. I salute the other participants and thank them.
The Kahntinentals: Larry is Top Pair Again
On 8/24/85, 8 winkers gathered at Larry’s new Silver Spring home for the second Kahn Invitational (or Kahntinentals). Journeying from Ohio were Rich Steidle and Bob Henninge, from Boston came Charles Frankston and Arye Gittelman, from Phila. Sunshine, joining the local DC conti[n]gent of Larry, Rick Tucker, and relocated Jim Marlin (Dr. K). Five of the 8 were repeats from last year’s match.
The format was a 7 game round robin—everyone playing 1 game with each winker as a partner and 2 games against everyone. (Hence another possible name for the match: Individual Pairs.)
Larry quickly jumped into the lead in the first round, thereafter lengthening his margin over 2nd in every round, never being remotely challenged for the lead, and finishing a mere 13 points ahead of 2nd, which was in turn 12 1/2 ahead of 8th. Larry could have—and should have—lost some games, but didn’t.
Sunshine, besides registering 7 different scores in 7 games, came up with perhaps the most remarkable comeback of all time. From a 2 (win) – 4 (loss) – 18 points record, behind and playing abysmally in his last game and looking at maybe 7th place—to making his shots, including a 5th round pot, to finish 4-3 for 27 points and edging out Arye by 1/2 point for 2nd place (the two tied for second behind Larry last year). The comeback was made possible when Arye & Jim replayed a game a partnerless Arye had won 6-1 before Jim had arrived.
Rick put in a strong performance, winning 4 of his first 5 games to grab 2nd place before fading. 3 of the 4 wins were with or against Arye. Not counting Larry games, Rick was in 1st—and, not counting Rick games and forgetting about Larry, Bob tied for 1st—and …
Larry 7-0 40 Sunshine 4-3 27 Arye 3-4 26 1/2 Rick 4-3 23 1/2 Charles 3-4 22 1/2 Bob 3-4 21 Jim 2-5 20 Rich 2-5 15 1/2
PPW = 5.50
World Singles 19: Kahn vs. Mapley
by Larry Kahn
19 November 1984
Besides some solid winks play from both Larry Kahn and Jon Mapley, World Singles 19 featured the first “new winks” match, free food and beer, a hotel room setting, and hordes of pesky news photographers with all sorts of silly notions. For instance, one peabrain actually suggested the two players put small winks in one eye, like a monocle. Jon & Larry finally agreed to do a pose of sneering at each other (which was published) and one of potting winks into a cup on Dave’s head (not used, fortunately).
Jon did a great publicity job and I suppose we have to put up with a little nonsense but midway through the match both players had more or less had enough. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to affect the quality of play.
Game 1. Larry 6, potout Game 2. Jon 4 1/2 Match: Larry 8 1/2, Jon 5 1/2 Game 3. Larry 6 Match: Larry 14 1/2, Jon 6 1/2 Game 4. Larry 6 Match: Larry 20 1/2, Jon 7 1/2 Game 5. Jon 5 1/2 Match: Larry 22, Jon 13 Game 6. Jon 4 Match: Larry 25, Jon 17
The final match score, 25-17 for Larry, was identical to the previous matchup between the two. The difference in the match was probably a reasonable edge to Larry on bring-ins and a slight edge to Larry in potting. Jon had several unlucky subs in the 6th game but by then the match was essentially over. Thanks should go to Dave for being an excellent judge. There were a large
number of judgments necessary due to the new winks. We’ll just have to get used to it. We had a good crowd watching most of the time and I was amazed that some nonwinkers stayed to see the entire match. I suppose if you’ve spent years watching cricket then you’re willing to watch anything.
Kahn vs. Lockwood: The Ultimate Battle
by Larry Kahn
Over my 14 years of playing winks, a lot of memorably great and awful things have happened. Many of these games were against Dave Lockwood, the player who I most like to beat (stomp into the ground) and least like to lose to. A lot of other players share these feelings, I think, because 1) Dave is such a good player and it’s always a real challenge, and 2) he seems to get more emotionally involved in games than most other people. Here are some remembrances of what I consider winks’ greatest rivalry.
Dave and I “grew up” together in the early 70’s on the MIT team. In fact, we played mostly together for the first few years. Even back then our styles reflected the way we play today, relying mostly on Dave’s strategy and my shotmaking. Dave developed must [sic, probably should be: much] faster as a singles player and won eight straight games against me before I broke through in the 1980 Singles. Perhaps the worst losses were in 1978 when I won my first nine games but lost the last four (two to Dave) as he won his second straight title.
I always fared much better at Pairs, winning five titles to Dave’s one but it is harder to compare because partners can make a big difference. My most satisfying wins came in 1980 with Arye Gittelman (although the second Dave-Joe Sachs game had an ugly out-of-turn sequence) and in 1981 when Sev Drix and I reunited and held off Dave-Bill Renke and Arye-Ross Callon. Since 1981 Dave has been overseas and not been able to make the Pairs.
After the 1980 Singles, I had a World Singles challenge and here our rivalry really took off. Dave won this match, one of the best shotmaking displays ever, and I had to win the 1981 Singles to get another shot at it. Dave managed to win again and I wondered if I was ever going to beat him in one of those head-to-head matches. The next year Dave couldn’t make the Singles and I rolled over everyone to get another shot. After a very hard fought match and a missed 2″ pot, I finally captured the crown. Unfortunately, Dave had stored up a challenge by winning the English Singles so I had to face him again.
