~ News Archive 2008 ~

Decathon: December 28 2008

Ten games of scrabble in a day is quite a challenge, but all 74 players seemed to enjoy the tournament, which ran quite smoothly using a modified lagged draw - as soon as the last pair completed a round the draw for the following round was posted immediately, and this was helpful in reducing the turnaround time between games. We welcomed back several people whom we hadn't seen for sometime, including Angela and Ian Newton, Alan Stewart, Diane and Wayne Stoyan, Jimmy Scarff, and Jason Stockdale, returning after completing his VCE and prior to moving on to Uni somewhere.

Division A, one, two & three
Andrew, David, Naween

Interstaters Maree Heynen
with David More - 1st Division B

John Minas, Chris Scholten &
B.J.Winzer - 1st Division C
A brilliant performance in Division A saw Andrew Fisher victorious, winning all ten games and finishing 2.5 games clear of David Eldar, with Naween Fernando (6.5 wins) in third place. In Division B one of our interstate visitors David More (NSW) won 8 games to finish ahead of Dianne Gibson (8 wins) and Jason Stockdale (7.5 wins). The winner of Division C, B.J. Winzer, has been steadily improving his rating, and won 8 games to finish a game clear of Bridget Halge and John Minas in second and third positions respectively. Fourth placed was our enthusiastic 8 year old Anand Bharadwaj, also on 7 wins. Anand has a refreshing approach to Scrabble tournaments - he doesn't seem to mind if he loses, but really enjoys the challenge of a close and hard-fought game.

Test cricket on Naween's TV:
Mal, Wayne, Chris, John, B.J.

Dianne Gibson & Rob York
Greensborough Club players

Peter Bauer with Diane Stoyan,
back after a break from the game
High Game scores for the day went to Natasha Podesser (547), Alan Cole (504), and Dorothy Barraclough (514), while worthy High Word scores were credited to Naween Fernando (RAINBAND 122), Ian Newton (QINTARS 108) and Nobby Clark (SUCKLED 102). Notable ratings gains for the day were achieved by Irlande Alfred +145, David More +73, Frank Csarics +66, and Andrew Fisher +61. Well done to all.
Thank you to all who helped make the tournament a success, particularly Gillian Kinder for organising the entries, Carol Johnsen, Barry Harridge and Chris Stockdale for computer duties, and Jack Miller for being such a great help in general, from moving furniture to handling sales to dog-minding duties.

Time for an ice cream -
Naween tucks in

Geelong players
Mary Mackie & Joyce McCombe

Anne Menheere, Bridget Halge,
Gianna Devcic

Scrabble® Celebrates 60 Years: December 16th 2008

Sixty years ago Alfred Mosher Butts registered this wonderful board game in the USA, starting what has become a fascinating hobby for millions around the world. Radio 3AW generously devoted time to an interview at 7.15am on Wednesday morning, and on the same day we were fortunate to have an article published in The Age newspaper here in Melbourne. To read the article, please click here

World Youth Scrabble Championship December 9-11th 2008 in Malaysia

To follow the action of our young representatives click here

Natasha & Alastair study the form
Unfortunately one of our players, James Gunner, has had to withdraw from the event after breaking his arm while swimming in the pool yesterday. This must be very upsetting for James , as he was no doubt looking forward to participating. At the end of Day One our best placed Aussies are Alastair Richards(9th) and Michael McKenna (15th), both on six wins. Khoo Beng Way from Malaysia looks to be the one to catch, leading with 9 wins from the 9 games played.

2008 WYSC Champion
Charnrit Khongthanarat

WYSC Update - Day 2:

Our best placed player is Alastair Richards in 19th spot with 10 wins, while the leader Khoo Beng Way is on 17 wins, with 18 games completed.

WYSC - Final Day:

After 22 "normal" rounds, the best of five final was won 3:1 by Charnrit Khongthanarat from Thailand, in a battle with Khoo Beng Way from Malaysia. Here's how our Aussies finished - Alastair Richards 9th, Michael McKenna 22nd, James Gunner (who managed to win 10 of the 14 games he played, despite his broken arm) 35th, Natasha Podesser 37th, Kitty-Jean Laginha 39th, Phillip Hamilton 41st, John Hamilton 47th, and Bela Laginha (who financed her own trip) finished 50th. I'm sure all made some new friends and enjoyed the wonderful experience of competing overseas.

