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~ News Archive 2015 ~

The 2015 Decathon Tournament - December 28 - the last for this year!


Division B in action - Lorraine Thomas
plays Rod Casey early in the day

Division C players - Balada Catanchin
and Liz McKean facing the camera
Decathon this year attracted a fine field of 64, and we welcomed several players from interstate - John Hamilton from the Australian Capital Territory, Hailey and Ryan Sutton from New South Wales, and four from Queensland - Karen, Paul and Alastair Richards, and Liz Blanch who enjoyed her day, but was sad that her Victorian opponents didn't let her win more games! Such is the competitive nature of tournaments......we were also pleased to see David Eldar on a visit home from England, and he is still playing fine scrabble! Our two new players on the day both enjoyed their tournament/s - Trish Magee has played at the Golden Age Club in Waverley for some time, and Minuki had played in the WYSC in Perth, but was yet to establish an Australian rating. Well done to you both, I hope you'll continue to enjoy our tournaments.
Nick Ivanovski donated a prize for a theme word, namely the book written by well-known British Scrabble player Craig Beevers and titled "Word Addict". The theme was "New Year", and Nicole Lowe played "New" to collect the prize. Second prize of a calendar went to Naween Fernando for his fun play of "Fun"......
A Lagged Draw has been used quite extensively in other parts of Australia, but rarely in Victoria, and it certainly moved this 10 game event along more quickly than in other years....players had 22 minutes each to make their moves, and most avoided time penalties, although not all....

Division A Winner,
Alastair Richards

Trish Magee, new player
on the day.

Our other new player,
Minuki enjoyed her day!

Naween Fernando plays
John Hamilton

Computer operator Lainie
Mercieca with helper Oscar
Division C saw 20 players doing battle, and at the end of the day Lynne Goodinson had won 8 games to win her section, well done, Lynne! Its good to see you back and playing well. Second place went to Ann Goodwin on 7 wins, and third was Norma Engel, winning 6. Lynne also took home the High Game Award for her score of 473, and the High Word Award was won by Rena Aitken for her lovely play of QUIETEN for 111 points.
In Division B Lorraine Thomas proved too strong for the opposition, winning nine games and amassing a fine margin. Her only loss was in Game 9 to Kris Howat, well played to you both. Second behind Lorraine was Rod Casey on 7 wins (thanks for doing the Standby Player's job, Rod) and Hailey Sutton from NSW placed third to take 37 ratings points back to her home state....well done, Hailey. Cheryle Jerram scored 535 to win the High Game Award, and Janet Bau found GLITZIER for 114 points to win the High Word prize.
Division A saw Alastair Richards triumph in a strong field featuring the three top-rated players in Australia at the moment, and the competition was fierce....Alastair won 9, followed by David Eldar on 8, and Naween Fernando on 7. Alastair's only loss was to David, David's losses were to Heather Long and Naween, and Naween lost to Karen Richards, as well as the rapidly improving Ryan Sutton, and Alastair.....its a strange game indeed. The High Game award went to Carol Johnsen for a great score of 559, and Norma Fisher kept improving on her own High Word Score to finish with the prize for her play of SPOUTIER for 140. Well done, all.

The Division C Clever Clogs!
Lynne Goodinson, Rena Aitken,
Norma Engel & Ann Goodwin

Division B's Brilliant people!
Janet Bau, Rod Casey, Hailey Sutton,
Lorraine Thomas & Cheryle Jerram

The Division A Achievers!
Carol Johnsen, David Eldar, Norma
Fisher & Naween Fernando

Theme word winner Nicole
Lowe with her prize "Word
Addict" by Craig Beevers

Great ratings gains for the day were achieved by Lorraine Thomas +74, Gwen Lampre +70, Angie Winkler +45, Lynne Goodinson +44, Hailey Sutton +37, Glenys Dettmann +36, Alastair Richards +30, John Hamilton +30, and Dorothy Hunt +30. Well done, everyone! Thank you to all who helped make the day a success, including Liz McKean who baked cookies, Lainie Mercieca who manned the laptop all day, and our very helpful people who regularly help us set up and tidy up, as always all help is greatly appreciated!
Happy New Year to all, and Happy Scrabbling in 2016!

VICTORIAN CLUB CLOSURE AND REOPENING DATES OVER THE HOLIDAY PERIOD

CLUB BREAKUP DATE RETURN DATE 2016
Ballarat Tuesday December 15 Tuesday January 19
Balwyn Monday December 21 Monday January 11
Box Hill
Cranbourne
Essendon Tuesday December 8 Tuesday February 2
FaNS NO BREAK
Frankston Wednesday December 9 Wed January 13, if temperature less than 30 degrees
Frankston Nth
Geelong Saturday January 16
Golden Age Wednesday December 16 Wednesday January 13
Gormandale
Greensborough Tuesday December 15 Tuesday January 5
Horsham
Langwarrin Tuesday December 1 Tuesday February 2
Mt Martha Tuesday December 15 Tuesday January 12
Nunawading Tuesday December 22. Breakup
dinner at 6pm at the Mitcham Hotel
Tuesday January 12
Paynesville
Queenscliff
Rosanna Thursday December 10 Thursday January 14
Stawell
Watsonia Wednesday December 16 Wednesday January 20
Welshpool
Wodonga Thursday December 17 Thursday February 4

The Frankston Tournament ~ December 6, 2015

48 players took part in this event, playing in four sections, and there was some confusion with the results at the end of the day. Any discrepancies have been adjusted, and the corrected file has been forwarded to the National Ratings Officer. Tournament Organiser Ray Alford will ensure that all prizewinners receive their correct prizes.

Masters:
Winner, Harry Malcolm
who did extremely well.

Second in Masters,
Geoff Wright, who had
a good day's scrabble

Advanced: Dianne Gibson, Rod
Casey, Glen Chandler, Paula Messer,
Marj Miller

Intermediate:
Mal Eden, Rob York, John Parker,
Julie Alliston

Recreation: Mohammed Hegazi,
Norma Engel, Glenys Dettmann,
Patrick Morgan
In MASTERS Harry Malcolm emerged the winner, with five wins from the seven games played. Geoff Wright placed second on four wins, and third place went to Angie Pearse, also on four wins. Due to a mix-up third prize was presented to Norma Fisher, but this will be rectified with Norma passing her prize on to Angie at the first opportunity. Geoff scored 528 to win the High Game award, and Harry took out the High Word award with his play of BEAUTIES for 140 points.
ADVANCED was a tight tussle with the top place-getters separated only by margin, and all on five wins. Dianne Gibson had a lovely day out, placing first, with a delighted Paula Messer in second place, followed by Rod Casey third. The High Game Award was won by Marj Miller for a score of 482, and Glen Chandler played PRAYERS for 98 to win the High Word prize. Both Paula and Glen were playing a section higher than that in which they were rated, so a good effort from both.
INTERMEDIATE saw an excellent effort from Mal Eden who won six games and gained sufficient rating points to again be rated in Advanced, with John Parker and Rob York placing second and third respectively, both on five wins. The High Game award was won by John for a score of 498, and the High Word award went to Julie Alliston for her play of ZOOMS for 98. Well done, Mal and everyone.
RECREATION was the largest section, and Mohammed Hegazi played well to win six games and place first. Norma Engel and Glenys Dettmann both won five to take out second and third prizes, well done to all. The High Game award was won by Lynne Goodinson for her score of 459, and the High Word award went to Patrick Morgan for his excellent find of WRINKLY for 104.
Excellent ratings gains were achieved by several players - Paula Messer +41, Angie Winkler +40, Jenny Brysha +36, Mohammed Hegazi +35 and Mal Eden +33. Well done to all who played well, and commiserations to those whose day was not quite so rewarding!

The A.G.M. Tournament, November 22nd, 2015


Julie Alliston, our new player
who did extremely well.

Our other new player, Christine
McCann, well done, Chris.

Mary Morgan, our visitor from
Ireland, we enjoyed her visit!

Lainie Mercieca v Geoff Wright,
a tough match in Masters

A challenge in Intermediate -
Mardi Healy plays Betty Egan
Sixty-two keen players arrived in good time to play in this 6 game event, and we welcomed Mary Morgan from Ireland - Mary played the auxiliary tourneys in Perth and followed up with a visit to Melbourne, and will next play in Sydney. It was lovely to have you visit, Mary! We also welcomed two new players who thoroughly enjoyed their first tournament experience - Julie Alliston arrived with husband Patrick Morgan and had a great day, winning Recreation and achieving an excellent provisional rating. Well done, Julie! Christine McCann also had a good day, but sadly have to leave early, before the last game - Chris has assured me she'll be back, and we look forward to seeing you both again soon, Chris and Julie.
The Annual General Meeting of the Victorian branch of the Australian Scrabble Players Association took place after Game Four, and Barry Harridge stepped down from the Committee, with his place being filled by Nick Ivanovski. Thanks for your time on the Committee, Barry, and welcome to you, Nick. Other positions remained unchanged - President Carol Johnsen, Vice-president Norma Fisher, Public Officer/Secretary Gwen Lampre and Treasurer Mal Eden. General Committee Members are Natasha Podesser, Trevor Halsall, Rob York, Marj Miller, and as mentioned Nick Ivanovski.

The Recreation players - Fintan
Conway, Marisa Nuccitelli, Patrick
Morgan & Julie Alliston

Intermediate: Glen Chandler,
June Valentine, Mal Eden, and
Mardi Healy

The clean sweepers in Advanced:
Angie Pearse and Dianne Gibson -
absent is Lorraine Thomas

Masters Magic: Lainie Mercieca,
Trevor Halsall and Nick Ivanovski, with
his several prizes
Now to news of the Tournament:
RECREATION saw 26 contestants competing, and as mentioned Julie Alliston emerged victorious, ahead of Fintan Conway and Patrick Morgan. All three were separated by margin alone, with all three finishing on five wins. Marisa Nuccitelli played a brilliant game to score 508 and win the High Game Award, and Marjorie Clark's play of HOODIES for 95 points won the High Word Award.
INTERMEDIATE also had a good number of players, with 18 taking part. At the end of the day Glen Chandler claimed first place, winning five games and finishing just 11 margin points ahead of June Valentine, also on five wins. Third place was filled by Mal Eden on four wins, and Mardi Healy cleverly scored 546 points to take home the High Game Award, the highest overall for the day. The High Word Award went to Carol Mascitti for her excellent play of NEEDIEST for 113 points, also the highest recorded for the day. Well played, Mardi and Carol!
ADVANCED saw just eight players competing and Angie Pearse was dominant, winning all six games, the only section winner to do so. Dianne Gibson and Lorraine Thomas filled second and third places respectively, both with four wins. Angie also received the High Game Award for her score of 498, and Dianne played JANGLED for 106 points to win the High Word Award.
MASTERS saw ten players competing for the honours, and Nick Ivanovski stepped up to take first place on five wins, followed by Lainie Mercieca on four wins (Lainie was playing a section higher than usual, and had a great day!). Third place was filled by a lightly moustachioed Trevor Halsall (four wins) who is taking part in the annual fundraising initiative "Movember". As visible in the photo Nick also collected the awards for High Game - 545 - and High Word UNTAXED for 96 points!
Well played everyone, we congratulate you all on your achievements!
To see the full results of the A.G.M. Tournament click here

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The new World Champ is Wellington Jighere from Nigeria, and we congratulate Wellington and the runner up Lewis MacKay from England on their great performances. For full details click here, and to take you directly to the results click here

The inaugural WESPA World Scrabble Championship was held over five days from November 4-8 at Gloucester Park in Perth, Western Australia.