The “extended” weekend of the 1983 NATwA Singles was probably the highlight of singles play in the history of winks. First, I successfully defended the world title against Jon Mapley in perhaps the best match (in terms of consistently excellent shotmaking) ever. Then I crunched Dave the next day 29 1/2 to 12 1/2 by getting two straight 7’s to finish it. Dave then responded by killing everyone in the NATwA Singles to earn (ugh) yet another challenge.
Our last match, in 1984, was a real struggle; more often games were spazzed away than won. If I hadn’t gotten a 7 in the first game I probably would have lost, but I managed to eek out a 29 1/2 to 19 1/2 win eventually.
Things really got wild in England at their Singles. Dave eliminated me in the semis of the World Masters (two 6-1’s to one) and went on to win that. Then, in the ETwA Singles, we both went undefeated in the prelims and ended up meeting in the last round, Dave 5 points behind. Once again he came through when I blew a potout and got the tie, setting up a playoff. I think that looking back, Dave would rather I had made the potout since in the playoff game I came back from an absolutely hopeless position on a string of three excellent/lucky shots to win it 6-1. I don’t think he’ll ever forgive me for this one.
In our 1985 Singles, once again it came down to the last game (doesn’t it always?) with me holding a 3 1/2 point lead. In a really tense game, Dave had only a 5 until he tried a miracle last shot that left him on 4. I got the title despite losing both games to Dave.
Our overall singles records are really interesting and they typify our general tendencies. Dave holds the games lead, 38-32-1, but my ppg is slightly up, 3.53, based on ppw (points per win) of 5.96 and a ppl (points per loss) of 1.68. In games 5-2 or closer, Dave has won 19 out of 24 while in blowouts of 5 1/2 or better I hold a 27-19 edge (with five 7’s to none). This is consistent with Dave’s gutty style of play, scraping out wins in close situations, and my ability to run away with games if I’m shooting well.
The future should be interesting, since both of us will probably stay at or near the top for a long time to come. I’m not sure if I exactly look forward to playing Dave since it is always a lot of work, but it is oh, so satisfying when I do manage to win. Good luck in the future, Dave—you’ll need it.
Squidgers of the Past and Future
The squidger is the implement used for shooting a wink in Tiddlywinks. The origin of the terms “squidge” and “squidger” are unknown, but are undoubtedly related to “squeeze”. Cambridge University used the term squidger in 1955, when its club was founded. I guess we’ll have to wait until the Oxford English Dictionary Supplement, volume Sd to Z, appears this year or next to find out what etymology Fred Shapiro has decided on.
Squidger Material & Scratched Winks
The ETwA rules require squidgers to be made only of plastic. Hence bone, wood, and ivory squidgers from antique sets cannot be used. In my opinion, any material should be acceptable so long as it does not ordinarily harm the winks when used. ON THE OTHER HAND, it recently has been discovered that most squidgers used by winkers can scratch the new Italian winks, typically when Bristoling. The only material that seems not to scratch the new winks is Delrin. This issue will need further experimentation and discussion before any revision of the squidger material rule should be made. Should we simply allow winks to be scratched, and replaced them as needed? Clearly it is unacceptable to play with scratched winks, since the stroke of a squidger will stop when it hits against a scratch. But it is also inconvenient to replace winks in a set constantly.
Several winkers, including Tim Schiller and John Good, first made thin squidgers in the U.S. after the MIT team returned from England in 1972. Schiller’s 1973 squidgers, made from set-supplied squidgers, are collector’s items today; some of the 20 or so made are still in use. John Good, who never played in a NATwA tournament, and who invented the Good shot, made several sharp 2 inch squidgers. Both Schiller and Good made squidgers using lathes equipped with suction cups. In 1977, Andy Madison, then an Ithaca High School student, made squidgers on a lathe for his fellow high schoolers. He made excellent thin squidgers, some superthin, from set-supplied squidgers, and also made 1 inch and 2 inch squidgers from clear blue Plexiglas, calling them plexies. MITTwA ordered about two dozen Madison squidgers, and sold them to club members in October of that year.
In the Summer of 1974, Larry Kahn made the first of his famous PVC (polyvinyl chloride) squidgers at the Ocean Engineering Labs in Maine, including a massive 2-inch with a blunt rounded edge, known as “Big Mama”, and two squidgers with flat faces and reverse-curves to a sharp edge, one 1 1/2 inches and another 1 inch. Right before the 1981 Pairs, Larry made a replacement for his workhorse 1 1/2-inch PVC, which had been showing signs of wear, and made extras for other winkers. Other winkers that have made squidgers on lathes are Brad Schaefer (around 1975), Paul Rickert (around 1975-6), and Dave Pinckney.
In 1978, Rick Tucker started experimenting with squidger-making, starting off by hand-sanding set-supplied squidgers and various scraps of plastic, including old phonograph record PVC (Dion and the Belmonts—that old) and Formica samples. After breaking an LP PVC squidger at the 1978 Singles at the Rouse house in Baltimore, he decided to stick with set-supplied squidgers as “blanks”. In 1979, however, he abandoned the set-supplieds for more uniform blanks: expensive poker chips and buttons without metal eyelets. These are still his primary sources for squidger material. The poker chip squidgers are called “Swirls” because of the random opaque patterns visible in the generally transparent discs. The button squidgers are called “Orions”. Later he added several other plastics: PVC, Delrin, polycarbonate, Plexiglas, and Teflon. Another plastic that looked promising, Rulon, was available at the Read Plastics store in Rockville, Md., but cost $50 for a foot-long rod of 1 1/2-inch diameter, a bit much five years ago and even now. Teflon squidgers are pretty much a novelty, since they are extremely slick. Undoubtedly there are situations where they would be perfect, but no one has experimented with them enough. Delrin, which is used in camera lenses by some manufacturers, has less friction than most squidger materials, but is eminently suited for squidgers. Rick still hand-sands squidgers against a cushioned surface. See Newswink 10 for a description of his method.