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SA/Vic Border Challenge December 6/7 2008

Paula & Carol
A pleasant weekend was spent at Horsham, where 14 Vics played 14 players from SA at the Bull & Mouth Hotel. Thanks to Paula Brown (SA) and Carol Johnsen (Vic) for their efforts in organising the event. Here is a report from Carol on the weekend's activities:

The playing room at the Bull & Mouth Hotel

Whilst Victoria had a resounding win, it was not all easy-going with the likes of South Australians Carmel Dodd and Teresa Dean leading their charge ... two very formidable and intense opponents. Congratulations to Carmel on her win. It was left till the last game where the winner out of Carmel Dodd and Heather Long would determine the winner of the A Section.
The hospitality of the publican, Tim Phillips, at the Bull and Mouth Hotel, was outstanding and it was decided by the players at this tournament that we would hold the challenge once again at this venue in 2009 on 5 and 6 December. Horsham abounds in various styles (and prices) of accommodation and eateries ... and, oh of course, don't forget the pokies! Thank you for all those Victorian players - you did a great job and we'd love to have you back next year.

More of the players

And, where was Khwanjai, when I needed her? You're not being treated to the usual extensive collection of photos ... I just remembered to take a couple of the start of the second day. My apologies for not taking team photos.
Thanks to Paula Brown of South Australia for her fantastic job of organisation of the venue and accommodation details. Her prize certificates were also a delight. Spot prizes were awarded for the highest scoring words commencing with H O R S H A M obtained in all games throughout the tournament. This proved a very popular competition.
Carol Johnsen

8.00 pm December 7: Causeway Challenge Final Report

David Eldar, a happy winner
For the full results, annotated games, pics etc, please click here

In a close fought event, David has emerged victorious on 32.5 wins, half a win ahead of Edward Okulicz from NSW. Congratulations to both, what a brilliant effort to fill first and second placings. Chris May has finished 8th, Naween 11th and Andrew 23rd, and well done to the Australian team on their comprehensive victory, 19.5 wins ahead of the UK team, followed by Nigeria, New Zealand and the USA. Top 20 finishers in the Open Section were Alastair Richards(8th), Kitty-Jean Laginha(10th), Helen Maurus(11th), Bob Jackman(13th) and Karen Richards(16th). This has been an interesting event to follow, and I hope those who have done so have enjoyed the coverage. Thank you to Barry for keeping us up to date.

December 7: Causeway Challenge Update Day 4

After 39 games David is leading on 29 wins, followed by Edward Okulicz(28), Harshan Lamabadusuriya(26.5), and Nigel Richards(26). Chris May(25) is 7th, Naween(21) 17th, and Andrew(19) is 25th. With just six games left to play it will be interesting to see who is eventually victorious. Australia appears to be in an unassailable position in the teams event, 17 games clear of the UK. In the Open Section our best performed Aussies are Helen Maurus in fourth place, Alastair Richards 6th, and Bob Jackman 10th. Good luck to all for a successful final day.

December 6: Causeway Challenge Update Day 3

In the Premier division four players are at the top of the table on 21 wins from 29 games played - Nigel Richards (with a far superior margin), David Eldar, Harshan Lamabadusuriya and Edward Okulicz. Chris May is 5th, Naween Fernando 13th and Andrew Fisher 27th. In the Open division Alastair Richards (NSW) trails Andy Kurnia from Singapore by 1 1/2 games. I'm not sure whether anyone wore a hat yesterday, but at the Mayoral Dinner last evening several of the players performed, including John Barker from Sydney, who gave a rendition of "My Way".