The WESPA World Champion, Wellington
Jighere from Nigeria was absolutely delighted
with his win. He is seen here with Tournament
Director Wilma Vialle

Many top players and award winners from
the Championship here - top row, second
from left - Cameron Farlow, Australia
11th, and in the front row - Esther Perrins,
Australia, 3rd
It was a busy week for Scrabblers in Perth and Australia in general, with a huge amount of organisation and hard work needed to get the main event up and running, together with the Last Chance Qualifier and the three side tournaments which ran concurrently with the World Championship, in which 130 players competed. In the best-of-seven final Wellington defeated Lewis 4-0.
The Last Chance event (64 players) saw the following players qualify to take part in the WESPA Championship - Hassan Hadi Khan, Lawson Sue, Paul Kalumba, Tariq Pervez, Wimal Fernando, Akkarapol Khwansak, Karen Richards and Mariam Arif. Well done to all on qualifying!
The three-day Open event (121 contestants) was convincingly won by Chollapat Itthiaree on 22 wins from Tony Hunt on 19 wins, followed by three players on 16 wins. The Saturday one-day event (116 competitors) was also won by Chollapat, half a game clear of the rest. For the Sunday Open many players who had played the first four days of the Championship joined the field, with 154 taking part. Jakkrit Klaphajone from Thailand finished a game clear of Mark Nyman (England), Ayorinde Naidu (Nigeria), Waseem Khatri (Pakistan), Martin Teo (Malaysia) and Ryan Sutton (Australia), all a game behind Jakkrit.

International Open Winners - Weera Saengsit
THA 5th, Tony Hunt AUS 2nd, Chollapat Itthiaree
THA 1st, Goutham Jayaraman SGP 3rd, & Cedric
Lewis MAL 4th.

Glenys Lawrie & the Saturday Open winners -
Rocky Sharma AUS 4th, Goutham Sayaraman SGP
5th, Chollapat Itthiaree THA 1st, Lynne Butler
NZ 3rd, Cedric Lewis MAL 2nd.

Many award winners after the Sunday Open -
includes Junior winners & Ratings Band winners
Rocky Sharma, Keri Heart and Carmel Dodd, and
Senior Award winner Tan Jin Chor

The Champs Runner up,
Lewis Mackay, England

Tony Sim SGP, Norma Fisher AUS,
Nigel Richards NZL

Best senior player twice, Tan
Jin Chor MYS, with TD Colin Lim

AUS Champs competitors, Alastair
Richards & Naween Fernando
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of these amazing events, you are too numerous to mention but you know who you are! Well done to you all!

Yay! The WESPA World Championship starts in Perth on November 4!

Here are our fourteen Australian players including their state of origin, in no particular order, who have worked hard to qualify for this wonderfully challenging event! Well done, everyone, and good luck!

Russell
Honeybun: WA

Andrew
Fisher: Vic

Peter
Kougi: Vic

Esther
Perrins: NSW

Richard
Jeremy: ACT

Mythili
Rudra: Vic

Bob
Jackman: NSW

Alastair
Richards: Qld

Cameron
Farlow: Qld

Daniel
Piechnick: SA

Trevor
Halsall: Vic

Rod
Talbot: NSW

Ron
Baginski: Qld

Naween
Fernando: Vic

The Langwarrin-Cranbourne Annual Scrabble Tournament ~ October 2015

The Vale Park Community Centre in Cranbourne was the venue for this year's Annual Challenge, Langwarrin v Cranbourne Clubs. The format is 2 teams of 9 players with each team divided into 3 sections of 3. Each member plays the opposing 3 in their section [27 games in total]. This Challenge originated in 2007, when David Baker who was running Dandenong Club at the time, and Geoff Gittus from Langwarrin decided that their 2 clubs should play for a perpetual trophy each year.
When Dandenong Club closed in 2009 Katie Rowe started up the Cranbourne Club and the tradition has continued since. This year's event proved most exciting with Cranbourne winning the majority of the early games, but Langwarrin came home with a withering run.
Final results were 13 1/2 games each, courtesy of a tied game between Irlande Alfred and Pat Judd. As Langwarrin won last year they will retain the trophy until next year. High Game was won by Ray Alford with 510, High Word by Mardi Healy for "Zaniest" worth 107. A big thank you to Elaine Capewell and all the Cranbourne members for delicious snacks. Talk about food for thought! A most enjoyable night indeed!

The 2015 Matchplay Knockout Results - Congratulations, Nick Ivanovski!


The overall winner Nick Ivanovski is seated
on the left, during his semi-final win over
Marj Miller at the Balwyn Scrabble Club

The eventual runner up, Trevor Halsall, is
pictured at right during his semi-final with
Geoff Shepheard at the Nunawading Club
The final outcome - in the best-of-nine Final, event organiser Nick Ivanovski defeated Trevor Halsall 5:3. Many of the games were close, so it was a tough day's Scrabble for both Nick and Trevor. The boards are available on Facebook, on the Scrabble Victoria site, and there are some great plays - click on the Facebook link at left to find them.
The Semi-finals took place in September/October: Nick was too good for Marj Miller in a very pleasant afternoon session at the Balwyn Scrabble Club, well played, Nick. In the Halsall-Shepheard match, Trevor emerged the victor despite strong opposition from Geoff, which included a drawn game. A great effort, Geoff Shepheard! This match was partly played at the Nunawading Club, thanks for hosting, Cheryle Jerram.
Thanks to everyone who took part, including those who supported the Matchplay Kickoff event in July, and the four unmentioned quarter-finalists - Lainie Mercieca, Lynn Weaver, Mythili Rudra and Rob York, your participation was of great importance to the success of the event!
Thanks to Nick for running this event - Nick is already making plans for the 2016 Kickoff Tournament, scheduled for July 17!
Here are links to the final games, posted on Crosstables....
Trevor Halsall 3
Nick Ivanovski 3
Mythili Rudra 1
Marj Miller 3
Lainie Mercieca 0
Lynn Weaver 1
Geoff Shepheard 3
Rob York 1
Trevor Halsall 4.5
Geoff Shepheard 2.5
Nick Ivanovski 4
Marj Miller 1
Trevor Halsall 3
Nick Ivanovski 5

Fun (but no win for Victoria!) at the S.A./Victoria Challenge ~ October 17/18, 2015


The happy South Australian Team - they say winners are grinners!

The Victorians, at this stage still hopeful! We almost made it....

The overall Individual Winner Norma
Fisher, with Barry Harridge and
Oliver Jenner-O'Shea

This annual event was full of excitement from the beginning, with the team tallies changing constantly throughout the ten games played - seven on Saturday afternoon/evening, and three on Sunday morning.
In the final count South Australia finished a game ahead of Victoria, 115.5 games to 114.5....a triumph for the South Aussies, and rather disappointing for the Vics! 25 Victorian players and 23 from South Australia took part, with all games played between the two states counting towards the final outcome.
Running concurrently with the Teams Challenge was an individual event, and the clear winner of this was Victoria's Norma Fisher, who won all ten games against all comers, with South Australians filling the next four places - Michael Cameron (9), Adam Kretschmer (9), Trevor Tao (7) and Antony Kimber (7). Well done, all.
Rating band prizes were awarded to the highest rated players who started the event on a rating 1018 or lower, and this prize was won by Rob Marotta from South Australia - he is pictured on the right of the SA photo, well done Rob! Second and third rating band placings went to Marilyn Evans and Adam Kauschke, both from SA, a good effort from all.
The overall High Game for the day was played by Adam Kretschmer who scored 611 points, and the High Word went to a delighted Emanuel Atsas who played REWAXES for 123 points, well done to you both.....
Thank you to the organisers from South Australia, next year it's Victoria's turn to do the work, and we look forward to hosting again in the lovely rural city of Horsham in Western Victoria.
To see the full results of the Border Challenge click here


Trevor Tao leads the South Australians
in their victory theme song.......

On Saturday, a lovely stopover in St
Arnaud - Carol Johnsen & Lina Camilleri

Two of our Victorian players, Betty Egan
and Dianne Gibson

Our host Frank at
the White Hart Hotel

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The Annual Mount Martha Tournament (and feast!) ~ October 11, 2015

Here is a wonderful tournament report from organiser Julie Belle, it was a lovely day out indeed!
Today marked the 9th annual Mt Martha tournament held back at the favoured venue of the Mt Eliza Community Hall. It was great to see nearly fifty friendly faces who came from far and wide to attend our tournament on this sunny Sunday. A few glitches were quickly overcome in the morning and then it was smooth sailing with computer whiz Carol at the helm! (Many, many thanks Carol!)

Welcome back, Chelaka!

Dad Krish and Meghna

Pranav with mum Shubha
We welcomed some new faces: Chelaka Paranahewa, Meghna Nagarajan and Pranav Srivatsan, all taking part in junior scrabble and preparing themselves for future junior scrabble championships around the world. Thank you for joining us and good luck with those events in the future. Thank you also to your lovely parents who helped us throughout the day with packing up etc.

Recreation Wreckers! Mark Whiting,
Janet Matthews, Latha Weerakkody,
Marisa Nuccitelli & Lynne Goodinson

Intermediate's good players!
Dorothy Rice, Mal Eden, and Oliver
Podesser

Sylvia Galloway plays Janet
Bau, with Brenda Thurgar and Mal
Eden on Table 10

Glen Chandler plays Stephanie
Saunders in the foreground, and
Mark Whiting plays Latha Weerakkody
Other newer faces included the Whiting brothers: Tim and Mark...lovely to meet you both and we welcomed back Lynne Goodinson who proved that she still had it, taking out the high game award in Recreation with a great score of 534...well done Lynne. High word in Recreation went to Marisa Nuccitelli for 'squailer' awarding her 104 well-earned points.
Congratulations to Janet Matthews who was well and truly surprised to hear that she came 3rd, good work! Newcomer Mark Whiting is swiftly moving up the ladder taking out second place in Recreation and the top spot of first place went to Latha Weerakody, both on 5 wins.
In Intermediate today Heather Iapozzuto had a great high word with 'squaddy' for 99 points and the start of a good day for Mal Eden saw him win high game for 504 points. Well done to Oliver Podesser who came 3rd ...hope you managed to get through the night shift at work tonight after such a big day! Second place went to Dorothy Rice on 5 wins and Mal Eden's great day continued with 1st place also on 5 wins...congrats to you all.

The Daunting Talent in Advanced!
Rob Hutchinson, June Valentine
and Geoff Shepheard

Masters winners, mostly in blue!
Marj Miller, Gwen Lampre & Norma
Fisher, with Geoff Wright behind

In the foreground Angie Pearse
plays Frank Csarics, with Ray Alford
playing Sandra Masel

Geoff Shepheard does battle with
Wayne Stoyan, and Natasha Podesser
plays Dianne Davis
On to Advanced....it was great to see Janet Bau at her first Mt Martha tournament and great to see that she also took out high game for 506 points. Geoff Shepheard impressed with 'firmest' for 102 points to take out high word. It was a trifecta finish in Advanced with all 3 contenders on 4 wins. Third place went to Rob Hutchinson...well done Rob... and it was a happy car pool going home with Geoff Shepheard in 2nd place who very kindly gave June Valentine a lift to the tournament ...and June came 1st!
In Masters today Geoff Wright won the highest high game of the day with 538 points just pipping Recreations' Lynne Goodinson's high game score of 534! Well done Frank Csarics on 'receiving' 106 points for...'receive' ! Good to see that Gwen Lampre came 3rd in Masters...especially after making such a great long distance effort to make it to our tournament:) Also great to see that Marj Miller and Norma Fisher took out 2nd and 1st place respectively, well deserved...and as always all your behind the scenes help with the tournament is much appreciated.

