~ News Archive 2009 ~

World Youth Championship December 8-10 2009 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Here is our Youth Team for 2009 - good luck to all, and have fun renewing old friendships and making new ones. This event has now concluded, and for a further report click HERE








The SA/Vic Border Challenge 2009

The spacious playing area at the Sundowner
This was played in Horsham on 5/6/ December at the Best Westlander Sundowner Motel, and here is a report and some pics courtesy of Carol Johnsen - thanks, Carol.

What a Challenge! Celebrating the 10th year of this annual event, to commence play on the Sunday morning with 3 rounds to go, the States were tied 31 games each. However, South Australia came out on top winning the Challenge with 46 games and Victoria 42 games. Never to be under-estimated, the South Australians once again belied their Intermediate and Recreation rankings and defeated players from Victoria ranked much higher. Betty Keese had a wonderful tournament for, along with picking up some big scalps along the way, she also placed 3rd. Surprisingly, although 110 games were played, the highest word BREATHILY (Norma Fisher) won with 96 points but the High Game 571 for Joyce Browett was no mean feat.
The venue was spacious and comfortable (with Norma Fisher and James Gunner at the forefront) however, it was a short drive out of town and we have tentatively booked a venue right in the heart of Horsham for 2010. We are also looking at moving the event to late October (so watch the Tournaments page on ww.scrabble.org.au.) The photos feature a couple of the beautiful certificates which Paula Brown produces for the tournament. Betty Keese and Norma Fisher are displaying the perpetual trophy (kindly donated by Carmel Dodd of South Australia many years ago). And Geoff Wright and Dieter Jedamski enjoy meeting up once again at the State Challenge.

Team Australia at the Causeway Challenge December 2-6th 2009

Alastair 39th, Naween 27th, Edward 18th, David 5th and Andrew 10th.


This 45-game marathon tournament has concluded, with the International A Team placing first, followed by Thailand and the United Kingdom, with Australia in fourth spot. The individual event was won by Nigel Richards from NZ, followed by the recently crowned World Champion Pakorn Nemitrmansuk from Thailand.
The Open event was keenly fought, with Michael Akonor from Ghana on 33.5 wins victorious over Peter Kougi on 30.5 wins.
Well done to all Australians who participated, it is great to have so many players from various states travelling to play in international events.

The Causeway Challenge ~ December 2-6 2009 in Johor Bahru






This starts on Wednesday 2nd at about 12md our time, and the 5-member Aussie team will play a total of 45 games against the nine other teams competing, concluding at about 7.30pm on Sunday evening. These 50 players are also eligible to be crowned the 2009 Causeway Champion, a highly coveted title. Good luck to our Aussie team comprising David Eldar, Edward Okulicz, Naween Fernando, Andrew Fisher and Alastair Richards.
There is also an Open Tournament running concurrently, and there are a further 27 Australian players competing in this event.
To keep abreast of what's happening click HERE

The Princess Cup, Thailand, November 29-30 2009

Click HERE to see how well our young players fared in the 17 and Under Section

New World Champ ~ November 29th 2009

Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
Congratulations to Pakorn Nemitrmansuk from Thailand, who defeated Nigel Richards from New Zealand 3-1 in the best of five final. Pakorn had previously placed second in 2003 and 2005, and Nigel was the current titleholder, having been victorious in 2007. Here's how our Aussies finished - Naween (7th), Andrew (15th), Edward (28th), David (46th), Trevor (57th) and Peter (69th). It appears that Australia may be granted a place for an extra player in 2011, but this needs to be officially verified.

World Scrabble Championship November 26-29th 2009 in Johor Bahru

This starts on Thursday at about 12md our time, with the final being played on Sunday 29th starting at 1.00pm. Good luck to our Aussie team comprising Andrew Fisher, David Eldar, Edward Okulicz, Naween Fernando, Peter Kougi and Trevor Halsall.

To follow their fortunes click HERE







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Enjoying the goodies

The Bentleigh Tournament November 22nd 2009

This was a very pleasant event and all present appeared to enjoy the day, and as Norma mentions it was good to welcome back some players we hadn't seen for some time. The fruits of Barry's tournament software coaching session were very evident, and Lalitha was delighted when she successfully set up the tournament and ran it without incident from go to woe. Well done, Lalitha - I must do some homework soon! Again thank you to Khwanjai Thammaping for taking the accompanying photos, as always it is appreciated.

Here is a report from Norma Fisher, convenor of the Bentleigh Club - thank you, Norma.

What better way to spend a wet Sunday (welcome though the rain was) than by playing Scrabble! 74 players turned out, some turned up wet, and a good day was had by all. It was lovely to see some not-oft seen faces again - Julian McKail (he has been overseas); and Ian and Angela Newton (they've moved house a couple of times - now settled in Narre Warren).
RECREATION: Maureen Aberneithie won 1st place (5 wins + 202) followed by Gianna Devcic in 2nd place (4 wins + 282) and Margaret Kane in 3rd place (4 wins + 198). Margaret also won High Game of 422. Newcomer, Gayle Cameron, won 3 of her 6 games and took out the High Word prize (QUESTING for 107) as well as the Best Novice trophy...........Gayle said she thoroughly enjoyed her first tournament and it wouldn't be her last. Congratulations and welcome to our "scrabble family", Gayle.

Recreation: Gayle Cameron, High Game
Maureen Aberneithie 2nd
Margaret Kane 3rd & High Game

A serious game in Recreation - John
van der Schoor vs Gianna Devcic, with
Jenny Plant, Marj Miller & Eileen Mills

Gloria O'Loghlin, convenor of the
Mt Martha Club, plays Terry Aberneithie
from the Berwick Club.
INTERMEDIATE: John Minas won 1st place (6 wins + 428) followed by Gillian Renwick in 2nd place (5 wins + 195) and Betty Egan in 3rd place (4 wins + 198). High Game was won by Norma Engel (476) and Gillian also won High Word (CLOTHING for 101).

Intermediate: Betty Egan 3rd
John Minas 1st with 6 wins
Gillian Renwick, 2nd & High Word

Time for craftwork - Theresa Scicluna with
Margaret Magro and her daughter
Rachel Georgesz

Two of our "Roberts" - Rob Hutchinson,
convenor of the Banyule Club
with Rob York from Lower Templestowe.
ADVANCED: John Parker won 1st place (5 wins + 469) followed by Anand Bharadwaj in 2nd place (5 wins + 316) and Theresa Scicluna in 3rd place (5 wins + 204). High Game went to Marie D'Rosario (591) and High Word to Meg Henderson (CHUNKIEST for 102). Meg tells me that HUNKIEST was on the board and she came across the top of it with CRAZE.

Advanced: Meg Henderson High Word, Marie
D'Rosario High Game, Anand Bharadwaj 2nd,
John Parker 1st place

Following their game - Lois Binnie
and David Lemish, checking to see
which words David missed

The article from the Melbourne Leader
newspaper, reporting on Anand's imminent trip
to Malaysia for the World Youth Championship
MASTERS:Julian's stint overseas, away from any involvement in Scrabble, has not impacted negatively on his considerable ability and he took out 1st place by winning all 6 of his games with a margin of 647 and also won the High Game (616). Lois Binnie was 2nd (5 wins + 264) followed by Alistair Kane (4 wins +441). Geoff Wright won High Word (QUIETING for 107).

Masters: Geoff Wright, High Word
Julian McKail 1st place & High Game
Lois Binnie, 2nd place

Time for a chat - Gillian Renwick, Eileen
Mills and Mavis Jones, convenor of the
Waverley Club

Gayle Cameron from the Cranbourne Club,
enjoying her first tournament - won 3 games
and achieved an initial rating of 701 points
Note that HIGH WORDS in all four sections were over 100......(107, 101, 102, 107).......if there had been a prize for HW of the tourney Gayle and Geoff would have tied for it - well done again to Gayle, quite an achievement in your first tourney!............ (and I'll get your engraved trophy to you asap). Many, many thanks to Marj who stepped in in lieu of Ellen Frajman (who is on holiday in the US) and did her usual inimitable job of directing the tournament. Lalitha Sundaresan (Anand's mum) did a sterling job on the computer........thanks to her also. Bentleigh club members who donated food, worked the kitchen etc. etc........... thanks for your help and support. The recently acquired and already well used projector continued to delight players who were able to watch changing fortunes as results were entered, and, during the lunch break, the dvd on the history of Scrabble in Australia produced by Bob Jackman. Congratulations to all prize winners and my thanks to all players who supported the Bentleigh Club tournament this year - I hope to see you again next year. Norma Fisher

Anand's Spellbinding Magic

For the full story click HERE

The Annual Geelong Tournament ~ November 8th 2009

Former Geelong AFL star
Fred Flanagan, now 85

Time for a cup of tea - Glen Chandler, Maggie
Solomon, Roslyn McEldrew, Dorothy Rice
Forty-eight players gathered in the Fred Flanagan Room at the headquarters of the Geelong Football Club, home of the 2009 Australian Football League Premiers - a very pleasant venue for a tournament. The football ground was not looking nearly as attractive as it did last year as it is undergoing a complete revamp, including drainage works and resurfacing. Hopefully it will be ready in ample time for next year's AFL matches.
Orders for sandwiches were taken by staff member Michael who had the task of looking after our liquid refreshments for the day, and tasty meals were available at The Cats Bistro, a popular place for Sunday lunch in Geelong.
Notable ratings gains for the day went to Katie Rowe (67), Dianne Davis (59), Maggie Solomon (56), Marisa Nuccitelli (35) and Frank Csarics (33), well done to all.
At our Committee meeting last week the shrinking size of the Masters Division was considered - this is currently making it difficult at times to organise the sections adequately in a four section tournament. A decision was subsequently made to lower the entry level to Masters by 50 points to 1450, and players rated between 1400-1449 will now have an asterisk next to their name, allowing them to compete in Masters if they so desire. This change will be in effect at the Bentleigh Tournament on November 22nd, so please let Norma Fisher know when you enter whether or not you wish to "play up". The entry levels to Advanced and Intermediate remain unchanged, i.e. 1250 and 1000 respectively.

Carol Johnsen 3rd, Norma Fisher High Game,
Katie Rowe 2nd, Dianne Davis 1st & High Word

Advanced: Frank Csarics 1st, Lorraine Thomas
High Word, Doug Ristic 2nd, Paula Messer
High Game, Peter Bauer 3rd

Intermediate: Joyce McCombe 2nd,
Dorothy Barraclough High Game, Maggie
Solomon 1st, Dorothy Rice 3rd & High Word
In Masters Dianne Davis was victorious, also winning High Word with "TARTARES" for 122. Katie Rowe placed second, and Carol Johnsen came third with Norma Fisher winning High Game with a score of 574. Advanced saw Frank Csarics return to form, taking out first place from Doug Ristic and Peter Bauer. High Game went to Paula Messer (491) and Lorraine Thomas played "HAZIEST" for 97 points to win the High Word Award. Intermediate was won by Maggie Solomon who won all six games, ahead of Geelong local Joyce McCombe, with Dorothy Rice placing third. High Game (453) went to Dorothy Barraclough, and Dorothy Rice scored 108 for the interesting word "QIVIUTS" to win the High Word Award. For those who like to know the meaning of the more unusual words, a qiviut is a noun meaning "the soft wool lying beneath the long coat of the muskox, valued for its use as a fibre"

Recreation: Victor Murat Best Novice,
Val Martin 3rd, Mavis Jones 2nd,
Marisa Nuccitelli 1st, High Game & High Word

The three new players at the tournament,
Jan Bidwell from Ballarat, with Anna Palmer
& Victor Murat, both from the Geelong Club.

