The website of the Australian Scrabble Players Association (Victoria) Inc.

Watch this space for the latest news and happenings in the Victorian Scrabble scene, and to find lots of information and to check on news from the past click on the links at left. Your social reporter is Marj Miller, and to pass on any news click here

Travel Scrabble ~ September 9/10/11 ~ in Ballarat
Australian Masters and State Challenge ~ September 10/11 ~ by invitation
Essendon ~ September 25 ~ 7 games, at Box Hill
Seniors' Non-rated Fun Day ~ Thursday Oct 6 ~ 3 games, at Mount Waverley
Mount Martha ~ Sunday October 9 ~ 6 games, at Mount Eliza

For full details of all tournaments click HERE

The Winter Pick Me Up Tournament ~ August 21, 2016

Play has started - Betty Egan & Dominica Krstic check a word at the laptop
This enjoyable tournament was run by the Victorian Committee to fill a gap in the calendar, and to give our members an extra game of Scrabble in August. Fifty-four of our regular players came to contest the four sections offered......thank you for supporting this event. Seven games were played, and as always competition was brisk!
Gayle Cameron did a lovely job of keeping us fed and watered, and also giving our Standby Player Norma Fisher (who unfortunately wasn't needed to play to even up the numbers) some invaluable practice in preparation for the State Team Challenge, taking place here in Melbourne next month.
Carol Johnsen attended early to help with setting up, and our very capable computer operator Amy Hutchinson did a great job on the technical side - thanks, everyone, including those who helped with setting up, and with packing up at the end of the day.....your help is really appreciated.

The Masters crew: Alan Burn, Nick Ivanovski
& Gwen Lampre

Advanced winners: Janet Bau, Lorraine
Thomas, Rod Casey & Dianne Gibson

Inter: Kris Howat, Siva Sivapalasundram,
Sandra Masel, Liz McKean & Paula Messer

Some of the support crew - Marj Miller,
with Oscar and Amy
MASTERS was won by Nick Ivanovski who had a great day, winning all seven games and scoring 621 to take out the High Game award. Second place was filled by Alan Burn, followed by Gwen Lampre, with both winning four games. Mary McMahon's moment of glory was her play of SLITTIER for 113 points which secured her the High Word award. Nice one, Mary!
ADVANCED saw our evergreen player Rod Casey finish on top with 6 wins, separated only by margin from Janet Bau who has now moved up a section with her excellent play. Dianne Gibson was surprised to find herself in third place on four wins (she thought she had only won three). Rod Casey scored 612 to win the High Game award, and the High Word award went to Lorraine Thomas for her play of HEROINE for 102 points.
INTERMEDIATE was won by Sandra Masel with 6 wins, clear of Kris Howat on 5 and Siva Sivapalasundram on 4 wins - Siva is gradually working his way back to his former rating, but its proving to be a big challenge for him, as it is for us all! The High Game award went to Elizabeth McKean for her score of 499 (well done Liz, especially when you were playing up from Recreation!) Elizabeth also shared the High Word award with Paula Messer, both words scoring 88 points - Paula played ZIPPERS, and Liz played PROVIDE.

Recreation winner John Metcalf, happy to
receive a prize and a Play-up Certificate!

Christie Godby, delighted to take second
place in Recreation, and High Game!

Play in Rec: Lynne Goodinson v. Rena Aitken,
Trish Magee v. Del Stitz at the far board

Front: Angie Pearse plays Alan Burn,
with Gwen Lampre playing Mary MacMahon
RECREATION was by far the largest section, and it was a big challenge to gain a placing - first was John Metcalf on 6 wins, followed by Christie Godby also on six, with Trish Magee third on five wins, good efforts from all! The High Game prize went to Christie for her score of 495, and Christiane McCann found SKYTING for 104 points to claim the High Word Prize.

Kris Howat plays Siva Sivapalasundram, and
Glen Chandler plays Dianne Gibson

June Valentine plays Janet Bau, with Rod
Casey playing old friend Sylvia Galloway

From left: Balada Catanchin, Marisa
Nuccitelli, Carole Eden and Dorothy Hunt

Lorraine Thomas plays Noel Coulter, with
Lainie Mercieca playing Katie Rowe
There were some impressive ratings gains on the day, with Janet Bau topping the list on +56, Rena Aitken +46, John Metcalf +44, Fay Boxshall +43, Nick Ivanovski +41, Trish Magee +38, Sandra Masel +38, Rod Casey +35 and Christie Godby +30.
Well done to all, and thank you to all for the spirit in which the tournament was played, it was a pleasure to be the Director!

The Matchplay Rounds, 2016

The quarter finals are the best of five games, semi finals the best of seven, and the grand final is the best of nine - hopefully this will take place in October, at a central venue to be advised by organiser Nick Ivanovski. More news will follow.....
Update August 3: Two quarter finals have been completed, and Andrew Fisher and Barry Harridge will challenge each other in a semi final, to be played in September. Trevor Halsall won his quarter final against Lynn Weaver, and awaits the winner of the match between Khwanjai Thammaping and Noel Coulter.
August 21: Noel has won his match against Khwanjai, and will now play Trevor Halsall in a semi-final.
Andrew Fisher 3
Khwanjai Thammaping 2
Dianne Gibson 2
Trevor Halsall 3
John Rider 0
Noel Coulter 3
Barry Harridge 3
Lynn Weaver 1
Andrew Fisher
Barry Harridge
Noel Coulter
Trevor Halsall

One of the boards from the
Andrew Fisher-John Rider
match. Click to enlarge

Good friends Dianne Gibson and Barry
Harridge, still friends after their fifth
game....played at the Balwyn Scrabble Club

The final board from Dianne
and Barry's great match-up.
Click pic to enlarge

Lynn Weaver and Trevor Halsall, playing in a
very congenial spot.....Trevor won this one
three games to one

Noel Coulter and Khwanjai Thammaping
in the early stages of their match, played
at the Nunawading Club in Mitcham

