~ News Archive 2010 ~

Decathon ~ December 28 2010

At the start of the day..nine more games to go..
click to enlarge
The final Victorian tournament for the year was a little late starting due to the tardiness of some players, but rolled along smoothly enough once under way at our regular tournament venue, the Box Hill Senior Cits Community Centre. Following the Melbourne Marathon in early January the building will be unavailable to us for a few weeks as the roof is to be replaced, and new carpet laid in the offices and reception area.
We welcomed two new players and several interstate visitors to the event - Arlene and Tony Williams from the ACT; Karen, Paul and Alastair Richards and David More from NSW; and Helen Maurus and John Rider from Queensland. Thank you all for coming, we did enjoy your visit. A total of 64 keen players competed in the four sections, and appeared to relish the day.
One prediction which came true was the comment made by Dorothy Rice when the sign advertising the Senior Citizens' Bingo Games fell from the wall and hit Dieter Jedamski on the head, luckily without causing injury. Dorothy commented that it was an omen and that Dieter would certainly play a bingo in his next game, and as it happened he did - trailing towards the end of the game and needing a bingo plus more to catch up he reluctantly played his blank on his second last turn for a score of 60ish, emptied the bag and found to his delight that he now had a playable bingo on his rack. Well done, Dieter, and commiserations to your luckless opponent!

Masters - Peter Kougi 2, Anand Bharadwaj HG,
Andrew Fisher 1, Naween Fernando 3 & HW

Advanced - June Valentine (nee Hart),
High Game & High Word awards

Intermediate - Stephanie Saunders HG & HW,
Dorothy Rice, second place
The Masters section saw a tight finish, with Andrew Fisher and Peter Kougi both on 8 wins, and Andrew ahead on margin alone. Third was Naween Fernando, followed by Ray Alford and David Eldar. High game (522) went to our young whiz Anand Bharadwaj, and Naween played "OUTSWORN" for 149 points to attain the High Word award.
Katie Rowe was delighted to win Advanced following her OS trip - she was also delighted to get back to competing as she had played very few games during her time away. Katie won 8 games, followed closely by Gillian Kinder on 7.5 wins, with Dianne Gibson third on 6 wins. June Valentine was very pleased to take out the High Game award with a score of 538, and the High Word award with "OBSERVES" for 149 points played in the same game. June was trailing until finding this great 9-timer and catching her opponent with a full rack - nice play, June.
Oliver Podesser was the runaway winner in Intermediate, winning nine and finishing two games clear of Dorothy Rice on 7 wins and Dieter Jedamski on 6. The High Word award went to Stephanie Saunders who played "CHAMBERS" for 110, and also scored 489 points to win the High Game award.

Recreation - Glen Chandler 1, Ann Goodwin 2,
Marisa Nuccitelli HW, Rob York 3rd and HG

One of our new players on the day, and happy
with 4 wins - Kenzo Low

The first game at Table One - Anand Bharadwaj
plays David Eldar
Recreation saw a happy Glen Chandler victorious with 9 wins, followed by Ann Goodwin on 8 and Rob York on 7. Rob also won the High Game award with a score of 504, and Marisa Nuccitelli played "DETOXED" for 116 points to take home the High Word award. These four players are all steadily improving their game, and really enjoying the experience.
Excellent ratings gains on the day were achieved by Ray Alford +81, Ann Goodwin +70, Glen Chandler +63, Dorothy Rice +58, Oliver Podesser +57, Gillian Kinder +50, Katie Rowe +45 and Paul Richards +42. Thanks to all who helped to make the day a success, your assistance is greatly appreciated.
To see the full results click HERE

Letters and Numbers ~ Grand Final December 17 2010

Champ Andrew Fisher with the L&N Trophy
After several rounds Naween Fernando and Andrew Fisher have won through to the Grand Final of Series One, and will do battle this evening on SBS One at 6.00 pm. It should be an exciting playoff, so if you can't watch it don't forget to record it. Good luck to you both!
And here's what happened - after a very tight tussle, with Naween slightly behind on 58:52, the final outcome depended on solving the conundrum. Andrew did this in about one second, easily finding PSEUDONYM from DUMPYNOSE* and leaving David Astle, Lily Serna and compere Richard Morecroft in awe of the skills displayed throughout the episode. At no time could maths whiz Lily improve on the maths solutions offered, and one of the most impressive was Naween's method of reaching 638 using the numbers 50, 75, 100, 4, 5 and 4. Several times Andrew and Naween came up with identical words, and word guru David Astle was unable to better any of their offerings. So congratulations to both Andrew and Naween for such brilliant play, and commiserations to Naween, I'm convinced that had you competed in a separate series you would have emerged as the series champion, Naween!

The Tournament of Champions ~ December 7/8/9

L. to R. - David E., Pakorn, Adam, Brian, Michael Tang, Princess
Aminah, Joel, the Minister for Tourism, Peter, Nigel,
Mark, Panupol, David B. - click to enlarge

Princess Aminah presenting the
cheque for first place to Champ
Nigel Richards.
This prestigious event followed the Causeway Challenge with the field comprising nine of the last 10 World Champions - Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand), Adam Logan (Canada), Brian Cappelletto (USA), Joel Wapnick (Canada), Peter Morris (Canada), Nigel Richards (NZ), Mark Nyman (UK), Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) and David Boys (Canada) plus David Eldar (Australia), winner of the 2008 Causeway Challenge. Players competed in a triple round robin over three days, with Nigel Richards from New Zealand the Champion on 19 wins, two games clear of David Boys from Canada, with Thailand's Panupol Sujjayakorn a further game behind in third place. Thank you to Michael Tang for introducing this concept, it was interesting to follow the event via the Causeway website. To see the full results and play through some of the excellent games played by these masters of the game click HERE

The World Youth Scrabble Championship ~ December 8/9/10

Jayden Kuhne, Michael McKenna, Phillip Hamilton,
Marvi Delfin, Natasha Podesser & Kitty-Jean Laginha
- click to enlarge
Here is a pic of our competitors at the event in Manila. All enjoyed the event and represented Australia with pride, well done to our young players.
To see the full results for all players visit the excellent revamped WESPA website, and thank you to Edward Okulicz for posting the round-by-round results during the event - click HERE
And for a further report on the event visit the Youth page HERE

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The Causeway Challenge concludes

Michael Tang with the Thailand Team, the 2010 Causeway
Champions, with the Minister for Tourism - click to enlarge
After 45 tough games our team has performed creditably, finishing fourth in the field of ten participants. The Thailand team were far too strong, finishing 12 games clear of The Tigers in second place and the United Kingdom third. In the Premier Division Panupol Sujjayakorn from Thailand was the clear winner, with Andrew Fisher (6th) and Naween Fernando (10th) our highest finishing individuals. In Masters Alastair Richards from NSW placed second, and after a nailbiting struggle Helen Maurus, our former Victorian now living in Queensland, emerged the winner in the Open. Well done to all, and thank you to the hardworking Webmaster Barry Harridge, with much help from a hardworking team, for keeping us up to date with the happenings over there.

Panupol receiving his cheque with
Michael Tang and the Minister for Tourism

Mikki Nicholson (The Dragons), placed
second in Premier Division

Andrew Fisher placed sixth in the
Premier Division

Naween Fernando finished 10th in the
Premier Division

Alastair Richards receiving his award
for second place in Masters

Helen Maurus, first in The Open,
with Karen Richards

The Causeway Challenge ~ December 1-5 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia ~

Here is our Oz team for this year's event, in no particular order:

Andrew Fisher, Vic

Naween Fernando, Vic

Trevor Halsall, Vic

Bob Jackman, NSW

Peter Kougi, Vic
Tournament Organiser Michael Tang expends an incredible amount of time and energy putting together this prestigious tournament, and Webmaster Barry Harridge has presented a huge amount of information about this event on the website. There you will find all you need to know about the concurrent events - the Challenge, Premier, Open and Champions divisions. The latter involves World Champions from previous years, and as Joel Sherman is unable to play David Eldar has been invited to join the other 9 competitors, as well as play in an International Challenge team, the Dragons. Our other regular representative in the Challenge who was not able to qualify to play for Australia is Chris May, who is playing for a different international team, the Lions. As well as those mentioned we have sixteen playing in the Premier division and 18 entered in the Open, and this is wonderful representation from Australia indeed.
Good luck to all for a great tournament, and above all enjoy the experience!
For full details and results as they come to hand click HERE

Andrew Fisher is the 2010 Matchplay Champion!

Congratulations Andrew, a good result. Please scroll down to see the full results.

The Annual Essendon Tournament ~ November 21 2010

The start of play, with Norma Fisher playing Jenny
Brysha at Table 1, Harry Malcolm v Barry Harridge,
Carmel Doney v Peter Kougi, Natasha Podesser waiting
for her opponent - click to enlarge
This happy event moved along smoothly with the help of several people, not least the Essendon Club members who provided a wonderful array of home-baked goodies to keep us well nourished all day. Hedgehog, fudge, date cake, choc-chip and cornflake cookies, carrot and walnut cake, apple cake slice, banana cake and Margaret Magro's specialty - scones with jam and cream - were some of the items provided for our delectation. Thank you all, and thanks to Tournament Organiser Lois Binnie who welcomed two new players on the day, Glenys Dettmann and Max Gavanon. We hope that both enjoyed the experience and will play again sometime soon. Glenys has been playing at the Essendon Club, and Max has visited the Melbourne Club on occasion.
We appreciated the expert help of Carol Johnsen who is a whiz at setting up the laptops/projector etc, also thanks to Norma Fisher and Barry Harridge for their general assistance and Khwanjai Thammaping for the great photos. Kannan Sethuraman spent some time learning to input the results with the help of Anand.
The playing area was quickly set up and put back in order at the end of the day with willing help from the Essendon players and others, thank you all. We had an afternoon visit from Chile, Lovelia and Zev Malcolm, and it was good to see the little ones happy and socialising so well - they are a couple of lovely lively youngsters.

Tournament Organiser Lois Binnie, with her
yummy culinary contribution - interesting
spelling of Lois........

Masters: Peter Kougi 1, Anand Bharadwaj 2,
David Lemish HW with Lovelia, Harry Malcolm 3
with Zev, Nick Ivanovski HG

Advanced: Dianne Gibson 1 & HW, Patricia
Mitchell 3, Angie Pearse 2, Michael
Rubinstein HG
Masters saw a victory to Causeway Challenge team member Peter Kougi on 5 wins, followed by Anand Bharadwaj on 4 wins, clear on margin from Harry Malcolm and four others on four wins. Anand's rise through the rankings continues to amaze, and he remains excited by playing scrabble, which is wonderful. Harry was very impressed with the speed with which Anand found BOREALIS to snatch victory late in their game. A rare but welcome visit from Nick Ivanovski saw him take home the High Game award with a score of 546, and David Lemish played STACKERS for 110 to win the High Word award.
Advanced saw two draws played in the first round, and eventually Dianne Gibson on 5.5 wins emerged the winner. Even without the half win Di would have placed first as her margin was the best for the group. Second and third placings went to Angie Pearse and Patricia Mitchell respectively, and Michael Rubinstein scored 518 for the High Game award, with Dianne Gibson's play of WREAKING for 113 earning her the High Word award.