Squidgers are the tools of the trade. I would love to think that Larry’s near-dominance of winks over the past 5 years has been due to his squidgers, but actually it’s Larry’s shotmaking skills and consistency that have made him a terror for other winkers to face. Don’t ever let him have 6 mobile winks within 8 inches of the cup!
Few modern winkers use round-edged squidgers. Those who do, such as Bill Renke, are masters who know their tools well. However, I think it is clear that thin squidgers are the standard squidgers of the game today; all new players should use thins, at least for squopping. There is no good source of thin squidgers, though. At present, I am the only person making thin squidgers in the U.S., and I do so rather sporadically. I enjoy making squidgers, but it is a very manual process. Automated squidger-making might be possible with enough start-up cash, but is unlikely to occur, and personal taste in squidgers requires a variety of profiles and edge sharpness which automation may not be able to provide. One can easily imagine a variety of high-tech squidger features, such as lining the edge with fine incisions to influence spin or lack thereof. After all, golf irons have similar features. Maybe the vicinity of the edge should be coated with regions of different coefficients of friction.
There have been other people who have made squidgers that I have not mentioned. I am particularly interested in hearing about squidger-makers in Britain. Who makes them now, and who were the pioneers? If you make interesting squidgers and have spares, please send me one for my collection.
Silver Spring Singles
by Larry Kahn
After building up a big lead on Saturday, Larry bit the big one on Sunday to set up yet another dramatic Dave-Larry matchup in the final game of the 1985 NATwA Singles at Larry Kahn’s house in sweltering Silver Spring, Maryland, with Larry holding a 3 1/2 point lead. More on the final game later.
Only 8 players managed to make it to Larry’s but it was a very strong field. Top 3 Larry Kahn, Dave Lockwood, and Arye Gittelman were there, joined by Brad Schaefer, Rick Tucker, Charles Frankston, and a returning Fred Shapiro and Jim Marlin (now a Virginian). Fred took to the new winks like a duck to water, notching a 4 over Arye and a 6 over Charles in his first two games, but then turned into a turkey and had problems the rest of the way. Nevertheless, it’s good to have you back, Fred. The new winks do take some getting used to; ask Jim.
Either the top players are getting worse or (more likely) the second level is catching up as there were lots of close games and some notable wins. Charles got 4 over Dave after a 2 foot pot, Brad escaped with a 5-2 over Larry using a modified Gottesman, and it seemed everyone was beating up on Arye in the early going.
After the first round robin, Larry had 41 in 7 despite one loss, good for an 8 1/2 point lead over Dave. Close behind Dave were Charles and Brad, with Arye a surprising 5th.
The second round robin was almost a complete reversal, with Arye getting six 6’s, marred only by a 4-3 loss to Rick, who always seems to do well against Arye in the Singles. Dave kept crunching along, trying for 7’s to catch Larry. Larry got three 6’s in the final Saturday games, but then on Sunday only got a 1 (Arye) and a 2 (Brad) prior to the last game.
Both players were really tense and it showed. This has been the best rivalry in winks and neither player likes to lose to the other, especially Dave after the last English Singles. Anyway, after an early Dave potout is defused after a roll-off, Larry runs into some trouble and begins to play for a 2. Dave doesn’t realize one of his colors is down until near the end of regulation and has to do something about it quickly. Both players make alternating great shots and spazzes in rounds as the tension builds and after missed pots and a short Larry squop in the 5th Dave must try a miracle last shot for more than a 5-2. It fails, leaving him with 4.
And so Larry joins Dave and Severin as a three-time Singles Champion. For only the second time ever, the winner had a worse win-loss record than second place (9-4 vs. 10-3). This turned out to be the closest match since 1980, as the last four have been runaways. One interesting stat is the top four record against the bottom four. It’s obvious that Larry won this one by beating up
on the little guys.
Against top 4 Against Bottom 4 Larry 2-4 20 7-0 45 Dave 4-2 24 1/2 6-1 38 Arye 4-2 26 1/2 4-3 32 Brad 2-4 13 5-2 33
Enjoyed reading Newswink 18. The stories about the Congress & the Continentals were especially fun to read (although a little sad, too, for not having been there). You can tell Mr. Shineson [sic, should be: Sheinson] that I did not miss his reference to me under the section listing “Two-day totals”.
In reference to Larry’s comment under his article “The Spring Tournament Trail”, about Joe still being behind Gammer, you can tell Joe that the only way he’s going to pass me is either (1) get me to play (in which case he’d do it quickly), or (2) get more novices in the game for him to play (and then he could do it in a couple of years).
Kidding aside, I do miss tha game, and, more importantly, the people. I have a lot of memories from winks,—some good, some bad, but the good ones are far more numerous. People like *, Bill, Ferd, Joe, Jake, MP, Mary, Bob, L, Ind, etc., etc. are the best in my book & I regret the distances (& hence $) that have intervened. In that vein, it is almost absolutely certain that I won’t be about to make the Continentals. Even PEOPLExpress can’t offset the responsibilities of being sole breadwinner with a mortgage and a 5-month old boy. We’re on a budget that even David Stockman would envy.