The 2016 Victorian Country Championship ~ Saturday August 6th

This event was again held at the comfortable and welcoming Daylesford Bowling Club and was contested by sixteen of our country players - to qualify to play in this event competitors must live outside a radius of 40 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne, and it gives those who play the opportunity of meeting with and competing against their friends from surrounding areas.
Once again Mary McMahon took on the role of Organiser and Tournament Director, with help from Norma Fisher. Thank you both for your efforts, Mary and Norma, and thank you to Khwanjai Thammaping for the photos, they are appreciated.
A lovely leisurely bistro lunch is always available for the players who wish to partake, and this was enjoyed by all in the downstairs dining room, providing a welcome break from the stressors of the tournament!
In Division A Norma Fisher emerged the winner, followed by Angie Pearse and Mary McMahon in second and third places respectively. Peter Bauer showed his strengths by winning the High Game (559), and tying for the High Word with his play of BINDIEST for 131 points. Heather Long equalled this by playing ELECTION, well done to you all.
Division B saw victory to Robin Dettmann ahead of Marlene Ellis and Marjorie Clark, with first-time player and new member of the Ballarat Club Tessa Knight earning the High Game Award with a score of 538, and the High Word went to Robin Dettmann for her score of 89 points. Well done, everyone!

Norma Fisher, with the very attractive
perpetual trophy

Div A: Peter Bauer, Norma Fisher, Mary McMahon,
Angie Pearse, Heather Long

Div B: Tessa Knight, Robin Dettmann, Marlene
Ellis, Marjorie Clark

To see the full results of the 2016 Country Championship click here

The Trans Tasman Championship - Fri/Sat/Sun August 5/6/7 in Adelaide, South Australia

The New Zealand Team, from left: Anderina McLean, Nick Cavenagh,
Lynn Wood, Murray Rogers, Lyres Freeth, Patrick Carter, Liz Fagerlund,
Lawson Sue, Howard Warner and Glennis Hale

The Australian Team, from left: John Holgate, Adam Kretschmer, Rocky Sharma, Tony Hunt, Nick Ivanovski, Daniel Piechnick, Karen Richards, Ron Baginski,
Esther Perrins, Bob Jackman, Russell Honeybun, Alastair Richards, Victor Tung, Stephen Mooney Pursell and Trevor Tao.
This selective event takes place every two years, with the host country alternating - this year its being played in Adelaide in South Australia, with Barry Harridge directing events and keeping us up to date.
The format has changed, with ten New Zealanders and sixteen Australians playing an unrestricted round robin. Games played between the two countries will count towards the Team Tallies, and there will also be an individual winner.

To follow the ups and downs of the tournament and the Team standings go to Barry Harridge's website - click here

There are also some games being posted by Oliver Jenner O'Shea - click here

The venue is the South Australian Bridge Association, 243 Young Street, Unley, and there will be extra tournaments on Saturday and Sunday for extra players who wish to play.

At the end of DAY ONE Australia lead New Zealand 30.5 games to 19.5 games, and the individual leader is Russell Honeybun from Western Australia on seven wins, a game clear of eight players all on six wins - Alastair Richards, Howard Warner, Esther Perrins, Patrick Carter, Ron Baginski, Bob Jackman, Daniel Piechnick and Lawson Sue - a very tight tussle indeed!

About lunchtime, on Saturday - 9 games to be played today! After Round 12 Australia leads New Zealand - 46.5 to 29.5, and in the individual event Russell Honeybun and Ron Baginski lead the field on 10 wins, but are under serious threat by the followers - Alastair Richards, Esther Perrins and Daniel Piechnick on nine wins each, with Lyres Freeth, Howard Warner and Tony Hunt on eight wins - watch your backs, Russ and Ron! And go, Team Australia!

The end of DAY TWO - 8 games to come tomorrow, 17 completed! The gap has widened somewhat between the rival countries, with the Australian team ahead of New Zealand 68 games to 42.
The individual comp sees the highest rated player filling top spot, namely Alastair Richards on 14 wins, followed by Ron Baginski on 13.5, Daniel Piechnick 13, Lyres Freeth 12.5, Russell Honeybun and Esther Perrins both on 12, Howard Warner and Bob Jackman on 11.5 and Trevor Tao on 11 wins. Expect some movin' and shakin' tomorrow, anything could happen!

Lyres Freeth and Alastair Richards
with their cups
The end of DAY THREE - the tournament is over, and Australia emerge the winners on 96 games to 64, well done to the Oz Team. In the individual standings Alastair Richards (Aus) has deservedly finished in first place on 20 wins in a closely fought finish - in second place, and just half a game behind was the rising star from New Zealand Lyres Freeth, who has collected many respected scalps along the way - I think this young lady will go a long way on the World Scrabble stage, as well as in New Zealand! Next four placegetters were Daniel Piechnick (Aus), Howard Warner (NZ), Esther Perrins and Trevor Tao, both Australian players. Well done to everyone, and well done to Barry Harridge in his role as Tournament Director, Webmaster, photographer and software programmer. To the best of my knowledge the tournament went without a hitch, so well done to Barry and the organising team from South Australia, including Oliver Jenner O'Shea and everyone working behind the scenes, all have done a great job, as always.
To view the full results of the 2016 Trans Tasman Challenge in the Australian National Archive click HERE

1: Alastair Richards, OZ - 20 wins,
margin +2090

2: Lyres Freeth, NZ - 19.5 wins,
margin +1487

3: Daniel Piechnick, OZ - 18 wins,
margin +1025

4: Howard Warner, NZ - 17.5 wins,
margin +1292

5: Esther Perrins, OZ - 17 wins,
margin +1037

6: Trevor Tao, Oz - 17 wins,
margin +626

7: Ron Baginski, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +258

8: Russell Honeybun, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +1060

9: Bob Jackman, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +338

10: Nick Cavenagh, NZ - 15 wins,
margin +185

Fundraising tourney to assist the McKinnon House residents have a holiday!