Intermediate: Gillian Renwick 1 (6 wins,
best rating gain 58 points), Dorothy
Barraclough 2, Stephanie Saunders 3

Recreation: Anna Palmer 3 & HG, Glenys
Dettmann Best Novice, Gloria O'Loghlin HW,
Mercia Cadan, Ruth Fewings 1, Carole Eden 2

Fun visitors - Chile Malcolm with Lovelia,
Zev Malcolm with godmother Khwanjai
Thammaping (High Game in Intermediate)
In Intermediate Gillian Renwick (now in much better health) won all six games, the only player to do so on the day. Well done, Gillian. Second was Dorothy Barraclough, with Stephanie Saunders placing third. Our photographer Khwanjai Thammaping scored 509 to win the High Game award, and Margaret Magro won the High Word award with HAIRDOS for 101 points.
Recreation saw a delighted Ruth Fewings place first, narrowly ahead of Carole Eden also on five wins, followed by Anna Palmer on four wins. Anna also took home the High Game award for a score of 543, and Gloria O'Loghlin played SLAVING for 100 points to take home the High Word prize. Notable rating gains on the day were those of Gillian Renwick +58, Anand Bharadwaj +41, and Dianne Gibson +38.

Essendon player Cynthia Cook plays
novice Max Gavanon

Essendon stalwarts Alex Vanderkooij
and Audree Clifton

President Carol Johnsen with old friend
Sylvia Galloway from Raymond Island
For full results of this event click HERE
Your committee look forward to your support on Tuesday December 28 at Decathon, our annual 10 game event.

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The Matchplay series

Here is the final table, thanks for organising this event, Peter, and well done, Andrew.
Andrew Fisher 3
Peter Kougi 3
Trevor Halsall 3
Norma Fisher 3
Natasha Podesser 3
Marj Miller 3
Anand Bharadwaj 3
Barry Harridge 3
Ian Tay 0
Carol Johnsen 0
Jenny Brysha 0
Kashi Ross 0
Cheryle Jerram 1
Michael Rubinstein 2
Kannan Sethuraman 0
Rob York 0
Andrew Fisher 3
Barry Harridge 0
Norma Fisher 3
Marj Miller 1
Peter Kougi 3
Anand Bharadwaj 1
Trevor Halsall 3
Natasha Podesser 0
Andrew Fisher 4
Norma Fisher 1
Peter Kougi 4
Trevor Halsall 2
Andrew Fisher 5
Peter Kougi 1

The Geelong Tournament ~ November 7 2010

Friends from the Geelong Club,
Jan Wansbrough & Anna Palmer
Once again the Geelong Club members welcomed us to a very enjoyable tournament in the Fred Flanagan Room at the Geelong Football Club, a very popular venue. We were well looked after with light refreshments available all day, and a pleasant lunch in the Cats Bistro for those who wished to partake.
Recreation section was the largest with 24 participants and saw Ros Murphy (nee McEldrew) emerge the winner with six wins. This was Ros' last tournament before moving to northern NSW where she is looking forward to playing with Anne Bennett and friends at the Banora Point Club. Good luck with the move, Ros. Second place was filled by a rapidly improving Arjun Haria who has transferred from SA (several ladies commented that he was far too good for the Rec section). A very delighted Rob York placed third, and his excellent margin of +587 indicates that his star is on the rise! Rob also won the High Game award with a score of 523 and played the High Word - SWOOPED for 109 points.
Intermediate saw Pat Weston a clear winner on six wins, two games clear of Anne Menheere and Maggie Solomon. Pat also recorded the highest ratings increase across all sections, gaining a well-deserved 56 points. High Game was recorded by Anne Menheere (483) and Dorothy Rice played DEAFENS for 104 points to claim the High Word award.

The Geelong Club Convenor Marlene Ellis
welcomes players, with TD Marj Miller

Mary McMahon receives some tips
from President Carol Johnsen

Geelong Club stalwarts Alan Cole
& Pat Weston

Masters: Norma Fisher 2 & High Game,
Rod Casey 3, Heather Long 1,
Barry Harridge High Word

Advanced: Kris Howat 2, High Game & High
Word, Jenny Brysha 1, Jennifer Swift High
Game, Audree Clifton 3

Intermediate: Pat Weston 1, Maggie Solomon 3,
Anne Menheere 2 and High Game, Dorothy Rice
High Word
Advanced was a tough contest with happy Jenny Brysha (described by Barry Harridge as "the very excitable Jenny Brysha!!) victorious on five wins, one game clear of Kris Howat who is on a roll at the moment, and Audree Clifton who is still showing us slightly younger ones some good plays! Kris and Jennifer Swift tied for the High Game award on 494 points, and Kris played ROCKIEST for 107 points to win the High Word award.
The runaway winner in Masters was Heather Long who is playing great scrabble at the moment and gained 49 ratings points for her efforts. Heather recorded six wins to finish two games clear of Norma Fisher and Rod Casey, with Norma scoring 546 to claim the High Game award and Barry Harridge playing SOREXES (a genus of shrews) for 94 points to take out the High Word award.
Congratulations to all placegetters who played so well, and to all who competed for the friendly and happy manner in which the tournament was played.

Recreation: Ros Murphy 1, Arjun Haria 2,
Rob York 3, High Game and High Word

Geelong Club members: Rachael Hart
versus Raelene Owen

Barry Harridge, Don Marshall & Kris Howat
with Fred Flanagan's impressive portrait
Many thanks to Marlene Ellis, Alan Cole, Mary McMahon, Don Marshall and all the other Geelong members for their efforts in organising the event. Mary was the standby player for the day but wasn't required to play so spent the day honing her skills on the tournament software. Thanks also to Carol for her computer work, and to Khwanjai for her pics, they are appreciated as always.
For full results of this event click HERE

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Victoria wins the 2010 Challenge against South Australia ~ October 21/22

The South Aussies ~ Standing: Paula Brown, Adam
Kretschmer, Arjun Haria, Karen Crease, Daniel
Piechnick, Jane Taylor, Trevor Tao, Margaret
Gibson, Marlene Brown and Bronwyn Piechnick.
Seated: Betty Mitchell, Joan King and Carmel Dodd.
- click to enlarge
From Tournament Organiser Carol Johnsen - thanks for the pics and the report, Carol.
Another very enjoyable weekend in Horsham at the White Hart Hotel in the centre of this lovely country town. There was also an Awakenings Festival (awareness of people with disabilities) on that weekend in Horsham and the street opposite the hotel was set up with stalls, including bands, which added to the interest in town for our players. We played in a cosy room for the 26 players who came to contest the challenge (there is a smaller adjoining room which we may be able to use next year.) There were 14 South Australian and 11 Victorian players (we tried vainly to entice Arjun Haria onto our team - as he was moving from South Australia to Melbourne over the weekend - and was hitching a ride to Melbourne with Dieter - but he wouldn't be in it.)

The Vics ~ Standing: Kris Howat, Sandra Masel,
Lorraine Thomas, Carole Eden, Dorothy
Barraclough, Mal Eden, Eileen Mills. Seated:
Ruth Fewings, Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher
Absent: Dieter Jedamski - click to enlarge
Whilst South Australia had highly-rated Daniel Piechnick and Carmel Dodd who placed first and second respectively in the individual standings, Victoria's Norma Fisher carried Victoria's flag. Most of the Victorians took up the middle of the field ratings-wise, which along with the excellent performance of Kris Howat (who recorded a gain of 76 points and placed third overall) helped us over the line to win the challenge by only 4 games.
Thanks to Nigel Wilkinson (SA) who opted not to play and became the dogsbody for the whole of the tournament; Adam Kretschmer (SA) for manually organising each draw (on account of SA having to play a non-Challenge game each round) and to Paula Brown (SA) for doing the lovely name tags and certificates; her father John, for once again hiring the bus and driving the South Australian players to Horsham; and to Norma Fisher (Vic) for organising the tournament resources.
We all look forward to next year's challenge which South Australia will be organising on the weekend (22 and 23 October) before Cup Day weekend.
For full results of the Border Challenge click HERE

Arjun Haria plays Ruth Fewings

Carmel Dodd and Norma Fisher check the scores

The Seniors' Day at Bendigo October 7

Members of the Bendigo Scrabble club enjoyed the chance to play with visitors from various parts of Victoria and even one from Perth during their Seniors Scrabble Challenge on Thursday, 7th October. The day started with lunch followed by three games. Section winners were: Section A, Norma Fisher, 3/1608
Section B, Carol Johnsen, 3/1072
Section C, Helen Annand, 3/1192
Section D, Fay Bourke, 1/909
High Game, Norma Fisher, 556
High Word, Nell Vringer, diggers, 77
Teaser, Barbara Harrison, daredevils, 85.

Many thanks to Ruth for the above report and for organising the day, and to Carol Johnsen for providing the pics.

Ruth welcoming the players at lunchtime at the St. Vincent
de Paul Village Centre in Bendigo Click to enlarge

Organiser Ruth watching play during the afternoon,
with Margaret Theobold at centre Click to enlarge

The Mount Martha Tournament ~ October 10 2010

This was a lovely day's scrabble at the new venue in Tyabb, which has been voted as a very acceptable alternative to the previous one at Mount Eliza. Tournament Organiser Julie Belle welcomed two new local players to their first tournament, and both commented that they enjoyed the experience, as evidenced by the happy photo below. Special thanks to Julie, Gloria O'loghlin, Marjorie Barnes and the other Mount Martha members for their hard work, and the lovely goodies. And thanks to Julie for the following report.
Thanks very much to all those who attended our 4th Mt Martha tournament today in Tyabb. We had a lovely sunny day and enjoyed the new venue! Well done to those who ventured from far afield to join us (special mention goes to Sylvia Galloway and Gwen Lampre!).

The new venue for the event, the Tyabb
Town Hall Click to enlarge

The two new players on the day, both locals -
Jane Florey & David Robinson

A serious challenge at Table 1 -
Geoff Wright plays Dianne Gibson
As always a splendid array of home-baked goodies, a lovely lunch and prize contributions from the Mt Martha Club ladies. Many thanks to Carol and Marj for the smooth running of the computers etc resulting in us finishing in record time. Thanks also to those who stayed back to help pack up. Carol has already posted today's results, a big congrats to all of today's winners. Well done and we look forward to seeing you all again next year! Cheers Julie.

Division C placegetters - Heather Iapozzuto 1st,
David Robinson 3rd, Marisa Nuccitelli 2nd,
High Game & High Word

Division B - Sandra Masel 2nd & High Game,
Julie Belle 3rd, Lorraine Thomas 1st,
Dorothy Rice High Word

Division A - Dianne Gibson 3rd, Dianne Davis
2nd, Jenny Brysha High Word, Ray Alford High
Game, Geoff Wright 1st

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The Bentleigh Tournament - one day in September............