The game between Heather Long (the winner)
and Mary McMahon - the first four plays were
bonus words - six bingoes in total
In Recreation Marisa Nuccitelli was the winner, also scoring 476 to win High Game, and playing "BALDEST" for 90 points to record High Word. Second and third places were filled by Mavis Jones and Val Martin respectively. Well done to all placegetters. Three novices played in their first tournament and all seemed to enjoy the experience, having been expertly coached by the Geelong and Ballarat Club members in what to expect. Victor Murat took the award for best novice on the day, congratulations Victor.
The organisation of the event was shared by several people, and we thank Marlene Ellis, Alan Cole, Pat Weston, Dorothy Barraclough and Mary McMahon for their efforts, as well as Carol Johnsen and several people who recently took part in the Software Tuition session conducted by Barry Harridge and Carol - all were keen to utilise their newfound skills, and your assistance was greatly appreciated. Lastly, thank you to all who attended and made the tournament such a pleasant experience.

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The Mount Martha Tournament ~ 25/10/2009

Relaxing at lunchtime ~ Sylvia Galloway,
Pat Weston, Stephanie Saunders, Brenda
Thurgar & Carmel Doney.
Thanks to Julie Belle, Gloria O'Loghlin and all the Mount Martha Club members for staging such a lovely tournament, the numbers were disappointing but everything else was great. Here is Julie's report, with a couple of bits I've added in, and some pics in no particular order!

Hi everyone,thanks to all who came and supported our tournament today and especially all those who helped to bring it all together! We were very happy to be able to have four sections for the first time! The results are as follows: Best Novice went to Wendy Barnes, great to see her out of the kitchen and playing in her first tournament. Well done. In Recreation we had two Glen's for first and second place, Glen Chandler in 1st place and Glennis Surgenor 2nd! Geoff Gittus was third, and well done to Edith Wilson for the high game (450) and to Gloria O'Loghlin - not only the high word in Recreation but the highest word of the day with "QUANTED" for 130! Winning Intermediate with five wins was Marjorie Barnes, followed closely behind in 2nd place by Pat Judd, also with 5 wins.(My apologies to Pat, I've missed taking her photo. Our hostess for the day Julie Belle placed third, well done Julie.) Brenda Thurgar had a good day, winning both high game (527) and high word with "REVOKED" for 94.

Marjorie Barnes, Wendy Barnes
(Best Novice) & Heather Iapozzuto

Recreation: Glennis Surgenor,
Geoff Gittus & Glen Chandler

Good mates locked in battle,
Leigh Donnelly & Noel Meyers

Celebrating a birthday, Ray
Alford with Marjorie Page
Advanced was taken out by Carol Johnsen, who managed not only to win 5 games but also do a fabulous job on the computers and even provide a slide show! In second place was Sylvia Galloway who took out the longest distance travelled award as well, making the journey all the way from Raymond Island! Katie Rowe placed third, and high game went to John Parker (528). High word (CRAPPIER for 101) was played by Katie Rowe who just flew in from Perth, no jetlag evident! In Masters Gwen Lampre took honours with 1st place and high game (548) followed by Dianne Davis in 2nd place with Norma Fisher third. Carmel Doney played "REALIZERS" for 101 to win high word. Isabel Van Hoorn received a badge marking 1000 tournament games played. Congratulations to you all, and well done Isabel!

Isabel Van Hoorn, who has now
played over 1000 games.

Mal & Carole Eden, with
Barry Harridge

Gloria O'Loghlin, Glennis Surgenor
& Edith Wilson

Mavis Jones, convenor of the
Waverley Club
Many thanks to president Marj for being our tournament director and of course all the ladies from the Mt Martha Club who, as always, provided a fabulous selection of home-made goodies and contributions for the lucky door prize. Also special thanks to Shirley for doing a great job in the kitchen! We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Presentations - Marjorie Barnes,
Gloria O'Loghlin & Julie Belle

Advanced: Sylvia Galloway,
Katie Rowe & Carol Johnsen

Masters: Norma Fisher, Gwen
Lampre & Dianne Davis

Mark Cole, son of Alan, returning
from a break from Scrabble

The 21st Norfolk Island Scrabble Festival

1st place
This unrated tournament was played on lovely Norfolk Island from 10th-18th October, and two of our local players, Gillian Kinder and Patricia Mitchell acquitted themselves admirably. The Team Contest, played between New Zealand and Australia, was won by the NZ team. In the individual section one of the New Zealand players was leading the contest until meeting up with Gillian on the last day. Gillian was victorious in their match, taking first place overall and gaining the title of Australian Champion. As well as these achievements Gillian received the High Word Award, playing "QUIETERS for 212, and also played the most bonus words across the 21 game tournament. Well done, Gillian, a great effort, and a lovely holiday at the same time.

The Annual Langwarrin Festival at Cruden Farm

Irlande & Krina demonstrating Scrabble
Here's a report written by Carol Johnsen, thanks, Carol.
Once again, Geoff Gittus and Langwarrin Scrabble Club members including Irlande Alfred, Krina Clark, Carol Johnsen and Janet Stuckenschmidt took part in a great Festival Day for the people of Langwarrin and surrounds, including Frankston and Cranbourne.
It seemed that there were at least a couple of thousand people attending and the Scrabble display was right in the middle of it and enjoyed much interest from the passing parade.
It was held in the beautiful grounds of Cruden Farm which is Dame Elizabeth Murdoch's property. And, during the day, Dame Elizabeth made her usual tour of the festival in her motorised golf buggy.

Cruden Farm

In the grounds

A lovely spot in the garden

The team at work

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Youth Fundraising Tournament #2 ~ October 11th 2009

John Hamilton, former WYSC Rep and 2nd in Div A,
with our 2009 WYSC contestants Natasha Podesser,
Robert Blunt and in front, Anand Bharadwaj
The atmosphere at this seven game event was harmonious for the most part, and everything ran smoothly under the supervision of Anand's mum Lalitha on computer duty, where her growing knowledge of the program is of great value to all. All parents of our young people contributed in various ways, including supplying us with a variety of lovely goodies to eat. It was great to see a man in charge of the kitchen, thanks for a job well done Oliver, and thanks to Dorothy Barraclough for helping Oliver at times. At the end of the day we auctioned a ginger cake, which was snapped up by Lois Binnie, who planned to share it with her workmates the following day. There are many people to thank for assisting in raising money in various ways, and also thank you to those who made generous cash donations. I won't mention individual names but please rest assured that the efforts of all are truly appreciated by our young representatives and their families. Ruth Tang, who had not played for over 20 years joined us, and performed well in her first formal event, winning 5 games and achieving an initial rating of 1323. We hope to see Ruth at more tournaments soon. We again welcomed our international visitor Lynne Butler from New Zealand - sadly Lynne's stay with her good friend Norma Fisher is coming to a close. Also visiting were interstaters Lyndal Walker (NSW), John Rider (Qld), and John Hamilton (ACT), a former member of the Oz WYSC team, and a great help to Karen Richards with coaching the youth of Australia in the finer points of Scrabble.

Julian McKail, 1st Div A
with Carol Johnsen

Heather Long, High Word Div A
Lynne Butler, 3rd Div A

Geoff Wright, clean shaven, High
Game Div A, with Dianne Davis

Lois Binnie, with her cake
purchased to raise funds.

Prizes were kept to a minimum, and we congratulate Julian McKail who was happy with his win in Division A after returning from a spell in Thailand - welcome back, Julian. Division B was won by a delighted Khwanjai Thammaping, and thanks again to Khwanjai for her work with her camera. There were two excellent ratings points gains for the tournament - John Hamilton gained 100 points in Division A, and Marisa Nuccitelli went up 96 points in Division B, a great result for both players. Thank you to all who attended for supporting our young players, and we wish them all good luck and a happy time in Malaysia in December.

Khwanjai Thammaping
1st Div B, HW & HG

Dorothy Barraclough,
2nd Division B

Bridget Halge,
3rd Division B

Ruth Tang, Novice,
won five games

Lyndal Walker,
visiting from NSW

Marisa Nuccitelli,
gained 96 points

The Seniors' Festival Tournament

Players in "Gazania" section. Back: Stan Bolton,
Carleen Hawker. Front: Heather Gordon, Cynthia
Cottier, Joan Smith, Helen Campbell
A lovely day on Saturday October 10th saw thirty of our senior players gather at the Mitcham Senior Citizens' Centre to celebrate Seniors' Week with a social Round Robin Tournament, consisting of three games of scrabble, interspersed with lunch and much social chitchat. Several participants travelled by rail from Ballarat and Bendigo, and departed just in time to catch their trains for the return journey. It was good to see our most senior member Lorraine Tainsh in attendance, still playing excellent scrabble at 94 1/2 years young. The theme for the day incorporated names of flowers, which were displayed on the tables and award certificates, thank you to Norma Fisher for doing these and for providing a goodly portion of the yummy food - the pumpkin soup in particular was much appreciated.
As we ended up a player short for the event we asked Khwanjai (who had come to help with the organisation and photography) to fill in to even up the numbers, and so KJ became an Honorary Senior-For-The-Day, taking out first place in her section. Some players have mentioned that she should have been given a handicap due to her youthful age..........The Seniors Scrabble Contest organised by Ruth Fewings was won by Isabel Van Hoorn, who scored 981 points to win a year's subscription to ASPA Vic, well done, Isabel.
Congratulations to the winners in each section, as always each game was as closely contested as if the tournament was being played for the purpose of gaining rating points. We hope to run this event again next year, as it gives us pleasure to bring together many players who are no longer active at club or tournament level, and consequently don't get to see each other very often.

Barry Harridge, 1st "Amaryllis"

Marie D'Rosario, 1st "Begonia"

John Rider, 1st "Columbine"

Jean de Neef, 1st "Euryops"

Joan Smith, 1st "Gazania"
Betty Egan,
1st "Daffodil"

Khwanjai Thammaping,
Photographer & Honorary Senior,
1st "Freesia"

"Amaryllis" - Lynne Butler (NZ),
Val Hardiman, Rod Casey,
Barry Harridge

"Begonia" - Margaret Warmington,
Marie D'Rosario, John Parker,
Dianne Gibson

"Columbine" - Rose Young,
Maggie Solomon, John Rider
(Qld), Jennifer Swift

"Daffodil" - Ruth Fewings,
Lorrine Tainsh, Betty Egan,
Mary Steward

"Euryops" - Jean de Neef,
Latha Weerakkody, Pat McClintock,
Maude Bannan

"Freesia" - Vern Routley,
Tess Robinson, Dorothy Hunt,
Khwanjai Thammaping

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Essendon Tournament September 27 2009

Below is a report from the Tournament Director Lois Binnie on this very pleasant tournament, which ran smoothly despite withdrawals and a no-show, a TD's nightmare. We thank all the Essendon members for their work in putting the event together, and tidying up afterwards, and for all the lovely homemade scones and cakes of various sorts - we were well looked after indeed.

