BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Every three years, an international competition determines the world’s best Rummikub player. The game combines elements of rummy, dominoes, mah-jongg and chess.
This year, Bountiful native Scott Brown will represent the United States at the 8th Rummikub World Championships in Sicily, Italy. His wife, Ashley, will accompany him to the competition, which will be held in a 15th Century Dominican monastery situated on a cliff overlooking the sea, according to Bountiful resident Paul Neuenschwander, Ashley’s father.
Brown was selected to represent the United States by Pressman Toys, the U.S. distributor of the game.
“I have been playing since I was a little kid and I went over 15 years without losing a match,” he said in an e-mail from Italy.
He wrote that he has the skills required to win, joking that they include: “keen eyesight (not colorblind), pretty quick fingers, I sweat very little and I can talk trash in a number of languages.”
Scott and Ashley Brown graduated from Bountiful High in 1999 and later obtained degrees from BYU. They now live in Evanston, Ill. with their two daughters. Scott Brown co-founded Marbles: the Brain Store, and is its chief merchant officer.
Games that exercise the brain are as important as exercise for the body, said Smith.
“At Marbles: The Brain Store, our goal is to bring together all of the best brain stimulating products,” he wrote.
“My top priority as I choose the products for our stores is that, in addition to being brain healthy, they are a ton of fun. Just like physical exercise, if the brain exercise isn’t fun, we won’t want to keep at it.”
Rummikub is a game that can be learned within just a few seconds, he said. “But the strategy can be really complex, which makes you want to play over and over again to see if you can improve,” he added.
The game includes a healthy dose of critical thinking strategy mixed with luck, giving everyone who plays a chance to win, according to Smith.
“It is that chance (however slim) that I am relying on as I head into the World Rummikub Championships,” he added.