Some of the great Mt Martha cooks!
Heather Iapozzuto, Edith Wilson, Marj
Barnes, Julie Belle & Gloria O'Loghlin

Meghna Nagarajan plays Pranav
Srivatsan, with Marisa Nuccitelli
playing Gloria O'Loghlin

Table 20 - Geoff Gittus plays Lynne
Goodinson, & Chelaka Paranahewa
plays Del Stitz

Tim Whiting plays Fay Boxshall
on Table 21, with Mt Martha's Marj
playing Marjorie Page
Speaking of behind the scenes help ... that is my lead in to once again send out a huge and hearty thanks to the tireless efforts of all the ladies at the Mt Martha Scrabble Club who were all up bright and early baking, cooking, making sandwiches etc so all the goodies on offer would be fresh and delicious! (Including from members unable to make it on the day).
Their contributions to the lucky door prize raffle (won by Sylvia Galloway... well done!) and also the high word/high game prizes were very much appreciated. Special mention has to go to Heather Iapozzuto's daughter's friend...who is a keen crocheter ...and very kindly donated two of her hand made, beautiful crocheted blankets. All up a lovely day...thanks for coming and we look foward to welcome you next year for our 10th tournament, which will also be held on the second Sunday of October at the same venue. Many thanks, Julie:)
On behalf of all who attended we thank Julie and the Mount Martha members for a lovely tournament, and all the lovely goodies which were appreciated by all! The Club meets on Tuesdays at 1.00pm in Room 5, Mt Martha House, at the corner of Dominion Rd and The Esplanade - new players are always welcome, so drop in any Tuesday arvo!
To see the full results of the Mount Martha Tournament click here

Seniors' Scrabble Fun Day Out ~ October 8, 2015 at Mount Waverley


The 2015 Workers and Winners: Sita Dasika - Hard Worker; Oliver - Bulbul; Marj - Apostlebird; Julie A - High Game Award; Latha - Cockatoo; Teresa - Finch; Laura - Drongo; (Seated) Julie O'C - Emu; Harold - Ibis; Elsie - Galah; Sally - Honeyeater; Mary - main door prize; Marie - High Word Award; Pat - extra door prize; and Tam Dasika - Organiser and Hard Worker

This very pleasant day was enjoyed by almost 50 enthusiastic senior players, and was very capably organised by Tam Dasika and his wife, Sita - thank you both. Also thank you to those who assisted in many ways on the day! A big thank you must go to the Department of Ageing via their representative Chris Reidy for their generous funding of this event which allowed the day to be completely free of charge for all who attended. Lunch was extremely enjoyable, with lovely fresh Subway rolls, hot pastries, fresh fruit, dips and cakes.

Tam addressing the players - thanks for
all your hard work, Tam!

Norma Fisher checking the scores, with
June Valentine and Lina Camilleri

Cheryle encouraging everyone to take up
tournament play, with Oliver and Latha

Players were divided in to nine groups of four or six, and the sections were named after birds, a popular choice. Three games were played, and all sections saw some excellent play, with the High Game score advancing rapidly from 541 to 556 and finally 576, played by Julie A - well done, Julie. An amazing find by Marie D'Rosario saw her take advantage of an opening made by her opponent June Valentine to play the 9-timer REVOICES for 176 points! Brilliant play, Marie!

Players waiting for the presentations
in the pleasant playing area

The board showing REVOICES, the word
which scored 176 points

Marie D'Rosario and Paula Messer, enjoying
catching up with each other

Thank you to all players who came from far and wide to ensure the day was a success, and from comments made it would seem that many are already looking forward to next year's event!

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~ The Annual Essendon Tournament, September 27, 2015 ~

Thanks to our very capable Tournament Organiser Rob York for the following excellent report:
The 2015 Essendon Scrabble Club Tournament and Chocolate-Fest has been another successful event in the Victorian Scrabble calendar, with a total of 56 players. Of particular note is the return of Graeme Jones from Seymour, after a 3 year hiatus from Scrabble in Victoria, and the participation of Audree Clifton, as our Standby player! Despite a couple of dropouts and administrative errors, we managed to start close on time, and all play was completed by 5.30pm.

Recreation: Cynthia Cook, Elize Plaganyi,
Faye Leeder, Balada Catanchin, Mohammed
Hegazi

Happy in Intermediate: Tournament
Organiser Rob York, Oliver Podesser,
John Parker & Diane Stoyan

Eyes down after lunch, at the start
of Game Four - Marjorie Clark plays Norma
Engel, from the Essendon Club
In Recreation, from a field of 22, the winner was Elize Plagányi with 6+347, second was Mohammed Hegazi 5+422 and third was Balada Catanchin 5+145. The High Game went to Faye Leeder (457) and High Word was split between Cynthia Cook (SQUEAKS) and Dorothy Hunt (PILCHERS) both 101. In Intermediate, the field was bolstered by 3 hopeful play-ups - Elizabeth McKean, Glenys Dettmann and Latha Weerakkody; alas, their respective attempts were all thwarted. With 4 players on 5 wins, the placings were determined by margin; first place was taken by John Parker 5+320, second was Diane Stoyan 5+199 and third was Oliver Podesser 5+179. Of note, Audree Clifton was 5+163. High Game went to John Parker (489) whilst High Word went to Rob York (STRAFED) for 102.

Advancing upward - the Advanced winners!
Angie Pearse, Lynn Weaver, John Rider

Masters Magic - Carol Johnson,
Peter Kougi and Norma Fisher

Happy Birthday celebrations for Rob York,
thanks to Lainie Mercieca for the cake!
With a field of 10, Advanced was won by Angie Pearse 5+201, with Lynn Weaver in second 5+21 followed in third by Mary McMahon 4+639, who also took out High Game (551). John Rider picked up High Word with PANTILES for 122. In the Masters section, out of 12 players the winner was Peter Kougi 6+342, with Andrew Fisher in second place 5+462 and Norma Fisher in third 5+146. Andrew Fisher also picked up the High Game with a whopping 612, and Carol Johnsen found SNUFFLIER for 110.

The hard-working members of the Essendon
Scrabble Club! Thank you all!

Mal Eden and Tam Dasika about to play,
with Graeme Jones next to Mal

At Table One, after a good morning's
play - Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher
A big thankyou must go to the members of Essendon SC (Peanut Butter Cookies!!) as well as Marj Miller, Norma Fisher and Carol Johnsen for all their assistance, and a huge THANKYOU to Jen in the kitchen! See you all again next year! Rob Y.
Also of note were some excellent ratings gains, namely Elize Plaganyi +64, Norma Fisher +56, Balada Catanchin +42, John Parker +36, and Lynn Weaver +32, great results all!
To check the full results of the Essendon Tournament click here

The Geelong Tournament ~ September 13, 2015


One of our new players on the
day, happy Robyn Cooper from
the Ballarat Club

Tim Guidera travelled from Horsham
with friend Dieter Jadamski, and
enjoyed his first tournament

At left, organisers Marlene Ellis and
Anne Menheere, with Marjorie Clark
and Glen Chandler

Carole Eden plays Mohammed
Hegazi, with Latha Weerakkody
playing Elizabeth McKean
This year's event, held in September rather than November as is traditional, took place in a spacious room at The Sphinx Entertainment Centre in North Geelong, and the general opinion of the players was that it was a great place to hold a tournament! Continuous tea and coffee were available all day, lunch orders were taken prior to Game Two and our meals were served quite promptly before Game Three, and most were happy with their choice and the service. We were able to be seated at spare large round tables which led to a convivial atmosphere at lunch, very companionable indeed.
Forty contestants took part, divided into four divisions, and as always the competition was fierce! We welcomed two new players who settled in to tournament play very comfortably, Robyn Cooper from Ballarat, and Tim Guidera from Horsham - both won four games of the six played, and finished third and fifth respectively, well done to you both on these amazing results.
A great deal of organising had been done by Geelong Club Coordinator Marlene Ellis with help from Mary McMahon and Anne Menheere, thank you all, and thanks to Mary Mackie for filling in as the standby player - well done everyone.

Division A:
John Rider, Heather Long,
Geoff Wright, Jenny Brysha

Division B: Doug Ristic,
Paula Messer, Sandra Masel,
Rob York, Don Marshall

Division C: Anne Menheere,
Dorothy Barraclough, Betty
Egan and Norma Engel

Division D:
Robyn Cooper, Latha Weerakkody,
Elizabeth McKean
Division A saw Geoff Wright victorious on five wins, followed by Heather Long and John Rider, both on four wins. Jenny Brysha won the High Word Award for her great score of 492, and the High Word Award went to Heather Long for her play of LEVIRATE for 86 points - I missed this on the result slip early in the day, and I apologise to Heather and all Division A players for this oversight.

Division B saw great play from Sandra Masel who won all six games, a great achievement and a very satisfying one for Sandra! Two happy gentlemen filled second and third places on four wins, namely Rob York and Doug Ristic. Veteran Geelong player Don Marshall scored 490 to win the High Game Award, and the prize for High Word went to Paula Messer who played STICKED for 91 points.

Division C produced another 6-game winner, namely Betty Egan who overcame all challenges, well done, Betty - tiring but worth it! Second place went to local player Dorothy Barraclough on four wins, with Anne Menheere, also a local, in third place on three. Norma Engel won the High Game Award for her score of 473, and Anne played TAXINGS for 117 points to win the High Word Award, the highest across all sections for the day.

Division D was won by Elizabeth McKean who scored five wins, followed by Latha Weerakkody who also won five, with new player Robyn Cooper third on four wins, a commendable effort indeed. Del Stitz scored 455 to take home the High Game Award, and Elizabeth scored 87 for SITTING to collect the High Word Award.

From the left: Sandra Masel,
Don Marshall, Dieter Jedamski
and Rob York

Val Martin from Ballarat plays
Marisa Nuccitelli, with Robyn
Cooper playing Eileen Mills

Balada Catanchin plays Elize
Plaganyi, with Del Stitz playing
Tim Guidera

Norma Fisher does battle with
Heather Long, with Mary McMahon
playing Kris Howat
Wonderful ratings gains were achieved by Sandra Masel +56, Betty Egan +54, John Rider +39, Latha Weerakkody +38, Elizabeth McKean +29 and Rob York +28. Congratulations to all who collected prizes and achieved ratings gains, well played indeed!
To see the full results of the Geelong Tournament click here

Vale Gianna Devcic ~ September 12, 2015


Gianna at Travel Scrabble
at Cowes, in 2012

Gianna in 2009,
at Halls Gap
Sadly Gianna passed away on Saturday September 12th, at the Royal Women's Hospital in Carlton. Gianna had been fighting cancer for quite some time, but nevertheless many were surprised by the news of her death. Gianna had been a popular and loyal member of the Essendon Scrabble Club for many years, and a regular contestant at tournaments, playing her last one in September 2014. She was also a keen bushwalker, sharing this activity with some of her scrabble friends. Gianna also loved Travel Scrabble Group trips, and quite often attended with her sister Marisa. Gianna will be missed by her many friends and her family, and a Memorial Service will be held at a later date. RIP, Gianna.

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The Australian Masters & State Team Challenge ~ September 5/6 2015

This great tournament, held at the RSL Burwood in Sydney, has been won by local Victorian player Naween Fernando, with fellow Victorians Andrew Fisher second and Peter Kougi third, great results for Scrabble in Victoria indeed. Our team came in sixth in the State Team Challenge, a great effort in a tough field.

The top three placegetters:
Masters Champion Naween Fernando,
with Andrew Fisher & Peter Kougi

New South Wales President Tony Hunt (left)
with the Champion NSW team: Ryan Sutton,
Rocky Sharma and Graeme Lock Lee

Our representative Victorian State Team:
Seated: Norma Fisher and Paula Messer,
with Carol Johnsen

Here is a report from Naween, with links to some games on Crosstables, and some photos of most of his opponents, some from earlier times! Thanks, Naween!
I had been preoccupied in recent weeks with various little things so much so that I had overlooked organising my flights and accommodation for the Masters until mid-August.
I followed up Tony Hunt to work out starting times to see if flying in on the morning of the event was possible and some preliminary calculations told me that it was workable. Accordingly, I decided to catch the early bird on the Saturday which would also allow me the extra night on Sunday to enjoy any unforeseen victory celebrations. Unfortunately temptation got the better of me on the Friday night and I eventually only got home just after 2am on the day of the event giving me around 3 hours sleep.
Luckily the flight got in on time and a swift cab ride plus a generous tip from the airport to the playing venue, the Burwood RSL, ensured I arrived ready to play and on time. I hadn’t revised any words for months, except the week before when I went through some of the basic new words. However a practice session with some of the country’s best that week, I felt, stood me in good stead.