A great photo of the players and the helpers! Click the photo to enlarge...
Khwanjai Thammaping works with Fili and Joyce and the residents at McKinnon House, and all are planning an end-of-year trip to Phillip Island, so this fun tournament was Khwanjai's way of raising some funds to help them achieve their dream - apparently some have been speaking about this plan for up to ten years, so we hope that the assistance of our generous scrabble players goes some way to helping them get there! Thanks to you all. A stall and raffle helped swell the funds, and some of the residents visited after lunch for some social scrabble, and it was lovely to meet such strong and courageous people.
Lovely food was served throughout the day, including some of Khwanjai's great specialty dishes shared at lunchtime! The players were divided into three sections, and all sections were keenly contested - some highlights of the day included Geoff Wright winning all six of his games in Division A, Sandra Masel winning five to take out Division B, and John Metcalf also winning five to win Division C, his first win in any tournament. Well done, everyone!

Two of our visitors on the day, Eloise with
her mum Penny

Division C: John Metcalf, Eileen Mills,
and Marlene Ellis

Div B: Betty Egan, Siva Sivapalasundram,
Sandra Masel and Lorraine Thomas

Division A: Norma Fisher, Marj Miller, Julie
Belle, Mary McMahon and Geoff Wright
Division C saw John first, with Marlene Ellis in second place and Eileen Mills third. Both High Game and High Word went to Marlene Ellis who scored 553, and played PEACHING for 98.
Div B saw Sandra victorious, with Lorraine Thomas in second place followed by Siva Sivapalasundram third. Betty Egan scored 520 to win High Game, with Sandra Masel winning High Word (LEVERAGE for 122 points).
Place getters in Div A were Geoff first, Marj Miller second, Julie Belle third, and High Game was played by Norma Fisher (541) and the High Word went to Mary MacMahon (SHALIER, 103 points).
Notable ratings gains were achieved by Geoff Wright +36, Laura Khan +34, John Metcalf + 29, Marj Miller +26, Sandra Masel +24, Elize Plaganyi +23 and Eileen Mills +20. Laura and John continue to rise steadily up the ratings ladder - well done to all, and thank you to Khwanjai for organising such a pleasant day, we did appreciate it!

Organiser Khwanjai Thammaping chats with
her supervisor, Fili.

Friends Mark Reed and Marisa Nuccitelli
during their game

Julie Belle v Mary McMahon in front, with
Marj Miller & Norma Fisher at the next board

Marlene Ellis plays Eileen Mills, with
John Metcalf and Lorna Patching next door
To check the full results of the 2016 McKinnon House Fundraiser click HERE

The Matchplay Kickoff Tournament ~ July 17, 2016

Winners on the day - in front, Andrew Fisher & Khwanjai
Thammaping. Back: John Rider, Dianne Gibson,
Barry Harridge, Lynn Weaver, Noel Coulter, Trevor Halsall

Ratings Band Winners - Janet Bau, Rob York,
Paula Messer, Christie Godby
The Match Play kicked off in style on 17 July with our highest player attendance in 7 years!
48 players vied for 8 positions in the knock out stages, where all the finalists get cash prizes. In addition, there were non-cash prizes to hand out on the day - and we are very thankful for a donation of 3 boxes of chocolates by Lainie Mercieca to bring the prize total up to 17!
To the Scrabble, Andrew Fisher went through the Kick Off undefeated. Trevor Halsall took out the high game and high word with a 600+ game and a 9 timer (as was the case last year as well!). There were many records that came out of the event: Trevor's 622 is the 4th highest score in Australia this year to date. It featured two 9 timer plays (FOOTLERS and ALLOTTEE), something that is very rare in Scrabble tournaments! In that game, Norma Fisher scored 517, which is this year's (and all time) highest losing score. Their 1139 is the highest aggregate game score (and 2nd of all time in Australia).
The 8 who are proceeding to the knock out stages are (in position order on the day) Andrew Fisher, John Rider, Lynn Weaver, Trevor Halsall, Noel Coulter, Khwanjai Thammaping, Dianne Gibson and Barry Harridge. The knock out fixtures will be sorted shortly with a venue being sourced for the eventual final later in the year. Thank you to everyone for making it an absolutely wonderful day!
Many thanks, Nick

Tournament Organiser and Director, Nick
Ivanovski - thanks, Nick!

Players on the day, Lynn Weaver, Lorna
Patching & Laura Khan

Their game over, Angie Pearse and Anne
Menheere tidy up

Khwanjai Thammaping with her chocolates -
Khwanjai is running our next tournament!

An Amazing game - Trevor Halsall 622 plays
Norma Fisher 517 - Click photo to enlarge

Enjoying the tournament - Trish Magee,
Christiane McCann and Laura Khan

John Rider concentrates on his game against
Dominica Krstic

First plays second place, Andrew Fisher v
Trevor Halsall, as always a serious challenge
Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for the above report, and to Khwanjai Thammaping and Nick for the pics! To check the full results of the 2016 Matchplay Kickoff click HERE

Youth Fundraising Tournaments ~ Sunday June 26, 2016

Balada Catanchin v John van der Schoor,
Pranav Srivatsan v Oliver Podesser

Annette Casey plays Fay Boxshall, and
Rena Aitken plays Rebeccah Booth

Natasha Podesser plays Mary McMahon, and
Trevor Halsall plays Nick Ivanovski

Theme word prizes were given out, and Elize
Plaganyi won one of them!
Here is a report from co-tournament director, Carol Johnsen, thanks, Carol:
Another great effort for raising funds to assist our young players competing in interstate and international events. We raised $773 - with grateful thanks to Jack Miller for volunteering to do the kitchen and to Elaine Capewell for her scrumptious samosas. It was a good turnout for a winter's day in Melbourne - 48 players competed in the 7-game tournament and 8 players competed in the concurrent 4-game tournament held in the afternoon. The 4-game tournament is an innovation in an attempt to (a) lure back players who are no longer able to do the full day; or have commitments in the morning; and (b) to lure "newbies" onto the tournament scene.
Nick Ivanovski has done a wonderful job of putting it out there on Facebook about our tournaments. However, there were no novice players on the day. But the tournament was successful and seemed to work in well with the 7-game event.