Geoff Wright, 1st
Masters & High Game

Norma Fisher with friend Lynne
Butler (NZ), 2nd Masters

Heather Long, 3rd
Masters & High Word

Marie D'Rosario,
1st Advanced

Natasha Podesser
2nd Advanced
Hi Folks, the Essendon tournament has been and gone for another year. What better way to spend a cold wintry Melbourne Sunday than playing Scrabble. Held on Sunday, 27 September at Box Hill, 58 players matched their skills against their opponents. Almost the entire world seemed to be sick as I had about 10 cancellations due to illness. The tournament had an international flavour with Lynne Butler making a guest appearance from New Plymouth in New Zealand and proving that Kiwis can play Scrabble. She came second in Masters with 5 wins, pipped only by Geoff Wright who also had 5 wins and a large margin of 543. The tournament also had an interstate flavour with Robyn Corbel from Queensland in Melbourne housesitting for a few weeks and playing Scrabble when she gets the opportunity.

Marj Miller,
3rd Advanced

Kris Howat,
High Game Advanced

Jenny Brysha,
High Word Advanced

Ruth Fewings,
1st Intermediate

Theresa Scicluna,
2nd Intermediate
A couple of long term Scrabble players who we don't see too often made an appearance, with Graeme Jones and Fintan Conway both playing. Anand Bharadwaj continued his ratings climb. Unfortunately Audree Clifton was one of his scalps - an age difference between opponents of only 78 years! Ruth Fewings took first place in Intermediate and was delighted to "win her first tournament in years." Sal Costanzo returned to combat after an absence of some months. As usual, he wasn't happy with his performance and didn't have a blank all afternoon, but somehow still managed to gain 26 rating points!

Tam Dasika,
3rd Intermediate

Josef Peeters,
High Game Intermediate

Norma Engels, HW Inter,
with hubby Phil at Halls Gap

Rob York, 1st Recreation
& High Word

Cynthia Cook,
2nd Recreation
Lorna Patching, a passionate Geelong supporter arrived with a beaming smile on her face and wore the club scarf with pride for the entire day. She also donated some lamingtons to the Binnie pantry - I am not sure if they were the remains of the Grand Final day feast, or to demonstrate that Australians can make lamingtons better than Kiwis. Speaking of food, the Essendon bakers excelled themselves and, as usual, over-catered for the day. Congratulations to all the placegetters - and to all the other competitors who played in relative harmony and made my job as tournament director a peaceful one! Lois.

Maude Bannan, 3rd Recreation,
with sister Rose Young

Jenny Plant,
High Game Recreation

Essendon members, Alex
Vanderkooij & Lina Camilleri

Happy players Cheryle Jerram
& Jenny Brysha



Lovelia and Zev at 8 months

Chile and Harry's gorgeous twins are thriving, as you can see from these two delightful pics. Both babies are happy and healthy, and the Malcoms are delighting in caring for them, although it has undoubtedly made their lives much busier.
Scrabble has had to take a back seat for the time being, but both Chile and Harry plan to get back to it when the children are somewhat older.
We look forward to their return to the tournament scene, and I'm sure Chile and Harry are also looking forward to eventually rejoining the fray.

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The Nan Smith Mornington Tournament September 13 2009

Players relaxing between games at the
Bentons Square Community Centre
Thank you to Carol and the Mornington players for a very pleasant day, at which we honoured our late friend Nan Smith. We played at the relatively new Bentons Square Community Centre, where the Mornington Club meet each Saturday at 1.00 pm. Carol welcomed novice Helen Russell, and Robyn Corbel who is visiting from Queensland. All players enjoyed the comfortable surroundings, which we shared with the Lions Club for most of the day.
The winner in Division A was Dianne Davis, winning all 6 games, followed by Oliver Podesser in second place and Katie Rowe in third. An excellent score of 582 (a personal best) saw the High Game Award presented to Dorothy Barraclough, and the rather low-scoring word "FEISTILY" played by myself won the High Word Award.

Dianne Davis,
1st Div A

Oliver Podesser,
2nd Div A

Katie Rowe,
3rd Div A

Barraclough, HG

Marj Miller - HW
with Frank Csarics
In Division B our trusty photographer Khwanjai Thammaping also won all 6 games to place first, followed by Brenda Thurgar and Pat Weston, resplendent in black and white in honour of her beloved team Collingwood. The High Game award went to Pat Judd who recorded the third highest game score in Australia for this year, 644. This included the 9-timer "BLURRIER" which scored 149 to also give Pat the High Word Award. Well done, Pat, a wonderful achievement.

Carol Johnsen,
Organiser & TD

KJ Thammaping,
1st Div B

Brenda Thurgar,
2nd Div B

Pat Weston,
3rd Div B

Pat Judd, High
Game & Word

Helen Russell,
first tournament
Here are three of the excellent boards from the tournament - click to enlarge:

Pat Judd, 644

Dorothy Barraclough, 582

Eileen Mills, 558

Australian Masters & State Challenge Trophy

Masters winner, Andrew Fisher
Congratulations to Andrew Fisher on a brilliant performance at the Masters, losing just two games of the nineteen played, to Edward Okulicz and second-placed David Eldar. Bob Jackman, this year's organiser came in third - thanks for all your work, Bob and the NSW members. We also congratulate the Queensland team, comprising Jane Brown, Helen Maurus and Quentin Abbott, on becoming the Champion Team for the second time. The Western Australian team placed second, just one game behind, followed by South Australia, with Victoria finishing in 5th place. The individual award to a player in the State Challenge went to Chris Hall from WA, well done Chris.

Australian Masters Contenders 2009:

who will contest the Australian Masters next weekend in Sydney. This exciting 19-game event involves most of the country's top players, and to win in this company is a great achievement. For full details of the field click here






And here is our team for the State Challenge Trophy:

will play the three team members from each of the other Australian states and territories, amounting to 18 games. Thank you to Sal for joining the team at short notice to cover the shortfall caused by the withdrawal of Peter Kougi due to study commitments. Dr Wilma Vialle is the Tournament Director for the event, and Barry Harridge is attending to act as Webmaster, bringing us frequent commentary and regular updates. Good luck to all players, and Wilma and Barry.




Barry & Wilma at work at the
2008 Nationals

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The Ballarat Spring Tournament ~ September 5 2009

Norma Fisher,
1st Division A
Thirty-eight keen players travelled varying distances to compete in the three sections, including two novices, Carleen Hawker and Conrad Jones. Conrad did extremely well, impressing by winning 4 games and placing third in Division C.

Joyce McCombe,
1st Division B
Norma Fisher, practising for the State Challenge Trophy which takes place in Sydney next weekend, placed 1st in Division A, followed by Heather Long and Mary McMahon. Heather scored High Game with 555, and the High Word award went to Dorothy Barraclough for "JOUSTED", 107 points.
In Division B Joyce McCombe filled first place ahead of Pat Weston and Marlene Ellis, all from the Geelong Club. Pat won High Game with 449 points, and also collected the High Word Award for "FEASTING", 94 points.

Marjorie Clark,
1st Division C
Division C saw Marjorie Clark emerge the winner followed closely in second and third places by Roslyn McEldrew and Conrad Jones, who scored 457 points to win the High Game Award, with the High Word Award going to Roslyn for "WEARIEST", 104 points.
We congratulate Marjorie and husband Nobby on their forthcoming Golden Wedding Anniversary, a wonderful achievement. The pair are celebrating by embarking on a cruise, an exciting way to celebrate the occasion.
Thank you to Ballarat Club Convenor Tess Robinson, her family and the Ballarat members for organising and running the tournament and supplying all the lovely food, and thanks to Gillian Kinder for assisting with the computer duties.

The Gippsland Primary Schools Championship 2009

The 2009 Champion is Daniel Board, well done, Daniel, and congratulations to Alex Witty for winning the Plate. Both players are from Yarragon Primary School, which did very well overall at the tournament. For further details of the event, including lots of pics, click here

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The Michael Chisholm Tournament 30/08/09

Players awaiting their ice creams during
the last break between games
Fifty-four players competed in this event, with almost all attending the A.G.M. at lunchtime - as usual a non-attendee misjudged the length of time the meeting would take and was late starting Game Four. The meeting ran smoothly, and all ten committee positions were filled - please click here to see who is currently serving on your committee. Thank you to these retiring Committee Members - Dorothy Barraclough, who has done a sterling job as Membership Officer since 2005, and Lesley Mack, who has contributed so much in so many ways to Scrabble over the past 30 years. Your service is appreciated, Lesley.
The tournament was a little late starting as we had three no-shows, which means time is wasted sorting out the sections and ensuring that the draw is fair to everybody. We do appreciate a phone call to let us know that you can't attend. We payed tribute to our late member Michael Chisholm, and welcomed Novice Jenny Plant who is a member of the Bentleigh Scrabble Club. Jenny nervously enjoyed her first tournament, winning 3 games and placing fifth in Recreation. Masters was won by Andrew Fisher, winning all 7 games, with Gwen Lampre second and Heather Long third. Heather also scored 613 to record High Game, and Trevor Halsall played "LIONIZER" for 131 points to win the High Word Award.

Masters: Gwen Lampre, 2nd.
Heather Long, 3rd & High Game.
Andrew Fisher, 1st.
Trevor Halsall, High Word

Adv: Gillian Kinder, 1st. Elaine
Capewell, High Game. Isobel
Van Hoorn, High Word. Katie
Rowe, 2nd. Barry Harridge, 3rd

Elaine Capewell,
received her badge
for 1000 tournament
games played
The victor in Advanced was Gillian Kinder, now back in good form, followed by Katie Rowe and Barry Harridge - all good performances from Committee members. This section saw the highest scoring High Word played for the day, with Isabel Van Hoorn laying down the nine-timer "UNHAIRED" for 158 points against Oliver Podesser, well done, Isobel and commiserations, Oliver. The High Game award (508) was won by Elaine Capewell, who was also presented with a badge marking 1000 tournament games played, congratulations, Elaine.

Janet Matthews, 2nd & High Game
John Minas, High Word
Stephanie Saunders, 1st

Recreation: Eileen Mills, 1st
John van der Schoor, 2nd
Gloria O'Loghlin, 3rd
Jeannie Jones, High Word

Novice Jenny Plant:
High Game Award,
won 3 games,
and placed 5th
Intermediate was keenly fought, with Stephanie Saunders placing first, Janet Matthews second and Betty Egan third. Janet also recorded High Game (479) and the High Word Award went to John Minas for scoring 104 for "JANGLERS". In Recreation Eileen Mills (who was tired from minding her 10 grandchildren the day before!) won five games to place first, closely followed by John van der Schoor and Gloria O'Loghlin, all on five wins and separated by margin only. Jenny Plant in her first tournament scored 451 to win the High Game Award, and Jeannie Jones played "MINCERS" for 82 points to win the High Word prize. Congratulations to all on your achievements, and to everyone for the spirit in which the tournament was played.

Anne Menheere & Carol Mascitti,
enjoying the day.

Katie Rowe & Dorothy Barraclough,
manning the registration desk

Gloria O'Loghlin, convenor
of the Mt. Martha Club
I missed our regular photographer Khwanjai, and apologise for the poor quality of the accompanying pics. Thanks to all who assisted with setting up and running the tournament, and to all who helped return the tables to their original places - for the first time I was assured that we had achieved the correct layout - so much so that the Secretary of the Centre actually had to check to make sure that we'd been there the previous day.....

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Scrabble on the High Seas

Wayne Willis kippa1955@bigpond.com from Queensland has organised an 11 day Scrabble cruise in the South Pacific in May 2010. Meg Henderson can tell you more about it if you are interested.