Having gotten over the “down” news—here’s the good news. Tom was born on Aug. 25, 1984 and gives me a tremendous lift and joy every morning. Although I’m a bit biased, I’m absolutely sure that he’s the best baby in the world. He can be a real hassle sometimes, but when he looks at me and his face breaks into this big smile & squeal—well it makes it all worth it and more. He’s
just beginning to crawl around and get into trouble. It is amazing how fast he can move when you take your eye off of him. Nancy’s staying home to take care of him for now; farther down the road she’ll probably go back to work after we can put Tom into a pre-kindergarten program.
Oh yes, on your address list our street address is wrong; it should be
18038 Green Hazel Drive
Houston TX 77084
Also, my company (Global Marine) has moved and my work # is now 713-596-5848.
Work has gotten a lot better. My former boss (a smart guy with minus interpersonal skills) has been told to find another job and I’ve picked up his responsibilities without too many major blunders so far. Also, the new manager is a very good man; we seem to be hitting it off fine.
That’s about it. Larry was down here this past summer for a conference in Austin. We got together and shot the breeze for a while.
Say hello to everyone for me.
Squop ’em out,
P.S. In about 5 years we need to have a parent/offspring tournament. That would be a lot of fun.
The 1984 ETwA Singles was the second singles tournament in history to include more than one foreign player. However, unlike the 1980 NATwA Singles in which Alan Dean finished fifth to Pam Knowles’ first, the Americans in 1984 finished one, two. Therefore, for the first time, a player who doesn’t get a World Singles challenge (Dave Lockwood) finished ahead of one who does (Alan).
In the six games Larry Kahn and Dave Lockwood played against each other in England in November 1984, they were 3-3 with each taking three 6-1’s.
It doesn’t pay to give Larry a zero. Two of his four zeros have come from Sev, the last one being administered at the 1979 Pairs. Since than zero, Sev’s record against Larry is 0-22.
Squidgers of the Rich and Famous
by Rick Tucker
I thought it would be interesting to find out what sorts of squidgers winkers use. Following is a listing of all the squidgers carried by the winkers interviewed, who are listed in alphabetical order. The first column lists the squidger maker, or “regular” if the squidger was supplied with a set; “antique” if from an antique set. The second column describes the size and color of the squidger, and the material it is made of. The third column indicates how the squidger is used.
Tucker · 2-inch PVC · Squidge-ins, approaches
Madison · 1-inch blue clear plexy · Around the pot, delicate shots, boondocks
Madison · 1 3/8-inch sharp blue set with wide edge · Squopping, all-purpose
Madison v1 3/8-inch green set · Potting big winks
Tucker v1 3/8-inch green set · Potting small winks
regular · Dark blue set, since 1970 · Most shots
regular · Yellow · Backup
Good · 2-inch white
(Rogoff) · 1 1/4-inch red roulette chip
Schiller · 1 3/8-inch red set
? · 1-inch white, from plastic found in a Tech Square parking lot
? · Small blue sharp
Rickert · 1 1/2-inch white
Schaefer · 2-inch white · Blowups
Schaefer · 1 1/2-inch brown, wood-grained · All purpose
regular · 1 3/8-inch thick red set · Rarely used
Schaefer · 1-inch clear polycarbonate · Bristols, shots near cup
Tucker · 1-inch light blue Orion · A recent addition
Schaefer · 1-inch styrofoam · Waiting in the wings
Madison · 1-inch clear blue plexy
Madison · 1 3/8-inch dark blue set · Bring-ins, power shots
Tucker · 1 3/8-inch red set · Squops, pots
Tucker · 2-inch PVC · Squidge-ins, approaches
Lockwood/Dean · 1 3/8-inch blue · Squopping, potting
Lockwood · 1 7/8-inch white
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch white Swirl
Madison· 2-inch blue clear plexy
antique · 1-inch yellow celluloid · Bristols, gnurdled [sic, should be nurdled] winks
antique · 1-inch white celluloid
regular · Four 1 3/8-inch blue set · Shots from edge
regular · 1 3/8-inch yellow set
(Rogoff) · 1 1/4-inch blue roulette chip
? · Caixa green
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch red Swirl · All-purpose; a recent addition
Tucker · 1-inch gold-green Orion · New
regular · 1 3/8-inch grainy dark blue set
? · 1-inch white, like Renke’s
Kahn · 2-inch PVC · “Big Mama”
Tucker · 2-inch PVC · Squidge-ins
Schiller · 1 3/8-inch blue set · Potting
Kahn · 1 1/2-inch PVC with reverse-curve edge · Squopping
regular · 1 3/8-inch grainy green set
Kahn · 1-inch PVC with reverse-curve edge
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch white Swirl
Kahn · 1-inch blue Orion
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch blue Swirl · All-purpose, on vacation
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch blue Swirl, wide edge with matte finish · All-purpose, new
Tucker · 1-inch dark blue Orion · Bristols, near the pot, clicks, presses
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch white Swirl · Backup
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch black Delrin · When the Swirls don’t work
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch orange from remnants of Air Canada sign in Copley Square, Boston
Tucker · 2-inch PVC, thick · Blow-ups
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch PVC
Tucker · 2-inch matte-finish translucent Plexiglas · Power shots
regular · 1 3/8-inch Cambridge blue set · Long approaches
Tucker · 1 5/16-inch purple superthin Orion · Potting
Kahn · 1-inch PVC, reverse-curve edge
Tucker · 1 1/2-inch white Swirl · Squidge-ins, squops, approaches
Tucker · 1 3/8-inch green set · Long pots, big wink pots
Madison · 2-inch blue clear plexy
regular · 1 3/8-inch grainy Cambridge blue set } One each hand
regular · 1 3/8-inch grainy green set }
Callon · 1-inch clear (1973) · Old winks: pile, short shots; New: pile, winks behind
antique · 1-inch bone · Pot when winks behind
Dennis the Menace · 1 1/2-inch yellow broken since 70s · Pot big winks touching cup
Sunshine · 1 3/8-inch red hand-filed set · New, experimental
“Set” means a squidger that originally came with a set from Marchant Games/Ilkeston Toys, probably made by Walmsleys. A Cambridge blue is a set squidger that is actually light green, which came with sets for a while instead of blue squidger and winks. “Regular” means the squidger is not sharp or thin at the edge.
