~ News Archive 2014 ~

The Decathon, at the end of 2014!

After a rocky start due to various problems, sorted out for us by our ACT visitor John Hamilton, sixty-four players settled down to contest the 2014 Decathon - ten games x 22 minutes per player were scheduled, and the field was divided into three divisions. We welcomed Jess Weaver who was playing her first tournament and did very well, winning four games and achieving a provisional rating of 683. Well done, Jess! Also welcomed were the travelling Richards family from Queensland, Karen, Paul and Alastair. Ex Victorian Helen Hynes nee Maurus joined us from Queensland, and is looking forward to an addition to the family in May. All the best to you and Shane, Helen! Victorian Brendan Scanlon returned to tournament play after an eight year absence and acquitted himself very well, gaining 13 ratings points in a tough field in Division A. As mentioned above the president of the Scrabble Association in the Australian Capital Territory, John Hamilton, joined us after a tiring bus trip, thanks for your help, John. Last but not least David Eldar flew in from the UK for a family visit and some Scrabble, its good to see you, David.

Division A: David Eldar, Carmel Doney, Mythili
Rudra, Anand Bharadwaj & Alastair Richards

Division B: Wayne Stoyan, Lainie Mercieca,
Julie Belle & Anne Bingham

Division C: Elizabeth McKean and Mal Eden,
several missing from this photo.
DIVISION A saw David Eldar triumph on 9 wins (although tired, jetlag didn't seem to affect his game skills!) ahead of Alastair Richards and busy whiz-kid Anand Bharadwaj, both on 7 wins. Carmel Doney played REQUEST for 129 points in Game 1 and this stood as the High Word score for the day, nice play, Carmel. Mythili Rudra had a wonderful game score of 600 in Game 6, to the chagrin of Chris Scholten, who thought this may have been his lowest recorded loss, but on checking the archives I find its not, Chris! Well done, Mythili, a great game from you.
In DIVISION B the runaway winner was Lainie Mercieca, who won all ten games, a feat not achieved in the Decathon since Alastair Richards won in 2009. Lainie had been uncertain whether she was well enough to play, but after arriving and helping set up she decided she was happy to play, and she's very pleased she did! Second and third places were filled by Julie Belle and Wayne Stoyan, both winning eight games. Anne Bingham scored 518 to win the High Game award for Div B, and the High Word award went to Julie Belle for her play of STANDING for 149 points, well done all, this was a tough division indeed.
DIVISION C saw some excellent scrabble played by Mal Eden who won 8 games, ahead of Dorothy Barraclough by margin alone. Due to a computer glitch Dorothy almost missed out on playing, and was very pleased she did! Third place was awarded to Anne Menheere on 7 wins, the High Game Award went to Liz McKean for an excellent score of 496, and Marjorie Clark played MUNCHIES for 104 points to win the High Word award.

Ten-game winner in Division B, Lainie Mercieca

New player on the day, Jess Weaver

Anand Bharadwaj plays David Eldar, Game 5
Great ratings gains were recorded by Lainie Mercieca who gained a massive 89 points, Balada Catanchin +58, Wayne Stoyan +57, Julie Belle +56, Mal Eden +42, and Dorothy Barraclough +40. Good play, all, and thank you for the spirit in which all games were played.
Also thank you to everyone who assisted on the day, including those who helped to set up the room and the tiles, and tidy up at the end of the day to the strains of Old Man River, beautifully sung by Rob York. Also our thanks to Lalitha Sundaresan for donating her services as Computer Operator, and to Norma Fisher who made herself available at no charge as the Standby Player for the day, but sadly wasn't required to play to even up the numbers - sorry, Norma!!
To see the full results of the tournament click HERE
Happy New Year to all, and Happy Scrabbling in 2015, we hope its a good year for all!