Winners of Division A - Trevor Halsall, Nick
Ivanovski and Gwen Lampre

Division B Winners - Paula Messer, Rob York,
John Rider, Cheryle Jerram

Division C's Clever Players - Liz McKean
and Marisa Nuccitelli

Winners in the afternoon Tournament -
Dianne Gibson and Rod Casey
No-one scored 7 wins on the day which goes to show the excellent competition we have in Victoria. Trevor Halsall triumphed in A Section with an outstanding margin - 640 points in front of the 2nd place-getter - shows how important it is to keep fighting for those extra points. Trevor also scored 212 for IRIDIZED (record High Word for 2016 is 248 for SILOXANE held by David Vanzyl from W.A., played at the 2016 National Champs). Congrats to John Rider and Marlene Ellis, respective winners of B & C Sections - both with 6 wins; and to Rod Casey, winner of the 4-game tournament with 4 wins. Other High Words for the day were played by Paula Messer - PENALISE for 149 points in Div B, and Marisa Nuccitelli played INQUEST for 120 points in Division C. In the afternoon event Dianne Gibson played TURTLES for 94 points, the best of the eight players for the day.
To check the full results of the two Fundraisers click HERE (A) and HERE (B)

Victoria's Player with the Highest Rating Gain over 2015-2016 is John Metcalf!

John Metcalf with his award, with
President Carol Johnsen

The traditional award, a handcrafted map of Victoria,
carved by Trevor Barraclough.
This accolade is awarded annually to the Victorian player who has gained the most ratings points over the calendar year from the beginning of June to the end of May each year, and players must have been included in the National Ratings system for the whole 12 month period to qualify for this award.
This year's winner is John Metcalf, who improved his rating from 500 to 819, a whopping gain of 319 points, well done, John, this is a great achievement indeed.
Next in line, of those who qualified, was Rob York with a gain of 172, followed by Mythili Rudra +153, Trevor Halsall +147, Mal Eden +146, Elizabeth McKean +145 and Patrick Morgan +135.
Well done to you all, and to see the full details of the High Ratings Gains and also Tournament Attendance, click

Andrew Fisher is the 2016 Victorian Scrabble Champion!

Our new Victorian Champion, Andrew Fisher,
from Victoria, Australia!

The happy winners: Nick Ivanovski, Ayorinde Saidu, Joanne Craig, Esther Perrins, Mohammed Hegazi, Paula Messer, Andrew Fisher
After three tough days of Scrabble® and 24 hard-fought games, Andrew Fisher became the Vic Champ for the fourth time - congratulations, Andrew, another great win!
The field comprised 36 keen players and a considered decision was made to have two resets to ensure the best possible contest, and this meant that some players played each other three times, leading to some great rivalries.
Carol Johnsen welcomed Ayo from Nigeria (see below), Lois Binnie back for a visit from her home in New Zealand, Kevin Meng who is listed as an overseas player but has been studying in Melbourne, and several interstate players - five from New South Wales, four from Queensland, two from South Australia, and one from Tasmania. Thank you all for your support, as always it was great to catch up!
Going in to the last round Andrew and Esther Perrins were a game clear of Ayorinde Saidu, so winning the last game would decide the winner - Ayorinde's superior margin would have seen him declared the winner if both Andrew and Esther had lost, but as it unfolded Andrew won his final game to ensure the win, whilst Ayorinde also won, and Esther lost to her fellow New South Wales player Joanne Craig.

Nick Ivanovski plays Andrew Fisher

Lois Binnie versus Ayorinde Saidu

Alan Burn plays Esther Perrins

Joanne Craig, nearing endgame
Andrew won 19 of the 24 games played, losing to Esther Perrins twice, Ayorinde Saidu, Carmel Dodd and Nick Ivanovski, the latter loss coming after a run of nine wins from Game 14-22.
Ayorinde Saidu was a welcome visitor from Nigeria and enjoyed his tournament, placing second behind Andrew and losing only to Andrew twice, Esther Perrins, Carmel Dodd, Chris Scholten and Norma Fisher. Well played, Ayo!
Esther Perrins filled third place, and had a good chance of becoming the Champion with strong play throughout the event, losing to Ayorinde twice, Gwen Lampre, good friend Joanne Craig twice, and Andrew Fisher. Well done Esther!
Victoria hasn't had a female Champ since 1988, but I'm sure it will happen soon! To check out the previous winners click here
Prizes were given down to fifth place, and fourth place was filled by a happy Nick Ivanovski, followed by Joanne Craig in fifth spot. Well done to you both! Ayorinde Saidu had a wonderful score in Game 15, winning the High Game Award with a grand total of 623. This overtook Norma Fisher's High Game score of 608, which had stood for almost two days! The High Word Award was won by Mohammed Hegazi, who played UNVARIED for 158 points early on the first day, and this stood for the remainder of the tournament. The award for the High Rating Gain over the three days was won by Paula Messer, who gained 75 points - well done, Ayo, Mohammed and Paula!