Thank you from all players to the members of the Bentleigh Club for hosting this event, and special thanks for all the lovely home-made goodies supplied throughout the day. Congrats to all on some excellent play, and thank you to Ellen Frajman for the following report:

On the day after the Grand Final, sixty-four players played six games apiece at the Bentleigh Tournament and not one of them ended in a draw.
The Masters division was won by Edward Okulicz, visiting from NSW. Edward won all of his games with a margin of 521. Julian McKail won second and high game with 564. Harry Malcolm took third place and high word with ESQUIRE for 114 points. (Harry was also the proud father with Chile and the twins spending the day with us.)

Placegetters in Masters - Harry Malcolm 3rd &
High Word, Julian McKail 2nd & High Game,
Edward Okulicz 1st

Advanced - David Lemish 1st, Bridget Halge 2nd,
Dianne Gibson 3rd, John Parker High Word &
High Game

Intermediate - Mal Eden 1st, Stephanie
Saunders 3rd & High Word,
Dorothy Rice 2nd, Fintan Conway High Game
David Lemish won the Advanced division with five wins and a margin of 554. Bridget Halge won second place and Dianne Gibson won third. John Parker took home both high word, TRAINEES for 124, and high game of 483. In the Intermediate division, first place was won by Mal Eden with five wins and a margin of 342. Second place was won by Dorothy Rice, also with five wins. Stephanie Saunders took third, also winning five of her games. Stephanie also won high word, with QUASHES for 196 points. High game was won by Fintan Conway with a game score of 515.

Bentleigh players Norma Fisher with Jenny
Plant, first in Recreation and High Game

Recreation - Anna Palmer 2nd, Maureen
Aberneithie 3rd, Ann Goodwin High Word

Mercia Cadan & Maureen Aberneithie
with first-time player Jenny Bowden
Jenny Plant, a Bentleigh club member, won Recreation with five wins and a margin of 465. She also won high game with a score of 499. Anna Palmer won second place and Maureen Aberneithie took home third. Ann Goodwin won high word for POACHED for 103 points. We welcomed Jenny Bowden to her first tournament. She won two games and promised she would be back for more. Thanks to everyone for a very enjoyable day!

Happy players - June Valentine (nee Hart)
back from time in the U.S., with Angie Pearse

The Malcolm twins, growing up fast -
Harry, Lovelia, Chile and Zev

Relaxing before play - Peter Kougi, Kate Gullan
back from a break, Julian McKail, Edward Okulicz

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The Australian Masters & State Challenge Trophy ~ September 11/12

Before the start of play - Naween Fernando,
TD Wilma Vialle, CASPA Coordinator Glenys
Lawrie, Andrew Fisher - click to enlarge
This annual event took place at the Burwood Campus of Deakin Uni, with many of Australia's top players competing for the prestigious Masters title, much sought after as the winner

Masters - Alastair Richards 3rd, Peter Kougi 1st,
Edward Okulicz 2nd - click to enlarge
receives automatic entry to the 2011 World Championship provided they meet the other selection criteria. Everything had seemed to be well in hand until our caterer fell while running on Wednesday evening, sustaining severe injuries to her elbow and a couple of fingers which necessitated hospital treatment, and also necessitated some hurried revision of the catering arrangements following an SOS from coorganiser Naween Fernando. Thanks to those who helped with this emergency, it was a little problematical but as the saying goes, it turned out alright on the day/s. Further domestic problems came when the water supply to the building was cut by plumbers working nearby, but fortunately this was not a problem for long.

David Astle, dictionary guru from Letters &
Numbers watches Bob Jackman and the eventual
Champion, Peter Kougi Click to enlarge

Naween versus Alastair Richards watched
by annotator Cheryle Jerram, Richard Morecroft
& partner, with Lily Serna Click to enlarge

Winners of the State Challenge Trophy, the NSW
team - Michael McKenna, Tony Hunt, Mark Smith
Click to enlarge
We were pleased to receive a visit on Sunday afternoon from the Letters and Numbers team comprising Lily Serna, David Astle and Richard Morcroft, all delightful personalities who took a great interest in the players and the games being played. A pleasant dinner was shared by many on Saturday evening at nearby Michelangelos, with Richard Jeremy once again puzzling many with his anagrams based on players' names.

Teams Presentation - Heather, Lois, Norma, Vic 3rd.
Michael, Tony, Mark, NSW 1st. At the back - Helen, Qld.
In front - Caroline, John, John, ACT 2nd. Click to enlarge
On Sunday morning the Masters was disrupted by the non-arrival of Geoff Wright, resulting in a forfeited game to coorganiser Andrew Fisher. Geoff has since contacted Andrew, apologising and explaining the reason for his non-arrival, and Andrew has accepted this. Following discussion with Barry Harridge and Andrew our Tournament Director Doctor Wilma Vialle decided that I should fill in for the final seven games, an experience which I quite enjoyed, although both Dianne Brumby and Bob Jackman had their best games for the tournament against me. Dianne's game simply flowed beautifully and Bob rapidly ceased complaining about his bad luck after playing four consecutive bingoes at the start of our game.
After nineteen hard fought games the winner was Peter Kougi from Edward Okulicz, followed by Alastair Richards and Joanne Craig.
Our Victorian team of three acquitted themselves well in the State Challenge Trophy, coming home with a wet sail to place third behind the very strong and invincible NSW team who were clear winners eleven games ahead of the ACT in second place. Michael McKenna (NSW) was too strong for all contenders, taking out the individual award within the State Challenge by 2 clear games, with Tony Hunt (also NSW) in second place and John Spaan (ACT) third. Congratulations to all, some wonderful results in such a strong field.
Thanks to TD Wilma for her direction, Andrew and Naween for organising the event, Barry and our team of annotators for their efforts in providing web updates and coverage, and Norma Fisher and Carol Johnsen for their untiring assistance with many of the tasks which needed to be done.
Click this link to see the results and rating changes etc, and links to several annotated games.
And for further results of the Masters & State Challenge click HERE

The ACT Team - second place. John Spaan,
Caroline Scrowcroft & John Hamilton

The Victorians - third place. Lois Binnie,
Norma Fisher & Heather Long

The Tasmanians - fourth place. Martin Rose,
Susannah Torcasio & Khen Meerding

The West Australians - fifth place. Sally
Martin, Chris Hall, Robin Anderson

The Queenslanders - sixth place. Jane Brown,
Helen Maurus, Quentin Abbott

The South Australians - seventh place. Tony
Miller, Adam Kretschmeyer, Heather Lowden

Travel Scrabble at Ballarat ~ September 10/11/12

Here is a report from Brenda Thurgar, thank you, Brenda. Fourteen happy Scrabblers enjoyed a lovely weekend at Ballarat. A great first time organising by Ros McEldrew and Kaye Campbell ably guided by Marjorie and Nobby Clark. It was disappointing that the attendance was so poor after so much effort. Nobby is willing to try again in April in Castlemaine but if the response is poor it looks as if the Travel group will fold after so many years. I am happy to pass on any information and receive updated particulars of anyone who is interested. Regards Brenda Thurgar. To contact Brenda click here travelgroup@scrabblevictoria.org.au

Co-organiser Kaye Campbell with Rod Casey

Assistant organisers ~ Marjorie & Nobby Clark

Jennifer Swift versus Mercia Cadan

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Coming up - The Australian Masters and State Challenge Trophy

Here are our five Victorian competitors in this year's exciting Masters event, and our all-girl team of three who will do battle for the State Challenge Trophy - good luck to all!

Andrew Fisher

Naween Fernando

Peter Kougi

Trevor Halsall

Geoff Wright

Norma Fisher

Heather Long

Lois Binnie

The 2010 Matchplay Kickoff ~ September 5

Andrew Fisher and Ian Tay, with Natasha
Podesser and Rob York in the background
click to enlarge
Thirty-four players took part, and first-time tournament organiser Peter Kougi won all eight games to take first place. Peter also won the High Game Award with a score of 613 and the High Word Award for playing "CORNIEST" for 140 points, but kindly donated his prizes of Scrabble Chocs to the next best scorers for these two awards, namely Andrew Fisher and Norma Fisher (and no, they aren't related!) Well done, Peter, a very generous gesture. Andrew placed second with seven wins, and played what was probably the most unusual word for the day "TUCOTUCO", a rodent that digs complex systems of burrows and is native to South America. The picture shows Andrew playing Ian Tay from Malaysia, who was competing in his first Victorian tournament. Ian is now living in Melbourne and studying at Monash Uni, and we welcome him to the scrabble scene in Victoria. Third place went to Trevor Halsall on 5 wins, and two ratings-band prizes were awarded - the best perfomed player rated from 1100-1400 was Ian Tay in 7th place, and the award for the best performed player rated under 1100 went to a delighted Rob York, who was very pleased with his four wins and fifteenth placing.
Norma Fisher had a busy day organising the kitchen among many other things, and some of the yummy food was home cooked by Peter's mum, and we thank her for her contribution to such a pleasant day. Thank you also to Carol for her help with setting up the software, to Lalitha for her expert job on keying in the results and keeping the day moving smoothly, and to everyone who helped with setting up, and tidying up at the end of the day. The playoff rounds will start soon, and we'll keep you up to date with results as they come to hand.
For full results of the Matchplay Kickoff click HERE

The Ballarat Spring Tournament ~ August 28 2010

Player Jessica Robinson, Kitchen Helpers
Stephen and Jake, with Computer Operator Kira
Here is a report from Carol Johnsen who looked after the technical side of things for the day, thanks, Carol. And good wishes to Tess for a full recovery and good health, the Ballarat Club would not be the same without you at the helm.
Emergency surgery for a torn retina in Melbourne on Friday for Tournament Director Tess Robinson did not deter the Ballarat Club from still holding a lovely and successful tournament. And, true to form, late Saturday afternoon, Tess visited to assure everyone that all was well and she would recover. She had been driven home via Geelong, as she was not allowed to transverse any hills because of the stitches in her eye. As usual, the extended Robinson family did a marvellous job in running the tournament. The computer operator, Kira (Tess' granddaughter) did a splendid job with her 3-month-old son, William in tow.

Kashi Ross plays Carol Hoffmann
He was an absolute delight and there were plenty of willing arms to carry and cuddle him during the day and Jessica, another granddaughter, now is a player in the Recreation Section. With the advent of look-up being done by self-checking, Tess' teenage grandson, Stephen and friend Jake admirably helped their mother Elizabeth in the kitchen and Jenny McLeod acted as Tournament Director. Following on from her participation in the Trans-Tasman Challenge, Norma Fisher came away with 1st prize in the top section and Kashi Ross continues to surge forward with a 1st place the the mid-section. Local player Jan Bidwell was victorious in Section C in just her third tournament, congratulations to all placegetters and well done to all who took part.

The Jim Warmington Memorial Tournament ~ August 22 2010

Jim Warmington
At this tournament we honoured the memory of Jim Warmington, one of the hard-working founding fathers of Scrabble in Victoria. Jim's wife Margaret, also a stalwart of earlier scrabble times, visited in time for the AGM which took place during the afternoon.