December 5: Causeway Challenge Update Day 2

Ten games were played yesterday, and the leader is now Harshan Lamabadusuriya from the UK. The Aussies: Edward is 2nd, David 4th, Chris 6th, Naween 18th and Andrew 29th. Australia leads the team event, 8.5 wins clear of the UK. Today should be a fun day as the current World Champion, 17yo Suanne Ong from Malaysia, has decreed that all competitors must wear a hat. I am hopeful that we will have some photos to show you soon, but I suspect that Webmaster Barry has little time to add photos to the Causeway site.

December 4: Causeway Challenge Update Day 1

After the first day's play Edward Okulicz is doing extremely well, leading the field one win clear of Howard Warner and Joanne Craig, both from NZ. Chris May is in fourth place, with David Eldar in 9th, Andrew Fisher 31st and Naween Fernando 42nd. All will be hoping for a good day's play today. New Zealand on 29 wins is currently leading the teams event by one game from Australia. Our first five games today are all against NZ players, so the team positions could easily be reversed.
Good luck to the players, and also to Barry who has had some frustrating technical difficulties beyond his control. Here is his email from yesterday.

We are having the same problems at the Zon Regency that we had last year. The wireless access does not work in the playing area. I have uploaded some results here at the restaurant during lunch. I hope we can find some better way later.

Photos from the Bentleigh Tournament 30 November 08.

The Movember Lineup:
from left, Patrick Morgan, Sal Costanzo, Alan Cole,
John Taylor, Jack Miller, Peter Bauer, Frank Csarics,
B.J.Winzer, Peter Kougi, Rod Casey, Oliver Podesser,
Geoff Wright, Shaun Donnelly, David Lemish.

Setting up:
John T. & Marisa N.

Gillian Renwick - 2nd Inter;
Carmel Doney - 1st Masters

Lois Binnie
2nd Masters

Beryl Bourne 2nd Adv;
Di Gibson HG Adv;
Mal Eden, 1st Adv

Audree Clifton
3rd Advanced
A happy Scrabbler

Dorothy Rice
1st Intermediate
Langwarrin Club Player

Shaun Donnelly - 1st Rec, with
aunt Jenny Kearney - 2nd Rec

Best novice Michael Rubinstein
with Norma Fisher

Glen Chandler, Novice; played
years ago at the Dorchester

Bridget Halge & Sandra Masel.
After the game

A new friendship:
Runner Oscar & player Anand

Jack, Norma & Ellen, with
flowers for Marj - thank you all

David in Johor Bahru, in earlier times

The Causeway Challenge - starting Wednesday December 3 at 11.30am AEST

The players below have been selected to represent Australia in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, over 45 games of Scrabble. This is the strongest team we can send based on the ratings at the end of the 12 month qualifying period, and we hope they will do well, as a follow-up to Australia's first placing in this team event in 2006. Some international players have not been able to take part due to air travel problems, and some substitutions have taken place, but the tournament will go ahead with a full field of 50 players.

David Eldar

Edward Okulicz

Chris May

Andrew Fisher

Naween Fernando
There are also 17 other Aussies competing in the Open event which commences on Thursday, good luck to all, and to web-whiz Barry Harridge who is handling much of the web work, having already set up the excellent website prior to travelling to Malaysia. For a preview click here

7.00 pm November 30 2008 - Trans Tasman Challenge Final Results

For full details click here
The Australian team on 179.5 wins has defeated the New Zealand team, on 108.5 wins. Congratulations to all 12 Australians in the team, a wonderful effort. The Individual 2008 Trans Tasman Champion is Rod Talbot (NSW - 19 wins) from Edward Okulicz (NSW - 18 wins), Esther Perrins (NSW - 17 wins), Mike Sigley (NZ - 16 wins), and Michael Hornung (Vic - 16 wins).

Rod Talbot NSW
2008 Champion

Edward Okulicz
NSW - 2nd Indiv.

Esther Perrins NSW
3rd Indiv.

Mike Sigley NZ
4th Indiv.

