Robert Felt

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Robert Felt (1953–2002) was a computer programmer,[1] USCF-rated chess Expert, Tennessee Junior chess champion,[2] and champion Scrabble player.

Born in Memphis,[3] he entered the University of Chicago in 1971 and tested out of so many requirements that he was awarded Junior status. At the University of Chicago he was a member of the chess team, at one point being first board on the University's second team for two Pan-American Intercollegiate national tournaments. He also competed for the University at the NCAA national contract bridge tournament.

In 1978, he left the University without a degree and joined Banker's Life and Casualty as a computer programmer. At the TDM division of Rand McNally he enjoyed a reputation as one of the best CICS programmers in the world. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he established 911 systems for police and fire dispatchers.[3] Much of the technology at most 911 call centers is derived from his early work.

In 1990, Felt won the US National Scrabble Championship.[4] He achieved a peak rating of 2155,[5] which in February 2011 would easily be the number one rating again.[6]


  1. ^ Christine Montgomery, "Scrambling for the Prize in Scrabble," Washington Times, November 25, 1997, p. C8.
  2. ^ Manny Fernandez, "Spellbound by Scrabble," San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 1997, p. Z1.
  3. ^ a b Jon Anderson, "Chicagoan ready from the word 'go'; He'll be our man in London for Scrabble Championships, Chicago Tribune, September 26, 1991, Tempo section p. 1.
  4. ^ Rebecca Reinhardt, "Fighting Words," Village Voice, February 19, 2002, p. 193.
  5. ^ Robert Felt Scrabble tournament results at
  6. ^ [1]

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