1000 games - Dianne Gibson
& Jenny Brysha - taken at
the WYSC Fundraiser
We thanked retiring committee members Naween Fernando and Barry Harridge for their contribution over several years, and welcomed my replacement as President, Carol Johnsen. Thank you to all. There were some different faces at this tournament, including Jimmy Scarff, David Eldar, Julian McKail, Robyn Corbel from Queensland and Judith Westwood, returning to play her second tournament after a five year break. Badges marking 1000 tournament games played were awarded to Jenny Brysha and Dianne Gibson, congratulations to you both.
Masters was keenly fought, with David emerging a clear winner on seven wins and with a massive margin from Julian and Andrew Fisher. David also won the High Game with a score of 634, and the High Word Award with "DRACONE" for 100 points. The board shows David's game against Andrew in which Andrew had little luck - in his own words, he was "on a hiding to nothing". Five of the bonuses were played by David - AGONIES, CAROLERS, FRUCTIVE, GOUTWEED and RETOTAL, the last three consecutively. At the end of the day David left early to pack for his next overseas sojourn, but not before donating his prizemonies to the support fund for next year's World Championship representatives.

Masters - Andrew Fisher 3rd,
Julian McKail 2nd

David Eldar 562 v Andrew Fisher 345
Click to enlarge

Retiring president Marj Miller - thank you
all for the flowers and for your support.
In Advanced the top placegetters were determined by margin, with Jenny Brysha, Lorraine Thomas and Kashi Ross all on five wins. The High Word Award was won by Jenny Brysha with a brilliant play of 149 for "REPRIEVE" and the High Game Award went to Dieter Jedamski for a score of 513. Dieter is delighted with his scrabble since playing regularly in Victoria, having improved his overall rating by almost 150 points over the past few months.

Adv: Lorraine Thomas 2nd, Dieter Jedamski HG,
Jenny Brysha 1st & High Word, Kashi Ross 3rd

Intermediate: Josef Peeters High Game,
Lorna Patching 3rd, Dorothy Barraclough 1st

Recreation: Carole Eden 2nd, Marisa
Nuccitelli 3rd, Anna Palmer 1st, HG & HW
Intermediate saw an excellent performance by first placed Dorothy Barraclough on six wins, followed by Joan Lawrence and Lorna Patching. Joan won the High Word Award for "QUIETED" for 121 points, and a delighted Josef Peeters played five bonuses in the final game of the day - IODISED, ROUTINE, MEETERS, REVISING and REOILED - to win the High Game Award with a score of 578, his highest game score to date.
Recreation saw Anna Palmer come into her own, winning all seven games against some tough opposition to place first ahead of Carole Eden and Marisa Nuccitelli. Anna also scored 477 to win the High Game Award, and played "LIKENED" for 93 points to win High Word.
Thank you to everyone for your help at the tournament, especially Carol who patiently fixed all my data-entry mistakes, and who must have been relieved when I said I wasn't going to touch the laptop again for the day! Its not a good thing to be doing when you aren't well. Also thanks to everyone who assisted with setting up and putting things back to rights at the end of the day, as always your help is appreciated.
For full results of the tournament click HERE

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The Trans Tasman Challenge ~ August 14-16 2010

Our team in New Zealand - click to enlarge
Every second year for many years New Zealand and Australia have met to play in this Challenge, and this time the teams came together in Christchurch to do battle. Here is a report from one of our players Norma Fisher, thanks, Norma.
Firstly, many thanks to the players who attended the Fundraiser on June 17th to help Lois and I with our travel expenses. We both enjoyed our Trans-Tasman experience and the hospitality of our fellow countrymen - but boy, those Kiwis were tough opponents! New Zealand won the stoush, 154/134. In his speech at the end of the tourney Bob Jackman said (with tongue in cheek) that it really was a moral victory for Australia - if Joanne Craig's individual prize winning game tally of 18 was added to our team's tally, we would be the winners! Joanne also won the High Game award with a score of 600, pipping Howard Warner's 599.

Lois, Norma and Kiwi/Aussie Joanne Craig.
Our younger team members, Alistair and Michael, acquitted themselves very well and finally ended up in 4th and 5th positions, both on 15 wins. Michael lead the field several times over the 3 days. Alistair won the longest word (using all 7 letters) with DEVIATORY. Paul Lister and his committee did a great job organising and running the tournament. The venue was a very elegant bar and restaurant (with inexpensive luncheon specials) and a very adequate function room for our use........our thanks to them.

And here are the Aussie team members:




Captain Bob



Lock Lee






The 4th Prince Patrick Tournament ~ August 8 2010

Edward Okulicz versus Peter Kougi in the casual
setting of the bar at the Prince Patrick Hotel
Here is a report from Tournament Director Jenny Brysha, thanks, Jenny.
The fourth Prince Patrick tournament began with a game of musical tables, the venue not having set aside the tables previously booked and the usual room hosting a lively private function - so it was a case of grab any table you can and one game was played at the bar! Kashi Ross' brother, Mahesh, was the novice and experienced a baptism by fire. Not only did he face the pressure of playing with a clock, shorter than usual games and a fast turnaround between games, but his second game ever was against Edward Okulicz! He managed two wins in a strong field. Great job Mahesh.

Carol Mascitti plays Mahesh Ross, competing
in his first tournament
Dianne Gibson gave the big wigs a run for their money, losing to Peter Kougi by only 18 points and Edward Okulicz by only 11 points and finishing 4th overall. Well done Dianne. Elizabeth McKean, in her second tournament ever, put up a valiant fight and wasn't afraid to try new words. Keep it up Elizabeth, your tenacity and enthusiasm will get you far. Games progressed smoothly and quickly thanks to the lagged draw. There was some disappointment at dinner time due to a menu change and vege pizza no longer being available but overall a good day's Scrabble was had by all in the casual environment of the bar. Peter Kougi was the winner with 7 wins, Edward Okulicz second on five wins and Geoff Wright third also with 5 wins. Edward Okulicz got the high game with 649 and also high word with "NEOLITHS" for 140. Well done Edward and thanks for giving the tournament a national flavour.

The 2010 Victorian Country Championship ~ August 7

The 2010 Vic
Country Champ
Peter Bauer
This annual 6-game event attracted 38 players to Daylesford, where Clive and Jan Rutherford organise the event as part of the Daylesford Words in Winter Festival. Thank you to you both, and to Carol Johnsen for doing the technical work on the day.
There were three sections, with three new players in Recreation, as well as several who have not yet played 50 tournament games. Donna Oataway, Robin Dettmann and Jan Wansbrough filled first to third places respectively, with Robin playing "CABLERS" for 89 points and scoring 531 to win both High Word and High Game Awards.
In Intermediate Marlene Ellis placed first followed by Ruth Fewings and Roslyn McEldrew. Roslyn also won the High Game Award with 451 points, and played the High Word "LINGERERS" for 140 points, a great find.
Masters was keenly fought, with Peter Bauer victorious over Mary McMahon and Carol Johnsen. Both High Game and High Word Awards went to Carol Johnsen for playing "DYNAMITE" for 158 points and recording a brilliant game score of 601. Well played Carol, and well done everyone, and special congratulations to our new Champion, Peter.

The Annual Nunawading Tournament ~ July 25 2010

Masters - Anand Bharadwaj, Norma Fisher &
Naween Fernando
Following several cancellations due to winter ills and chills fifty-six players took part in this event, and we thank Cheryle and the Nunawading Club members for organising such a pleasant day's scrabble.
Here is Barry Harridge's internet report on the events of the day: The media are all agog with excitement. Not only do we have today the leaders debate and the final of Masterchef, but to top it all the Nunawading tournament. Naween Fernando's worm was pointing up all day, the only person to have won all 7 games. Also a remarkable second place in Masters by pintsize 9 year old Anand Bharadwaj, a Masterchef aficionado who drew remarks of admiration from Trevor Halsall when Trevor's leading margin fell like a wounded souffle with Anand's outplay of TRINDLED. And a great first tournament from an enthusiastic Elizabeth McKean who has had good coaching from the Geelong Scrabble Club members.
In Masters Naween and Anand (who recently celebrated his 10th birthday) were followed in third place by Norma Fisher, with Naween scoring 627 to take out High Game award, and playing "SQUEAKS" for 130 to win the High Word award. In Advanced Bridget Halge won 6 games to achieve victory over John Parker and Paula Messer. High Game (512) was played by Marie D'Rosario, and the High Word "WRECKING" worth 113 points was played by Doug Ristic. Intermediate saw Ellen Frajman in good form after returning from a break, with John Taylor and Joan Lawrence second and third respectively. John also received the awards for High Game (469) and High Word, playing "WINDIER" for 92 points.

Advanced - Paula Messer (3rd), Doug Ristic (HW),
Bridget Halge (1st) & John Parker (2nd)

Intermediate - John Taylor (2nd, HG & HW),
Ellen Frajman (1st)

Recreation - Karen Harris (3rd), Elizabeth
McKean (Novice), Lina Camilleri (2nd)
Marlene Ellis from the Geelong Club placed first in Recreation, followed by Lina Camilleri from Essendon and Karen Harris from the Nunawading Club. Marlene also recorded the High Game (447) and played "SLINTER" for 92 points to win the High Game award. Notable high rating gains for the day came from Lina Camilleri +50, Anand Bharadwaj +44, and Bridget Halge +42. Congratulations to all on your good play, and thank you to everyone for supporting the event.

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World Youth Championship Fundraiser ~ July 11 2010

After Game 6 - A close finish between Julie Belle & Michael
Rubinstein, chatting with Mary McMahon, Mary Mackie,
Heather Long, Tania Kuhne & Carol Mascitti
click picture to enlarge

Natasha Podesser
This was a happy day's scrabble, although it was unfortunate that one of our Youth Reps, Natasha Podesser, was unwell on the day and not able to compete. Natasha is well entrenched in Masters now, but our other youth competitor Jayden Kuhne played in Masters for the first time. Jay enjoyed the challenge of facing up to tougher competition, and at the end of the day, on behalf of Natasha and himself, thanked all who so generously supported the event. Proceeds from the tournament, the raffle and the sale of goodies raised $911 to assist Natasha and Jay and families with their travel expenses, a great effort. We thank the Podessers and Kuhnes for supplying the refreshments on the day, these were enjoyed by all.