Michael Hornung
Vic - 5th Indiv.
Team 2008
The Trans Tasman is the second of the challenging events mentioned below by Barry, and 12 Aussies from various states will pit their knowledge and skills against a team of 12 from New Zealand, including well known NZ/NSW Scrabble identity Joanne Craig. The Australian team comprises Edward Okulicz, Bob Jackman, Esther Perrins, Joan Rosenthal, Rod Talbot, John Holgate and Alastair Richards, all from NSW, Richard Jeremy (ACT), Anne Drew (Qld), Carmel Dodd (SA) and Russell Honeybun (WA). Our sole Victorian representative is Michael Hornung, and we wish Michael and the team good luck, and a very pleasant battle with the Kiwis at the Rex Centre, 58A Macleay Street, Potts Point in Sydney.

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Nov 14, 15, 16 2008: World Players Championship

Scrabble events with the Trans Tasman, the World Players Championship, the Causeway Challenge and the World Youth Scrabble Championship all happening within a 30 day period!

Click me
First up is the World Players Championship, designed as a fill in for the World Scrabble Championship in even years, but open to all. It is being held for the first time in Dallas Texas. Victorian Scrabble players David Eldar and Trevor Halsall are among the international line up. Trevor is using the opportunity to travel and had the exhilarating experience of being in front of the White House when the presidential election results came in. Other Aussies taking part are John Barker, Sunny Wright, Donna MacDonald, Joanne Craig, Bob Jackman, Liz Jackman, Carmel Dodd.

David has GILNNTU

At the end of the first day, Nigel Richards and David Eldar headed the field on 7 wins each, after a nailbiting game (click here) between David and Nigel in round 8.
The Aussies had a bad second day, but picked up very well on the third day. David had an exciting game against Amit Chakrabarti from the US (who played in the Victorian Championships in 2005). Can you also find David's bonus in GILNNTU on the board shown? Hover your mouse over the board to reveal what David did. Click the board to follow the whole game.

Congratulations to David's worthy second prize, second only to the legendary Nigel Richards.

Trevor v Nigel Richards in round 3

David v Nigel Richards in round 8

David collects 2nd prize from Chris Cree

Camberwell Club (Tresise Centre)

The Camberwell Club

Click here to find the details

The Bull & Mouth Hotel

Dec 6, 2008: The Vic/SA Border Challenge, Horsham

with seven games on Saturday, and three on Sunday morning. The hotel does not offer accommodation, so you will need to find this elsewhere in Horsham. There are many places to stay, ranging from motels to hotels to bed and breakfast places, and by clicking here you will find a couple of helpful links, as well as full details of this fun event.

Geelong Tournament November 9th 2008

Flanagan Room at the Geelong Football Club for today's annual tournament. A rather solemn but impressive portrait of the renowned Geelong player Fred Flanagan witnessed the joy and despair and the highs and lows of play throughout the day, and helped me keep everyone in order, although we had little to do as everyone behaved impeccably.

60 players took part in the Geelong event

Seriously though, thanks to Marlene Ellis for finding such a great venue, spacious and with good lighting, and with fresh sandwiches available to purchase for lunch. The alternative was a very tasty meal at the Cats Bistro, although indigestion was a problem with some after lunch as the service was rather slow, leaving little or no time to consume the goodies. Not everyone was served in turn, as far as I could tell, and I think John Parker is still waiting for his cake and coffee. Apart from that it was a lovely day, very well organised by Dorothy, Mary and Marlene and the Geelong members, and we thank them for their efforts on our behalf. Also thanks to Carol on computers, Barry for his freely-given help, Don and Norma for transporting the resources, Anne Menheere's three lovely granddaughters for "running" tirelessly all day, and Mary Mackie for acting as the standby player.