The International Fundraiser 15/08/09

Players enjoying the contest at the Mitcham Senior
Citizens' Centre
A pleasant afternoon/evening was spent by 32 competitors in the pleasant surrounds of the Mitcham Senior Cits, a smaller venue than Box Hill but a place where everyone feels equally comfortable and at home. We managed to raise some more cash to add to the fund to assist our international reps when they travel to Malaysia later in the year, and we thank all who attended. Players appeared happy with the snacks on offer, exo pizza for dinner accompanied by soft drink, and some very challenging scrabble. Division A saw Andrew Fisher victorious, losing just one game to Peter Kougi who placed second. Trevor Halsall came in third, also on 4 wins. In Division B Anand Bharadwaj conquered all, winning 5 games with some excellent play and gaining a further 35 rating points. Second placed Dorothy Barraclough lost only to Anand, and Patricia Mitchell came third on 3 wins. Unfortunately Andrew and Patricia both lost ratings points in spite of placing so well in the event, but as we know this happens quite often. Excellent High Games were played by both Andrew (649) and Anand (488), who also played "QUIVERER" FOR 108. Thanks to Khwanjai for the pics, it makes my job so much easier.

Andrew Fisher, First in Div A
Anand Bharadwaj, 1st in Division B

Peter Kougi,
2nd in Division A

Dorothy Barraclough,
2nd in Division B

Patricia Mitchell,
3rd in Division B

Charmaine Henderson, Whittlesea
Dianne Gibson, Greensborough

Robert Blunt from Newborough,
Marj Miller & Lynette Blunt
We thank the Nunawading Club members (the club meets at this venue on Tuesday evenings at 7.00pm, and all are welcome) who donated tea, coffee, sugar etc for use on the day, and those who made donations - Ruth Fewings, Meg Henderson and Gillian Kinder. Also thanks to all who assisted in the smooth running of the event - Barry Harridge, Norma Fisher, Dorothy Barraclough, Marie D'Rosario, Rob York and more. Our young players are very willing to assist in any way, and are becoming increasingly competent with various computer duties which is a great help, and important for the future of the Association. Robert Blunt spent his spare time enthusiastically entering the results at the end of each game, thanks, Robert, your assistance was appreciated. Lastly, thank you to all for the spirit in which the tournament was played, all in all a very pleasant day.

Anand gaining some tips

Tania, Micah & Jayden Kuhne

At work - Kannan, Anand, Robert, Jay

The 2009 Victorian Country Championship

Below is a report from Tournament Director and second place getter Carol Johnsen, thanks for the report, Carol, and thank you to Clive and Jan Rutherford for once again so ably organising the event. Also thank you to Katie Rowe for the pics, hopefully more will be added soon.

A truly magical-looking (but very cold) frosty morning (-2 degrees) greeted 34 competitors to the Daylesford Bowling Club for the annual WORDS in WINTER FESTIVAL which is held annually on this weekend in August. The Champ this year, Heather Long of Bendigo, has enjoyed this title a few times before, and she always makes it a keen contest. We welcomed 5 Novices from Geelong and Cranbourne with one of them, Chris Burkett claiming 1st place in the C (Recreation) section. Joyce McCombe must have flattened her opponent's ego in the 1st game when she scored a nine-timer FLATTING for 149. Special thanks to Stephen and Jess (Tess Robinson's grandchildren) for their willingness to assist and very ably running the computers. The venue is delightful and the catering by Clive and Jan Rutherford very tasty and hospitable.

Ella Burkett & Jan
Wansborough, two players
enjoying their first event

Dorothy Barraclough &
Anne Menheere, two members
of the Geelong Club

Chris Burkett: Winner
Division C, High
Game & Best Novice

New Club at Whittlesea

If you are in the area on the first Wednesday evening of the month call in for a game at the Neighbourhood House and meet the convenor Charmaine Henderson. All support will be greatly appreciated by the group. For full details click here

The Cynthia Curr Nunawading Tournament ~ July 26th 2009

The Team at the end of the day ~ Carol Johnsen,
Cheryle Jerram, Carol Mascitti, Marj Miller,
Barry Harridge, Norma Fisher
Here is a report from the Club Convenor, Cheryle Jerram.

The Nunawading Club proudly hosted the Cynthia Curr Tournament on Sunday 26 July. The tournament got off to a prompt start after a quick setup by Barry Harridge, with Marjorie Miller directing proceedings. We welcomed John Hamilton from the ACT, where he is at Canberra Uni undertaking a Bachelor of Education (Primary). John is looking for players rated 800-1000 to take part in a coaching clinic which is part of an assignment he is doing, and if you are interested in improving your Scrabble and spending a few days in the Blue Mountains (mid 2010) at John's family home please contact Marj Miller for more detail. It was a wonderful day of Scrabble with 9 year old Anand Bharadwaj achieving his personal best game score of 555 and winning the High Word prize for INEARTHS for 149. He is certainly a player to watch in the future. Other young players to watch are Michael Rubinstein who won the Intermediate Section and Robert Blunt who won the Recreation Section. Here are our some pics taken for us by Khwanjai:

Peter Kougi, 1st Masters

Heather Long, 2nd Masters

Geoff Wright, 3rd Masters

Frank Csarics, 1st Advanced

David Lemish, 2nd Advanced

Sujeet Mehta, 3rd Advanced

Michael Rubinstein, 1st Inter

Ruth Fewings, 2nd Intermediate

Latha Weerakkody, 3rd Inter

Robert Blunt, 1st Recreation

Margaret Kane, 2nd Recreation

Karen Harris, 3rd Recreation
It was pleasing to see two of the Nunawading Club members win prizes: Latha Weerakkody came third in the Intermediate Section and also won the High word for her section, playing "QUEST" for 115 points and creating a new 2009 record for the highest-scoring non-bonus word. Karen Harris came third in Recreation Section, and also won High Game with a score of 515. Both commendable efforts as they have not played many competitions. This tournament also saw Peter Kougi (Masters) continue his winning form as he practices for his participation in the World Scrabble Championships. Frank Csarics returned to his usual form with First Prize and the High Game score (567) in the Advanced Section and will rightly play in Masters at his next tournament.

Barry Harridge, software whiz,
John Hamilton from the ACT,
Natasha Podesser, W.Y.S.C. rep.

Michael Rubinstein, Anand
Bharadwaj (High Word Award)
with dad Kannan Sethuraman

Nunawading members Chris
Scholten & John Minas with
Stephen Blick in front.

Thank you to all who assisted in any way, including Barry, Marj, Lalitha, Khwanjai and all who helped with setting up beforehand and tidying up at the end of the day, your help is appreciated.
The tournament was played in the cheerful spirit that was a hallmark of Cynthia Curr’s Scrabble playing. Cynthia, pictured at the 2007 Dandenong Tournament at the Village Green, had been the Convenor of the Nunawading Club and Travel Scrabble and was tragically killed in a car accident on Black Saturday in February. We missed her participation and will hold fond memories of her as a person and as a dedicated Scrabble player.

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World Youth Fundraiser ~ July 5 2009

The WYSC Souvenir Scorebook
This was a happy day at Scrabble to raise some funds to help our three WYSC reps with travel expenses later in the year, and we thank the families of Natasha Podesser, Anand Bharadwaj and Robert Blunt for their assistance in running the tournament, and supplying us with a delightful array of goodies to eat. Robert apologised for his absence as he is attending a Scrabble Coaching Clinic in NSW, but some were rather bemused when we received a visit from his almost identical twin Phillip, who is busily following his main interest and doing well in competitive swimming. Games rolled along smoothly under the expert guidance of Barry Harridge - Geoff Wright amicably asked one question of TD Barry, and I'm fairly certain this was the only serious query for the whole event. There was an occasional question about the orientation and turning of rotating boards, and these were easily sorted out by the drawing of a tile. Gradually more of our players are becoming accustomed to using clocks which makes a Director's task much easier, and is much fairer to both participants in a match.

Lynette, Philip and Phil Blunt
Absent - Robert Blunt, WYSC rep.

Oliver, Natasha and Siti Podesser
A supportive happy family

Anand Bharadwaj with mum Lalitha
and dad Kannan

Peter Kougi, too good in Div A,
well ready for the World Champs

Bridget Halge, showing the grit
needed to win Division B

Lynne Goodinson, winner of Div C
after a hard-fought battle
Forty-six players took part in the three divisions, and congrats to the runaway winner of A Division Peter Kougi, who remained unbeaten over the seven games played, followed by Naween Fernando and Dianne Davis, now back in good form. Division B was closely contested, with Bridget Halge on six wins victorious over Lorraine Thomas by margin only, with Shaun Donnelly finishing third. However the keenest competition was played out in Division C with much depending on the results of the final game. At the conclusion Lynne Goodinson (back from a break) was one of five players on five wins, finishing just 14 margin points ahead of John Minas, closely followed by Stephanie Saunders, Michael Rubinstein and Ruth Fewings.
Well done to all, and as Andrew O'Keefe would say, nicely played.

Anand and his birthday cake, looking
forward to the WYSC in December.

Michael Rubinstein, just turned 21,
tucking into some birthday cake

Stephen Blick, purveyor of lemons
and purchaser of cake

Naween Fernando, second in Div A,
supplier of TV & purchaser of cake

Happy players ~ Ruth Fewings,
Audree Clifton & Ann Hagley

Two faces of scrabble ~ Michael 21,
vs Joyce McCombe, Senior Citizen

Birthday Celebrations for Anand, turning nine
Two birthdays were celebrated - Anand Bharadwaj shared his 9th birthday cake with his scrabble friends, and we also sang happy birthday to Michael Rubinstein who had turned 21 a couple of weeks earlier. Stephen Blick brought lemons to sell to assist the cause, and we raffled two yummy homemade cakes to swell the coffers, and the sale of these certainly did - brisk bidding on the plain cake with lemon filling saw Stephen pay the handsome sum of $11 to win the bid, and some very brisk bidding on the chocolate cake decorated with walnuts came to a rapid conclusion when Naween, who hadn't previously placed a bid, suddenly upped the ante from around $10.50 to $50. Naween needed to make two separate trips to his car, firstly carrying his TV on which we'd watched the progress of the St Kilda/Geelong AFL match, and secondly with his board and very special cake. Thank you on behalf of the three families to all who played for your support and generosity, it is truly appreciated.

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Vale Michael Chisholm

Sadly Michael passed away on Saturday after a long illness, and here are the words Barry Harridge wrote about his longtime friend on the Ozscrabble email list:

Michael, pictured in February 2009
at the Camberwell Tournament

I have the sad news to relate that Michael Chisholm passed away this morning after a long battle against cancers of the stomach and oesophagus. He knew that his death was imminent when I saw him last week (and played two good games of Scrabble with him), and his mind was still sharp as recently as yesterday when Norma Fisher visited him, even though he was in a shocking state physically.
He was long respected in the Scrabble community as a well-read, courteous gentleman with considerable Scrabble ability and a keen interest in the Scrabble community. He will be missed but long remembered.

Michael is survived by his sister and three brothers, and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service for Michael will take place at the Renowden Chapel at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on Thursday July 2nd at 1.00pm. Following the service Michael will be laid to rest within the Cemetery grounds, at peace after such a long illness.