Norma Fisher, Roberta Tait and
Rhys McGuckin

Khwanjai Thammaping plays Elizabeth

Siva Sivapalasundram plays Sandra Masel,
Jane Taylor plays Rob York

Players enjoying Khwanjai's yummy
treats at lunchtime on Monday
Carol Johnsen did a great job as Tournament Director, keeping everything moving along smoothly, and everyone was very well fed by our caterer Julie Belle - thanks Julie, your efforts were greatly appreciated. Also thank you to Barry Harridge who stood by as the spare player for the event - Barry managed to get a fair amount of computer work done, but as there was neither illness amongst the players, nor dummy-spits, he didn't play any games - thanks, Barry! Thanks also to all who helped in many ways, including sixth-placed Norma Fisher who quietly helps so much in so many areas.
We trust that all who attended enjoyed their time with us, and to check the full results of the 2016 Championship in the National Archives click HERE

The Annual Queen's Birthday Tournament, June 13, 2016

Forty-six keen players turned up on the Queen's Birthday holiday to contest this annual event, divided into two sections and playing six games. We welcomed new player Carol Rollmann to her first tournament, and Carol enjoyed her day, winning two games and meeting many new people. It was good to see Jimmy Scarff playing after a break, and Rene and Jeff Chelton visited from New South Wales to take part - lovely to see you, Cheltons! Amy again did a very capable job on computer duty, thanks Amy, and thanks to all who helped with the organisation, and of course thanks to Julie Belle for the lovely food.

Cheryle Jerram receives her first prize from
President Carol Johnsen

Harper with his mum Gabrielle Pestinger,
worthy winner of Division B

Our new player on the day, Carol Rollmann,
a member of the Rosanna Scrabble Club

Norma Engel, seen at left with Marj Miller,
enjoyed her day in Division B, placing third
Division A saw a fine performance from Cheryle Jerram, who won five games and finished ahead on margin from Dianne Davis and Katie Rowe, both on five wins. Cheryle also collected the High Game award for her great score of 481, and originally Lainie Mercieca played RERENTED for 122 points, well done, Lainie - Dianne Davis later confirmed that she had played QUAILED for 123 points, so Dianne will receive her award at a later date.
In Division B Gabrielle Pestinger played great Scrabble to place first, winning five games and finishing ahead on margin from Ann Goodwin and Norma Engel, well played everyone. This was Gabrielle's first big win, and no-one was more pleased for her than son Harper.....except perhaps Gabrielle herself! Balada Catanchin recorded 479 points to take out the High Game award, and Gayle Cameron's lovely play of ZIPPERS for 109 points won her the High Word award.

Christie Godby and Rob York, packing up
at the end of the day

Jimmy Scarff plays Rene Chelton from New
South Wales, with Lorraine Thomas

Some of our loyal Victorians - Trish,
Christiane, Lynne, Eileen, Laura, Elize

Trish Magee in the amazing jacket, lent to
Khwanjai by Pat Schuberg from New South Wales!
Excellent ratings gains were achieved by Katie Rowe +44, Cheryle Jerram +41, Gabrielle Pestinger +41, Nicole Lowe +38, and Rena Aitken +36.
Congratulations to you all,and thank you for the spirit in which you played your games, I thought it was a very pleasant tournament indeed!

Khwanjai in the scrabble coat,
with Dominica Krstic

Anne Menheere, Lina Camilleri,
Norma Engel, Marjorie Clark

Dorothy Hunt plays Chelaka

Friends from the Greensborough/Watsonia
Clubs, Marisa Nuccitelli & Angie Winkler

To check the full results of the 2016 Queen's Birthday Tournament click HERE

Go to the top

The Cranbourne Tournament ~ May 22, 2016

Game 2 about to start - thanks to Nick Ivanovski for some of the pics.
Many thanks to Tournament Director Katie Rowe for the following report, it is appreciated!

Despite a number of players ringing to cancel in the early morning, we still managed a field of 56 for the Cranbourne tournament on Sunday 22 May, and it began in good time which was a great start for the day. We were pleased to welcome Richard Birch of ATB fame from New South Wales, and John Hamilton from the ACT.
Cranbourne Club members outdid themselves as usual with some great snacks throughout the day, organised by Elaine Capewell who also played as the standby player.
My heartfelt thanks to Marj Miller and Barry Harridge for help with the computers. I learned some new tricks with the program which I hope to remember for next year. Throughout the day there were spot prizes for words related to SPACE, MUSIC, the MILITARY and TRANSPORT which attracted some rather unusual words.

Great Recreation winners: Balada
Catanchin, Elize Plaganyi, Liz McKean

Best in Inter: Glen Chandler, Dominica Krstic, Dorothy Rice, Paula Messer

Brilliance in Advanced: June Valentine, Alan Burn, Dianne Gibson

Magical Masters: John Hamilton, Gwen
Lampre, Nick Ivanovski, Norma Fisher
Recreation Section was won by Laura Khan with 6 wins and a margin of 342. Laura played her 51st game today so is no longer Provisional, and is going to go far with these sorts of results. Close behind was Liz McKean in 2nd place and Elize Plaganyi 3rd. Trish Magee had a cracker of a game to take the High Game prize with 462 points, and Balada Catanchin played STANZAS for 103 to win High Word.
In Intermediate Dorothy Barraclough won 5 games with a margin of 258 to take out 1st place, Dominica Krstic came in 2nd, also with 5 games, and Glen Chandler won 5 games to come in at 3rd. Dorothy Rice's High Game prize was awarded for a score of 486, and Paula Messer played the odd word DUNNIER for 95 to win the High Word prize.
Advanced: Dianne Gibson had a great day with 6 wins and a margin of 333 to win in the Advanced Section, and she also took home the High Word prize for FAIRIES (89). Alan Burn was just behind on 5 games and a 357 margin, and High Game of 514, with June Valentine's 5 games and 99 margin taking out 3rd place.
In Masters Norma Fisher flashed into 1st place in the last game, winning 6 of her 7 games with an impressive margin of 380. Gwen Lampre was a close 2nd, only the margin separating the top two. Gwen won 6 games and her margin was 235. Our Canberra visitor, John Hamilton, won 5 games and took out 3rd place, as well as the High Word award for ENTWINES 158. Nick Ivanoski delighted his little son Oscar when he played the High Game for a massive 590.

Future stars! Gabrielle Pestinger plays
John Metcalf, under close scrutiny!