Game 1 and I was drawn to play Edward. For those keen to play through the game, it is available below.
I felt I played fairly solidly with no major errors. Move 22 was critical with around 4-5 minutes left to work out what appears to be 1 of the 2 winning plays. The penalty for FOCALLY here put the game out of reach for Edward. Game 2 and my draws weren’t getting any easier – I was matched up to play the National Champ, Peter. I seemed to have the game under control until Peter managed to find a bingo onto a C in eighth position. Despite what appears to be a forgone conclusion, Peter needs to find one of three winning plays with about two minutes on the clock. The full game can be viewed here: Game 3 – Carmel - I was able to claw back after Carmel bonused early. However a couple of late bingos from her cut my lead down.
Game 4 – Esther - Took a while to get going, but had some good opportunities in this game which I was able to capitalise on. You can see what I mean here: Game 5 – Richard had bingoed out to win against me at the Nationals with the brilliant AIRPROO(F). So when I opened with FARL, he aptly noted that the F was just what he needed to make APERITIF. Luckily for me he was only reminiscing about cocktails and I was able to hang on to a lead through to the end.
Game 6 – Michael M. – Again managed to hold on to an early lead in this game and a late bingo sealed it. Was pleased to get down the now acceptable JURES in this game.
Game 7 – Michael C. – Michael managed to get down E(B)ONITES for 140 in this game but I had already managed 4 of my own including FUDGIER+ on my first rack, so held on to a comfortable win in the end.
Most of my opponents on the first day:

Edward
Okulicz

Peter
Kougi

Carmel
Dodd

Esther
Perrins

Richard
Jeremy

Michael
McKenna

Russell
Honeybun

Mythili
Rudra

Karen
Richards
Game 8 – Russell - A crucial error in this game in not challenging off a phoney eight cost me dearly. Was able to claw my way back into the game, however whilst we both had promising racks towards the end, Russell was able to capitalise early and managed to fall over the line.
Game 9 – Mythili – Felt like I should have won this one quite comfortably with LAITIES, DILUTEE and (U)NEXOTIC but Mythili was able to get A(V)IATORS plus HAJ (58) and ZIGAN (89) to make a game of it. I was just able to exhaust the bag of tiles and extinguish the flames as she came storming home.
Game 10 – Karen – I hadn’t played a game like this in a very long time, so it was nice to experience it again. We exchanged early bingos – PREA(D)ULT for me (missed the other option with AELPRTU?(1) for 3 more – beginning with a P), while Karen got down MO(U)LTERS. It was the classic get in front stay in front scenario….. this was a style of play I was quite familiar with from my younger days and I regard myself as an expert in this style, perhaps only second to Geoff (Wright) in the country. The endgame revolved around volunteering to get stuck with the Q however denying the opponent the pleasure of acquiring the additional ten points by ensuring they were trapped with a similar stick, albeit them being one pointers, a blank and an S.
Finished 8-2 for the day, and I was starting to feel quite sick and very tired. I immediately grabbed a quick bite and retired to the motel and tried to catch up on some much needed sleep and rest.

DAY 2: Woke up the next day in a bit of a sweat – still having a bit of a headache but feeling much better than the night before.
First up was Tony Hunt – it appears that I seem to have missed my first bingo this game on the first rack AACORST (2), playing OCA instead! Luckily the tiles continued to be favourable to me and I still managed one of the old RETAINS bingos on the next go. The only other interesting piece of trivia from this game is that it appears Tony had the opportunity to play the five letter front extension of CONVERTS(3).
Next up was Victor Tung who didn’t seem to be in the most pleasant mood after being drubbed by Peter by almost 300. Luckily I was able to maintain a constant lead thanks to DORKIER, PRESTED and ENGrACE(D). Victor got down sONDAGE and ROUTINES.
Game 13 – Rod was umming and aahing after my opening play of ROUX. I was kinda hoping he had drawn drek and was going to change. Unfortunately he was tossing up whether to playing COA(X)INGS or not for 122. Much to my dismay he decided to do so and I threw in another 5 points for good measure as well. Surprisingly I was able to stay in touch for most of the game and I wasn’t overly disappointed to go down by only 67 in the end.
At this stage Andrew was one game clear of Peter and I, on 11 wins but with only 6 games to go and the next best on 8 wins, was starting to look like a 3 horse race from the Spring Racing Carnival.
Game 14 – John got off to an early lead and it was always going to be difficult after he got his second bingo. The full game can be played here, spot the phoney if you can: Game 15 – Bob - Another cracker of a game against Bob, with a nine, nine-timer and a clever endgame setup by Bob I had to be wary of to avoid defeat. The trick was ensuring that I kept ZA for insurance. Full game here: Game 16 – Joanne - A game where the tiles fell fairly straight-forward for me and largely error free, which was pleasing going into the business end of the event. Game can be viewed here: My opponents on Day 2:

Tony
Hunt

Victor
Tung

Rod
Talbot

John
Holgate

Bob
Jackman

Joanne
Craig

Trevor
Halsall

Andrew
Fisher

Cameron
Farlow
Game 17 – Trevor A fairly even game until I had a good flow midgame with LOT(TE)RIES, VESpIAR(Y) and ZO(O)EA(E) for 70. Trevor had DArIOLE and EXACT the only other notable score for 47.
Game 18 – Andrew I basically had to win this game to have any chance at the title. Game can be viewed here: Game 19 – Cameron All I had to do was win this game to guarantee the title….unless Andrew managed a huge win. This was the type of game where one started with AVIONIC, played AaSVOGE(L) onto a triple with the V on the double and got down HUSTLeR for good measure. Cameron got down LACUNOSE and EUGARIE and tried a desperation (FLEX)IEST* which came off but it was all over by then.
It was interesting how the draw seemed to pan out with me effectively playing off for the title in the penultimate game and then getting to have a crack against the outgoing Masters Champion in the final game.
A prize-giving ceremony followed and as is generally the case with these high profile events, a round of drinks was shouted at the bar for the throngs of fans and players alike. I indulged myself in a few (very generously priced) rounds of Black Label and we then retired to one of the local restaurants at the venue for some dinner, trivia and gossipry. Very pleased to have a second Masters title under my belt.
Naween Fernando
Spoilers:
1) PUbERTAL
2) OSTRACA
3) INTERCONVERTS

To see the individual results of both events click here

And to see how the Teams finished click here

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The Winter Pick Me Up Tournament ~ August 23, 2015

This was a pleasant tournament apart from a few early hiccoughs with the equipment, but after these settled down proceedings moved along quite smoothly. A total of 52 players took part, including new player Tim Whiting who enjoyed the experience, winning three games and settling in to the scrabble scene very quickly. Well done, Tim!

Our new word book!
This was only the second tournament in Victoria at which the "new" Collins 2015 words were in use, and here are a few samples as they appeared on the boards: EEW, CINQ(S), TIZ, XED, YER, and ZEDA! How helpful will these (and all the other additions) be in attaining higher game scores? In my opinion, very helpful indeed!
Standby player Khwanjai Thammaping was needed to compete to even up the numbers, and we thank Khwanjai and others who have recently offered to attend as the emergency player. Several of our contestants are heading to Sydney in early September to take part in the Australian Masters and State Team Challenge and we wish them good luck! There was also interest in final qualifying for the World Championship in Perth in November, but unfortunately Mythili Rudra was unable to improve her chances of playing in "The Worlds". Good luck in making it, Mythili!

The Masters Winners:
Geoff Wright, Nick Ivanovski,
and Trevor Halsall

Fun in Advanced:
Jenny Brysha, Kris Howat
and Bridget Halge

Inter gurus: Tam Dasika,
Liz McKean, Glen Chandler,
Diane Stoyan, Mal Eden

Great players in Rec:
Norma Engel, Lina Camilleri
Mary Mackie & Ann Goodwin
Masters saw an interesting contest between the top contestants, with a couple of our Advanced players readily agreeing to play in Masters when asked. Thanks to Julie Belle and Mary McMahon for doing this, and well done to Julie for winning four games and gaining 35 ratings points! At the end of the day Trevor Halsall emerged the victor, winning all seven games played. Nick Ivanovski placed second on five wins, and Geoff Wright was third with four wins. The High Game Award went to Geoff for his score of 544, and Trevor collected the High Word Award for playing TELEXING for 101 points. Well done, everyone.
Advanced was won convincingly by Bridget Halge who was in excellent form winning six games, followed by Kris Howat on five, and Jenny Brysha on four. Happy Jenny ended with several awards, also collecting the High Game and High Word Awards for a game score of 484 and her wonderful play of VAPORING for 158. Good play, all.
Intermediate saw Mal Eden (still on an upward roll!) win six games to finish in first place, followed by Diane Stoyan and Tam Dasika playng well and winning five games each to place second and third respectively. The High Game Award went to Glen Chandler for her great score of 501, a difficult number to achieve. Elizabeth McKean (who used her Play-up Certificate to play in this section) made a lovely play of BARRINGS for 158 to take home the High Word Award. Excellemt play, all....
Recreation saw a happy group of sixteen take part (although I did hear one player say she had just been beaten by her ex-friend!) This was the most evenly contested of all four sections, with the top three finishers all winning six games! First on margin was Norma Engel, followed in turn by Ann Goodwin and Lina Camilleri, what a great contest, everyone. The High Game Award went to Mark Whiting for a great score of 481, and Mary Mackie was delighted to collect the High Word Award for her lovely score of 101 for QUOTIENT. Nice play, Rec players!

Table 1: Trevor Halsall v Lainie Mercieca,
Table 2: Nick Ivanovski v Jimmy Scarff

Concentrating in Intermediate: Mal Eden
plays Glen Chandler

Recreation players hard at work! Carole
Eden plays Lynne Goodinson

Our new player on the day, Tim Whiting -
we hope to see you again soon, Tim!
Exciting ratings gains on the day were achieved by Lina Camilleri +59, Bridget Halge +54, Norma Engel +47, Trevor Halsall +44, Ann Goodwin +43, Tam Dasika + 39, Mal Eden +36, Elizabeth McKean +36, and Julie Belle +35.
Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for some of the photos, to everyone who helped in any way, and to all players for your patience and cooperation on the day, as Tournament Director it was really appreciated!
To see the full results of the Winter PMU tournament click here

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Victorian Country Championship ~ August 1, 2015


Heather Long (second), the new Country Champ
Norma Fisher, and Julie Belle (third)
Thank you to Norma Fisher for the following report, and congratulations on becoming the 2015 Victorian Country Champion!

Picturesque Daylesford was once again the venue for this year’s Country Championship ably organised and run by TD Mary McMahon who was unfortunately unable to play. The weather was cool but the tournament atmosphere was warm and friendly - it really felt like we were having a scrabble party! The food in the Daylesford Bowling Club Bistro is always good (with generous serves) so we had a very enjoyable lunch break.
In Group A I squeaked in the win on margin (4 + 446) with Heather Long hard on my heels (4+127) and Julie Belle in 3rd place (3+302)..........my two losses were against Heather and Julie! I also took High Game (546) and High Word (88 for dartles). Mal Eden picked up 28 very well deserved rating points.
In Group B Dorothy Barraclough came 1st with 5+100, with Marjorie Clark in 2nd place with 4+358 and Robin Dettmann in 3rd place with 4+176. Robin also had the High Game of 445 and Kaye Campbell won the High Word prize (108 for scarlet). Robin picked up a 36 point rating gain for her day’s efforts..........well done, Robin.
The prize of a deluxe scrabble board donated by Mattel was won by Cheryl Curtis – Mary had determined the prize would go to the lowest winning score..............congratulations, Cheryl! Once again, thankyou to Mary McMahon for her efforts in keeping the Country Championship alive , having picked up the reins from Clive Rutherford. Due to other commitments several regular players were unable to attend but having canvassed those present, Mary has determined that interest is still keen and that Daylesford would be the venue for next year’s tournament.