Vale Tamara Messer

8/2/1919 ~ 27/6/2009

Tamara in later years, with Harry
Tamara was a member for many years of the Victorian Scrabble Association and enjoyed occasionally playing in tournaments, where she was a keen competitor who liked nothing better than a victory across the board. Tamara was also a loyal member of the Balwyn Scrabble Club and thoroughly enjoyed her Monday afternoons there until her failing health brought an end to her visits, though neither her mind nor her desire to win were diminished by time. She was renowned for her excellent memory and shrewd play, and was missed by the members when her visits ceased.
Tamara is survived by her loving husband of 66 years Harry, our association member Paula, and Paula's siblings Ruth, Iain and Alan and partners, and a large extended family, many of whom were present at Tamara's graveside service at Springvale Botanical Cemetery on Tuesday June 30. Minyan was held that evening at the Leo Baeck Centre in Kew. Rest in peace, Tamara.

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The NSW/Vic Border Challenge ~ 20/21st June 2009

Players on Saturday at Wagga Wagga
This event took place at Wagga Wagga over the weekend, with NSW emerging victorious over Victoria, winning 60 games against the Vics tally of 53. Players travelled by train and car to arrive in time for the start of play at 2.00 pm, apart from those coming from Sydney on the XPT - the train came to a halt about 10 minutes travelling time from Wagga, and sat for quite some time with the players anxiously waiting, and unable to contact anyone as there was no mobile phone coverage available in the area. On arrival arrangements were made to add these players to the draw, and apart from a shortage of racks and tiles and some computer hiccups games proceeded quite smoothly for the rest of the event. Next year players will be requested to bring racks and tiles, as well as rotating boards and clocks. Thanks to Carol Johnsen for the pics and for organising the event, and to Bob Jackman, Edward Okulicz and others for their assistance.

A pleasant venue - the Commercial Club
Also thanks to Norm and Joy Bing of the Wagga Wagga Scrabble Club who organised the Recreational section, which gave many players from the Wagga Wagga and Tumut Clubs a chance to experience their first tournament. The individual event was won by Joanne Craig from NSW, winning 9 of 10 games, with Bob Jackman (NSW) pipping Geoff Wright (Vic) for second place thanks to a superior margin, with both finishing on 8 wins. The High Game Award went to Edward Okulicz (NSW) for a score of 592, and George Khamis (NSW) played "WHEELIES" for a score of 149 to win the High Word Award. Carol and Bob are planning to repeat this event next year, when the ACT players will compete for the first time as a separate entity, making it the ACT/NSW/Vic Border Challenge. All in all it was a fun weekend, with enjoyable meals available at the Commercial Club, ample accommodation nearby, and many extra games played by those travelling via train.

To view a newsclip aired on local Prime TV click here

A picture of concentration

Dorothy (Vic) vs Doug (Vic)

Norma (Vic) vs La'reine (NSW)

Edward (NSW) vs Lorraine (Vic)

Bob (NSW) vs Geoff (NSW)

Some necessary headscratching

The 2009 Vic Champs & Queen's Birthday Tournament ~ June 6-8th

Back: David Eldar 2nd, Andrew Fisher 1st & HW,
Edward Okulicz 3rd, Alastair Richards HG.
Front: Trevor Halsall 5th & Naween Fernando 4th.
Our annual three-day Championship held at the Box Hill Senior Citizens Centre went smoothly under the directorship of Barry Harridge, with punctuality a feature - even our Geoff Wright was on time every day, which was pleasing. Apart from an occasional discussion at the playing tables about certain minor issues the general atmosphere was pleasant, with between-game snacks an enjoyable feature. We welcomed many interstate visitors, and we thank you all for your support. Plans to play eight games each day were altered to accommodate those with flights booked to travel home on Monday evening, with nine games played on Sunday and just seven on Monday, resulting in a reasonably early finish.
We congratulate our worthy 2009 Champion Andrew Fisher, also our other placegetters David Eldar, Edward Okulicz from NSW, Naween Fernando and Trevor Halsall, filling places 2-5 respectively. High game of 604 went to Alistair Richards from NSW, and the High Word award was won by Andrew Fisher, who played the exquisite 9-timer "EQUISETA" for an outstanding score of 212 to create a new 2009 record for Highest Word.
Further records for this year were created when Carmel Dodd from SA played "ZYMES" for 111 (Highest play, non-bonus word), and Alistair Kane opened against Bob Jackman with "ZILLAHs"for 106 points (Highest Opening Play). And although Alistair started so well, Bob was able to peg him back, with the game ending in a draw.

To see Barry's progress reports, pics and the final results click here

The 2009 Victorian Champion
Andrew Fisher, also the
current National Champion.

Interstaters: Bob Jackman NSW,
Carmel Dodd SA, Joanne Craig
NSW, John Barker NSW

Relaxing between games at the
Box Hill Senior Cits. Fortunately
not one of our colder days

Best Performed Player rated
under 1400, Sandra Masel

Sal Costanzo versus Ray Alford,
happy to be playing

At right: Rene & Jeff Chelton NSW,
with a friend from Victoria
The ratings band prize for the Best Performed Player rated under 1400 was won by Sandra Masel, who picked up 100 points. The other notable ratings gain for the Championship was recorded by Karen Richards, who gained 119 points over the three days. Well done to you both. Karen also presented an award to the Junior Player who gained the most points over either tournament, and this went to Robert Blunt who improved his rating by 69 points, well done, Robert.

Karen with Robert Blunt, winner
"Highest Rating Gain by a Junior"

Peter Bauer, Carmel Doney &
Heather Long

Young players, with Karen: Robert,
Jay, Alastair, Natasha & Anand

The Queen's Birthday Tournament took place on Monday, and 36 players took part in this six-game two-section event. We welcomed novice Dominica Krstic to her first tournament, who after two games would like to have retired from the tournament, but lunch and a couple of wins changed her mind, and we hope to see her at more tournaments soon. We also welcomed back Fintan Conway, whom we hadn't seen for some time.

Rod Casey ~
First in Division A

Don Marshall, 2nd in Div A,
with old friend David Eldar

Happy Mum and Daughter, Rena
Aitken & Jenny Brysha
Division A was won by Rod Casey who remained unbeaten over 6 games, with Don Marshall from Geelong finishing second, and Marie D'Rosario third. High Game went to Natasha Podesser for a score of 503, and High Word went to former Vic Champ Ann Hagley (nee Radan), who played "BAFFLING" for 104.

Josef Peeters ~
First in Division B

Dorothy Rice ~
2nd in Division B

Fun during the break, Stephanie
Saunders with Bridget Halge
A delighted Josef Peeters was victorious in Division B, also winning all 6 games. Dorothy Rice happily placed second, with Margaret Magro very happily placing third. Rob York scored 489 to win the High Game award, and High Word went to Glen Chandler who played "SQUIRED" for 115.

Katie Rowe with Anand:
"Most Improved Player 2009"

Lovelia Malcolm, cuddling with
Angie Pearse

Alistair Kane with Zev Malcolm,
now aged 5 months

At the computer table on Saturday ~
Barry, Anand with mum Lalitha, & Marj
We presented our annual award for the "Most Improved Player" over the past 12 months to Anand Bharadwaj, who improved his rating by 306 points over the year, just pipping Andrew Fisher who went up 302 points. Katie Rowe presented Anand with a lovely portrait she had painted, and Anand received a generous round of applause for his achievement - his 9th birthday is fast approaching, and he is gaining valuable experience prior to attending the W.Y.S.C. later this year. We were delighted by a visit from Chile and Harry and the children, a happy little pair who are growing and changing each time we see them.
Well done to all who competed for some great plays, excellent demeanour throughout, and very pleasant company. Also many thanks to all who helped make the event a success in any way - the Vic Committee, Barry Harridge, Lalitha Sundaresan, Rena Aitken, Dorothy Barraclough, Jack Miller, Khwanjai Thammaping for all the great pics, and Norma Fisher, who quietly achieves wonderful feats of organisation behind the scenes.
We look forward to seeing you all again - same time next year, if not before.

The Sixth Xiao-ting Box Tournament ~ May 31 2009

Fourteen players contested this event, congratulations to Peter Kougi on winning all five games and picking up 31 rating points. Second place went to Trevor Halsall on 4 wins, with Sal Costanzo third on 3 wins. High game went to Trevor Halsall with a fine score of 606.
I'm sure all enjoyed the tournament, followed by dinner at the restaurant.

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The Cranbourne Tournament ~ May 14th 2009

The Cranbourne Cockies ~ Chris Scholten,
Elaine Capewell, Irlande Alfred, Katie Rowe
& Michael Hornung
Firstly thank you to all who played, and special thanks to all involved in running this event, your efforts (and home-cooking!) are much appreciated. Here is a report from the Tournament Director Katie Rowe, and some pics courtesy of Khwanjai Thammaping, thank you to both.

At close of registration 74 people were in the draw for the inaugural Cranbourne tournament, held at Box Hill which is central for so many people. Facilities are excellent and the myriad Asian restaurants 100 yards away, and the huge shopping mall across the road, mean lunches are delicious and varied. A great flurry of phone calls on Sunday morning with three cancellations and four new entries kept the numbers fluctuating, but fortunately an even number meant there were no byes in any of the four sections. Two interstate visitors joined us, Wayne Willis from Queensland, and David More from NSW ,who flew down very early Sunday morning and travelled back by train on Sunday night. TD Katie Rowe told the players about an ancient philosophy which states that man cannot produce anything perfect, so that everything created by believers has a tiny flaw built into it, in order that the creators do not appear arrogant. In keeping with this philosophy the Cranbourne Club designed the tournament with a tiny flaw to maintain their humility in an otherwise perfect plan. Apparently it wasn't hidden well enough because at least two people had found it before the first game.

Some real cockies......

Cranbourne Club members are known by their alias of the Cranbourne Cockies, so Elaine Capewell designed booklet covers with a cockatoo theme, as well as huge cockatoo badges to identify club members, and a fridge magnet for every player. Spot prizes were awarded after the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th games, for theme words Bird, Flower, Fish and Animal respectively. Cockies didn't feature, but ROSELLA (using two blanks) won the first round for Dianne Davis, DAISIES just beat WATTLES for Michael Hornung, Angie Pearse won the Fish round with KOI, and with 6 or 7 entries for the Animal round, the prize was awarded to Anand Bharadwaj for PIG - given the current interest in swine in general. The Lucky Door Prize was won by Angie Pearse. An amazing array of home-made sandwiches, dips, slices, cakes and fresh fruit meant no-one went hungry and some didn't bother with lunch! Club members took all the credit for that. In one of the early games Stephen Blick went out with a bingo which, played vertically against other 2 and 3 letter words, made 7 additional words.

Alistair Kane,
Masters 1st Place

Trevor Halsall,
Masters 2nd Place

Frank Csarics with Dianne Davis,
Advanced 1st Place

Angie Pearse,
Advanced 2nd Place

Betty Egan,
Intermediate 1st Place

Marjorie Page,
Intermediate 2nd Place
Alistair Kane outplayed all comers in Masters winning all 7 games, with Trevor Halsall 2nd and Michael Hornung 3rd. Congratulations Alistair it was a great result. Dianne Davis was 1st in Advanced, followed by Angie Pearse in 2nd place and Oliver Podesser 3rd. Oliver opted to play in Advanced Section instead of Intermediate, and has now won a Play Up certificate to try his hand again in the Advanced section at a future four-section tournament. Betty Egan won all her games in Intermediate to beat Marjorie Page and Lorna Patching on 6 games each. In Recreation, Wayne Willis from Queensland won 6 from 7 games to take 1st prize, with Edith Wilson and Latha Weerakkody in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Latha's rating jumped 84 points which was the biggest gain in the competition, pipping Alistair by just one point.