“(Rogoff)” means that Barry Rogoff was the source of these roulette chips, although he did not make them or alter them.
Schiller Squidger Genealogy
Tim Schiller made approximately 20 squidgers in early 1973, mostly standard size (1 3/8 inch), but including one or two 1-inchers. Following is a list of known Schiller squidger owners:
- Rick Tucker · blue
- Larry Kahn · blue
- Bill Renke · red
- Charles Frankston · one, lost
- Dave Lockwood · one, lost
- Owen Knox (2) · yellow, red
- Joe Sachs · one, previously owned by Wayne Baron
- Tim Schiller · I presume
- Dave York · ?
- Pete Copper · ?
If you know of any other past or present Schiller squidger owners, please tell me.
by David H. Lockwood
When we hold a tournament, what is our objective? Is it social, organizational, or skill level determination? We try to address the desires of all players through varied format arrangements in different tournaments. We have developed tournaments with handicaps, one game knockouts, preliminaries and finals, Swiss formats, round robins, knockout systems, and combinations of the above. Most players would agree that the national championships are tournaments for assessing relative skill levels on the day (or two). No quarter is given and none is expected within the framework of our gentlemen’s/gentlewomen’s sport. But which format is optimal at determining who is best?
If our objective in the national championships is primarily to determine the best player or pair of the day, are we currently achieving that goal? The main difference between a round robin and a knockout format in determining skill levels is that a round robin should yield the best player/pair versus the average of the tournament participants while a knockout yields the better between individuals or pairs. In the former, the worst player in the tournament is sometimes able to trace a chain of A beat B beat C etc. in which he or she beats the champion. Fairly often the second or third place finisher will beat the champion head-to-head but do less well against the average. Who’s better? In a knockout format, the champion can always claim to be better than everyone in the tournament, because he/she can trace a chain of A beat B beat C etc. where the champion is always A.
The ambiguity inherent in a round robin has created a tournament system in which the ability to “bash rabbits” is most important. The 1984 ETwA Singles champion averaged 3 points per game in his three round robin games against the second, third, and fourth place finishers but his average 6 against the rest of the field won the day. The 1985 NATwA Singles champion averaged 3 1/3 points in his six games against the second, third, and fourth place finishers but 6.43 against the rest. Have we achieved our objective? Would we have a different winner if the rabbits had not shown up?
The only reason the third place finishers in the 1985 ETwA Pairs championships were at all close at the finish was due to seven 7-0 wins in their fourteen games. This sort of performance is required by the format but detrimental to the game.
NATwA has almost always used round robin formats in its national championships but ETwA began its championships with knockout formats. It should be remembered that the greatest numbers of participants were in these early year-long ETwA tournaments. Whether the participation level is directly correlated to the tournament structure is uncertain. Most likely the small commitment of time and the informality encouraged weaker players to “have a go” and see if they could get through a round or two. Such a format might appeal to Cambridge newcomers for the same reasons. Good players could relax after a good first game and avoid the “rabbit bashing” required under a round robin format. I remain unconvinced that weak players enjoy 8 to 10 games in a day averaging less than 1 point as opposed to 2 to 3 formal games and time for the pub, sightseeing, fun games, and spectating.
Fact. Half the players in a knockout tournament get eliminated in every round. On the other hand, perhaps the glass is half full. There is only one winner in any tournament no matter what the format but making it to the quarters, semis, or finals or even just through one round can represent a more accomplishable but still satisfying goal. For those who do manage an upset, the joy is greater than the odd win or two in ten games.
If we expand, we will eventually be forced to move to knockout systems. As I have pointed out, however, the ability to handle greater numbers is not the only advantage of a knockout. A more relaxed environment in early rounds, greater time for other activities including the pub, fun games, and even studying, less pain for weaker players, these are the more immediate reasons for switching to the better format, knockout.
[Note from the editor: This article appeared in Winking World 46, September 1985, although Dave submitted it to Newswink as well. Winking World‘s editor, Charles Relle, responded strongly against the suggestion of returning to knockout: “It is not an argument for knockout tournaments to say that eliminated players can amuse themselves in other ways. They come to participate; they have less fun if they do not.” Speaking personally, I doubt if I would travel other than locally for a tournament with a knockout format. The 1984 NATwA Singles was pretty close to a knockout in my book (a “five round Swiss of nine people”); it left me pretty down on winks. There were winkers I was looking forward to playing, but didn’t. If Dave wants knockout tournaments, he already has some even better tournaments to play in: World Singles and World Pairs. Charles goes on to say: “There is a difference between the American and British attitudes to the game. For the American, the superstar is all. The ambition to become a superstar is paramount: essentially the Americans have a killer instinct, and this is one reason why they have always produced the World Champions.” Well, I think Charles has lost too many times to Dave and Larry and is overstating his case for effect. However, I’m not about to provide him an excuse to reverse his opinions of Americans.]