To check the full results of the Vic Country Championship click here


Group B: Robin Dettmann 3 & High Game, Dorothy
Barraclough 1, Marjorie Clark 2, Kaye Campbell HW

Kaye Campbell, Marjorie Clark, Cheryl Curtis
with her prize, and Maggie Solomon

Tournament organiser Mary McMahon with Dorothy
Barraclough & Marjorie Clark

The Matchplay Kickoff ~ July 19, 2015


Six of the Top Eight Finishers on the Day! Trevor Halsall, Mary McMahon,
Heather Long, Rob York, Nick Ivanovski, Geoff Wright.
Missing - Mythili Rudra and Lynn Weaver. All but two of the above are
able to play in the ensuing knockout rounds.
The Annual Matchplay kick off tournament was a fitting finale for the CSW12 word list in Victoria, fielding one of the highest numbers for this format. It also was the first tournament I have run - and I am glad to say it was an enjoyable experience made easier by the support of the those on Committee and many other helpers throughout the day! Although I was not expecting to run and play, it did prove a nice distraction and a chance to get some tournament Scrabble in before the new list kicked in.
Those who finished 1-8 on the day received chocolate prizes with cash reserved for the 8 who have continued to the KO stages (you will see a fixture chart above which shows how it will pan out). August will see the QFs, September the SFs and the GF will be played out in October. The winner will take home $150, the runner-up $100, the losing SF players $40 each and the losing QF players $20 each.
Ratings band prizes were also available on the day, and along with the usual High Game and High Word, it meant that 16 prizes were able to be handed out - which certainly ensured the prize pool was shared by many on the day. Feedback for the day was positive - and I hope to be able to continue the tradition next year.... hopefully with a bumper attendance!

Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for this report, and for taking over the running of the Matchplay. To check the full results of the Kickoff tournament click here


Ratings Band winners

Ratings Band winners

Our refurbished room at Box Hill

Busy helper Natasha Podesser, with
Tournament Organiser Nick Ivanovski

The prize table, with Scrabble sets
and lots of yummy chocolates!

Happy Lynn Weaver, who finished sixth
on the day and gained 60 ratings points!

Nigel Richards wins the 30th BRAND’s Crossword Game King’s Cup - July 2-5 2015


The audience during the finals - including Aussies Rod Talbot,
Russell Honeybun, Olga Visser and Dianne Ward

Sixty-six players competed this year, with seven Aussies finishing in various positions from 27th to 63rd. This tournament grows in strength each year as those who have visited before are keen to return to enjoy the experience - play takes place in a noisy shopping mall surrounded by many distractions, rather different from most tournaments within Australia!
There were several different leaders in a star-studded field over the course of the tournament, including Alex Tan (Malaysia), Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand), Nigel Richards (New Zealand), Manop Phiphatboonserm (Thailand), Odette Carmina Rio (Philippines), and Ming Hui Hubert Wee (Singapore).
After 28 games the final was played between Hubert Wee and Nigel Richards - the system is interesting with certain conditions applying if both players are locked on one win each after two games - a third game is played with the winner then being the player with the highest overall margin.
The first prize of USD $10,000 was well worth playing for, and as things turned out Nigel won the first two games (567-515 and 545-392) so a third game wasn't required to decide the Champion. This win is Nigel's eleventh King's Cup victory, and this is an amazing achievement indeed!

Nigel Richards with the Champion's Trophy

Nigel & Hubert at the end of the final

Hubert Wee accepts his Runner's Up Trophy

The 2015 Youth Fundraiser ~ June 28

Fifty-four players gathered at Box Hill for a three-section seven-game tournament to raise some funds to support youth scrabble in Victoria, and we thank you all for coming and supporting the cause. With the assistance of a very generous donation from one of our members who was unable to play we raised $531 while still awarding our "normal" cash prizes, well done and thank you everyone!

Our new players on the day, Gabrielle
and Harper Pestinger - both are looking
forward to playing again

Challenging games: on Table 1 Peter
Kougi plays Mythili Rudra, with Natasha
Podesser & Anand Bharadwaj on Table 2

Serious play - in front John Hamilton
plays Barbara Berlin, with Dianne Gibson
and Jenny Brysha at the next board
We welcomed two new players, mother and son team Harper and Gabrielle Pestinger, and it was great that we had a new junior player on this particular day. Both Harper and Gabrielle enjoyed the experience, and were delighted with the welcoming attitude and assistance provided to them by their fellow players.
We were also pleased to see Anand Bharadwaj playing a tournament during a break from his studies, great to see you, Anand, and John Hamilton from the Australian Capital Territory travelled by overnight bus to join us after directing a tournament the day before in the A.C.T. Good to see you as always, JJ!

Division A's clever people: Dianne
Gibson, Geoff Wright, Mythili Rudra
and Peter Kougi

Division B - great results for these
two very happy players - Mal Eden, with
June Valentine

The great gurus in Division C! Balada
Catanchin, John Metcalf, Elizabeth
McKean & Latha Weerakkody
Division A saw a tight tussle between the winner Peter Kougi on six wins and Mythili Rudra, just half a game behind. Peter's only loss was against Mythili, whose record against Peter has steadily improved, particularly over the past few months. In third place was Geoff Wright who is always hard to beat, with two more players on five wins - John Hamilton and Norma Fisher. The High Game Award went to Peter for a score of 570, and Dianne Gibson played MALIGNED for a brilliant score of 167 points which won her the High Word Award.

Highlights in Division B saw June Valentine in fine form winning six games, and scoring 584 points to achieve the High Game Award. June played five bonus words in this game: TRAINED 70, MOTTLING 69, EARLIEST 70, BASTING 77, and BROWNING 67. Well played, June! Second place went to Mal Eden who won five games, and third was Paula Messer with four wins, playing well after a fun time overseas. Dorothy Barraclough played OUTSIZE for 95 points to win the High Word Award, well done to all.

Division C saw a great victory to Elizabeth McKean who won six games, with Latha Weerakkody and Balada Catanchin in second and third places respectively, both on five wins. John Metcalf, playing in just his third tournament, scored 463 and was delighted to win the High Game Award, and Elizabeth's play of JABBERS for 123 points was the best for the day, gaining her the High Word Award. Well done to you all, and thank you to all in your section for looking after Harper and Gabrielle so well.


Glenys Dettmann, back from an OS trip,
plays Lorna Patching, with Dorothy
Barraclough & Rob York next.

Happy players: Ann Goodwin, Judith
Westwood, Dorothy Hunt, Dianne Gibson,
Marisa Nuccitelli & Balada Catanchin

Our two helpers on the day: Jen, artist
and provider of sustenance, and Oscar, a
great help to the Director - thank you!
Excellent ratings gains on the day were achieved by Faye Leeder +54, June Valentine +49, Elizabeth McKean +45, Mythili Rudra +44, Marisa Nuccitelli +34, and Angie Pearse +32. Congratulations to all, well played indeed!
To check the full results in the extensive archive click here

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Victorian Players - The Greatest Rating Gain - June 2014~May 2015

This award is calculated from the beginning of June till the end of May the following year, and this year's worthy winner is Peter Kougi, who gained 184 rating points over the period and is now ranked third in Australia, a great achievment indeed, Peter!

Peter Kougi - this year's
player with the Highest
Rating Gain in Victorian
Scrabble

Well done on the outcome of a hard year's work to all mentioned on the list below, and thanks to Barry Harridge who now works out the changes each year with a software program he has written for the purpose, much quicker than the old manual method. Thank you to Ellen Frajman for all the times you carried out that task, Ellen, it was appreciated.
RANK PLAYER GAMES PLAYED RATING CHANGE
1 Peter Kougi 137 1872 + 184 = 2056
2 Julie Belle 104 1246 + 164 = 1410
3 Dominica Krstic 58 808 + 142 = 950
4 Lainie Mercieca 44 1312 + 130 = 1442
5 Natasha Podesser 186 1550 + 108 = 1658
6 Glenys Dettmann 95 916 + 108 = 1024
7 Anne Bingham 51 1113 + 100 + 1213
8 Mary McMahon 139 1310 + 99 = 1409
9 Del Stitz 67 570 + 93 = 663
10 Angie Pearse 122 1360 + 93 = 1453

The Annual Victorian Championship and Queen's Birthday Tournament ~ June 6/7/8 2015


Andrew Fisher from Victoria, the 2015
Victorian Scrabble Champion. This was
Andrew's third Victorian title, a well
deserved win

As per tradition, hand-carved maps of
Victoria were awarded down to third
place, and for High Game and High Word
This ran very smoothly under the guidance of Tournament Director Carol Johnsen, with 48 players taking part. Carol welcomed novice Mark Whiting who bravely chose the three-day Championship to start his competitive Scrabble career - well done, Mark! Also welcomed were eight players from New South Wales, six from Queensland, two from South Australia and one overseas player, our former Victorian player Lois Binnie who now resides in New Zealand. Best finishing from NSW was Joanne Craig who placed second (well done Jo!), from Queensland Roberta Tait sixth (a wonderful result for you, Roberta!), and from South Australia Carmel Dodd who finished twenty-ninth. Thank you all for supporting our Championship, it's always lovely to see you and catch up. Unfortunately the defending Champion Peter Kougi was unable to attend for the three-day event due to work commitments, but it was still a very strong field.

The Championship Winners: Esther
Perrins, Trevor Halsall, Frank Csarics,
Naween Fernando, Karen Richards,
Joanne Craig and Andrew Fisher

Naween Fernando checks in with two of
his fellow competitors from Victoria,
Dianne Gibson and Marisa Nuccitelli.
Thank you for helping, girls!

Day 1: Leader at the time Esther
Perrins from N.S.W. plays second placed
Mythili Rudra from Victoria, with Rod
Talbot, Naween Fernando & Trevor Halsall
Also present were thirty two from the host state Victoria, and amongst these was the eventual Champion, Andrew Fisher, who added the 2015 crown to his titles from 2007 and 2009. Andrew won 18 of the 24 games played, well done Andrew, a great result again. As mentioned Joanne Craig came in second, winning 17 after a rather slow start to the tournament, and in third place was Naween Fernando with Trevor Halsall fourth, both from Victoria and both on 16 wins. Esther Perrins from NSW placed fifth on 15 wins after leading the field earlier in the event, well done to all. Karen Richards played a brilliant game to score 647 points and take home the High Game Trophy and cash, and during the first game Frank Csarics played VAIRIEST for 149 points to win the High Word for the Championship - nice play, Karen and Frank!
Excellent ratings gains were achieved by Khwanjai Thammaping +148, Arnold Appelhof +85, Mohammed Hegazi +74, Dianne Davis +63, Dianne Gibson +55, Geoff Wright +48 and Ivor Zetler +44. Well done to all who did well, and to all who played over the three days.

Welcome to Mark Whiting, who played
his first tournament, won five games
and enjoyed the experience!

Day 2 - Naween Fernando and Trevor
Halsall analyse their game, with Esther
Perrins & Andrew Fisher

On a return visit - Lois Binnie, now
happily settled in Christchurch close to
where she formerly lived

The N.S.W. crew - Jo Craig, Esther Perrins,
La'Reine Lang, John Barker, Bob Jackman,
Rocky Sharma, Rod Talbot, Ivor Zetler

The players from South Australia -
regular visitors Rob Marotta and
Carmel Dodd

Competitors from Queensland ~ Roberta
Tait, Karen Richards, Paul Richards,
Robyn Corbel and David More

To find the full results of the Victorian Scrabble Championship click here

THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY TOURNAMENT, JUNE 8 2015

The Queen's Birthday Winners: Peter Kougi, Lynn Weaver,
Liam Gillespie, Carol Mascitti, Mardi Healy, Harry Malcolm,
Rena Aitken and Gayle Cameron
Thirty-eight players competed in this popular annual event, with Division A named after Princess Charlotte, and Division B after Prince George. Play started on time, in unison with the second game of the Championship for the day, and this timing worked well for the remainder of the day, with both tournaments completed in good time for presentations, celebrations and plane timetables etc. We welcomed the return of stalwart Gladys Minihan who enjoyed her day, as did Dorothy Hunt who hadn't competed since 2008.
Peter Kougi swept all before him in Charlotte Division, winning all six games ahead of Chris Scholten on five and Harry Malcolm on four. Two players tied for the High Game, each scoring 527 - well played, Peter and Chris. The High Word Award was won by Lynn Weaver for her brilliant play of IDOLATRY, a nine-timer scoring 167 points - great play, Lynn!
In George Division Liam Gillespie returned from a shortish break to win five games and the division, its good to see you back, Liam. Second place went to Carol Mascitti, and third placed was Mardi Healy, with both also winning five games - a very tight contest indeed! Rena Aitken was delighted to score 465 and win the High Game Award, and Gayle Cameron took home the High Word Award for her play of FOUNDER for 90 points.