Lovely plays: John Hamilton's High Word
ENTWINES Click photo to enlarge

Mum and Daughter Rena Aitken and
Jenny Brysha, with Geoff Wright

Visiting from NSW, Richard Birch, Editor
of our Scrabble Mag, the ATB
Thanks to Katie Rowe, Elaine Capewell and all the Cranbourne members for their efforts in organising a lovely tournament, it was appreciated by all who attended! The Club meets on Wednesday evenings at 7.00 pm at the Cranbourne Community House, 49 Valepark Crescent, Cranbourne, and the members would love to make you welcome......
To check the full individual results of the Cranbourne Tournament click HERE

LANGWARRIN CLUB NEWS - a fun night of Scrabble!

From left: Krina Clark, Alan Burn, Katie Rowe, Pat Judd,
Shirley Walker, Brigid Murphy, Peter Attwood.
As a departure from our normal club nights we had a Challenge on Tuesday May 10th when two teams of seven players competed, with Alan Burn's Aces versus Elaine Capewell's Experts.
Each player played three games. Teams were evenly matched based on ASPA(Vic) and our own club ratings, and the result proved just that, as the last match was the decider! At the end of the night Alan's Aces won with 11 games to 10 against Elaine's Experts, well done Aces!
The High Game was won by Dorothy Rice [450], and High Word went to Peter Attwood with "Seating" [92]. A very popular night!

Thank you to legendary Langwarrin member Geoff Gittus for this report, and to the Club Convenor Mardi Healy for the photo, all news is appreciated! If you'd like to join the Langwarrin Club players for some fun Scrabble don't hesitate to turn up at the Langwarrin Community Centre, corner Warrandyte and Lang Roads, at 7pm on any Tuesday - you will be made very welcome indeed!

Ozzies at the Malta International Scrabble Open (MISO), May 2016!

Nicky Vella-Laurenti presents Carol Johnsen with
her prize - Division A Rating Rank: 1st

Nicky Vella-Laurenti, President,
with Champion David Webb
Seven keen Australians travelled to Malta to compete in the three tournaments available, which included an Early Bird event, and two three day events....Division A (The Championship), and Division B. Top placings in the Championship were filled by David Webb from England and Evan Cohen from Israel with local David Delicata placing third.
The six who played in the Championship were Carol Johnsen 4th (great result, Carol!), Paul Richards 13th, Karen Richards 18th, John Barker 19th, Heather Long 25th and Angie Pearse 28th. Peter Bauer represented Oz in B, and placed an excellent eighth with 14 wins - well done, everyone!
To visit the very informative MISO website click HERE

The Annual Nunawading Tournament, April 24 2016

(Thank you to the Nunawading Club Convenor Cheryle Jerram for writing this report!)
The Nunawading Club was delighted to welcome 74 players to our tournament, including Melburnian Mark Reed who was experiencing his first tournament, and visitors Ruth MacInerney from England and Dorothy Fields from Wollongong in New South Wales. Amy Hutchinson made her efficient debut as the computer operator, thanks and well done, Amy.

New player on the day, Mark Reed from the
Watsonia Club, who also plays online

Computer Operator Amy Hutchinson, who
is quickly learning on the job! Thanks, Amy.

Visiting from England, Ruth MacInerney who
placed sixth in Masters

Dorothy Fields enjoyed her day in Melbourne,
playing in Recreation
It was particularly encouraging to have a large number of Recreation players who will in time rise through the ranks. Delicious food, much of it homemade, was provided by Elaine Capewell and by Nunawading members, Geoff Shepheard and June Valentine. Special thanks are in order to our Tournament Director, Marj Miller, and to the other two stalwarts of the Scrabble community, Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher, who arrived at the crack of dawn to set up play.

Masters: Frank Csarics (2), Natasha
Podesser (3) and Nick Ivanovski (1)

Advanced: Jenny Brysha (2), Dianne Davis
(1), Rod Casey HW, Kris Howat HG & HW

Happy Intermediate winners - Julie Alliston
(1), Oliver Podesser (2), Glenys Dettmann (3)

Recreation: Christie Godby (1), Gabrielle
Pestinger (2), Ann Goodwin (3)
Two of our newer players did very well indeed with Christie Godby coming 1st and Gabrielle Pestinger coming 2nd in Recreation. Julie Alliston, another relatively new player, placed 1st in Intermediate, and Dianne Davis won a spectacular 7 straight games in Advanced; Kris Howat and Rod Casey, both in Advanced, had the best 'High Words' for the day with 140 for SANDIEST and RATIONED respectively; and Nick Ivanovski continued on his winning way in Masters. Highest game score for the day was achieved by Dorothy Barraclough, a lovely score of 522 points.
Thank you to you all for coming, and we'd love to see you at the regular Nunawading Club meetings, Tuesday nights at 7.00 pm at the Mitcham Senior Citizens' Centre, 16 Station Street, Mitcham - all welcome!
To see the full individual results of the Nunawading Tournament click HERE

The 2016 Tristate Challenge at Tumut, New South Wales ~ April 16/17

The bus travellers from Victoria.....
The picturesque Tumut Golf Club was once again the venue for this annual challenge where 42 players from New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria vied for the perpetual trophy, a rotating scrabble board………NSW emerged the victors on 56.84 winning percentage, with the ACT placing second on 52.86, and Victoria following on 41.1……well done to our adversaries!
Bob Jackman, John Hamilton and Carol Johnsen acted as joint TDs and the 10 games ran smoothly. Thanks are due to John for working out and keeping a running tally of the percentage wins for each state.
The individual winner on 9 games was Joanne Craig followed closely by Bob Jackman (8) and Rocky Sharma (7), all from NSW. The best performing Victorian was Carol Johnsen on 7 wins, coming 4th. The High Game and High Word Awards were both won by Pat Schuberg (NSW) for her score of 569, and play of SIZZLER for 124 points.
It was great to see Christie Godby from Melbourne once again play in the Challenge and we hope that she will be able to play in more Melbourne tournaments. Christie's mum lives in Tumut and it is a great opportunity for her to see her daughter and grandchildren.