1985 Pairs—NO RAIN
by Larry Kahn
26-27 October 1985, Cornell North Campus
Looking at the final scores of the Pairs would not do justice to the actual games. Larry and Arye did manage to win and go undefeated but it was a real struggle at times. Both Charles & Rick and Brad (playing solo) unveiled a new pot-out strategy that really had the champs sweating in all four of those games. Brad, in particular, played two excellent games and could have easily won both if things had been somewhat different. Meanwhile, Sev & Jim were also in there fighting, although without too much success. Ithaca High pair Peter-Peter (Shoemaker & McMurry) pulled off the best upset of the tournament when they beat Sev & Jim 4-3. The other high school pairs/triples (Doug Thomas, Paul Rossi, Chris Ryan, and Chuck Houpt) all had a tough time as they had to play most of their games against the finalists. Hang in there, guys—unfortunately it just takes time and experience.
Anyway, only Brad was able to keep any pressure on the leaders and was only 6 points back after the first day. He couldn’t make up any ground in the finals and ended 9 back at 40, but still averaged 5 and had an excellent tournament. Next time, Brad, find a partner and you won’t be so lucky. Sev & Jim snuck into 3rd by a point only because Larry had a pot attempt bounce out in the 5th in their game.
Larry & Arye now go on hold for awhile, this was their last Pairs together for the next year or so, at least. Up to now, their career mark is 40-3, with a 5.62 ppg.
And finally, for the first time in 13 years, it failed to rain or snow while Larry was visiting Ithaca. It did look rather nasty on Sunday, though. Maybe this is a gradual phase-out and someday we’ll get sunny skies for a whole weekend.
Record Breaking Year
by Larry Kahn
The 1985 season produced some amazing performances. The highlight was Larry breaking Bill Renke’s longstanding ppg record of 5.38 (recently topped by Dave in an asterisk 20 game season, 5.45). After a Pairs win with Arye, Larry ended the season at 36-6 with a massive 5.52 ppg. It should be noted that along with the usual number of mismatch games he also averaged 5 at the Singles and 5.71 at the individual pairs tournament (the Kahntinentals) that had all quality games. On the way to a 6.08 ppw he accumulated twelve 7’s, which must be some sort of record. Disgusting.
This completely overshadowed Arye’s fine 31-10, 5.05 ppg season, probably the highest ppg not to lead this category. Rick broke a very old * record with an 8-0, 51 point performance at the Continentals, the highest tournament ppg ever. At this tournament the Rick, Arye, Larry, Charles quad averaged 6.06 against obviously overmatched competition.
Other career milestones were Dave’s 400th win, Larry’s 600th game, Arye’s 200th win, Brad’s 200th game, and (sorry, guys) Ferd’s, Sev’s, and Charles’ 200th losses. Dave nudged over the .700 win/loss percentage mark and Larry finally overcame Ross’ ppg and now sits atop the heap at 4.65. And Larry & Rick reached the 100 game mark as a pair (77-23, 4.55).
Arye Holds on to World Singles
by Larry Kahn
World Singles 21, Cambridge, 19 October 1985
After taking the title last February in an uneventful 25-17 win over Larry Kahn in his first World Singles match, Arye Gittelman successfully defended the title in what turned out to be a very exciting 7 game match.
The February match was rather ordinary, Arye winning 5 of 6 games by moderate scores and Larry taking one 7 to keep it close. Arye had an edge in play toward the end of most games and was never in serious trouble.
The latest match started off as a huge blowout for Arye. In the first game, both players went out of order at least once, the last occurrence plus a missed shot turned a likely Larry win into a 6-1 loss. Things then got worse. Actually, the play was quite good on both sides but in retrospect Larry said that he made a few tactical errors in going for high risk/high gain shots and got a 1 and a 1 1/2 to leave Arye in command at 17 1/2 to 3 1/2.
After a lunch break things turned around completely. Arye’s play fell off somewhat and Larry could do no wrong. He took a 6, a 5 (after a very weird, somewhat confused 5th round in which he let Arye get 2) and then a 7 (which would not have been tried for if the last game had ended normally at 6, so it turned out irrelevant).
The score now stood at Larry up, 21 1/2 to 20 1/2, anybody’s match.
The last game was very well played, Larry up somewhat early but Arye fighting back. At one of the critical points Larry just missed a reasonable triple by a millimeter (or less) and this turned out to be a key shot. Arye then came back to at least even with some good shots, putting Larry slightly down. Larry slumped even lower when he piddled out 2 greens in the wrong direction and found them tripled by a Bristol. There was a lot of scrambling in a fairly close end game but Arye ended with 6 as Larry had to try desperately for a 3 by tying for first.
All in all, a well-played match on both sides, the difference probably from a few ill-advised Larry shots (unless he makes them). Arye thus maintains a weird hold over Larry in head-to-head matches (winning all 3) and now faces Alan Dean in World Singles 22 in England in November. If winks is a game for the young Alan is really in trouble. Oh, yes. The winner gets to play Larry in World Singles 23.
by The Dragon
The recent success of Americans in ETwA championships and in the World Masters has created an unprecedented US dominance in all the major championships of the winking world. Further, this has been achieve[d] by just three winkers—Larry “Horsemeat” Kahn, Arye “REA” Gittelman, and Dave “The Dragon” Lockwood.