Home of the Geelong Cats,
seen from the playing room

Carmel Doney
1st Place: Masters

Dianne Gibson
1st Place: Advanced

Lorraine Robinson &
Don Marshall
Don: 1st Place Intermediate

Val Martin, travelled
south from Ballarat.
1st place: Recreation

Pat Weston & Dorothy B.
Pat received her badge for
1000 games played

Anne M. with g'daughters
Amy, Laura, and Rachael

Lorraine T. & Patricia M.
Good friends, via Scrabble

Paula M. with Lorna P.
Time for crosswords

MASTERS saw the reemergence of Carmel Doney as a force to be reckoned with, placing first ahead of Heather Long from Bendigo, with a happy Doug Ristic in third place. Cynthia Curr managed a day off from her motel management, and it was good to see her back playing scrabble. In ADVANCED a delighted Dianne Gibson took the honours, winning a tournament for the first time in her career, well done, Di. She was closely followed by Lorraine Thomas who is on her way back from a bad patch, and Natasha Podesser, who will be jetting off at the end of the month to play in the Causeway Challenge and the World Youth Championship in Penang. Ageless Geelong Club member Don Marshall won all 6 games in INTERMEDIATE to emerge a clear winner, with Mornington's Marjorie Page and Natasha's dad Oliver Podesser placing second and third. And in RECREATION Val Martin from Ballarat won by just 3 margin points from Charlene Wardley, a young mum of three who also plays at the Ballarat Club. Third placing went to Gloria O'Loghlin, who travelled across on the ferry with the other Mount Martha players. All would have caught the return ferry with plenty of time to spare as play finished reasonably early. High words for the day were CATTAILS 113, QUIETER 102, RICKETTY 100, and SWATTING 100, played by Norma Fisher, Gillian Kinder, Julie Belle and Val Martin respectively. High game scores were 537 (Norma Fisher), 507 (Dianne Davis), 493 (B.J.Winzer), and 453 (Margaret Kane). I hope to see you at the Bentleigh Tournament on November 30th, click here to find the details.

November 4, 2008. Update on the Malcolms

the Ozscrabble list, will know that the Malcolms are happily awaiting the birth of twins, a girl and a boy expected in January. Chile has had a sojourn in hospital with problems unrelated to her pregnancy, and everyone was pleased to hear that the twins are continuing to grow and develop as expected. Chile was visited by Barry Harridge, pictured doing what he does so well - setting up a wireless internet connection on Chile's laptop. More news will follow as time goes by.

Harry and Chile

Barry at work, with Chile

Scrabble at Halls Gap:

The Grand Canyon Motel - home
of the Halls Gap Scrabble Club
The third Thursday of the month at 7pm is the right time to visit the Grand Canyon Motel, nestled at the foot of the picturesque Grampians in Halls Gap, for a game of scrabble with Cynthia Curr and her fledgling group. As many of you know Cynthia and Greg took over the motel last year, and both have been extremely busy with ongoing renovations, as well as caring for their guests, who include various groups such as busloads of bikers.
Cynthia is only able to play an occasional tournament at the moment, and we look forward to seeing her at the Geelong event. Needless to say Cynthia and Greg will make you and your family and friends most welcome at any time, even if its not the third Thursday of the month.......
Click here to find full details of the Halls Gap Scrabble Club.

October 26 2008: Mt Martha Tournament

Khwanjai with Rejoice Esden
Today was a very pleasant day at the Mt Martha tournament, and below is a report from Tournament Organiser Julie Belle, together with some pics from Khwanjai Thammapimg's album. Thank you to Julie, Gloria and all the Mt Martha Club members for their efforts in running the event.

Thank you so much to all the people that came and supported us today in Mt Eliza for our 2nd tournament. After a few little glitches (apologies!...and thanks for your patience!)....the tournament got under way. Last year we had two sections but this year managed to have three....and we will hopefully be able to have four sections next year with your continued support!!! The results are as follows: Very well done to our novice Jane McDonnell who cleaned up with best novice, high game and 1st place in section C!...2nd place to Dorothy Rice and 3rd place to Eileen Mills...well done to you both. In Section B Nan Smith took the honours for first place ...with Lorraine Thomas hot on her heels for 2nd and myself 3rd. Noel Meyers took the prize for high word and Sandra Masel for high game...good on you both!