The happy winners: Joanne Craig, Rocky
Sharma, Pat Schuberg & Bob Jackman

Dining at the local R.S.L on Friday evening,
mostly Victorians!

The Tournament Directors: Bob Jackman (NSW),
John Hamilton (ACT), Carol Johnsen (Vic)
Regardless of the outcome of the tourney we all had a great time in beautiful Tumut with the weather being kind, the venue being spacious, and the surrounding golf course (with kangaroos) something to see.
Arie Holla and his wife Diana relate how after they had attended the Challenge in 2015 they did not leave Tumut until they had checked out the local housing market. They now live permanently in Tumut and are loving it!
Thanks are owed to the Tumut Scrabble Club members for providing the lovely morning and afternoon teas, to Glenys Dettmann who supplied the great photos, and to Bob Jackman who ably oversaw a concurrent club tournament for ten members of the Tumut Club, enjoyed by all.
The Victorians who travelled by a rented bus are grateful to co-drivers, Nicole Lowe and Rob York, who did a fantastic job of getting us there and back and shuttling us between Tumut township and the golf course.
We look forward to visiting Tumut again next year!
To see the full individual results of the Challenge click HERE

Play in progress, with (L. to R.) Mal Eden,
Anne Schick, Carol Johnsen & Liz Jackman

Two of our Victorians who travelled to Tumut,
Carole Eden and Angie Pearse

The Vic bus, with trusty drivers Rob York
and Nicole Lowe - well done to you both!
Go to the top

Victoria's Trevor Halsall is the 2016 Australian Scrabble Champion!
And South Australia's Larrie Strautmanis wins the Plate!

The Champion, Trevor Halsall -
his previous victory was in 1994!

The Plate winner, Larrie Strautmanis!
A great performance indeed

In charge! Tournament Directors
Wilma Vialle and Barry Harridge

Daniel Piechnick & Andrew Fisher with
Oliver Jenner-O'Shea using Quackle
DAY ONE: Jane Taylor, the President of the South Australian Scrabble Association, welcomed the large field of players to Wyatt Hall at Pulteney Grammar School on South Terrace in Adelaide - eighty are playing in the Championship, and seventy-four are contesting the Plate. The timely arrival of many players had been threatened by industrial strikes at Australian airports, but it appears that all arrived safely and in good time!
The Tournament Directors are Wilma Vialle and Barry Harridge, who is also the webmaster, and others are involved in publicising the event, particularly Nick Ivanovski and Oliver Jenner-O'Shea. Well done everyone.

Day One in the spacious hall at Pulteney
Grammar School
Click to enlarge

David Vanzyl's high word,
Click to enlarge
Highlight of the first round in the Championship was the game between David Vanzyl (Western Australia) and Cheah Siu Hean (Singapore), which David won 534-462, great scores indeed. The real highlight of the game was David Vanzyl's play of SILOXANE for 248 points, which will possibly stand as the high word score for the entire event.
Various players lead the Championship during the day, including Louise Love, Russell Honeybun, Barry Jordan, Daniel Piechnick, Cameron Farlow and Andrew Fisher, but at the end of the day Ryan Sutton from New South Wales was the leader from Daniel, Andrew, and Michael Tang from Singapore, with all four on seven wins.
In the Plate the changing leaders were Jeanette Hansen, John Rider, Margaret Gibson, Marion Merickel and Yvonne Edwards, with Betty Foreman in first place at the end of the day, followed by Yvonne Edwards and Larrie Strautmanis, with all three on 7 wins. Day Two will be interesting!

DAY TWO - Easter Sunday
At the end of the day Trevor Halsall from Victoria lead the Championship by one game over Daniel Piechnick from South Australia, with Andrew Fisher a further 1/2 game behind. Daniel is in an excellent position with a far superior margin, so it will be a challenging final day.
In the Plate local South Australian Larrie Strautmanis is 1.5 games clear of Marion Merickel from Tasmania, with Dorothy Barraclough from Victoria a further 1/2 game in arrears. Good luck to all!
Here are some Day Two pics, thanks to Nick Ivanovski, Khwanjai Thammaping and Barry Harridge for the photos.

Trevor Halsall v Nick Ivanovski Rd 16

Plate Leader, Larrie Strautmanis

Victoria's Gabrielle Pestinger

Happy Marisa Nuccitelli

Heather Long, concentrating

Glen Chandler & Paula Messer, at
the Victorian meeting table!

Working hard - Julie Belle

Dianne Gibson, delighted!

In the Championship Trevor Halsall had lead the field from Round 13, and in the first game of Day 3 managed a pivotal win over Rocky Sharma from New South Wales, winning by just one point. Various players threatened Trevor's lead throughout the day, particularly Daniel Piechnick from South Australia and Alastair Richards from Queensland, with Andrew Fisher from Victoria nearby.
At the start of Round 23 Trevor was just a game clear of Alastair, but the outcome of several games saw Trevor relax with a 1.5 game lead over the field going into Round 24. With a win in this round Trevor maintained his 1.5 game margin to win the event with 19 wins, well done Trevor! Final eight placings were Trevor Halsall (Victoria) 1st, Andrew Fisher (Victoria) 2nd, Ayorinde Saidu (Nigeria) 3rd, Alastair Richards (Queensland) 4th, Peter Kougi (Victoria) 5th, Esther Perrins (New South Wales) 6th, Daniel Piechnick (South Australia) 7th, and Nick Ivanovski (Victoria) 8th.

The Winners: Peter Kougi, Jyoti Chandna, Trevor Halsall, Oscar with dad Nick Ivanovski,
Ayorinde Saidu, Daniel Piechnick, Andrew Fisher and Esther Perrins.

Victoria was well represented, with 34 travelling to compete.
Well done, Vics!

Trevor relaxes after Round
23 - what a relief!

Fellow Victorian Andrew
Fisher, close behind!