Their current (10 November 1985) titles are:
- World Pairs Champion
- ETwA Singles Champion
- NATwA Singles Champion *
- World Singles Champion
- World Pairs Champion
- NATwA Pairs Champion
- World Masters Singles Champion
- ETwA Pairs Champion *
* denotes outstanding world challenge
Of further note: Dave was second in the ETwA Singles. Alan Boyce, co-ETwA Pairs Champion, is the only Brit to hold a major title. Alan Dean has a challenge for the World Singles as top Brit in the ETwA Singles.
The Comeback Kid
The 28 National Singles Championships (14 ETwA and 14 NATwA) have been won by only 13 different players—Alan Dean leads with 5 victories:
Alan Dean 5 ETwA: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978 Dave Lockwood 4 NATwA: 1977, 1978, 1983; and ETwA: 1982 Larry Kahn 4 NATwA: 1981, 1982, 1985; and ETwA: 1984 Jon Mapley 3 ETwA: 1979, 1980, 1983 Severin Drix 3 NATwA: 1974, 1975, 1979 Keith Seaman 2 ETwA: 1974, 1975
and seven players with one victory each:
Arye Gittelman 1 NATwA: 1984 Charles Relle 1 ETwA: 1981 Pam Knowles 1 NATwA: 1980 Nigel Knowles 1 ETwA: 1977 Sunshine 1 NATwA: 1976 Bill Renke 1 NATwA: 1973 Bob Henninge 1 NATwA: 1972
National Singles champions are the only players currently allowed to participate in World Masters Singles Championships.
The second such championship was held at Cambridge University on the 18th of November 1984. (The first was won by Jon Mapley in 1981.) All five British champions (Alan, Jon, Keith, Charles, and Nigel) participated as well as Larry and Dave. The format was a round-robin qualifying four to three-game knockout semis and finals. The expected qualifiers were Jon, Alan, and the two Americans, but Charles was a dark horse possibility. Further, in this tournament more than any other, anybody can beat anybody.
With one small exception, results after 3 rounds were pretty much as expected. Jon, Alan, and Larry occupied the first three places with Charles challenging. The exception was Dave who had scored one point in each of his games against the top 3. Taken individually, none of these results would seem overly unusual. Taken together, they represented a crushing blow to Dave’s hopes of qualifying. Even three solid wins would not guarantee fourth place. Charles in fourth with 15 1/2 points was 12 1/2 points ahead and Dave’s only hope required help from the other competitors.
In the next game, Dave played Nigel and gained the maximum score. Charles lost 5-2 to reduce his lead over Dave to 7 1/2 points with 2 games to go. The penultimate preliminary round game saw Dave go head-to-head with Charles and emerge with a valuable 6-1 victory to cut the gap to 2 1/2 points. In the final round, Larry, Jon, and Alan are certain of qualifying for the semis but Dave and Charles are fighting for fourth. Dave faces Keith while Charles plays Jon. The Charles-Jon game develops into a close battle but Dave’s uphill battle to qualify is losing ground before Keith’s initial dominance. Midway through the game, Keith squops Dave out to leave Dave in desperate straits. Keith decides to free a big wink of Dave’s in a situation where it makes sense. But Dave takes full advantage, bombs a pile, frees four of his winks, and drives to a 6-1 victory. Charles, meanwhile, loses ground in rounds to fall to Jon and finish a disappointing fifth. It was a difficult result for Charles and I wish him better luck the next time.
The semis pitted 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. The semifinalists were the same as in 1981 but the matchups were different. In 1981, Larry played Alan and Dave faced Jon with both Brits going through. In 1984, the Americans were paired off as were Jon and Alan. Alan rolled 6-1, 6-1 to take the first place in the final but the other semi went the full three games. Dave dug another hole for himself as he lost the first game to Larry 6-1. Dave however, achieved victory by finishing 6-1, 6-1.
Time in Cambridge ran out at this point as Alan needed to return to Nottinghamshire. The finalists agreed to finish the match the following weekend during the National Singles.
The first game of the finals did take place the next week but more time constraints forced a further postponement. In the first game, Alan missed shots in the last few rounds to leave Dave a 5-2 winner, Dave’s first lead of the tournament. The second game was played on 16 March 1985 at Alan’s house during the National Pairs. There was no doubt in this game as Dave controlled from beginning to end for a 6-1 and the championship.
Commiserations are due to Alan, the losing finalist for the second time. To Dave go congratulations on a fine victory and a comeback of proportions rarely exceeded. World Masters Singles III in England in November?
Going Out of Turn
by David H. Lockwood
Of the possible illegal occurrences in the game of winks, going out of turn is probably the most frequent. Unfortunately, the original transgressor may be rewarded with a choice of whether to accept or reject his/her opponent’s subsequent shot which would have been correct in the original sequence. In several major tournaments, this has had a significant effect on the final result.
As described in an short item elsewhere in this Newswink a player gets about 25 shots per color in a 20 minute singles game (including the last five rounds). This is less than I would have expected without empirical evidence; any unnecessary reduction from this number would diminish the game. Usually I know the next shot I wish to play before my opponent’s shot. If their shot has not demonstrably changed the situation, I proceed with my planned shot. If my opponent has gone out of turn in the interim, I am then deemed to have gone out of turn! It’s unfortunate but it seems that I will have to consider the “orderliness” of my opponents after every shot. This will interrupt my concentration, decrease flow and strategy, and most importantly, slow down the game. What must be must be and I can no longer accept the losses I incur from the mistakes of others.