Play under way - Mary Mackie, Dorothy
Hunt, Gladys Minihan and Norma Engel

Relaxing - Carol Mascitti, Rena Aitken,
Fay Boxshall, Dorothy Rice

Faye Leeder plays John Metcalf,
competing in his second event

Notable ratings gains on the day went to Mary Mackie +40, Chris Scholten +35, and Kris Howat +26, well done to everyone and we hope you enjoyed the day. Thanks over the three days go to Carol Johnsen and the Victorian Committee members, including standby players Norma Fisher and Barry Harridge. Thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping for the use of some of her photos, and to the many others who assisted in various ways, including Rena Aitken who managed the catering beautifully on Day One. Our caterer for Days Two and Three was unwell in hospital and we thank Jack Miller for his assistance with the kitchen work and many other duties, we couldn't get by without all the help we receive from so many.
To check the full results of the Queen's Birthday Tournament click here

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The Annual Cranbourne Tournament ~ May 24, 2015

Here is a report from Tournament Director Katie Rowe - thanks Katie, and thanks to your Club Members for their hard work and wonderful catering! The Cranbourne Scrabble Club meets on Wednesday evenings under the guidance of Convenor Elaine Capewell, and to find the details click here

With some unexpected unregistered drop-ins, and several registered dropouts due to illness, the Cranbourne tournament began almost on time with 58 competitors playing in four divisions.
We were pleased to welcome three novices who started their careers in tournament play, and managed to win games despite the anxiety of clocks, score sheets, and challenges: two from the Cranbourne club - Trish Raal and Joanne Steiger, and John Metcalf who is not yet affiliated with any club. Another new player was Christie Godby whose only other tournament was at Tumut. And it was good to see one of our regular visitors from Queensland, Robyn Corbel, with us again.
It's interesting to note that in three divisions the 1st placegetters each won all seven games, a difficult feat at any time.

Happy prizewinners in Recreation:
Carol Mascitti, Rena Aitken and
Irlande Alfred

The clever players in Intermediate: Geoff
Shepheard, John Parker, Mal Eden, Christie
Godby and Glenys Dettmann


Prizewinners in Advanced: John Rider,
Elaine Capewell, June Valentine, Kris
Howat and Jenny Brysha


The Masters winners: Gwen Lampre, Peter
Kougi, Norma Fisher, Natasha Podesser and
Mythili Rudra

In Recreation, Carol Mascitti gained 54 points for her 7 winning games, Irlande Alfred was runner-up with 6 games and Dorothy Rice 3rd with 5 games. Dorothy also took home the prize for the high game of 479. Marisa Nuccitelli held the High Word score (Peanuts, 129) for most of the day until Game 5 when Rena Aitken slapped down UNPLACED for a massive 158 points to take home the prize. Mal Eden won the Intermediate Division with 6 games, followed by John Parker (5 games) in 2nd place and Geoff Shepheard 3rd. Glenys Dettmann's High Game score of 488 took the prize in this section, and Christie Godby played INBOXES for 91 points.
The 1st place in Advanced Section was won by John Rider with 7 wins, Jenny Brysha won 5 games for 2nd, and Elaine Capewell was 3rd with 4 winning scores. Kris Howat's High Game of 624 won a round of applause and the prize, and June Valentine took home the High Word prize for VARNISH 93. Peter Kougi was on fire again and won 7 games for 1st place in Masters. Gwen Lampre's coat of many colours drew many glances of admiration and avarice, and may have been distracting enough to put off her opponents; she came 2nd with 5 big wins, and Mythili Rudra was 3rd, also with 5 wins. Norma Fisher's High Game of 586 took the money, and Natasha Podesser's MAJORED (114) won the award in the section.
Cranbourne Club Members produced some scrumptious savouries, sweets and fruit, and worked in the kitchen between games to keep everyone contented. My special thanks to Marj Miller and Barry Harridge for help with the computers and printers, Norma Fisher for her help with everything, and everyone else who assisted in any way - it was appreciated.

To check the full results of the tournament click here

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Fun at Tumut for the Tri-State Challenge! May 2/3, 2015


The NSW Team ~ includes from left: Sunny Wright, Pat Schuberg, Raelene
Moon, Janine Whittaker, Tony Hunt, Kerry Constable, Joanne Craig, Sharon
Sorensen, Bev Sutton, Alison Pollard, Richard Birch, La'reine Lang, Colleen
Birch, Gary Pollard, Rene Chelton, Nonie English, Arie Holla, Rocky Sharma,
Bob Jackman, Liz Jackman

The Challenge Individual Award Winners ~
Liz Jackman, Bob Jackman (T.D.), Joanne
Craig, Norma Fisher, Tony Hunt holding
the Shield, Pat Schuberg, Eileen Mills,
Anne Schick and Marisa Nuccitelli
For the first time this event was held in sunny and warm Tumut at the foot of the famous Snowy Mountain range, and it was well organised by Bob Jackman and his team from New South Wales. Much assistance (and wonderful yummy fresh food!) was provided by the Tumut Scrabble Club members, including Bev Sutton who played in a formal tournament for the first time and acquitted herself well indeed. Victoria were joined by novice Christie Godby, who also did very well. Christie is an experienced online player, and this stood her in good stead for her first venture into face-to-face Scrabble. Well done to you both! The venue was changed from the R.S.L. Club to the Tumut Golf Club, and we thank the Club for their excellent and friendly service, it was appreciated by all. Many of the Victorian players travelled north on a minibus, very capably driven by players Nicole Lowe and Rob York - thank you to you both, for your patience and good humour as well as your driving!

The Victorians: Christie Godby, Natasha Podesser, Elize Plaganyi, Marj
Miller, Dorothy Barraclough, Marisa Nuccitelli, Lina Camilleri, Mal Eden,
Carole Eden, Heather Long, Norma Fisher, Latha Weerakkody, Peter Bauer,
Nicole Lowe, Carol Johnsen, Rob York, Norma Engel and Eileen Mills

The valiant team from the Australian Capital
Territory: Christine Foot, Tony Beer & Anne
Schick. The usual team leader John Hamilton
was OS, contesting the Malta Open
A total of forty-two players competed, with twenty-one representing New South Wales, three from the Australian Capital Territory, and eighteen from Victoria. Bob Jackman did a great job as Tournament Director, well done, Bob, and thanks to all who contributed to the success of the event - as always a great deal of organising was involved. Thanks to Carol Johnsen for the photo below of the lovely autumn colours, and to Eileen Mills for the magnificent sunset pic!

Dinner at the Golf Club: Latha Weerakkody,
Elize Plaganyi, Marisa Nuccitelli, Nicole
Lowe, Norma Engel and Lina Camilleri

Beautiful autumn foliage was
prevalent in the area - a lovely
spot for an autumn holiday!

This photo shows the brilliant
sunset over the Tumut Golf Club
on Saturday evening
Results were calculated on the percentage of wins to each state, but only games played against opposing state team members were counted, and New South Wales finished well ahead, winning 60% of these games. Victoria were second on 46%, with the A.C.T on 37%. Well done to the NSW players, far too good for the rest of us! Individual winners were decided on overall ratings gains, with prizes awarded to Liz Jackman (NSW) +73, Eileen Mills (Vic) +65, and Marisa Nuccitelli (Vic) +48. Well played, girls! Extra prizes were awarded to the top finishing representative from each state, and these were Joanne Craig from NSW, Norma Fisher from Victoria, and Anne Schick from the ACT. Tony Hunt (NSW) scored 527 to achieve the High Game Award and Pat Schuberg, also from NSW, played OVATIONS to take home the High Word Award.
To check the full results in the archives click here

Vale Carmel Doney ~ April 8 1940 ~ April 23 2015


At the South Australian/Victorian Border Challenge in Horsham
in 2013. Carmel is at the centre, amongst her friends

Our members were saddened to hear of Carmel's recent passing after a brief but courageous battle with cancer. Carmel's career in Scrabble goes back many many years, during which time she played well over 2000 tournament games, as well as being a dedicated club player. Her association with the Knox Club and friendships with the members are fondly remembered, as are her friendships with many players throughout the Scrabble family, both local and interstate. Carmel loved to travel to compete, often with good friends Heather Long and Peter Bauer, supporting the Australian Championship regularly in various states, Border Challenges and many country tournaments, including the Raymond Island event where she delighted in catching up with her good friend Sylvia Galloway.
Carmel's family - husband Jim and children Michelle and Chris and the grandchildren were pleased to share Carmel's funeral service with us, and they will miss her as will we, but all will have many happy memories of a lovely warm, caring and straightforward lady. Rest in peace, Carmel.

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The April Antics Tournament ~ April 19, 2015

Here is a report from Tournament Director, Carol Johnsen, thanks, Carol:
Do we ever get enough Scrabble? You would think with the Nationals only completed less than two weeks before, everyone would "take a break". Not so! Fifty four competitors turned up and played a Four Division tournament. Great place to be as it turned out for the heavens opened up as players were arriving and at the end of the day and icy winds outside. Peter Kougi, Australian Champion for 2015, continued in fine form with 7 wins out of 7, with Geoff Wright and Gwen Lampre placing 2nd and 3rd. It was an absolute delight to have Michael Hornung return after a 5 year break, his last tournament having been the Decathon in 2010. Let's hope that we see him more often.

Masters ~ Barry Harridge HW, Gwen Lampre,
Natasha Podesser HG, Geoff Wright

Advanced: Cheryle Jerram 1, HG & HW,
John Rider 2 and Kris Howat 3

On the left: Gwen Lampre, Michael Hornung,
Mary McMahon, with Peter Kougi at right
An absolute thrill for Rena Aitken who scored 102 with BESPOKEN - she was very proud to have done it with such a lovely word. A lovely surprise for competitors but a Tournament Director's lament when, after working out finances for the day and enveloping prizes, etc., a High Game was equalled along with a High Word - always need to keep some reserve moneys handy! I trialled the presentation of printed Congratulations Certificates (with names and achievements on them) which were well received. A lovely day which appeared to have gone well for all concerned. - CAROL JOHNSEN, Tournament Director

Inter: John Parker 3, Siva Sivapalasundram
HG, Khwanjai Thammaping HW,
and Diane Stoyan 1

Recreation: Rena Aitken equal HW,
Ann Goodwin 2 and HG,
Elize Plaganyi equal HW, and Carole Eden 3

Foreground: John Rider plays Rod Casey,
Lorraine Thomas plays Dianne Davis
and Cheryle Jerram plays Kris Howat
To see the full results in the archives click here

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Wow!! Our new Australian Champion is Victoria's Peter Kougi, and the Plate Champion is Anne Schick from the A.C.T!

After 3 days of tough Scrabble, with wonderfully strong fields in both the Championship and the Plate, we congratulate Peter and Anne on their great performances.....well done indeed!

The 2015 Australian Scrabble Champion,
Peter Kougi from the host state Victoria

The trophies presented to the top performers,
with the impressive perpetual trophy.