56 players enjoying the great venue

On to section A...Peter Kougi had a good day achieving 3rd place and high game... Dianne Gibson took out high word...well done to you... and congratulations to both Naween Fernando for 2nd place and I'm sure a very happy Angie Pearse for 1st place.
Many, many thanks to all those people who helped and contributed in making it a successful tournament: Marj, Nicole and Michael, Barry and Barry, our runners, Norma, Marj Page for her fabulous cheese scones, Wendy in the kitchen and of course all the ladies from the Mt Martha Scrabble Club who helped provide all the delicious home-made goodies and contributed items for some of the prizes!....and finally thank you so much to all the people who made the effort to come from far and wide to attend our tournament...we look forward to welcoming you all back next year....See you all in Geelong...all the best Julie.

Angie Pearse
1st: Division A

Nan Smith
1st: Division B

Mike & Jane McDonnell
Novices, Jane 1st: Div C

Heather Iapozzuto

Natasha P. Best "SPRING"
Word: "Seeding"

Leigh Donnelly &
Pat Weston

Nan Smith, Betty Egan,
Di Gibson

Marj, Julie & Barry, with
lovely flowers and choccies

Marie D'Rosario
Heading home

Xiao-ting Box #3

Eight players enjoyed the friendly atmosphere at the Xiao-ting Box Restaurant, including a very tasty evening meal. Well done to Lois Binnie who filled first place, winning all five games and picking up 56 well-deserved ratings points. Thanks to Geoff W. and Jenny B. for organising this event, I'm sure there will be more XTB tournmaments for all to enjoy in the future.

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Seniors' Week - Unrated Tournament

Appropriately the cosy Mitcham Senior Citizens Centre was the scene for a happy day's scrabble, with 28 players participating in seven round robin sections of four, and although it was a social day, with absolutely no impact on ratings, the competition was quite fierce. Some may think that you lose the urge to win as you reach a more mature age, but please rest assured this is not the case.

Val Hardiman
Winner: Akita

John Parker
Winner: Borzoi

Pat Allsop
Winner: Chowchow

Bridget Halge:
Winner: Dachshund

Stephanie Saunders:
Winner: Elkhound

Lina Camilleri
Winner: Foxie

Pat McClintock (right)
Winner: Griffon

Enjoying lunch after the
first game
Above are the winners of the seven sections, congratulations to all. Thank you to the committee members who assisted in organising the event, with help from our runner and photographer Khwanjai. We also had several Senior Citizens drop in for a casual game of scrabble, and judging by the laughter coming from their corner they enjoyed their games, with a helping hand from Lesley Mack.

Essendon Tournament September 28 2008

The Essendon Club Members
All 68 players had a very pleasant day at the annual Essendon Tournament, with some very good performances from all placegetters in each section. Peter Kougi was far too good for the rest of the field, winning all six games in Masters. Peter's rating is now 1902, and he will soon be knocking on the door for selection in major representative events. Also winning all his games was Rob Hutchinson in Advanced, picking up the highest rating gain for the day with 79 points. Rob runs the Banyule Scrabble Club on Thursday evenings, and his regular play is paying dividends. Essendon Club player Alex Vanderkooij did his club proud, winning Intermediate, and Eileen Mills won Recreation. Eileen is a member of the Waverley Club, and this is her second recent section win. Congratulations to all who received awards, and thank you to the Essendon members for running such an enjoyable and well-organised event, and for providing the lovely home-cooked food, which was enjoyed by all.

Masters 1:
Peter Kougi

Advanced 1:
Rob Hutchinson

Intermediate 1:
Alex Vanderkooij

Recreation 1:
Eileen Mills

Australian Masters and State Challenge Trophy: September 13/14 2008

To review the happenings at this event, please click here
Congratulations to the 2008 Masters winner David Eldar, who managed to win this keenly-contested tournament after placing second in this event over the past three years. Andrew Fisher finished second after leading for much of the tournament, and Chris May from NSW took out third placing. David's win ensures him a place at the 2009 World Scrabble Championship, wherever and whenever it may be held.

David E.

Andrew F.

Chris M.

Geoff, Harry, Norma.