Jayden Kuhne
Masters was keenly fought out, with Geoff Wright defeating Barry Harridge in the last game of the day to emerge the winner, relegating Barry to fourth place behind Harry Malcolm and Andrew Fisher. Advanced was won by a very excited Jenny Brysha who had a disastrous start to the day, losing the first game on serious time penalties after searching too long for a bonus in a particular rack late in the game! Second and third places went to Dianne Gibson and Cheryle Jerram, back in form after a bad run in her last few tournaments. Intermediate saw our very welcome import from South Australia Dieter Jedamski victorious, the only person to win all seven games for the day. Theresa Scicluna, rated highest in her section, was pleased to place second, with Gillian Renwick third. The winner in Recreation was Gianna Devcic, ahead of Marlene Ellis and Irlande Alfred. Congratulations to everyone on their efforts, and in particular to the two who achieved the highest ratings gain for the day; Dieter who picked up 64 points and Jenny, who went up 60.
Achievement badges were presented to Joyce McCombe who has played 1000 games, and to Barry Harridge for reaching the milestone of 2000 games, well done to you both.
Thanks to all for helping to support our young people, to everyone who helped out in various ways, and to all players for making it an enjoyable day's scrabble. For full results of the tournament click HERE

Barry Harridge, 2000 games, with Joyce
McCombe, 1000 games

Co-organiser Kashi Ross, with Geoff Wright,
Masters first place

Dianne Gibson & Jenny Brysha, second
and first respectively in Advanced

Theresa Scicluna, second Inter, Dieter Jedamski
first Inter, with Lorraine Thomas Advanced

Gianna Devcic, first Recreation, with good
friend and Essendon clubmate Lina Camilleri

Geelong Club members Dorothy Barraclough,
Joyce McCombe & Anne Menheere

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Support for our Trans Tasman Players ~ June 27 2010

Norma Fisher
Forty-eight players competed in this 8-game open tournament, which ran smoothly with Lalitha Sundaresan manning the laptop and many people helping with setting up and tidying up at the end of the day. Thank you all. The aim of the event was to raise funds to assist our two representatives - Norma Fisher and Lois Binnie - with travel expenses when they fly to Christchurch in August with ten Aussies from the other states to compete against New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Challenge. Interestingly both our reps are of New Zealand origin, but Lois assured us in her thank you speech that she and Norma will do their utmost to beat their former compatriots. Norma sent apologies for her absence as she is OS at the moment.

Lois Binnie

Kashi Ross organised a raffle, and we thank Angie Pearse and Kashi's dad John for donating the prizes. The combined proceeds from the tournament and the raffle amounted to $628.50, and Lois and Norma wish to thank everyone for their very generous support. We welcomed Karen and Alastair Richards from NSW, and Dawn Browning who returned after a break from tournament play. Alastair had a wonderful day, overcoming all challenges to record 8 wins, pick up 27 rating points, and place first in the event. Ratings band prizes were awarded to Sujeet Mehta for best performed player rated 1100-1400, and Joyce McCombe for best performed under 1100. Congratulations to you all, and to Dianne Gibson for recording High Game (527), and Carol Johnsen for High Word "TWENTIES" which scored 140 points. Notable rating gains for the day were recorded by Michael Rubinstein 50, Bridget Halge 46, Sujeet Mehta 44, Gillian Renwick 43 and Marjorie Clark 40. Good luck to Lois and Norma in New Zealand, it should be a fun experience!

The overall winner, Alastair Richards
from NSW

Best performed player rated 1100 - 1400,
Sujeet Mehta

Marlene Ellis & Mary McMahon with best
player rated below 1100, Joyce McCombe

The 2010 Brand's King's Cup, Thailand ~ June 18/19/20

David v. Pakorn, Game 18 - click to enlarge

A thoughtful David plays Cheah Siu Hean
Following an interesting lead up to the final, during which time Nigel Richards (New Zealand) worked his way up through the field to challenge David Eldar (Australia) for a position in the final, David faced last year's World Champion and holder of the Kings Cup, Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand). Pakorn played extremely well, collecting all four blanks, and playing a nine-timer through an "S" to emerge victorious after just two games of the three game final. Congratulations to Pakorn, once again a worthy winner.
Other Aussies in the field were Chris May 9th, Dianne Ward 18th, Bob Jackman 25th, Karen Richards 33rd, Matte Dunn 41st, Olga Visser 48th, John Barker 53rd, and Kay Anderson 56th. I'm sure you all enjoyed your tournament experience, and well done to David on almost bringing home the Cup.

The 2010 Victorian Championship & Queen's Birthday Tournament - June 12/13/14

The playing room on Day One - click to enlarge

Natasha Podesser extended "review" to make
the 10 letter word "previewers" - click to enlarge
The Championship ran smoothly over three days, with a few changes to the list of contestants as the event progressed, and we thank Carol Johnsen, Dorothy Barraclough and Rena Aitken for acting as our standby players over the weekend, both at the Championship and the Queen's Birthday tournament on Monday. Ray Alford was presented with his badge marking 1000 tournament games played, and commented that it has taken him 21 years to achieve this milestone. Well done, Ray. We welcomed our many interstate visitors, and after 24 games we congratulated Edward Okulicz who emerged as the 2010 Champion, with the outcome dependent on the results of the final round. Edward won his last game to keep Naween Fernando in second place, followed by Joanne Craig, Geoff Wright and Harry Malcolm. The High Game award went to Edward for a score of 634, and High Word was played by Carol Johnsen; "CONTRIVE" for 176 points.

Ray Alford
1000 games
Division A of the Queen's Birthday was won by the inimitable Rod Casey, who mentioned that he has now won the top division of the Queen's Birthday Tournament for three of the last four years. Division B saw Marie D'Rosario victorious, and Division C was won by Glen Chandler, who was also awarded the 2009-2010 Most Improved Player plaque, together with a portrait painted by Katie Rowe. Well done, Glen, a good effort to gain 418 ratings points in 12 months.
For full results of the Championship click HERE, and for full results of the Queen's Birthday Tournament click HERE
Many thanks to all who assisted over the weekend in so many ways, your help was appreciated by all, especially me!

Harry Malcolm 5, Joanne Craig 3, Edward
Okulicz 1, Naween Fernando 2, Geoff Wright 4

Katie Rowe with Glen Chandler, Victoria's Most
Improved Player 2009/10, & Marj Miller

Post game analysis - Dianne Gibson, Dorothy
Barraclough, Marisa Nuccitelli, Colleen Walker

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~ The Cranbourne Tournament May 23 ~

The Cranbourne Organising Team:
Katie, Peter, Chris, Ella, Elaine

Carole Eden,
1000 games
Thank you to Katie and all involved in organising this event, all went smoothly under Katie's expert guidance and everyone appeared to enjoy the day. We presented Carole Eden with a badge marking 1000 tournament games, well done Carole. Several people are missing from the photos as darkness was setting in by the end of play and many were keen to start the journey home. Here is a report written by Katie, thanks Katie.
The temperature outside was 1 C when we scraped the ice off the car's windows and mirrors to go to the Cranbourne Scrabble tournament at Box Hill. It warmed to a lovely sunshiny autumn day, where 68 players competed in seven games. We welcomed Roy Krawitz from the Nunawading Club to his first tournament, which he certainly enjoyed. Visitors included Olga Visser and John Rider from Queensland and David More from NSW, and it was good to see Harry Malcolm back in the tournament scene after more than a year's absence. As well as the usual prizes, a "Jessica Watson" theme was used to award prizes after 6 of the 7 games, for words relating to SAILING, WATER, AFRICA, MEDIA, RECORDS and finally YOUTH. A raffle to raise funds for the two young Victorian players competing in this year's World Youth tournament raised $145. Delicious home-made cakes and slices were popular between-game snacks, and helpers from the Cranbourne club ensured no problems arose during the day.

A happy Trevor Halsall heading home,
first in Masters

Masters - Barry Harridge, HG, Natasha Podesser
2nd, Lois Binnie 3rd, Matte Dunn High Word

Advanced - Kris Howat 2nd, Elaine Capewell
HG, Oliver Podesser 3rd, Lorraine Thomas HW
Trevor Halsall won the Masters division with 5 games, Bridget Halge - "playing up" from Intermediate, took out the Advanced section with 6 games, Anne Menheere won 6 games in Intermediate, and Latha Weerakkody was the only player in Recreation to win 6 games. The highest word of the day was Matte Dunn's SCENARIO 144, and Barry Harridge played a 565 game, both in Masters' Division.

Intermediate - Chris Burkett High Word,
Glen Chandler 3rd

Recreation - Latha Weerakkody 1st,
Marjorie Clark 3rd & High Word

Novice Roy Krawitz, taken at his home
club, Nunawading

Tri-State Challenge ~ Fun Weekend at Wagga Wagga ~ May 8/9

Geoff Wright third, Bob Jackman first

The Murrumbidgee at Wagga
This enjoyable event, organised by Carol Johnsen, saw three states pitted against each other in the inaugural Tri-State Challenge. In previous years only NSW and Victoria competed, but this year the ACT players joined us as a separate entity. All games played between members of the different states counted toward the final tally, which was based on percentages and expertly worked out by one of the ACT team, maths-whiz John Hamilton. Thanks, John.
Final results saw the ACT victorious on 53.9%, followed closely by the Vics on 52.7%, with NSW further back on 45.1%. Well done to the ACT team, a great effort. The individual standings saw Bob Jackman finish on top followed by Jan Serisier, both from NSW and both on 8 wins, followed by Geoff Wright on 7 wins. The press coverage organised by Wagga Club Convenor Norm Byng was quite amazing, with TV and newspaper reports promoting scrabble widely in the Riverina area. Meals at the Commercial Club were enjoyable, as was the company and the Scrabble, both at the tournament and on the return train trip. Thanks to Carol and everyone involved in the organisation, a great job indeed.

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World Youth Fundraiser #1 April 18 2010


This enjoyable seven game event was jointly organised by our young players, their families and the committee to raise funds to assist our Youth Reps when they travel to Manila in December to compete in the 2010 World Youth Scrabble Championship. At the moment we expect to be represented by Natasha Podesser and Jayden Kuhne, with Anand Bharadwaj and Robert Blunt unable to attend due to other commitments. The day proceeded smoothly under the guidance of Anand's mum Lalitha on computers, with Natasha's dad Oliver helping out with kitchen duties. The lovely array of food was supplied by the parents, and all players enjoyed the tasty between-game snacks. Thanks to all for your contribution. Jayden sent an apology for his inability to attend the tournament, and hopes to play in the second youth fundraiser scheduled for July.

Anand Bharadwaj versus Gwen Lampre
Prizes were given only for first place in each section and Division A was keenly contested, with five players finishing on five wins, separated by margin alone. Carmel Doney emerged the winner from Anand and Natasha, and it was great to see our younger players doing so well headed only by Carmel, one of our most experienced and wily players. The High Game was played by Sal Costanzo, scoring an impressive 595, whilst Anand played "TRAILERS" for 122 to record the High Word. In Division B one of our newer players Kashi Ross was triumphant with 6 wins, followed by Cheryle Jerram and John Parker, both on 5 wins. High Game (511) was played by Angie Pearse, and Lorraine Thomas played "ASQUINT" for 108 to record the High Word in this section. Division C was convincingly won by Dorothy Barraclough on 6 wins, followed by Dorothy Rice and Anna Palmer on 5 wins. High Game (521) was played by Dorothy B., and Dorothy R. played "STRIVED" for 97 points to record the High Word.
For full results of the tournament click HERE

Gillian Kinder, Carmel Doney Div A 1st,
Lois Binnie, Heather Long, Sal Costanzo

Chris Scholten, Mal Eden, Kashi Ross
Div B 1st, with Cheryle Jerram

Dorothy Barraclough Div C 1st, v Rob York
Back: Paula Messer v Marie D'Rosario
Theme Word prizes were awarded, and Lorraine Thomas took home the lovely hamper of Natio products donated by Kashi Ross' dad Max for playing the Most Unusual Word containing both the letters "Y" and "S", representing Youth Scrabble. Lorraine's winning word was "YAWNIEST", and we thank Max for his very generous donation. The contest for the MUW starting with the letter "N" (for Natasha) went to Sal Costanzo for the word "NUTRIAS", the fur of a small South American rodent called the coypu. Katie Rowe took home the prize for the MUW beginning with the letter "J" (for Jayden) for the word "JERID", a javelin used by Persian, Turkish, and Arabian horsemen, especially during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Further funds were raised by the sale of Scrabble bags donated by Dorothy Barraclough and Doug Ristic, and we auctioned some cakes which helped raise the final total to $971. At the end of the day Natasha, on behalf of Jayden and herself, thanked all attendees and contributors for their generous support, it is greatly appreciated by all.