The Plate winner, Anne Schick, from the
Australian Capital Territory
The Essendon Windy Hill Social Club proved very suitable for the event, although rather crowded at times around the area where the draws were being posted on two large TV screens capably organised by Barry Harridge, brilliant, Barry! The congestion eased a little when printed draws were used in conjunction with the excellent display, but comfortable space around the playing tables was appreciated by all. Morning and afternoon teas were excellent, as were the bistro meals, and many took advantage of the gaming room to either improve their own finances, or in many cases those of the Essendon Club!
A total of 160 players competed, and we welcomed ten from overseas as well as over 100 interstate players, and we thank you for making the trip to Melbourne, Victoria - your support of the event was absolutely fantastic and greatly appreciated by all.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP

Peter Kougi 1
Victoria

Alastair Richards 2
Queensland

Daniel Piechnick 3
South Australia

Richard Jeremy 4
A.C.T

Andrew Fisher 5
Victoria

Esther Perrins 6
New South Wales

Cheah Siu Hean 7
Singapore

Naween Fernando 8
Victoria

Michael Tang 9
Singapore

Nick Ivanovski 10
Victoria

Alex Tan, High Game,
Malaysia

Lorraine Thomas,
High Word, Vic

Angie Pearse, High
Ratings Gain, Vic

Henry Yeo, Dream
Team, Malaysia
82 players took part in the Championship, and all lasted the distance with no dropouts, latecomers or faint-heartedness, a good effort indeed. Early leaders included Yeo Kian Hung (Henry), Joanne Craig, Peter Kougi, Andrew Fisher, and Richard Jeremy, with defending Champion Daniel Piechnick leading for Rounds 9-14. At this stage Peter Kougi, playing great scrabble, took over the lead. Round 23 proved pivotal, with Peter just one game clear of Alastair Richards from Queensland, but Peter had a narrow 3 point win over Alex Tan, and Naween Fernando won against Alastair, so at this stage Peter could not be defeated. To see the Kougi v Tan game click here.

Alex Tan cleverly scored 657 to take home the High Game Award, and Lorraine Thomas was delighted to play CRAZIEST for 221 points to achieve the award for High Word. Angie Pearse's High Rating Gain of 118 points was brilliant, and Peter Kougi gained 102 points to move him over the 2000 rating mark and into third place in Australia. This win also means that Peter automatically qualifies to contest the WESPA Championship, being held in Perth from November 4th-8th this year. Peter joins our other automatic qualifier Cameron Farlow from Queensland, who won the 2014 Australian Masters. We have 12 more Australian places to fill, and to follow the stringent selection process click here.

THE PLATE

Anne Schick 1
From the A.C.T

Dianne Gibson 2
Victoria

Rene Chelton 3
N.S.W.

Lewis Hawkins 5
New Zealand

Peter Bauer 7
Victoria

Paula Messer 10
Victoria

Don Hadley, N.S.W.
High Word
Missing from the above photo gallery are Marjorie Giffen fourth, Cheryl Michler sixth, Colleen Birch eighth, Margaret Griggs ninth, and June Valentine who scored 608 points to win High Game, great score, June. Also missing is Karyn Crease, who shared the High Word award with Don Hadley, both scoring 149 points - Karen played USHERING which was equalled by Don's play of NEGROIDS. The High Ratings Gain in the Plate went to Anne Schick who gained a massive 148 points, brilliant, Anne!

MISCELLANEOUS

Directors Wilma Vialle and Barry Harridge -
a brilliant duo indeed!

The Young Ones! Front: Lewis, Ronnie, Shekinah.
Back: Radheya, Karen, Tim.

Karen Richards with Radheya Jegatheva,
Highest Junior Ratings Gain

In charge of the crowd....Tournament Directors Wilma Vialle and Barry Harridge did an admirable job keeping everyone in order and adhering to the timetable, and with staggered lunch times for the two divisions most competitors returned to play on time, although I heard a whisper that a few players (who shall remain nameless!) had to be personally fetched from the social area downstairs by Wilma, and they were seen moving very rapidly to their tables after the muster!

Young players! The group pic shows WESPA World Youth Coordinator Karen Richards with the younger players, many of whom have benefitted greatly from coaching clinics organised by Karen. Most travelled long distances to attend the Championship, with Lewis Hawkins making the trip from New Zealand. Radheya Jegatheva from Western Australia received the award for the junior with the Highest Rating Gain, 136 points, an excellent result, Radheya! The Age newspaper visited and produced an excellent article featuring Champion Peter Kougi, and the youngest player in the tournament, Ronnie Bennett.

Dream Team Organiser John Hamilton,
getting it all exactly right!

The Dream Team! John Hamilton had travelled from the Australian Capital Territory to help with many tasks, and with the assistance of Barry Harridge's software had organised a "Dream Team Competition" which proved wonderfully popular, attracting 63 entries including several from overseas! Stringent conditions for choice of team members were in place, and it wasn't easy to choose a team within the prescribed parameters, but Henry Yeo did that extremely well - his team comprised Anne Schick, Andrew Fisher, Adam Kretschmer, himself, Radheya Jegatheva and Shekinah Giffen, and their total number of wins (84.5) gave Henry's team a win over John Hamilton's and Jay Jay Jegathesan's teams, both on 84 wins but with John's team having a greater margin. Good fun for all, and thank you, John!


Barbara Hancock with Sunny Wright
in her homemade Easter Bonnet!

Wilma triumphs over Tony! Far too
strong for the NSW President!
More fun! Jarping the Bunnies! Unable to source a large egg as jarped in Sydney last year, Victoria utilised two bunnies - the idea was to choose a person from each division to do battle between the bunnies to see which one caved in first! Tony Hunt won the best Easter word for the Champs section with the word HARELIKE, but the person representing the Plate was missing at the time so TD Wilma Vialle filled in, breaking Tony Hunt's bunny with some ferocious tactics - such a shy person, that Wilma.....play then resumed and the chocolate was later shared among all.


Liz Jackman,
played SQUELCH!!
Records! Several records were equalled, but a score of 112 points for an opening move by Liz Jackman from New South Wales is the best for the year to date. Liz was excited as the word SQUELCH unfolded on to her rack, and went on to win the game convincingly! Well done, Liz! All records can be viewed in the archives, just click here

Thanks from the Organisers! With President Carol Johnsen at the helm of a hardworking subcommittee everything eventually fell into place - I won't mention any more names as I'm sure to miss someone - you know who you are! Sincere thanks go to all who assisted throughout the process, including our standby players, our photographers, and the wonderfully friendly and obliging staff at the Windy Hill venue, its a pleasure to all that we have conducted another successful Australian Scrabble Championship. Next year South Australia are the hosts, and we look forward to seeing many of you there!

To see the article in The Age newspaper click here.

To visit the tournament website click here

And to see the results in the Australian archives click here

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~ The Nunawading Tournament, March 22 2015 ~

Fifty-four players settled down to play in this annual event, and it was a very enjoyable day indeed, with some excellent performances in each of the four sections. The Convenor of the Nunawading Scrabble Club (which meets at 7.00 pm on Tuesday evenings at 16 Station Street, Mitcham, all welcome!) had been very busy organising the tourney and making many delicious goodies for all to enjoy, and we thank Cheryle Jerram for her wonderful efforts. Also keeping us well fed was Club Member Geoff Shepheard, whose sausage rolls and quiche proved very popular. Thanks to you both!
As always Lalitha Sundaresan did a great job on computers, keeping everything moving smoothly, and producing the results and ratings speedily at the end of the day. Many other helpers contributed to the success of the day, and we thank all for their welcome assistance.

Masters ~ Naween Fernando,
Natasha Podesser, Trevor Halsall

Advanced ~ Kris Howat, Lorraine Thomas,
Dianne Gibson, Glen Chandler, Noel Coulter

Fintan Conway, with Mum Hilary looking on,
plays returning player Lynne Goodinson
MASTERS saw a clean sweep to Naween Fernando, who won all seven games with a wonderful margin of +873 and is looking strong for our upcoming Australian Scrabble Championship, taking place at Essendon over Easter. Second place went to Trevor Halsall on six wins, followed by Natasha Podesser on five wins....Trevor scored 572 to achieve the High Game score, and Heather Long played QUINOLS for 131 points to collect the High Word Award.
ADVANCED saw the second clean sweep for the day, with a wonderful performance from a delighted Kris Howat, who finished two games clear of Lorraine Thomas on the comeback trail, and Noel Coulter who assured me it was his "first time on the podium". High Game for the section went to Dianne Gibson for her score of 508, and Glen Chandler played PLAITERS for 149 points to win the High Game prize, the best overall for the day.

Intermediate ~ Dorothy Barraclough,
Mal Eden, Diane Stoyan, Khwanjai Thammaping

Recreation ~ Liz McKean, Elize Plaganyi,
and Latha Weerakkody

Nuna Club players, from left - Lorraine Thomas,
Geoff Shepheard, Cheryle Jerram, with Rob York
INTERMEDIATE was very closely contested with Dorothy Barraclough finishing ahead of Khwanjai Thammaping on margin, both with six wins, followed by Mal Eden on five. The High Game award went to Diane Stoyan for her score of 555 points, and Mal played RESOLING for 122 points to win the High Word prize.
In RECREATION a delighted Elizabeth McKean took out first place, winning her section for the first time - well done, Liz. Second place went to Mohammed Hegazi, and third place was filled by Latha Weerakkody. A score of 460 points gained Marlene Ellis the High Game award for the section, and Elize Plaganyi played UNEARTH for 99 points to win the High Word prize.
There were some wonderful ratings gains on the day - Elizabeth McKean +68, Kris Howat +62, Dorothy Barraclough +41, Naween Fernando +37, Khwanjai Thammaping +35, Mal Eden +35, Natasha Podesser +34 and Mohammed Hegazi +33.
Congrats to everyone, well played and thank you to all who attended and helped make the day a success!.
To see the full individual results click HERE

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Alastair Richards equals the World Record for most bonus words in a game! Eight!



Alastair achieved this amazing feat on the weekend of March 7/8, 2015, in Adelaide at the annual South Australian Championship, and we congratulate him on this wonderful game - Alastair also took out the Championship, finishing two games clear of Esther Perrins and Jane Taylor, well played, Alastair and girls!


The 15th Annual Langwarrin Tournament, March 1, 2015


The Langwarrin Club members ~ Elaine, Brigid, Geoff,
Chris, Carol, Mardi, Irlande, Dorothy & Gayle.
Once again the Langwarrin Scrabble Club welcomed us to their comfortable venue, the Langwarrin Community Centre on the corner of Lang and Warrandyte Roads in Langwarrin, where the club meets on Tuesday evenings at 7pm - everybody welcome!
The tournament moved along smoothly under the direction of Club Member Carol Johnsen, with wonderful help from all the club members. Club Treasurer Gayle Cameron did an excellent job balancing the books before heading off to another function.Geoff Gittus filled in as the standby player and the members supplied lots of lovely food to keep us well nourished! Thank you to all for your efforts and assistance, it was appreciated by the players. The weather was delightful, allowing players to wander outside between games, and I thank Khwanjai Thammaping for the lovely photo of the Langwarrin Club players.
Forty-six players travelled from far and near to compete in the four sections scheduled, and some great play was seen at various times - two players won all their games, a remarkable achievement - its not surprising that Sylvia and Rob were beaming at the end of the day!

Recreation Winners: Irlande Alfred 2, Mardi
Healy 1, Norma Engel 3

Tops in Intermediate ~ Shaun Donnelly 2, Glen
Chandler 3, Sylvia Galloway 1

Oliver Podesser plays Marisa Nuccitelli at Board 14,
with Dorothy Rice playing Mal Eden at Board 13
In RECREATION local club player Mardi Healy proved too good for her opponents, winning five of the six games played. Mardi was followed by seven players on four wins, and the best of these was local Irlande Alfred in second place, with Norma Engel third. The High Game Award went to Mardi for her excellent score of 486, and Norma Engel played SMEARED for 92 points to win the High Word Award. Well done, girls!
INTERMEDIATE saw Sylvia Galloway win all six, well done, Sylvia! Second place went decisively to Shaun Donnelly on five wins, and both Sylvia and Shaun have moved into the Advanced section with their great ratings gains. Third place went to Glen Chandler on three wins, and Glen also won the High Game Award for her score of 482. Sylvia won the High Word Award for her play of REWAXES for 111 points, the highest overall for the tournament.

