At 11 years old, Quincy Cutts recently became a NZ champion in the board game Rummikub, and his grandmother, Pauline, was the runner up.
Rummikub is a tile based board game and one of the most popular and best selling in the world. It combines elements of other board games such as Rummy, Dominoes, Mahjong and Chess and has been played since inventor Ephraim Hertzano first started making the game tiles by hand back the 1930s.
To win, you need to lay all your tiles down in sets on the table before your opponents. You earn points equal to the total value of tiles left over in your opponent’s racks and similarly lose points when someone else clears their rack first.
Quincy, who lives in Gulf Harbour, began playing the game three years ago at Whangaparaoa School, with the encouragement of his teacher, and continues to play regularly with his family. His grandmother, Pauline, also started playing at around the same time.
His father Reuben says that playing Rummikub has helped Quincy improve his problem solving and analytical skills.
Pauline told Quincy about the New Zealand Rummikub Championships, and he decided to enter, telling event organisers Sweetpea Marketing his story to gain entrance to the Sylvia Park regional event.
“I just told them who I was and how long I’d been playing,” Quincy says.
Pauline took him to the event and unexpectedly ended up taking part herself, filling the place of an entrant who failed to turn up. Both Quincy and Pauline performed well, making it through to the National Championships, held earlier this month in Rosedale.
However, at the nationals, Quincy beat everyone, including Pauline – who came second. He earned a trip to Israel for the 10th World Rummikub Championships – making him the first New Zealand player aged under 18 years to participate in that event.
Pauline isn’t too disappointed though – she will accompany Quincy on his journey to the championships in Jerusalem in November and no doubt keep a keen eye on his game.