Wayne Willis from Queensland,
Recreation 1st Place

Edith Wilson,
Recreation 2nd Place

Novice Barbara Raymond, with
Jeannie Jones

Snack time -
Ann Goodwin & Marj Miller,
with David More from NSW

Fun at presentation time -
Elaine Capewell
& TD Katie Rowe

Checking the ratings - Jenny B.,
Kannan S., Anand B., Natasha P.,
Geoff W. & Peter K., with Carol J.

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Travel Scrabble at Halls Gap ~ May 15-17th, 09

A happy and restful get-together took place at the Grand Canyon Motel, with 26 guests enjoying several games of happy scrabble, the picturesque surroundings and wildlife, and some yummy home cooked meals, as can be seen in the pics below.

Happy Zev, with sleepy Lovelia
The Grand Canyon is the motel taken over by our member Cynthia Curr and partner Greg in 2007, and since Cynthia's untimely death in February this year Greg is running the business, with generous help from several local identities, especially Helen and Phil. Thank you to all for your care and friendly hospitality. Cynthia was mentioned many times, with all having warm and wonderful memories of past encounters and friendships, and Greg seemed pleased to have so many of Cynthia's friends staying at the motel.
The undoubted stars of the weekend, apart from the meals, were Lovelia and Zev Malcolm, venturing forth on their first scrabble holiday at the age of almost four months - they are delightful babies, and socially way ahead - we all had many cuddles, with no complaint from either when handed from one person to the next. A special thank you to Nobby and Marjorie Clark for so adeptly organising this event, and for planning a further event in autumn next year in Lakes Entrance.

Organisers Nobby & Marjorie
Clark - note the roast!

Trish Mitchell, John van der
Schoor, Isabel Van Hoorn

Mercia Cadan, Rod Casey,
Jennifer Swift

Don Marshall & Lorraine
Robinson, from Geelong

Proud parents of Lovelia & Zev,
Chile & Harry Malcolm

Gianna Devcic, Mary McMahon,
Brenda Thurgar

Norma Engels with non-playing
husband Phil

Lina Camilleri & Theresa
Scicluna, from Essendon

Kathleen Forest, Audree Clifton,
and Gianna's sister Marisa

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World Championship Fundraiser ~ May 3 2009

The Playing Room at Box Hill
Fifty-four players competed in this pleasant 8-game event, including Barbara Harrison from Bendigo who returned to the tournament scene after an eight-year break. Playing in her first tournament was Lynette Blunt from Moe, mother of one of our young players Robert. Plans are being made for Robert to travel by train to take part in more of our metropolitan events. We belatedly welcomed our ex-Victorian Helen Maurus, now resident in Queensland, and it was great to have her back and looking great - almost as if you hadn't moved away, Helen.
Play got under way almost on time with the invaluable help of Barry Harridge, and during the day our workload was considerably reduced when Lalitha Sundaresan took over the inputting of scores as they came to hand. Thanks to you both for your help. As it was a fundraising event we cut down on the prizes but not on the food, which as usual was most enjoyable.

Going to the WSC - Naween (top l)
& Andrew (seated rt). In contention -
Trevor (seated left) & Peter (top rt)

Kannan Sethuraman,
Best Performed Under 1100 with
Naween Fernando, First Overall

Lorraine Thomas,
Best Performed Player
rated 1100~1450

Novice Lynette Blunt from Moe
with son Robert, competing in his
second tournament

Old friends catching up ~
Geoff Wright with Helen Maurus,
visiting from Queensland

Some of the Greensborough Girls -
Betty Egan, Val Hardiman
& Beryl Bourne
Naween Fernando placed first in the event, winning all games, closely followed by Andrew Fisher, whose only loss was to Naween. Trevor Halsall placed third, but still trails Peter Kougi in the battle for the sixth available place on the World team. To check out the difference between these two click here
Excellent performances also came from fourteenth-placed Lorraine Thomas who took home the Ratings Band prize for the best performed player rated from 1100~1450, gaining 45 points for her efforts. Kannan Sethuraman, dad of our very keen 8 year old Anand, has been playing regularly on the internet as well as attending the recent coaching clinic, and the improvement in his Scrabble game gained him the Ratings Band prize for the best performed player rated under 1100, as well as seventeeth place and 103 rating points. Wow. Other noteworthy ratings gains were attained by Betty Egan (73) and Naween (52), and Andrew recorded the High Game score of 607. Congrats to all on your achievements, and thanks to all for your cooperation and admirable behaviour throughout the day.

Returning after 8 years, Barbara
Harrison with Ruth Fewings &
Lorna Patching, a happy moment

Our young players on the day ~
Natasha Podesser, Robert Blunt,
& Anand Bharadwaj

Josef Peeters and Helen Maurus,
with Chris Scholten (centre)
celebrating his birthday

Relaxing during a break between
games, Ann Hagley with
a happy Angie Pearse

Barry running the ratings, watched
with interest by Lalitha, Trevor,
Kannan, Naween, Andrew & Peter

A helpful night bird - Andrew
with the rubbish, supervised by
Jen and Trevor

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Leongatha Tournament April 19

Best Novice: Jay Kuhne,
Victoria, with Marj M.

Best performer under 13,
Isaac Kan from NSW.
Following the Coaching Clinic a very pleasant tournament took place at the Leongatha Primary School, and we thank the staff for providing us with such a great venue. In Division A Gwen Lampre was victorious, winning from Karen Richards and Michael McKenna. High word (SAUTOIRS for 122) and high game (547) went to Norma Fisher. Division B was won by Oliver Podesser, with John Hamilton second, and Leigh Donnelly third. High game (503) was played by Cameron Farlow (Qld), and Jayden Kuhne (Vic) played "WASHING" for 98 to win the medal for High Word. Division C was keenly contested, with Carol Mascitti winning from Lyn Ridsdale (WA) and Marjorie Clark. Carol also received medals for High Game 458 and High Word "INQUIRE" 123. For three of the participants it was their first tournament experience, with Jayden Kuhne finishing slightly ahead of Robert Blunt to take out the Best Novice award. There was also an award presented to the best-performed player under 13 years of age, and this was won by Isaac Kan from NSW. Congratulations to everyone, and well done to all players of all ages, your behaviour and demeanour are to be commended. A special thank you to the staff at the Leongatha Primary School, in particular Wendy, Rob and Grant for allowing us to use the excellent facilities at the school.

Div A: Karen Richards, Michael
McKenna, Gwen Lampre,
Norma Fisher

Div B: Cameron Farlow, Oliver
Podesser, John Hamilton,
Jayden Kuhne

Div C: Lyn Ridsdale,
Marjorie Clark,
Carol Mascitti

John vs Cameron, Dorothy vs Jayden

Lyn vs Robert, Nathan vs Carol

Ruth vs Isaac, Eileen vs Will

A serious game - Jason vs Michael

Karen vs Norma, Michael vs Katie

Oliver vs Leigh, Tania vs Marj P.

Leongatha Youth Coaching Clinic April 16-18 2009

Back Row: Jayden Kuhne, Cameron Farlow, John
Hamilton. Centre: Will Jackson, Nathan Seeto,
Robert Blunt, Michael McKenna. Front: Isaac Kan,
Aaron Kan, Ruth Hamilton

Relaxing at the Caravan Park

This was a fun experience, with Karen Richards leading the group, ably assisted by Michael McKenna & John Hamilton, all from NSW. Thank you to all for your efforts to promote Scrabble in Victoria, we do appreciate it.
The attendees were very keen to learn, and enjoyed the company as well as improving their scrabble skills. The sessions were conducted in the recreation room of the Leongatha Apex Caravan Park where many of the participants stayed, and we thank the owners of the park for allowing us to use this space free of charge. Also thank you to Ben Taylor from Ubisoft who donated several Nintendo games as prizes for the young ones. The Scrabble game incorporates the current Collins Word List, and Ben assures me there will be versions available in September for play on your personal computer, or Wii. Thanks, Ben.
For further details of the event and lots more pics, click here

Andrew Fisher wins the 2009 National Championship - convincingly!

Standing: Esther Perrins, Simon Walton,
David Eldar, Joanne Craig, Andrew
Fisher, Naween Fernando, Anne Drew
Front: Cheah Siu Hean, Trevor Halsall,
Ricky Purnomo

Champ Andrew, with TD Wilma & Rex.
Well done, Andrew, and congrats to second placed Joanne Craig (go, girl!!) and third placed David Eldar, moving up after a slower-than usual start. Last year's champion Naween Fernando placed fourth, followed by Anne Drew, Trevor Halsall, Cheah Siu Hean and Ricky Purnomo. The award for High Game was shared by Esther Perrins and Andrew Fisher, both scoring 622. The High Word award went to Simon Walton, who played "BLUDGEON" for 167. Sunny Wright (NSW) was victorious in the Plate, with Ryan Anderson from Queensland in second place, and local WA player Cori Lodder coming third. Ryan scored 529 to win the High Game award, and Cori played "REWINDER" for 149 to secure the award for High Word. Well done to all, and thanks to Glenys Lawrie and the WA team of organisers for doing such a great job, it was a most enjoyable tournament.

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Vale Nan Smith, April 9th 2009

It is with sadness that we bring news of our friend Nan's passing after a valiant fight against oesophageal cancer. Nan was an avid scrabbler and founded the Frankston Club in 1984, and some years later set up the Mount Martha nighttime club. The picture at right shows Nan at her celebratory tourmament in August 2006, when she shared her 80th birthday with the Scrabble community.
We will miss Nan's gentle smile and lovely genteel elegance, her sense of fair play and her fondness for a good game of Scrabble.
Rest in peace, Nan.

Xiao-ting Box Tournament #5, April 5 2009

At the restaurant - Barry versus Paula,
watched by Lois at the rear, and Angie.

At the end of play - Shaun, Barry, Anand,
Kannan, Khwanjai and Michael.
18 players attended this enjoyable 5 game tournament, though two were latecomers and only played four games. The placegetters in order were Norma Fisher, Peter Kougi and Carol Johnsen all on 4 wins and only separated by margins. The Highest Rating Gains were made by John Minas (42) and Anand Bharadwaj (41). Anand B continues his rise through the ranks as does Michael Rubinstein - both of these young men have gained rating points at every tournament they have played - even Open events where they come up against much higher rated players! Anand proved to be a very competent typist so Geoff had him enter the players names into the computer at the start of the tournament - this kid is so smart - and cute, to boot! Dorothy Barraclough's husband, Trevor (on pickup duty) joined us for the usual variety of Asian fare followed by fried bananas and icecream.......very enjoyable.

Last year's National Champion Naween
with Norma, Marj and Barry.
The Australian National Championship, together with the Plate, is happening in Perth over Easter, and you need to lodge your entry with Glenys Lawrie by Friday April 4th to be assured of a place. I'm not sure how many Victorians are attending, but I hope to see many of you there. This is an exciting event each year and we look forward to enjoying the competition, and the hospitality of our friends in Western Australia.