As a partial remedy, I would strongly recommend that anyone should announce that a player has gone out of turn as soon as it is noticed. This includes the player who went out of turn, his/her partner, opponents, or even spectators. Contrary to Charles Relle’s comment in Winking World 45 however, I would not require anyone to announce the possibility of someone going out of turn before the shot is made. If an opponent feels honor-bound to do so, that’s fine. Personally I will usually tell the player. Spectators should certainly not verbally note a mere possibility. There is an advantage to be gained by the wronged party and rightfully so. In some free turn situations, mistakes of this sort may represent the best chance for the squopped-out pair.
It is regrettable that some good players have difficulty playing in the correct order. It is more regrettable if they get away with it because their opponents were not on the lookout for such errors. The out-of-turn occurrences are so few that keeping an eye out for them continually has not seemed worth the effort. However, their impact on certain games has now led me to change my opinion.
The Continentals? Part I
by Rick Tucker
On the traditional Continentals weekend before the federal Presidents Day holiday, a bevy of Boston diehards and previously hemidemisemi-quasi-retired winkers along with the Washington crowd, all with killer instincts, gathered for a reenactment of an early 70’s BIT at MIT.
Jim Marlin came back from a 5 year boondock to start on his comeback trail. Don Fox and Nan Brady made their annual tournament appearances, as did Bill Renke, who squeaked through three 4’s and two 1’s. The Lockwood family went collectively 5-5 for 3.9 ppg, although never playing together. Other annualists were Mary Kirman, at top ppg with two 6’s, Susan Assmann, and Ferd. But let’s not forget Moishe and L! For reasons which escape me, Dave and Larry played 3 games together, winning only 2.
Oh, lest I forget, the teams were Eyes versus Glasses. Eyes (and contacts) won, 69-64.
Off the Mat
by Charles Relle
(from Winking World 46, September 1985)
If, playing blue, you send a blue wink off the mat, you lose your next shot. This rule has been with us since the late fifties, and is indeed part of the tradition of the game. It was not however one of the original Marchant rules, but was presumably incorporated because people felt that careless or violent shots should be penalised. Desquopping techniques were much less refined then, and people quite often sent their own winks off while desquopping. Nowadays, you are more likely to send off an opponent than yourself, and the strategy of the game has so far advanced that to lose a wink from the main area of play is a decided drawback in itself.
Ought we to keep this rule? It has not been discussed in recent years, but change has always been rejected, possibly because winks players are excessively hid[e]bound by tradition, for tradition is the only reason for keeping this rule.
Why should we change? To keep the rule makes tournament tiddlywinks more like a children’s game in which penalties are exacted arbitrarily and without reason. To get rid of it acknowledges the implications of a 6′ x 3′ playing surface (one of the main differences between tournament and ‘noddy’ winks), and appreciates that the temporary loss of a wink to the edge of the mat is a severe blow which should not be punished by a further penalty.
In addition, people are nowadays very careful not to send their own winks off the mat, and I would judge that a wink more often goes off the mat through bad luck than carelessness. How often have you seen a wink glance off the pot or another wink, bounce onto its edge and roll off, sometimes from quite a short shot? Should bad luck be penalised? I think not. Moreover, to abolish this rule would make the rules simpler. I would like to see it go.
Some people, admitting the validity of the above arguments, but wishing to keep to tradition even if in a new form, have proposed a lesser penalty for going off the mat, such as that the wink that goes off must be the wink played on the next shot. I am against this, which is an idea of Jon Mapley’s, because it is fussy and an unnecessary complication.
Should you lose a turn if you send off an opponent’s wink? Most boondock shots deliberately send an opponent off, so by removing an opponent’s wink you gain a strategic advantage without any special skill. Suppose, however, the penalty were attached: the boondock would become a much more delicate shot, and the skill of the game would be increased.
Against the penalty is the argument of tradition, and the fact that to introduce such a provision would complicate the rules. Nevertheless, I am for this change too.
The Continentals! Part II
by Rick Tucker
The Continentals, NATwA’s team championship, did take place in 1985, at Ithaca, on the 23rd of March, inside Cornell’s North Campus Union, by the shores of Lake Cayuga, nearly, with diverse teams, including the BosWash team, the Axe Murderers, the Huns, the Samoans, and the Toads. The Toads?
Again, a silly tournament, with the BosWash team at 97, the Toads (Bob Henninge, Sue Crapes, Big, Mac, Severin Drix) 55, the Samoans (Chris Houck, Ed Dormady, Peter Shoemaker, Peter McMurry) 46 1/2, the Huns (Leslie Farkas, Ronald Woan, Severin Drix, John Pottle, Paul Rossi, Erik Cassel) 42, and the Axe Murderers (Chris Ryan, Chuck Liu, Mecki Pohl, Chris Mann) 39 1/2.
The pair of Peters made a good showing in their first tournament, Shoemaker at 5-3 and McMurry at 4-4. They held Larry Kahn and Charles Frankston to 5 1/2; that’s 1 year combined experience against 27 years! Rick Tucker eeked [sic, should be: eked] out 51 points in 8 games, 6 with Arye Gittelman, to lead the WashBos team.