Marlene Ellis v Dorothy Rice, Div C 2nd

Katie Rowe v Dianne Gibson

Friends Ann Goodwin and Marisa Nuccitelli

The 2010 Australian Scrabble Championship in Adelaide, April 3-5

Most of the winners, from the left: TD Wilma Vialle, Naween Fernando, Tony Miller, Andrew Fisher, Cheah Siu Hean, Julia Sorell, Alastair Richards,
Dianne Brumby, Marj Miller, Bob Jackman, Margaret Bishop, Jason Stockdale, Trevor Tao.
Hidden - Peter Kougi. Missing - Michael Rubinstein and Rod Talbot
Firstly, a big thank you to Carmel Dodd and family, Joyce Browett and the SA Scrabble players for staging such a great and well-run event - the Holdfast Bay Bowls Club in Glenelg was a perfect venue, easily accommodating the 94 players in the Championship as well as the 52 players in the Plate. SA President Joyce welcomed four players from overseas, namely Cheah Siu Hean (Singapore), Michael Tang (Malaysia), Tan Jin Chor (Malaysia) and Ruth Groffman (New Zealand). A wonderful array of food was served between games, many thanks to the team in the kitchen who cheerfully kept us all well fed, our mugs clean and everything in order in the large and comfortable breakout area.

Phillip Hamilton plays a fun speed game
(5 minutes) against Jason Stockdale, watched
with interest by many of their peers

Natasha Podesser v Michael Vnuk,
with Naween, Edie Mueller and
Trish Brighton
Competition was fierce in the Championship as five players were in contention going into the last round, and many possible scenarios were considered. As the games were completed there were some rather disappointed faces, but the one really happy one was that of the the new Champion Naween Fernando from Victoria, the only one of the five to win his final game. This is Naween's third victory, and he has his sights set on John Holgate's record of four Championships. Good luck with that, Naween.
To check the final results of both events click HERE

The 2010 Champion, Naween Fernando

Runner-up, Andrew Fisher

Rod Talbot 3rd place, with Helen Maurus
Prizes were given down to eighth place, with all achievers receiving a lovely original kiln-fired glass platter as well as a cash award. Other placings in order were Andrew Fisher Vic, Rod Talbot NSW, Alastair Richards NSW, Cheah Siu Hean Singapore, Peter Kougi Vic, Jason Stockdale Vic and Bob Jackman NSW. The biggest wow factor among the above was the great performance of Jason, who exceeded all expectations by winning 16 games, gaining 82 points and collecting some higher-rated scalps along the way. An exciting performance, Jason.

Dianne Brumby, High Word "CONVENTS"

Marj Miller, High Game, with Carol Johnsen

The High Game board Click to enlarge
The High Word Award was won by Dianne Brumby (Tas) who played "CONVENTS" for 176 points, and at the risk of blowing my own trumpet the High Game Award was presented to me, recording a score of 644 in a very lucky, magical and smooth-flowing game.
The result of the Plate was much easier to predict as Michael Rubinstein (Vic) finished two games clear of Tony Miller (SA),Margaret Bishop (Tas) amd Trevor Tao (SA). The High Game Award went to Julia (Dood) Sorell from Tassie, and Michael received the High Word Award for playing "CONFLICT" for 108 points. Congratulations to all on your achievements, and to everyone for the spirit in which the games were played.

Paula Brown & Michael Rubinstein, Plate 1st

Tony Miller, second in the Plate

A serious PM - Dianne Gibson & Beryl Bourne
The highest rating gain overall went to Ben Munson from Wagga Wagga in NSW, competing in the Plate and gaining an incredible 368 points. Natasha Podesser (Vic) was presented with an award for the player aged Under 18 who achieved the highest rating gain, well done Natasha on gaining 80 points, increasing your rating to 1529. The celebration dinner at the Watermark Hotel was an enjoyable event attended by most competitors and partners and friends, with the smorgasbord meal providing many delicious choices to all diners.

Relaxing in the breakout area

Michael v Ben Munson, Highest Rating Gain

At dinner: Andrew, Lyndee, Helen & Naween
Further thanks must go to Helen Maurus, Khwanjai Thammaping and Barry Harridge for the use of their excellent pics. Also to our very competent and irrepressible Tournament Director Dr. Wilma Vialle, and our hardworking webmaster Barry Harridge who kept non-attendees advised of the progress of the tournament, and later transported four of our Aussie youngsters to the Youth Coaching Clinic at Douglas Scrub, a property south of Adelaide near McLaren Flat. Thanks to those who assisted Karen Richards with the running of the clinic, which was appreciated by all who attended.
We look forward to next year's Championship, to be held in Canberra at Easter, April 23-25th.

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Vale Jim Warmington, April 1 2010

Jim, as many remember him.
Here is a lovely tribute to Jim posted by Barry Harridge to the Ozscrabble list on Monday April 5th during the Australian Championship in Adelaide. Thank you, Barry.
I am sad to report the passing of Jim Warmington on 01.04.2010 at the age of 89. Jim is fondly remembered by so many players in the Australian Scrabble scene for his knowledge, wisdom, humanity and above all his mammoth contribution to the development of word list resources in the early days. At one stage we used to adjudicate legality of words by directly looking them up in the dictionary. This was fraught with difficulty with subtleties such as how inflections were spelt, and how words were classified. Australia's ASPAL was a groundbreaking effort at a word list of all allowable words up to eight letters. The core of the analysis and research was done by Jim, using pre-email methods of handwritten letters back and forth to the Chambers Dictionary, and especially Catherine Schwarz at Chambers in the UK. ASPAL was a superb reference for us and in several editions served us well for many years, and was a paragon of excellence. The data was also used for our electronic word list which gave reliable computer adjudication at tournaments.
If only for this alone, Jim would hold a very special place in the hearts of Scrabble players. But for those who knew him personally, we loved his gentle courtesy and erudition, and his knowledge of words, and his prowess at Scrabble. His wife Margaret has been a wonderful companion for many years, and also well known as a keen Scrabbler. These months since January, when Jim has been in hospital, have been a difficult time for Margaret. Our condolences go to her at this time. Margaret is aware that there will be many Scrabble players who would have wished to be at the funeral but will find difficulty because of travel plans relating to the Australian Championship in Adelaide at Easter. She understands, and is aware that our thoughts are with her at this time.

WCWCWC2 TOURNAMENT, Ashland, Oregon, USA - 27 & 28 March 2010

This impressive title denotes the second West Coast World Championship Wordlist Challenge, using the Collins wordlist as the adjudication tool, and here is a report and some pics from globetrotters Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher - thanks, Carol.

Mountain scenery around Ashland
This report is coming to you from Interstate 5 highway California whilst Norma is driving us back to San Francisco (approximately a 7-hr trip) after having participated in the tournament held at the historic and beautifully-appointed Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Oregon, elevation approx. 4,500ft. Our approach to the town on our drive from San Francisco was of high plains pastures, mountain vistas including the extinct volcano, Mt Shasta. The outlook from our hotel in the beautiful valley was of snow-capped mountains and green, green, green valleys and pastures.

At the Ashland Springs Historic Hotel
On the Friday before the tournament, there were Super Scrabble, Clabbers and Speed Scrabble mini-tournaments, but we chose to attend the 3rd performance of an acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined depicting the struggle of women in the Congo who have been raped. Fairly heavy-duty but lightened at times by music and it fortunately had an uplifting ending which gave us a chance to dry our tears.
Ashland is a rather funky town which is noted for holding an Annual Shakespearean Festival, but also showcases many modern and classical plays - the local blurb reads: Inspired by Shakespeare'work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by lthe kaleidoscope of rotating repertory. It also has a varied shopping district which includes eclectic, retro, up-market, books - as a matter of fact something for everyone. The atmosphere of the town could be likened to the special feel of Daylesford in country Victoria, but on a bigger scale.
As far as the tournament was concerned, we performed as expected - Norma was ranked 9th and finished 9th and Carol was ranked 14th and finished 15th. We would have liked to have done better, but there you go! The penalty of 10 points per word for challenging a correct word certainly gave pause to making constant challenges.

Carol in the playing room

Carol, Travis Chaney (Organiser) & Norma

Norma, ready for a game
The tournament was successfully and efficiently organised by Travis Chaney, a delightful and friendly fellow, originally from Arkansas, and now residing in Ashland and he capped off a successful weekend by placing 2nd. The field included World Champs reps - David Weigand - USA (winner), Albert Hahn (Canada), Sam Kantimathi (USA) and other high-ranked American and Canadian players. Oh, and the first prize was $1,000!

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The Langwarrin Tournament, March 21 2010

The Langwarrin Club members, under the guidance of their very competent Club Convenor Geoff Gittus, presented a great day's scrabble at the Langwarrin Community Centre. Barry Harridge was on hand to help with computer duties, and was grateful for the skilled assistance of Janet Stuckenschmidt who manned the laptop for the day. Thanks, Janet, you allowed Barry to have a relaxed day playing scrabble, although that provided its own frustations! Many great cakes were made by the club members, and these were appreciated by the 60 players. We welcomed two novices to their first tournament, Barbara Sidey, who is a member of the Langwarrin Club, and Kashi Ross who has had considerable experience playing on ISC. See below for the excellent results from both players, well done, girls, we hope you will join us for more tournaments in the near future.

The two first-time players at the annual
Langwarrin tournament ~ Kashi Ross &
Barbara Sidey

Ray Alford, Masters 2nd, High Game & Bonus
Words x 5, with Lois Binnie, Masters 1st &
High Word

Advanced ~ Angie Pearse 3rd & High Word,
Theresa Scicluna High Game, Doug Ristic 1st,
Sylvia Galloway 2nd
In Masters Lois Binnie was the clear winner, beating all comers in the six games played. Lois also received the High Word award for "WAXIEST", scoring 115 to ensure victory in the last game of the day. Second place went to Ray Alford and third was Gillian Kinder, both with four wins. Ray also took home the High Game Award, playing 5 bonus words to reach a score of 559 and equalling the Australian record for 2010 of most bonus words played in a game, a great effort.
Advanced saw Doug Ristic emerge victorious, also winning all his games and achieving the highest rating gain for the day - 91 points, well done, Doug. Second place went to Sylvia Galloway on 5 wins, and third was Angie Pearse on 4 wins. Angie also played "QUOIT" for 106 points to win the High Word Award, with Theresa Scicluna scoring 505 to win the High Game Award.