The Leongatha Youth Coaching Clinic is taking place at the Leongatha Caravan Park immediately after Easter, on April 16/17/18. Leading the coaching team is Karen Richards with assistance from John Hamilton and Michael McKenna, all from NSW. Several juniors from interstate are attending, with various family members. The response from the children who took part in the Gippsland Schools Championship last September has been rather disappointing, but I'm sure the children who do attend will gain much from the experience. If you know of any youngsters who would like to join us for these sessions please don't hesitate to contact me.

The Inaugural Leongatha Tournament is planned for Sunday April 19th, and there will be three sections, with experienced players playing 7 games, and the new juniors and other newbies playing 5 games, thus gaining a place in our national ratings system. We hope that our regular tournament players will travel to Leongatha to support this tournament, so please let me know if you can make it.

The Langwarrin Tournament, March 22nd 2009

The Hard-working Members of the Langwarrin Club
72 players travelled to the Langwarrin Community Centre for this annual event, ably presented by Club Convenor Geoff Gittus and his willing band of Club members, who provided many yummy goodies, lovely scorebooks, and wore specially made Langwarrin Club hats for the duration of the day. Thank you to all for a job well done. Play got under way a little late after Carol J. competently sorted out the sections, with many players moved up and down and in and out due to a couple of missed entries, and some lost players - the Monash Freeway was closed, which caused some necessary detours. Thanks to standby player Lalitha Sundaresan who played and won two of her games, much to the delight of son Anand Bharadwaj. Also thank you to Kathy Barnes for the use of her camera, and below are some more of the shots taken on the day.
There were some excellent performances, with the victors in all four sections recording 5 wins from the 6 games played, and winning on margin from their nearest rivals. Michael Hornung took all before him in Masters, with Alistair Kane and Geoff Wright close behind. Michael also recorded the highest game score (594) for the day across all sections.

Michael Hornung, won 5 games
to place first in Masters

Janet Matthews and Rob York,
with Janet's mum Marion Kearsley

A serious struggle - Alistair Kane,
2nd in Masters, v. Trevor Halsall

Dianne Gibson (back, 1st in Adv)
Jean McKinnon, Brenda Thurgar

Dorothy Barraclough, with Irlande
Alfred, 2nd in Recreation

Beryl Bourne & Leigh Donnelly,
both hoping for a win
In Advanced a very delighted Dianne Gibson won from Gillian Kinder and Rod Casey, and in Intermediate regular Langwarrin player Pat Judd came in first, from Pat Weston and Michael Rubinstein. Recreation was dominated by the Langwarrin girls, with Janet Stuckenschmidt, Irlande Alfred and Eileen Mills filling the first three places. Congratulations to all, and a special mention to Michael Rubinstein for his impressive ratings gain on the day. Michael increased his rating by 115 points, something we all dream about doing!

Kathy Barnes, Pat Judd 1st in
Inter, with Pat Weston

Snack time - David Lemish, Sylvia
Galloway & Gillian Renwick

Oliver Podesser with Rod Casey,
3rd in Advanced

The Fourth Xiao-ting Box Tournament, March 15 2009

Fourteen keen players (plus standby player and TD Geoff Wright) enjoyed this event, with Trevor Halsall the clear winner on 5 wins from 5 games. Second place went to Peter Kougi, with Norma Fisher third. High Game (540) was recorded by Peter Kougi, and Marjorie Page played "BIRCHING" for 104 to score the High Word for the day. It was good to see Kate Gullan return from retirement following the birth of Natasha Rose, and we hope to see her at another tournament soon. The day went smoothly, with play finishing around 6 pm, and this was followed by a scrumptious and companionable meal, enjoyed by all. Thanks to Geoff and Jenny Brysha for organising this event, and also thanks to all who helped in any way on the day.

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The Inaugural Coaching Clinic: March 5th 2009

Our tutors: Andrew and Trevor

Shaun Donnelly with Andrew

The attendees, listening intently
This was a fun session, attended by 23 eager players keen to pick up some tips on strategy. Our instructors Andrew Fisher and Trevor Halsall took us through all 34 points on the accompanying very-helpful handout sheet, which may eventually be added to the website as a general learning tool. This was followed by a keenly-contested game played by Andrew and Trevor, projected onto the screen so that all could debate the best moves and the reasons for same as the game progressed. The level of participation from those present was excellent, and all agreed that the session was most helpful, and left with good intentions of improving their individual game. Thanks to Andrew and Trevor for taking the time to put everything together, it was appreciated by all.

Melbourne Team Challenge & Open Tournament, March 1 2009

The Champions, Melbourne Victory.
Peter B., Barry H., Andrew F.
Sunday saw a good day's scrabble take place at the Box Hill Senior Cits, with strong competition between the ten competing teams. The start was delayed by a late arrival for the aptly-named Latecomers, and much more seriously a no-show for the same team. We'll take steps to try to prevent this happening next year.
With three members in each team, each playing their opposite number in the opposing team, the pre-prepared pairings and seating arrangements progressed seamlessly, thanks to the clever programming of our software guru Barry Harridge.
At the end of nine games Melbourne Victory emerged triumphant, overcoming the Latecomers and the Salvo Hawks. Melbourne Victory comprised an in-form Andrew Fisher, with Barry Harridge whose star is now on the rise again, and a very keen Peter Bauer as third chair. Andrew also took out the individual award from David Eldar, with Elaine Capewell third. High Game went to David Eldar (588) and High Word was played by Trevor Halsall "POLEAXES" 114.

Second place, The Latecomers
David E., Geoff W., Meg H.

Third Place, The Salvo Hawks
Matte D., Zina C., Sal C.

Fourth Place, The Overdogs
Steve B., Gillian K., Trevor H.

Fifth place, The Elite Donkeys
Carmel D., Lois B., Peter K.

The Cool Cranbourne Cockies
Katie R., Elaine C., Michael H.

The Morningstars
Angie P., Patricia M., Lorraine T.

The Longshots
Heather L., Dianne G., Norma F.

Carol J., Alan C., Pat W.

The Bay City Tilers
Mary McM., Anne M., Dorothy B.
In the Open event Gwen Lampre finished first, followed by Bridget Halge and Jenny Brysha. Of note was the High Word in this section "SMOOCHER", played for 158 points by Pat Judd, who also scored 525 to win the High Game award. Worthy of mention were ratings gains recorded by Pat Weston in the Teams event with a gain of 52 points, whilst Bridget Halge and Michael Rubinstein each picked up 43 points in the Open.
Our Bushfire Appeal was concluded on the day, and together with $500 from the Association's funds we have donated a total of $2660 - the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal will soon receive $2410, with the balance of $250 being sent to the R.S.P.C.A. Bushfire Appeal to aid the animals. We thank all who contributed so generously in response to such suffering, it has been a sad time for Victoria indeed.
Our day was brightened by a visit from the Malcolm family, all doing well, and it was good to see them looking happy and contented. Thank you to all who helped with tasks throughout the day, particularly hard-working committee members Barry Harridge, Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher.

First in the Open, Gwen Lampre
v. Pat Judd, HW & HG

Second in the Open, Bridget
Halge plays John Minas

Third in the Open,
Jenny Brysha

The future of Victorian Scrabble,
Shaun D. & Michael R.

Lovelia, a future WYSC champion
in 2020?

Lovelia's main rival, perhaps.
Zev M.

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Camberwell Tournament 15th February 2009

Congrats to all the winners, and thank you to Meg, Barry and the Camberwell Club members for their organisation, and a special thank you to all who contributed so generously to the Bushfire Relief Fund. It was lovely to see Chile and Harry looking so well and happy, with their contented and gorgeous twin bundles of joy. Here is a report from Tournament Director Barry Harridge:

The Camberwell Scrabble tournament went quite smoothly on Sunday 15 February. Thanks to the helpers who set up tables and registered players as they arrived and put away tables at the end.

Cynthia, doing what she loved

Victorian Scrabble players were still quite shocked by the tragic events of just 8 days previously on Black Saturday, and were very much affected by the unexpected loss of life of Cynthia Curr in a collision with a tree on that very day. Cynthia had an irrepressibly bubbly personality, and Marj told us that her family felt as Cynthia would, that the traditional one minute's silence was at odds with her way, and instead we were asked to have a minute of chatter and laughter. This is the way we will remember Cynthia.

A box for donations to Victorian Bushfire relief was well supported by players and since the box was adjacent to where result slips were handed in, one player at least invoked Scrabble karma by putting five dollars in each time he won a game. With most of the tournament proceeds added, over a thousand dollars was raised in this first stage. We expect to raise a substantial amount at the next event on March 1, and there are already pledges from players who will come prepared.

At the Scrabble board
Chile, Lovelia, Zev, Harry

Dianne Gibson enjoying time
with Lovelia

Sylvia Galloway with new
love Zev
Near the end of the day smiles were brought to players' faces with the arrival of our royal family, Harry and Chile Malcolm with their tiny new twin children Zev and Lovelia, who took to the Scrabble board like ducks to water. Harry says they are good at dumping.
Happy snapper Khwanjai Thammaping took many photos on the day. Some of these will inevitably appear here on the Scrabble Victoria website which now has a refreshingly newsy appearance due to the capable and industrious attention of Marj Miller.

MASTERS: Peter Kougi is now a man with a mission. He is seriously eying the coveted sixth position on the World Scrabble Championship team (see http://www.scrabble.org.au/ratings/selective/09WSC.html for the current standings) and so blitzed the field with six wins, including five bonus words in one game, creating a new Australian record for 2009.
Peter was followed to the winners' circle by Carmel Doney (who was delighted to receive her badge marking 2000 tournament games played), with Alistair Kane taking out third place. High game went to Carol Johnsen, 575, and High word went to Gillian Kinder, BRAIDERS 167, also a new record for 2009.

Julian McKail with Peter Kougi,
1st in Masters, and Trevor Halsall

Carmel Doney, 2nd Masters, with
her badge marking 2000 games

Alistair Kane, back in form,
3rd in Masters
ADVANCED: A real tussle where the first three each had 5 out of 6 wins, separated only by spread. Kris Howat, Chris Scholten and Paula Messer took first, second and third respectively. High game Sujeet Mehta, 515. High word Isabel Van Hoorn, BONINGS 104.

Kris Howat, 1st place
in Advanced

Chris Scholten, 2nd place in

Paula Messer, 3rd Place Advanced,
looking forward to "Playing Up"
INTERMEDIATE: The top finishers were Theresa Scicluna, Anand Bharadwaj and Stephanie Saunders. Anand is only 8 years old and will represent Australia in the World Youth Scrabble Championship in December. He is keen to advance in Scrabble and is planning on picking up tips from the experts at the first Coaching Clinic for players at all levels. See below for full details. High game Anand Bharadwaj, 504. High word Brenda Thurgar, JANTIES 104.

Theresa Scicluna, 1st in Inter,
snapped at the Seniors Event

Anand Bharadwaj, 2nd in Inter,
looking forward to some coaching

Stephanie Saunders, 3rd in
RECREATION: Eager newcomer Michael Rubinstein won this section. Although this is only his second tournament, Michael has had some serious coaching from Norma Fisher and Peter Kougi at the Bentleigh Scrabble Club. Second and third places went to Eileen Mills and Irlande Alfred. High game, Rob York 533. High word Edith Wilson, ACQUIRE 107.