TD Barry.
Congratulations also to Queensland who clinched the title of top team in Oz by taking out the State Challenge Trophy, two wins clear of SA in second place, with our Vic team of Norma Fisher, Harry Malcolm and Geoff Wright in third place. And well done to Harry Malcolm for taking out the individual honors within the State Challenge section, after a hard-fought tussle with our ex-Victorian Helen Maurus from Queensland. Thank you to all involved in the staging of this event, namely organisers Andrew Fisher and Naween Fernando, ably assisted by Norma Fisher (resources), Khwanjai Thammaping (taking pics and runner's duties), and webmaster and TD Barry Harridge who did a wonderful job, with a little help from me.

Our Australian Masters Contenders:

in the "Rogues' Gallery" below will take part in this exciting tournament this weekend. This challenging 19-game event pits the talents of most of the country's top players against each other, and our seven Vics will vie for the title against thirteen interstaters. For full details of the field click here

David E.

Naween F.

Andrew F.

Michael H.

Trevor H.

Peter K.

Alistair K.

And below, our State Challenge Trophy Team:

will be pitted against all three team members from each of the other Australian states and territories, a total of 18 games of hard-fought Scrabble. Barry Harridge is the Tournament Director for the event, and we wish all players (and Barry) a happy and harmonious weekend.

Harry M.

Norma F.

Geoff W.

Saturday September 6: Ballarat Spring Tournament

According to all reports, a very pleasant day's scrabble took place on Saturday at the Brown Hill Hall in Ballarat East. Tess Robinson welcomed 38 players, including two novices from Melbourne, Matt Kean and David Collinson. Both are proteges of Matte Dunn and his tuition was possibly evident, as both did extremely well. David won 3 games, and Matt won 4 to clinch the Best Novice prize for the tournament. Section A was won by the current in-form Victorian Country Champion Mary McMahon from the Geelong Club, and Chris Sitka from the Ballarat Club won Division B. Chris is moving quietly up through the rankings and appears to be enjoying the extra tournaments she is playing. Eileen Mills was victorious in Section C, after catching a train at the crack of dawn in Glen Waverley, a bus to Ballarat and a second bus from the Ballarat R.S. to the venue. Well done, Eileen, your determination to get there was rewarded, and I'm sure you will be very pleased with your rating gain of 54 points, the highest for the day. Congratulations to all prizewinners, and thank you to Gillian for assisting Peter with the computer work, and to Tess and the Ballarat Club members for their hard work in organising the event, and providing the goodies which were enjoyed by all.

Friday September 5: Gippsland Primary Schools Scrabble Championship

This event brought together forty children from ten Gippsland schools who delighted in the chance to meet and play scrabble against their peers, competing in either the Championship or the Plate. It was a pleasure to see these young players experiencing their first "proper" tournament, and some help was needed at times with scoring, challenging and the general rules of play. There were many words challenged during the event, and Gwen Lampre was kept very busy in her position at the Lookup laptop. Trophies were awarded to the top three placegetters in each section, as well as high game and high word. McDonalds donated food vouchers, and book vouchers were donated by local energy company TRUenergy. Karen Richards, representing World Youth Scrabble, presented T-shirts to several of the children. Thank you to all sponsors for your generosity, and a special thank you to the staff of South Street P.S. for their wonderful contribution to the success of the event. The pic shows all place getters, together with our helpers for the day. The children appeared to gain much enjoyment from their participation, and next year we hope to be able to work out a different time schedule to allow more games to be played during the tournament. We are also hopeful that the staff from Korumburra P.S. will take over the responsibility of organising the pre-tournament selection rounds within each school, and that we will again have the pleasure of travelling to the Gippsland area to renew friendships made this year, and to make some new ones amongst the qualifiers for next year's event.

August 17th, 08: Gwen Chadwick Tournament:

This tournament commemorated the late Gwen Chadwick who is still very much remembered by so many. Section winners were Andrew Fisher, Carol Johnsen, Anand Bharadwaj and Nobby Clark.

In the breaks, eager eight year old Anand Bharadwaj took on Andrew Fisher in one break and Naween Fernando in another. While he hasn't reached their standard yet, he is very sharp and eager to do well, and indeed he won his section and also was delighted to find that he has now achieved a rating of over 1000.