Intermediate ~ Dorothy Rice 1st and High
Game, Brenda Thurgar High Word, Glen
Chandler 3rd, Paula Messer 2nd

Recreation ~ Irlande Alfred 1st, Eileen Mills
3rd, Kashi Ross 2nd & High Game,
Barbara Sidey High Word

Time for Ice Cream ~ from left - Gloria
O'Loghlin, Mal Eden, Chris Radin, Sylvia
Galloway, Kashi Ross & Jane
Intermediate saw Langwarrin player Dorothy Rice take first place on 5 wins, followed by Paula Messer and Glen Chandler, both winning 4 games and beginning to show their true form. High Game went to Dorothy Rice (466) and Brenda Thurgar played "FLEECIER" for 92 points to win High Word.
In Recreation local player Irlande Alfred finished first with 5 wins, separated only by margin from Kashi Ross and Eileen Mills. The High Game Award went to Kashi who scored 486, and Barbara Sidey also had a good day at her first event, finishing fourth and playing "ZEAL" for 92 points to win the High Word Award.
Congratulations to all place getters, your efforts have been well rewarded. Again thanks to Geoff and all the Club members, it was a happy day's scrabble enjoyed by all.

Vale Lena Boyd

Lena Boyd was a foundation member of the Sydney Scrabble Club when it was formed in 1980 and was a stalwart of the game in New South Wales in the 80's and 90's, before relocating to Melbourne in 2004. Her hallmark was her bubbly Scottish humour and love of words. She won the 1991 Australian Masters Champs in Melbourne qualifying for the inaugural Worlds in London but she declined to go because she refused to abandon her beloved dog. She had a fondness for weird and wonderful finds which sometimes distracted her from the best strategic move but she was always a feisty competitor in tournaments. Fortunately Lena was well enough to remain in her own unit with her latest favourite dog until a short illness resulted in her death on March 15 2010, at the age of almost 82 years. Lena will be missed by all players who knew her, and we extend our sympathy to her daughter Lee and the extended family.

Raymond Island Tournament, Labour Day weekend 2010

At Paynesville, looking towards Raymond Island
Sixteen players took part in this event on lovely Raymond Island, most travelling considerable distances to take part and enjoy the company of fellow Scrabblers, and the delightful surroundings on Raymond Island as well as nearby Paynesville, a short ferry ride away across McMillan Strait.
Jane Taylor from South Australia emerged the conqueror, winning 10 of the 12 games played, followed by Alistair Kane on 9 wins and Lois Binnie on 8 wins. Lois also received the awards for High Game (555) and High Word, playing "MASHING" for 108 points. Well done to all.
Thanks to Sylvia and her helpers for organising another enjoyable event, and for providing lunch and all the goodies to eat. Thanks also to Sue Kyatt and Alistair Kane for their invaluable assistance in looking after the computer work, Sylvia always comments that she couldn't run a tournament without them.

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The Melbourne Team Challenge and Open ~ February 28 2010

This fun event took place on the final day of summer, and the ten teams arrived punctually dressed ready for a tough battle - the Cranbourne Cockies wore yellow crests on their heads, although Chris Scholten chose to dangle his from the region of his hip pocket, drawing many comments from fellow players. The Bentleigh Buccaneers were resplendent in their pirate gear, and the Four Fillies donned their Dame Edna Everage specs as a tribute to all the lovely women of the world. Ten teams of four players saw forty take part in the team event, with a further sixteen playing in the Open. We welcomed an interstate visitor, Jane Taylor from South Australia. Jane enjoyed her day, winning 7 games and placing third in the Open whilst taking eight ratings points away from the Victorians. Well done, Jane.

The Bratpack: Naween Fernando, Stephen
Blick, Robert Blunt, Sal Costanzo

Melbourne Victory: Andrew Fisher with Anand
Bharadwaj, Peter Bauer & Barry Harridge

Bentleigh Buccaneers: Peter Kougi, Michael
Rubinstein, Norma Fisher, Marie D'Rosario

Janizars: Alistair Kane, Jenny Brysha,
Oliver Podesser, Lois Binnie & friend

The Lovelies: Heather Long, Carmel Doney
Not pictured - Gillian Kinder, Mary McMahon

Assuage - Silly Sausage!: Geoff Wright, Dianne
Gibson, Kris Howat, Beryl Bourne
Using a lagged draw the Open contestants kept pace with the Team players, who played to a predetermined format set up by Barry Harridge. Everything proceeded without any hitches under the guidance of Lalitha Sundaresan on computer duty, although it was most unfortunate that one of the Team players was very unwell on the day and unable to complete the event.
At the start of the last round two teams were in a position to claim the title of Champion Team, with The Bratpack emerging triumphant over last year's winners, Melbourne Victory. The Bratpack also took home the awards for the team with the Highest Combined Rating Gain, with two of their players finishing first and second in the individual standings - Naween Fernando won all 9 games and gained 53 ratings points, and Stephen Blick finished with 8 wins and a rating gain of 65 points. Third place and High Game (578) went to Trevor Halsall from the Overdogs, and Stephen Blick scored 140 for the 9-timer MARINERS to win the High Word Award.

The Overdogs: Latha Weerakkody, Lorraine
Thomas, Trevor Halsall - missing, Angie Pearse

The Four Fillies: Gwen Lampre, Julie Belle,
Carol Johnsen, Khwanjai Thammaping

St. Blue Cats: Frank Csarics, Dianne Davis,
Ian Newton, Angela Newton

Cranbourne Cockies: Chris Scholten, Gayle
Cameron, Katie Rowe, Elaine Capewell

Open ~ First Place and High Game,
Stephanie Saunders

Second place in the Open,
John Parker
In the 9-game Open event the winner Stephanie Saunders won 7 games and went up 70 ratings points, the highest gain for the whole tournament. Stephanie also won the High Game award for a score of 533. A happy John Parker finished in second place on 7 wins, and as mentioned above Jane Taylor placed third. Ann Hagley, recovering from knee surgery, played EXPIRES for 119 points to win High Word. A rating band prize for the best performed player rated below 1000 was won by Anna Palmer, a member of the Geelong Club. Well done to all on your efforts.
For full results of both events click HERE

Dorothy Barraclough plays Jane Taylor from
South Australia, third in the Open.

Ann Hagley, High Word in the Open -
"EXPIRES" 119 points

Open ~ Anna Palmer, Best Performed Player
rated below 1000, plays Anne Menheere
Thank you to all who helped make the day a success, and to those who helped with setting up, collecting the entry fees, and packing up at the end of the day, your help is greatly appreciated.

The Camberwell Tournament ~ February 14 2010

After a slowish start, with a couple of no-shows and some organisational problems in the catering department the event ran smoothly under the guidance of Barry Harridge, together with Meg Henderson and the Camberwell Club Members. Unfortunately neither Khwanjai, Barry nor myself had our cameras with us, so the pictures below are taken in earlier times. We welcomed Novice Louise White who has recently started playing at the Langwarrin Club. Louise enjoyed her first tournament, winning four games and achieving a starting rating of 961, an excellent result.

Masters 1, Peter Kougi

Meg with Gillian Kinder, Advanced 1st

Intermediate 1, Dorothy Barraclough
70 players contested the four sections, with first place in Masters going to Peter Kougi who has recently had considerable success at tournaments, being the only player to win all 6 games on the day. Lois Binnie placed second, and third place went to Trevor Halsall who also scored 556 to win the High Game Award.

Recreation 1, Latha Weerakkody
Norma Fisher played SQUISHY for 135 points to win the High Word award, which was the highest scoring word for the day.
Advanced was won by Gillian Kinder, with Dianne Gibson and Elaine Capewell placing second and third. Ian Newton played 567 to win the High Game award, the highest score across all sections. Michael Rubinstein played ZINCIEST for 110 points to win the High Word award.

Louise White, first-timer
Intermediate saw Dorothy Barraclough victorious, followed by Khwanjai Thammaping and Julie Belle. Dorothy also won the High Game award with 480 points, and two players shared the High Word award - Khwanjai played SEARING, and Pat Judd played CADGERS, both scoring 92 points.
The winner in Recreation was Latha Weerakkody, with Ann Goodwin and Glen Chandler second and third. Ann scored 495 to secure the High Game prize, and Marisa Nuccitelli played SURGERY for 99 points to win High Word. Well done to all for your efforts.
Thank you to all the Camberwell personnel for their help, and thank you to all who helped set up and put the place back in order at the end of the day - the venue is looking considerably fresher with new flooring in the Bowls Room, the Dining Room floors refinished, and several areas given a fresh coat of paint.

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The Ballarat Summer Tournament ~ January 30 2010

This event attracted an excellent field of 50 players who enjoyed the pleasant surroundings of the Brown Hill Hall as well as a wonderful array of goodies to eat. Tess Robinson welcomed two interstate visitors; Tim Reddan who is President of the ACT Scrabble Association, and Ben Munson who plays with the Wagga Wagga Club.

Winner Division A, Peter Kougi

Second Place Division A, Dianne Gibson

Mary McMahon, 3rd Div A, plays Audree Clifton

Division A, High Game - Lois Binnie

Division A, High Word - Kris Howat

Winner Division B, Pat Weston
Division A saw Peter Kougi emerge the winner, being beaten only by Norma Fisher. Second and third places went to an equally delighted Dianne Gibson and Mary MacMahon, High Game of 527 was played by Lois Binnie, and Kris Howat played HARKING for 123 points to win the High Word Award. In Division B Pat Weston from Geelong had an excellent result, winning all 6 games to fill first place. Two of our young guns Michael Rubinstein and Shaun Donnelly filled second and third places, while Michael received both the High Game Award (596) and the High Word Award, playing STRAINED for 168 points.

Div B, Michael Rubinstein - 2nd Place, High
Word & High Game

Division B - Jenny Kearney plays Shaun
Donnelly, 3rd Placegetter

Winner Division C, visiting from
Wagga Wagga - Ben Munson

Division C, second place - Anna Palmer

Division C, High Game - Glen Chandler

Division C, High Word - Debbie Hoffman
Division C saw Ben Munson win all 6 games to take first place, with Anna Palmer and Val Martin second and third respectively. High game of 497 was played by Glen Chandler, with Debbie Hoffmann scoring 81 for PRETEND to win the High Game Award. Notable rating gains were achieved by Ben Munson (+129), Dianne Gibson (+79), and Pat Weston (+78).
Great scrabble, everyone. Thanks to Tess Robinson and her helpers for their organisation, and Barry for helping with computer duties. Also thanks to Tess' grandson for taking the pics on the day, it is appreciated.