Aces in Advanced: Rob York 1, Sandra Masel 2,
Angie Pearse 3

Happy Masters: Natasha Podesser 2, Marj Miller 1,
and John Rider, High Word

Relaxing at lunch time - Mal & Carole Eden,
Norma Engel, Lina Camilleri & Irlande Alfred
ADVANCED was won by Rob York who was using a Play-up Certificate to allow him to play in this section, and he took advantage of the opportunity by winning all six games, a great day, Rob! Second and third places were filled by Sandra Masel and Angie Pearse respectively, with both on four wins. Noel Coulter scored 469 to win the High Game Award, and Sandra Masel's play of PRINCES for 101 won her the High Word Award.
MASTERS was an up and down contest, with Marj Miller losing the first game by 159 to Natasha Podesser,both winning five games on the day with Marj coming out in first place by a small margin.....third place went to an ever-improving Chris Scholten on three wins. Interestingly the High Game Award went to Natasha for her score of 520 against Marj...hmmm. John Rider's lovely play of HOAXERS for 103 points allowed him to take home the High Word Award.

Elize Plaganyi plays Del Stitz in the foreground,
and Chris Radin plays Norma Engel

Action in Inter: Siva Sivapalasundram plays Shaun
Donnelly, Geoff Shepheard plays Sylvia Galloway

In the kinder room: Faye Leeder, Balada Catanchin,
Dianne Gibson, Rob York & Ann Goodwin
Excellent ratings gains went to Rob York +76, Sylvia Galloway +56, Marj Miller +44, Shaun Donnelly +33, Natasha Podesser +26 and Sandra Masel +20. Thanks again to all involved in presenting such a pleasant event, we hope to join you again, same time, same place, next year!
To see the full individual results click HERE

The 2015 Melbourne Team Challenge ~ February 15


The Champions!! The Frontrunners! Geoff Shepheard,
Bridget Halge, Liz McKean, Peter Kougi, Marjorie Clark
This annual event turned out to be another good day's scrabble, a rather long day but an enjoyable one! We owe a big thank you to Barry Harridge for his help, as always Barry was able to deal with anything and everything which arose, thanks, Barry. Catering problems took a little sorting out, but these were overcome with a great deal of help from our standby player Rob York and several of our players between their games, sincere thanks to everyone! Also many thanks to Norma Fisher for her tireless work, and to all who helped set up and clean up at the end of the tournament.
Now to the event - the photos at left and below show the composition and finishing order of the teams, and congratulations to THE FRONTRUNNERS for finishing IN FRONT!
What doesn't show is the closeness of the finish - WHATEVER finished a game short of the Frontrunners but well ahead on margin, with THE LOVELIES a further game behind in third place.
To see the full placings of the Teams click HERE
The winning team were well rewarded for their excellent efforts, but rather than reward individual performances within the teams extra prizes were given for theme words, and these proved popular, with many entries to choose from - Mythili Rudra played INSPIRER to win the prize for "Leadership", Shaun Donnelly played MEDIATE to win the award for "Harmony", and Elize Plaganyi's play of DOVE was a popular choice for the "Peace" prize.

Second Champions, Whatever!! Tash Podesser,
Julie Belle, Glenys Dettmann, Angie Pearse,
and Judith Westwood

Third place - The Lovelies: Lorna Patching,
Paula Messer, Mythili Rudra, Marisa
Nuccitelli and Kris Howat

Finished Fourth - Melbourne Victory: Andrew
Fisher, Lorraine Thomas, Dorothy Barraclough,
Latha Weerakkody and Elize Plaganyi

Fifth, and first prize for great hat wearing!
The Underdogs: Rena Aitken, Marie D'Rosario,
Norma Fisher, Gwen Lampre and Glen Chandler

Sixth place, Quick Nick & The Knickerbockers!
Kashi Thiris, Dorothy Rice, Livia Caulfield,
Nick Ivanovski & Khwanjai Thammaping

Seventh - The Bratpack: Mal Eden, Geoff
Gittus, Balada Catanchin, Naween Fernando
and Noel Coulter

Eighth - Emanon, looking good in bunny ears!
Geoff Wright, Elaine Capewell, Shaun Donnelly,
Eileen Mills & Ann Goodwin

Ninth place - The Carollers: Oliver Podesser,
Jenny Brysha, Carol Johnsen, Dianne Gibson
and Mary Mackie

The Bright Horses, in lovely Buccaneer Hats!
Lina Camilleri, Janet Bau, Stephanie Saunders,
Jimmy Scarff and Siva Sivapalasundram
Great individual performances on the day saw Norma Fisher win eight of the nine games played, and the following players won seven: Andrew Fisher, Glen Chandler, Angie Pearse, Lorna Patching, Peter Kougi, Jenny Brysha, Kashi Thiris and Latha Weerakkody. Good efforts from you all!
Great ratings gains went to Lorna Patching +58, Marjorie Clark +55, Norma Fisher +52, Kashi Thiris +44, Angie Pearse +43, Noel Coulter +41, and Geoff Shepheard +40.
Well done to all players, I hope you enjoyed your day as part of a team!
To see the full individual results click HERE

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The Camberwell Tournament ~ February 1, 2015


An interesting shot from Barry's camera, called
"Artists' Effect". Taken during Game Seven
After several cancellations fifty-two players settled down to contest this annual event, and Tournament Director Barry Harridge welcomed all players, plus two returning members - namely Shaun Donnelly and Frank Csarics, it was lovely to see you both back with us. Many thanks to the Camberwell Club Members for helping with setting up and running the event, it was appreciated indeed, and it was most unfortunate that Club Convenor Patricia Mitchell could not be with us.
The four divisions were keenly fought out, with two players winning all seven games played - Paula Messer in Intermediate and Mohammed Hegazi in Recreation. Congrats, what an exciting result for both of you.
In Masters Peter Kougi proved too strong for the opposition, finishing a game clear of Trevor Halsall and Jimmy Scarff, both on five wins. High Game in this section went to Trevor Halsall for his score of 582, and Mythili Rudra won the High Word award for playing SIXTEENS for 113 points.
Advanced saw a similar finish with Elaine Capewell on six wins, a game clear of Mary McMahon and John Rider, both winning five. Julie Belle was delighted with her score of 552 which gained her the High Game award, and John Rider played REAFFIRM for 107 points to gain the High Word award.

Masters ~ Trevor Halsall, Mythili Rudra,
Jimmy Scarff and Peter Kougi

Advanced ~ Elaine Capewell, John Rider,
Julie Belle and Mal Eden

Paula Messer tallying her score on the
way to winning seven games
As mentioned, Intermediate saw a clear win to Paula Messer on seven wins, followed by Rob York and Shaun Donnelly on five wins. The High Game award was divided between Carol Mascitti and Rob York for their great scores of 500 points each, and Glen Chandler played SINGLES for 86 to win the High Word award.
Also as mentioned, Recreation saw victory to Mohammed Hegazi for his seven wins, followed by Balada Catanchin on six wins and Latha Weerakkody on five, well done all. Mohammed also won the High Game award for a score of 494, and the High Word award was won by Marjorie Clark for her play of BASHING for 96 points.

Intermediate ~ Glen Chandler, Rob York,
Shaun Donnelly and Paula Messer

Recreation ~ Balada Catanchin, Latha
Weerakkody and Marjorie Clark

Early in the day - Rob York at Table 1,
setting up and enjoying a coffee!
Excellent ratings gains on the day were achieved by Paula Messer +60, Mohammed Hegazi +53, Elaine Capewell +43, Balada Catanchin +42, and Jimmy Scarff +35. Well done to all, with great results for many!
To see the full results click HERE

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Multinational David Eldar wins the 2015 City of Sydney Masters!

After 26 gruelling games of Scrabble played over three days at the Burwood Club in Sydney, New South Wales, David Eldar turned out to be the winner - David is originally from Victoria, Australia and now spends most of his time at his second home in England. David was out to an early lead but those behind didn't give up, and David finished on 21 wins, just a game clear of Edward Okulicz on 20, followed by Alastair Richards (18), Cam Farlow (17), Rod Talbot (16.5), and Graeme Lock Lee (16). Well done to Joanne Craig for her fine High Game Score of 667, and to Carmel Dodd for winning the High Word Award, scoring 162 for ODORIZES.
Thanks to Raelene Moon for these photos of Bob Jackman presenting the awards.

David Eldar

Edward Okulicz

Alastair Richards

Cam Farlow

Rod Talbot

Graeme Lock Lee
Congratulations to David and everyone who placed in the event, and well done to Bob Jackman, Edward Okulicz and their helpers for running another successful major event in New South Wales.
To see the full results click HERE

The Bil Rose Aestival, January 18, 2015

This annual Round Robin, at which we honour the late Bil Rose, was contested by 60 keen players. At one stage in his career Bil Rose held the record in the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest person playing tournament scrabble in the world, a great achievement indeed! Bil has been gone from us for quite some time now, but is still remembered fondly by many.
Apart from G section (Gajdosova, which had 12 players) competitors were divided into groups of eight, with each group named after a tennis player. President Carol Johnsen, returning from illness and looking well, acted as Tournament Director and welcomed some people we hadn't seen for some time - Sue Kyatt-Kane, Alistair Kane, and Julian McKail. It was great to see you all playing again. Many people helped with organising, and setting up and tidying up, and we were grateful to all for their help! The standby player for the day (Marj Miller, who donated her services for the tournament) was fortunate to be needed to play, an enjoyable experience indeed.

The clever people on the day: Jenny Brysha, Dianne Gibson, Diane Stoyan, David Eldar, Natasha Podesser,
Oliver Podesser, Naween Fernando, Siva Sivapalasundram & Geoff Shepheard. Missing: Dorothy Barraclough
AZARENKA was an interesting section to play in, with David Eldar rising to the occasion to pip Naween Fernando and Julian McKail, with all on five wins.
BARTY saw another fine performance from Natasha Podesser on six wins, ahead of Harry Malcolm on five wins and Gwen Lampre on four.
CILIC was won by an in-form Dianne Gibson on five wins from Marj Miller on four, with Carmel Doney in third place also on four wins.
DJOKOVIC saw a great win to Jenny Brysha who won five on the day, a game clear of Glen Chandler and Cheryle Jerram, both winning four.
These four divisions combined to find a High Game and High Word winner, with the former going to Naween Fernando for a lovely score of 573 points, nice game, Naween. The High Word Award went to an elated Diane Stoyan for a wonderful score of 194 for STICKERS, by far the best for the day, and also the year to date as shown on the National website....click HERE to see the listing.

In EBDEN Dorothy Barraclough won six games to finish two games clear of Geoff Shepheard on four wins, with John Parker third on three wins, well done Dorothy.
FEDERER saw Oliver Podesser, also in great form, win six ahead of Ann Goodwin also on six wins, with Carol Mascitti a game further back on five wins.
GAJDOSOVA saw three players finish on five wins, with Siva Sivapalasundram ahead of Marlene Ellis and Rena Aitken, well done to all.
The winner of the High Game award for these three sections was Dorothy Barraclough with a fine score of 554, and the High Word award went to Geoff Shepheard, who scored 101 points for CHIMERS.

EBDEN: Mal Eden plays Paula Messer, and in
front Anne Menheere plays Rob York

Waiting for results: Carole Eden, Gwen Lampre,
Balada Catanchin, Dianne Gibson, Ann Goodwin

The End: Norma Fisher, Carol Johnsen,
Geoff Wright, Barry Harridge, Glen Chandler
These are the players who made excellent ratings gains on the day: Ann Goodwin +60, Dorothy Barraclough +50, Rena Aitken +50, Natasha Podesser +47, Oliver Podesser +40, Carol Mascitti +38, Dianne Gibson +34, Del Stitz +34, Harry Malcolm + 31, and Glen Chandler +31. Thank you again to all who participated to make this event a very pleasant day out....
To see the full results click HERE

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