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August 17th, 08: ASPA Vic AGM:

This was held at lunch time at the Gwen Chadwick tournament. Marj Miller reported on the Scrabble activity throughout the year, and Andrew Fisher reported on the healthy financial state. Although Victoria had had the large organisational and financial burden of the National Championships in 2008, it had not been a financial burden but in fact ended up ahead, due to prudent planning and a large attendance. The committee members are all continuing.

August 16th, 08: Matchplay winner:

The matchplay event had started with 15 contenders, and proceeded through knockout rounds to a conclusion to be battled out by David Eldar and Andrew Fisher as a best of nine games. The games were played at the Bentleigh and Camberwell Clubs until David emerged as the winner.

August 12th, 08: Olympic Silver:

Pictured at the left of both pictures, Briony (Bree) Cole, daughter of Mary Cole of the Bentleigh Club, has won Silver with partner Melissa Wu in the 10 metre platform synchronised diving event in Beijing. Well done to both girls, an exciting result and a well-deserved reward for the hours of training required to compete at world level.

August 11th, 08: Mornington Tournament News:

42 players made the trip to the Mornington Peninsula to play at the Mornington Civic Bowls Club, a delightful venue for a game of scrabble. Many travellers were pleased with the time saved by traversing the new Eastlink, a first class freeway incorporating the quite longish Mullum Mullum and Melba Tunnels, installed to save the wildlife in the Mullum Mullum Creek area.
The tournament saw the return of Jenny Lampkin after an absence of 15 years, welcome back Jenny, and all players enjoyed the array of delicious home cooked goodies provided by the Mornington Club players.
The "Aadvarks" section saw the long-awaited return to form of Barry Harridge, losing only one game to Sandra Masel. Its good to see Barry gain some rating points after a spell in the doldrums. The effervescent Julie Belle with the infectious laugh won all 6 games to take first place in "Baboons", well done Julie. Many thanks to Carol and her helpers for organising this event, and we hope to see many of you next Sunday at the Gwen Chadwick/AGM/TransTasman Fundraising Tournament at the Box Hill Senior Citizens Centre.

August 3rd, 08: Victoria's New Country Champion:

Mary McMahon, at the left of picture with second-placed Cynthia Curr, is the Country Champion for 2008/2009. Congratulations, Mary, a wonderful effort, its great to have you back in better health. Well done to the winners of Sections B & C, Jenny Kearney from Ballarat and Leoni Dettmann from Queensland, pictured below with Mary and the Champions Trophy. Special thanks to Clive and Jan Rutherford for organising the Championship as part of the annual Daylesford Words In Winter Festival, an event which attracts many visitors to the area.

Here are some comments from Tournament Director Barry Harridge, thank you for doing the job, Barry.

A cold day but a warm welcome at Daylesford.
Highlights included:
* lots of lovely things to eat all day
* quite a few drop in visitors who observed and played amongst themselves
* Cynthia Curr who we haven't seen for some time, irrepressibly bubbly as usual
* Mary McMahon in brilliant Scrabble form, despite still not recovering her voice fully (Cynthia compensated for that)
* A long distance visitor, Leoni Dettmann from Charters Towers (Robin Dettmann's niece) winning all her games in her first tournament

July 20th, 08 Nunawading Tournament:

This event was keenly contested in all sections, with Trevor Halsall and Michael Hornung separated by a margin of just 6 points in Masters. As someone said recently, right down to the wire. At right is the board from the Michael Hornung/Stephen Blick clash, in which Michael scored four consecutive bonus words - bidental, euphroes, triazole and catenae, followed by a fifth - serranid. Scores were 626/341, another brilliant game from Michael. Pictured below are Trevor, Michael, and the winners of the other three sections. Congratulations to all award winners.
Thanks to Cheryle and the members of the Nunawading Club for organising such an enjoyable event, we do appreciate the time and efforts of our members who contribute in this way.

Masters 1:
Trevor Halsall

Masters 2:
Michael Hornung

Advanced 1:
Cheryle Jerram

Intermediate 1:
KJ Thammaping

Recreation 1:
Terry Aberneithie

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