The Bil Rose Aestival ~ January 17 2010

Norma Engel's 685 board - click to enlarge
Seventy competitors participated in this popular Round Robin event, with the fourteen members of the Hydrangea section using an Australian Draw. Novices Rin Campbell and Luke Whitby hadn't played at a club or on the internet prior to this event and both made the courageous decision to stay and play after inspecting the setup and meeting some of the players at the Marwal Centre. Fortunately both enjoyed the day, and we hope to see them at another tournament soon. We again welcomed John Rider from Queensland and Michael McKenna from NSW, it is always good to have some interstate visitors. Michael gained some rating points from the Vics to take back to NSW, but Queensland was not so fortunate. Norma Engel (Gazania) had a wonderful Round 1 Game, scoring 685 points and playing five bonus words, the first three of them consecutively - MARKING 82, APPLIES 86, ELEVATES 88, FIELDER 92, ROOTIES 64. Well done Norma, this is an excellent early record for 2010. Two section winners won all seven games - there were high fives when a delighted Jenny Brysha won EURYOPS* and an excited Anand Bharadwaj was victorious in COLUMBINE. Jenny gained 102 rating points to put her firmly into our Advanced section, and Anand went up 93 points, catapulting himself into Masters. *We apologise for using an unallowable word as one of the section names, and will take greater care next year.

Our two new players on the day, Luke Whitby
and Rin Campbell

Norma Engel with her awards for High Game
Lower Sections, 685 points with five bonuses

Trevor Halsall, too good in Amaryllis, with
Peter Kougi, High Game Upper Sections

Alistair Kane, High Word Upper Sections

Mary McMahon, the best Begonia

Anand Bharadwaj, conquered all in Columbine
Congratulations to Jenny and Anand, and to all other section winners - Trevor Halsall, AMARYLLIS; Mary McMahon, BEGONIA; Patricia Mitchell, DAFFODIL; Julie Belle, FREESIA; Stephanie Saunders, GAZANIA; and Gianna Devcic, HYDRANGEA. Second and third place prizes were awarded in the latter section, and these went to Marisa Nuccitelli and Carol Mascitti respectively. The entire field was divided into two, and High Game and High Word awards went to the best efforts in both the upper and lower four sections. In the upper half Peter Kougi played High Game 547, and the High Word went to Alistair Kane for TWANGERS, value 167 points. As mentioned above Norma Engel's brilliant 685 game earned her the High Game award in the lower divisions, and in the upper divisions the High Word award was won by John Rider from Queensland who played FOREIGN for 107 points. To fit with the general theme of the day I noted the following words on different boards - FREESIA and DAHLIAS, and Frank Csarics has mentioned that Val Hardiman played ESTIVAL during their game. No prizes for any of these, but we might think about it for next year's event.

Patricia Mitchell, Daffodil Extraordinaire

Jenny Brysha - A, not E, for effort in *Euryops

Julie Belle, a fun time winning FREESIA

Stephanie Saunders, great in Gazania

John Rider, High Word Lower sections

Doug Ristic, looking happy

Gianna Devcic, best of 14 in Hydrangea

Marisa Nuccitelli, second in Hydrangea

Third place in Hydrangea, Carol Mascitti
Thank you to all our helpers, especially Mary Mackie who was our standby player, Barry Harridge for setting up the tournament and getting it started almost on time, Lalitha Sunderesan on data entry for the day, Norma Fisher for all she does, Jack Miller and others for helping with furniture moving, and everyone else who assisted with the many tasks involved in running a tournament.

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The Fourth Melbourne Marathon ~ January 9/10 2010

A fresh start for all! Midday, Saturday

Not so bright and bushy tailed! Sunday 11am
Twenty-eight fresh and courageous scrabblers arrived at the venue at lunchtime on Saturday, carrying many aids such as deodorant, toothbrushes, pills, potions, libations, vittles and fresh clothes, including some pyjama-like gear to assist them in surviving the gruelling challenge ahead - 24 games in 24 hours. We welcomed our interstate visitors, thank you all for coming - Michael McKenna, David More and Phillip Hamilton from NSW, John Hamilton from the ACT, and Helen Maurus and John Rider from Queensland. We were also pleased to welcome two returning Victorian players to the event - Heidy Reitbergen who played regularly in the nineties and very occasionally since, and Nick Ivanovski, the 1990 Australian Champion who is still playing regularly online but hadn't played a "live" tournament for many years.

Top three placegetters -
David Eldar 1st and High Game Overall,
Norma Fisher (3), Naween Fernando (2)

Jayden Kuhne 1st Rating Band award, Norma
Fisher, Phillip Hamilton 3rd Rating band,
Michael Rubinstein High Word Overall

Young Marathoners, L to R - Jay Kuhne, Phillip
Hamilton, Robert Blunt, Jason Stockdale, John
Hamilton, Natasha Podesser, Michael McKenna
A wonderful array of food was provided by our hard-working organiser Norma Fisher, our photographer Khwanjai Thammaping and me, and this was appreciated by the participants. The menu was long, and at various times included wontons, chicken wings, sandwiches, cakes, antipasto platters, a special jelly dessert made by KJ, breakfast cereal, muffins, raisin toast and many other snacks. At the end of the event one of the players mentioned that she had achieved what she came for - some ratings points and the food! This was Ruth Fewings' fourth appearance at the Marathon, but this year she lost her crown as the oldest player in the field to Beryl Bourne, Ruth's senior by just 2 months. Both lasted the distance easily and also gained ratings points, well done, girls!

The battle of the octogenarians, Ruth Fewings
versus Beryl Bourne

The Ivanovski family - Claire, Oscar & Nick,
returning after several years absence

Visting from interstate - John Rider (Qld)
& David More (NSW), 2nd Rating Band award
The runaway winner David Eldar (who has now won all four Marathons!) kindly donated his prizemonies to the fund to support our international players, thanks, David. He mentioned on arrival that he was tired but it certainly didn't affect his play as he improved as the night wore on, winning 21 of the 24 games played, losing only to Geoff Wright in the third game and twice to Norma Fisher in Rounds 11 and 15, helping Norma achieve a great rating gain of 96 points. In second place was Naween Fernando on 17 wins, with Norma placing third. Norma played the 9 letter word (b)UFfeTING for 88 points, and Naween extended C-------TE to cHLOR(i)NAte in one of his 6 games against David, but sadly it wasn't enough to give him a win.

Sal Costanzo with Heidy Reitbergen,
who stood up well to her first Marathon event

Oliver Podesser and Julie Belle battle it out
in Round 2 of the tournament

Photographer and chef Khwanjai Thammaping
with her yummy vegie wontons
Rating band prizes were awarded for those rated 1330 and under, and Jayden Kuhne, David More and Phillip Hamilton placed 1/2/3 respectively in this category. High Game overall (621) was played by David Eldar, and the High Word award went to Michael Rubinstein for the nine-timer SCREWING (176 points). The highest rating gain overall was achieved by Robert Blunt, the lowest rated player in the event, who went up an amazing 129 points. A highlight was the great game between Norma Fisher (523) and Jayden Kuhne (510) which set 2010 records for the highest combined score and the highest losing score. Well done to all placegetters, and to everyone who played so bravely and amicably - there were no dropouts this year, and the tournament ran smoothly under the guidance of Barry Harridge, who stayed for the midnight feast before catching a few zzz's. Following his departure Jenny Brysha took over computer duties, and apart from one minor glitch resolved by a call to Barry everything was fine.

The overnight computer whiz, Jenny Brysha,
relieving Barry while he slept.

Matte Dunn and Dianne Gibson face off in
their only meeting for the tournament

Helen Maurus, ex Victorian from Queensland
versus old friend and foe Geoff Wright
The last four rounds were KoH, and this number may be reduced in next year's event - to use Anand's word from a previous conversation its rather demoralising to lose six times to the same person in a tournament, as a friend of mine happened to do. Sincere thanks to everyone who helped make the event such a success, particularly Norma, we hope to see you all there next year!

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The Annual Decathon ~ December 29 2009

John Parker & Naween Fernando (Masters 2nd)
register with helper Jack Miller.

The Young Ones - Jayden, Alastair, Natasha,
Jason & Robert.

Marlene Ellis after receiving her badge
for playing 1000 games.
This enjoyable ten game event held at the Box Hill Senior Cits Community Centre saw 62 players in attendance, and we welcomed five NSW players - Karen, Paul and Alastair Richards, and Maree Heynen and David More. We were also pleased to see some Vic players whom we hadn't seen for some time - two worthy of mention are Diane Stoyan and Jason Stockdale. We were pleased to have the services of Jason's dad Chris on computer duty, thanks Chris. Thanks also to Khwanjai for the pics (which are in no particular order), and to all committee members and players who helped with various tasks throughout the day, it does make running a tournament so much easier.
During the day we presented Marlene Ellis, convenor of the Geelong Club, with a badge marking 1000 tournament games played, congratulations Marlene. It was great to have several of our young players competing, and more info on their performances on the day is available on the Youth page - click HERE
A brilliant performance saw Alastair Richards win all 10 games in Masters, two wins ahead of Naween Fernando and three clear of Andrew Fisher. The High Game award went to Jason Stockdale for scoring 545 points, and as Julie Belle aptly commented "He's still got it!!". Another of our young players Natasha Podesser played "TRENISES" for 122 to claim the High Word Award.

The Richards family from NSW - Karen,
Alastair (Masters 1st Place) & Paul.

Sal Costanzo describing the one that got away
to Andrew Fisher, 3rd Place in Masters.

Peter Kougi & Norma Fisher with Jason
Stockdale, now studying at Deakin, Geelong.
Advanced was possibly the most closely-fought section, with Cheryle Jerram the winner on 7.5 wins followed by Khwanjai Thammaping second on 7 wins, separated by margin only from Jayden Kuhne, one of our newer youngsters who is planning to attend the World Youth Championship in the Philipines in 2010. Jayden also recorded the highest rating gain across all sections for the day, gaining a massive 113 points. Doug Ristic scored 564 to record High Game and the High Word award went to Kris Howat for GOOFIEST (140) - both of these were the highest for the day.
Intermediate was also a cliffhanger, with Anne Menheere victorious on 7 wins, half a game ahead of Michael Rubinstein in second place and Pat Weston third on 6 wins. High Game (533) was played by Michael, and the High Word award was a tie between Pat Judd who played QUIVERS, and Stephanie Saunders who played SHIPPER, both scoring 99 points.

Anne Menheere, Intermediate 1st Place
just ahead of Michael Rubinstein.

Carole Eden (1st Recreation) with husband
Mal, staunch supporters of Scrabble.

Maree Heynen (second Recreation) and
David More, both visiting from NSW.
Recreation saw Carole Eden take out first prize with 9 wins, with Maree Heynen (NSW) second on 8 wins, and third place going to Rob York on 6 wins. High Game (458) was played by Marisa Nuccitelli, and Marisa also shared the prize for High Word with THRIVED (90), tying with Lina Camilleri who played GROUSER.

The Malcolm family - Chile with Lovelia,
and Harry with Zev

Lina Camilleri (equal High Word Recreation)
with Zev and Harry Malcolm

Frank Csarics versus Peter Kougi, with Andrew
and Naween joining in the post mortem.
We were delighted to receive a visit from Chile and Harry Malcom and our future scrabblers Lovelia and Zev, and many congratulated Chile on the personal milestone of her 40th birthday - Happy Birthday, Chile, it was lovely to see you all on such a special day.

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