Ayorinde Saidu from Nigeria,
third in a very tough field

Edie Mueller, winner of the
High Game Award

David Vanzyl with his High
Word Award

Jyoti Chandna, winner High
Rating Gain Award

Western Australia's Edie Mueller played a stellar game against Martin Rose from Tasmania, scoring 612 to win the High Game prize. David Vanzyl's High Word play of SILOXANE for 248 points stood the test of time and earned David the High Game Award. The award for the Highest Rating Gain in the Championship went to Jyoti Chandna from New South Wales for a gain of 105 points, just beating Trevor's rating gain of 101. Well done everyone, what great results for you all.


Carmel Dodd, part of the organising Committee,
with the Plate Champion, Larrie Strautmanis

Victoria's Dorothy Barraclough with her
awards for second place and High Game
Larrie Strautmanis from South Australia lead this event from Round 15, with her main threat coming from Dorothy Barraclough, from Victoria....these two placed first and second respectively, with Larrie on 18 wins, a game clear of Dorothy on 17 wins. Congratulations, Larrie, a great result for you! Third to eighth places were filled by Caroline Scowcroft (Australian Capital Territory), Margaret Gibson (South Australia), Dianne Gibson (Victoria), Peter Bauer (Victoria), Rhys McGuckin (Queensland) and John Rider (Victoria). The High Game Award went to Lyndee Hill from South Australia for her score of 560, and Dorothy Barraclough's play of SPELLING for 149 points earned her the High Word award. The High Rating Gain prize also went to Dorothy for her amazing gain of 158 points, just ahead of Larrie who picked up 145 points. Congrats to all who won prizes, and well done to all who took part in both events.
Feedback re the event has been very positive, and players thank the South Australian Committee and helpers for their excellent running of these challenging tournaments, well done everyone!

To find links to many annotated games, see photos of the players from each State and details of the Dream Team click HERE

And to see the full results of both tournaments click HERE

The National Championship & Plate ~ March 26-28 ~ in Adelaide, South Australia

Wyatt Hall, the scene of the action!
There are fifteen Victorians competing in the Championship this year, including the defending Champ Peter Kougi and highly rated fellow players Andrew Fisher and Trevor Halsall, and we wish all participants the best of luck! Missing from the field this year are Victorians and previous champions David Eldar and Naween Fernando, you will both be missed. Also competing are six players from overseas, we hope you enjoy the tournament!
Nineteen Vics are travelling to take part in the Plate, good luck to all, and enjoy! This number includes four of our junior players - to see more about their exploits click HERE

To follow all the action (our thanks to Barry Harridge), click HERE

Go to the top


The Langwarrin members ~ Gayle, Krina, Mardi,
Elaine, Alan, Geoff, Gwen, Chris, Carol, Dot.
Front: Shirley, Pam.

The Centre has been revamped,
and Janet Matthews and Heather
Iapozzuto enjoyed the vibes

Lunch! Fay Boxshall, Shirley Walker,
Laura Khan, Latha Weerakkody,
Lynne Goodinson, Christiane McCann

Julie Belle and Angie Pearse
relax in the newly fresh and
pleasant foyer
Thanks to Mardi Healy from the Langwarrin Club for this report!
It was our pleasure to welcome 47 Scrabble Victoria players, and Marg Harris-Walker from NSW to Langwarrin to play in our 16th tournament. We also welcomed novice player Alan Burn. Throughout the day, so many people came up to tell me how much fun they were having, and what a smooth and relaxed tournament it was. Of course that can only happen with a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Thanks so much to Geoff Gittus for all of his advice and preparation, and for helping set up the day before. Thanks to him nothing was forgotten. A huge thankyou to Gayle Cameron, Chris Radin and Krina Clark for looking after entries, and the financial side of things.
Thanks to all club members for bringing along such delicious food, and to Gayle and Pam for making sure the water was hot, and a variety of yummy goodies were available after every round of scrabble. All that thinking definitely requires brain food. Carol Johnsen did such a wonderful job coordinating matches and results, as well as keeping the technical side of things well and truly under control.

Happy Essendon Club players - Lina
Camilleri, Rob York, Norma Engel

Its always good to see these two!
Sylvia Galloway and Alistair Kane

Langwarrin folk...Geoff Gittus,
Mardi Healy and Alan Burn

Ann Goodwin, Betty Egan, Di Gibson,
Balada Catanchin, Marisa Nuccitelli
SECTION D: 1st Alan Burn, 2nd Trish Magee, 3rd Patrick Morgan. High Game Alan Burn 553, and High Word Alan Burn 100 for JANGLES. Congratulations to Alan, who only recently joined our Langwarrin club. This was his first tournament, and it was exciting to see him do so well. Watch out for him next time....
SECTION C: 1st Julie Alliston, 2nd Latha Weerakkody, 3rd Janet Matthews. High Game Ann Goodwin 497, and High Word Julie Alliston, SONATAS for 84.
SECTION B: 1st Sylvia Galloway, 2nd Noel Coulter, 3rd Mardi Healy. High Game Noel Coulter 496, and High Word Dorothy Rice with FRESHENS for 101. (I know it is bad manners to say this - but YAY Langwarrin, great to see 2 of our players do well in this section!)
SECTION A: 1st Alistair Kane, 2nd Angie Pearse, 3rd Elaine Capewell. High Game Norma Fisher 539, and High Word Norma Fisher with a spectacular 212 for SLEAZING. Well done, everyone!
We hope you all come along again next year and have just as much fun!

To see the detailed results of the Langwarrin Tournament click HERE

Happy Div D winners.....Patrick Morgan
and Alan Burn - wow! Well done to you
both, a good day out!

Clever Div C people! Ann Goodwin,
Latha Weerakkody, Janet Matthews,
Julie Alliston

The Brains of B Division! Noel
Coulter, Sylvia Galloway, Dorothy
Rice and Mardi Healy.

Div A - Alistair aced it...Alistair
Kane, Norma Fisher, Angie Pearse,
and Elaine Capewell