Michael Rubinstein, 1st in Rec
in only his second tournament

Eileen Mills, with her reward for
placing second in Recreation

Irlande Alfred, 3rd in Recreation,
taken at Mt. Martha last year

T/O Meg with Gillian Kinder,
High Word: BRAIDERS 167

Carol Johnsen, Highest Game
Score for the day, 575

Brenda Thurgar, Edith Wilson
& Mercia Cadan
Thank you to all 82 who attended for a much needed happy day.
Barry Harridge

Cynthia 9/9/1955 ~ 7/2/2009

Cynthia at her 50th Birthday Bash
Fellow Scrabble players are deeply saddened by the loss of our member and good friend Cynthia Curr, a wonderfully happy and energetic soul who died on Saturday February 7th in a car accident near Halls Gap, where she and her partner Greg were running the Grand Canyon Motel. Our sympathy is extended to Greg, her children David, Belinda and Susan, and her mum Mia.
Arrangements to farewell Cynthia have been made, and for those who wish to attend there will be a viewing at 10.30am on Friday morning at the Ballarat Crematorium in Doveton Street North, North Ballarat, followed by a service at the Crematorium at 11.00am.
After the service, all are invited to join the family for refreshments at the Midlands Golf Club, just across the road from the Crematorium.

Wednesday 18th February: Cynthia's family, together with Greg, have asked me to convey their sincere thanks to Cynthia's friends in the Scrabble community who attended the service for Cynthia last Friday, and the many friends who have sent heartfelt messages of sympathy to them at this sad and difficult time.

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Would you like to become a better player? Then read on.....

Katie Rowe's play of "STOCKERS", score 194
We are commencing free coaching sessions for lovers of this fascinating game, including beginners and all tournament players who would like to gain some instruction in the finer points from our top contestants - at the moment Andrew Fisher, Trevor Halsall and Naween Fernando are our tutors, and we hope to add a couple more names to this list. The continuation of this exercise will depend on the response from players, so please join us if you are interested. Who knows, we might all soon have the skills needed to score 194 for playing the word "STOCKERS", as Katie did at Decathon in 2007.

The first session will take place on Thursday March 5th, from 6.30 - 8.30 p.m. at the Box Hill Senior Citizens Centre at 79 Carrington Road, Box Hill, Melways Map 47 C10. Everyone is welcome, and please feel free to bring something to eat with you, and also please let me know if you are coming so that we can assess what resources are needed - phone 9850 2366, or click on mjwm@connexus.net.au to contact me via email.

Ballarat Tournament - 31st January 2009

Below is a report from Ballarat Club Convenor Tess, and I can add that I've had some very good feedback regarding this tournament. Congrats to the three Section winners Peter Kougi, Dorothy Barraclough and Margaret Kane. Peter and Margaret achieved everybody's dream, winning all their games on the day. In Division A the award for High Game went to Norma Fisher with a score of 562, and Cynthia Curr played TORQUES for 96 to score High Word. In B Division Dorothy Barraclough received the awards for both High Game and High Word - 460, and SHONKIER for 98, and Ruth Waldie did the same in Division C, with a game score of 421, and HEAVING for 95 points.

1st ~ Division A
Peter Kougi

1st ~ Division B
Dorothy Barraclough

1st ~ Division C
Margaret Kane

Despite it being an exceptionally hot day, a very enjoyable day was had by all. With 38 players and three divisions, at the end of the day Wayne Stoyan thanked us for the day saying it was the best tournament he had been to and that he would definitely be back. A big thank you to those who came from Melbourne to help, and all who helped in any other way. Tess Robinson

I'd like to add my thanks to all the Ballarat Club members and Tess' family for your efforts in helping Tess with the tournament, and the lovely food, and also thank you to Carol Johnsen for your help with computer duties.

City of Sydney International Masters - 24/25th January 2009

Andrew - 1st
Congratulations to our Victorians who acquitted themselves so well in this prestigious annual 20 game event, held at the Revesby Workers Club in Sydney. Andrew Fisher, now clearly back in top form, finished on 18 wins, four games clear of Trevor Halsall. Third place went to Tony Hunt from NSW, and also claiming top ten places were Victorians Peter Kougi and Naween Fernando, who were 5th and 7th respectively.
Well done to Andrew and Trevor, and to all other worthy placegetters.

Happy Birthday, Val - January 22 2009

Club members with Val, seated: Richard,
Beryl, Dianne, Mohammed, Dorothy, Pat
Today is a special day for Val Hardiman, who is celebrating her 80th birthday. Val has been an active member of the Scrabble community for many years, and remains involved in running the Greensborough Club, which meets at the Watsonia Neighbourhood House on Tuesdays at 12 midday. Val is also a regular tournament player, and it is not easy to record a win against her. Val's fellow club members marked the happy occasion with a birthday cake at their meeting this week. As well as reaching this milestone Val and her husband Ken celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on Boxing Day. Sincere congratulations to you both on your 60 happy years together, a wonderful achievement.

Introducing Lovelia and Zev Malcolm ~ January 21 2009

The twins were born to Chile and Harry Malcolm earlier today at the Mercy Hospital, Heidelberg, where Chile (and Harry) have been receiving excellent care. Both babies are healthy, with Zev weighing 6.5 lbs, and Lovelia a more dainty 4.5 lbs, both beautiful babies. Best wishes to Chile, Harry, Lovelia and Zev.

Lovelia Malcolm

Zev Malcolm

Chile with Lovelia, Harry with Zev

The Bil Rose Aestival - January 18 2009

Players at the Bil Rose Aestival
This event was keenly contested but was happily played in good spirits. Here is a report from Tournament Organiser and Director Carol Johnsen, accompanied by some of Khwanjai's excellent pics. Thanks, Carol and Khwanjai.

The annual event to commemorate the memory of our oldest tournament player ever, Bil Rose, attracted 76 participants in the 9-section, round robin, 7-game format and had "gone to the dogs" literally - dog breeds were the theme names for each of the sections. Bil Rose from Victoria was born on 21 January 1905 and died on 5 September 2003. He was the official holder in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest consistent competitor in tournament Scrabble in the world and he had played in his last tournament on 18 May 2003 at the age of 98.
The major prize in this tournament is awarded to a player, 80 years of age or plus, who has the best performance on the day, and this year it went to Joyce McCombe with 5 wins and a margin of 229. Nobby Clark had a spectacular day, being the only player to win all 7 games; and what a tight tussle in the Elkhound Section with only margins separating the top 5 players, all with 4 wins. Margaret Kane (rated 820) was very chuffed having a 505 game with a High Word of 158 for STRAYING. The young ones continue to amaze with young teenage visitor from Sydney, Michael McKenna (rating 1577), playing the "big guns" and placing fourth. Also, our pre-teenage player, Anand Bharadwaj continues to climb the ladder with each tournament, with 5 wins in the Griffon section. Carol Johnsen.

Lois Binnie v. Geoff Wright

Elaine Capewell v. Frank Csarics

Barry Harridge v. Natasha Podesser

Stephen Blick v. Lorraine Thomas

Isabel Van Hoorn v. Mal Eden

John Minas v. Stephanie Saunders

Irish Setter
Marjorie Clark v. Stephanie Agius

Joanna Donbeck v. Edith Wilson,
Mary Mackie v. Mercia Cadan

Marisa Nuccitelli with Novice
Stephanie Agius

Joanna Donbeck

Paula Brown from South Australia,
with Marisa

TD Carol Johnsen, with Michael
McKenna from N.S.W.

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Third Melbourne Marathon - January 10/11 2009

Barry has posted three emails which give a good picture of events at the Marathon, so I'll copy them to here rather than write too much myself. Congratulations to David Eldar for a come-back win, taking out first place for the third consecutive year, with Trevor Halsall close behind. Thank you to our interstaters for traveling to support the tournament, and well done to our novice Vivian Moore for winning 5 games in some tough company. Also, a big thank you to Norma Fisher for her tireless efforts in organising and catering for the event, the players were very appreciative of your efforts. Also thank you to Barry Harridge and Jenny Brysha (who won 14 games to pick up 205 ratings points) for your combined efforts on the computer.

After Game 8: Thirty foolhardy souls are again undergoing the 24 hour marathon in Melbourne. 24 games in 24 hours. They started midday Saturday and will finish midday Sunday. If you think Victorians are mad enough, just note that this year we have a substantial number who have come from interstate to play (Michael McKenna, Kitty-Jean Laginha, Ruby-Rose Laginha, John Hamilton from NSW and Quentin Abbott from Qld). And for a baptism of fire, Vivian Moore (Natasha's cousin) is playing her very first tournament as this marathon, and doing very well, thank you. Naween Fernando has established a spiffing high game score of 706. Not likely to be surpassed later as weariness sets in, indeed not likely to be surpassed in 2009. Michael McKenna was pleased to play the anagram of MICHAEL. More news later.

Midday Saturday
Bright-eyed and bushy tailed

The oldest and youngest
Ruth Fewings & Michael McKenna

Ready for bed??
Dawn Browning in her PJ's
After Game 20: A further update. This intrepid reporter went home to bed after midnight last night, after the midnight feast to get a bit of kip until returning in the morning. Jenny Brysha had been briefed on how to do the computer entry and pairings and all had been going well as I left. Curled up in bed at last, I got a phone call at 1.30 am from Jenny who had in her delirium slipped up. The computer had asked in large friendly letters "Is Barry Harridge still absent?" and she must have answered no, because the draw had me playing and Ruby-Rose having a bye. We got that sorted, and five minutes later another problem. I did manage to get some sleep but at 7.30 am I had another call from Jenny, so I sorted that out over the phone. I explained that I was just in my underwear at that stage. Jenny said that she'd avert her eyes, but it evidently put her off her next game. I arrived here about 9 am. Play was underway. Thank God they left me a muffin and raisin bread at least. Several players asked me through gritted teeth "Did you have a nice sleep?". All the same, most players are still functioning and even managing to stay polite. There were signs of delirium. Peter Bauer completely forgot how to tell time from a non-digital clock. He had to be taught again about the big hand and the little hand. Unfortunately this mental aberration was before the tournament had even started. And Geoff Wright had trouble getting awake in the middle of the day, but again this was a problem before the tournament had started. Yours truly stood in for Geoff for the first four games. Standings have changed overnight. David Eldar had been down to something like 10th last night but has floated to the top since then as is his style. But his rating may well suffer nevertheless, and since his number one rating position is being eyed by Andrew Fisher only 5 points behind, a change of leader may well ensue. Unfortunately we won't be able to process ratings straight after as we usually do, since the national ratings have not been updated for some time.

Future Champions
John and Natasha

Our brave novice
Vivian Moore

Happy Jenny Brysha
Gained 205 rating points
After Game 24: It's all over. 24 zombies (15 of 30, actually) handed in their last slips. In the last round, Jenny Brysha did a little dance to celebrate her getting to play on table 1 (against David Eldar). Unfortunately she blotted her copybook by starting with POOEY*, but she nevertheless finished the tournament with a rating gain of over 200. Norma Fisher pointed out that she nearly was able to play an anagram of HARRIDGE=HAGRIDER but settled for HAGRIDE. Ruth Fewings played SLEEPING which seemed appropriate. Ruth is the oldest player here, the youngest being Michael McKenna In an earlier game, Trevor Halsall was ecstatic at finally beating David Eldar for the first time in 17 matchups. Alistair Kane kindly forwarded the latest ratings data, so we were able to do the provisional ratings, together with tournament placings.

Kitty-Jean from NSW - 2nd Placing
in the lower half of the draw

Jenny at Table 1 in the final game
David shaking in his boots

Not so bright and bushy-tailed!
All over till next year

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