The Frankston North Tournament #2, December 7, 2014

Forty six players gathered to play in this year's second Frankston North tournament, and organiser Ray Alford welcomed Shirley de Silva from Sri Lanka who is visiting family in Melbourne. Ray also welcomed back Jimmy Scarff after a break of more than two years. Jimmy was pleased to be back amongst friends, and his scrabble skills are still formidable! Seven games were played, and Jimmy took first prize in MASTERS with 5.5 wins, followed by Harry Malcolm and Natasha Podesser, both on 5 wins. Norma Fisher collected the High Game prize for her score of 571, and the High Word prize was won by Rod Casey for playing EXPIATED for 114 points, definitely the highlight of Rod's day!
ADVANCED saw the continuing climb up the ratings ladder of Lorraine Thomas, who won 5 games ahead of three others also on 5 wins - in order - Mary McMahon, Diane Stoyan and Wayne Stoyan. I believe Wayne actually won his game against Diane, which would do little to enhance the relationship! The High Game prize went to Mary McMahon for her score of 507, and Jenny Brysha was delighted to play BAPTIZE for 138 points to collect the High Word prize, the highest word score for the day.

Masters: Natasha Podesser, Harry
Malcolm, Norma Fisher,
Jimmy Scarff

Advanced: Diane Stoyan, Lorraine
Thomas, and Jenny Brysha, with
the Christmas tree

Serious play - KJ v Rob Hutchinson,
Tam Dasika v Mal Eden, and Marisa
Nuccitelli v Balada Catanchin

Something different - Jimmy Scarff
recorded his five bonus words on his
result slip - good plays, Jimmy
INTERMEDIATE was also closely contested, with some fine play ensuring the win went to Tam Dasika on five wins, as were second and third placed Betty Egan and Oliver Podesser, well done, all. Oliver played a great game to take out the High Game prize with a score of 474, and the High Word prize went to Mohammed Hegazi who played TANGLED for a score of 97.
RECREATION was won by Elize Plaganyi, the only person on the day to register 6 wins...well done, Elize. Second on 5 wins was Marisa Nuccitelli, ahead of her good friend Balada Catanchin on 4 wins. Both the High Game and High Word prizes went to Elizabeth McKean for her score of 503 and her play of CORKIER for 107 points. Great plays, Liz, I note that this was your sixth "500+" game, a great achievement.

Intermediate: Tam Dasika, Oliver
Podesser, Mohammed Hegazi and
Betty Egan

Recreation: Elizabeth McKean,
Rena Aitken, Elize Plaganyi and
Marisa Nuccitelli

Del Stitz plays John van der Schoor,
with Fay Boxshall playing Mary Mackie
at the next board

Busy: Rob York tidying up, while
Khwanjai snaps Natasha Podesser,
with Santa looking on......
Of note were the ratings gains achieved by these players, well done, everyone - Wayne Stoyan +41, Marisa Nuccitelli +36, Elize Plaganyi +34, Tam Dasika +31, Diane Stoyan +31, Harry Malcolm +29 and Betty Egan +29.
Thank you to all who helped out on the day, as always your assistance is greatly appreciated by all.

The A.G.M. Tournament, November 23, 2014

Melbourne Online Scrabble Players meeting face to face:
Khwanjai, Mardi, Marisa, Gwen, Balada, Dominica & Liz.

Siva Sivapalasundram with
Geoff Wright

Lina Camilleri and Norma Engel
signing the card for Carol
After 7 games and an interesting Annual General Meeting the 66 players who competed were rather tired, with some happy and others not so happy, as usual. Following several secret ballots the following were elected to serve on the Committee for the coming 12 months - the President is Carol Johnsen who is recuperating from surgery and was not able to attend, and many members signed a get well card to wish her well in her recovery. Vice-president is Norma Fisher, Secretary Gwen Lampre (the title "secretary" now refers to the former Public Officer's position), and the Treasurer is Mal Eden. Ordinary Committee Members are Natasha Podesser, Rob York, Trevor Halsall, Barry Harridge and Marj Miller. It is wonderful to have some new faces serving Scrabble in Victoria. We welcomed back Siva Sivapalasundram who last played in 2006, and we trust that you enjoyed your day, Siva.
In Masters Andrew Fisher proved too strong for the opposition, winning five games ahead of Barry Harridge and Gwen Lampre, both also on five. Andrew scored 535 to win the award for High Game, and the High Word award went to Lorraine Thomas for her play of MEANEST for 102 points.
Advanced was won well by Elaine Capewell, with six wins and a margin of +493. Next came four players on 5 wins, with the best of these being Ann Hagley and Diane Stoyan. The High Game award also went to Elaine, who scored 503. Cheryle Jerram's play of IDOLIZE for 110 points secured her the High Word award.

Masters: Barry Harridge, Lorraine
Thomas & Andrew Fisher

Adv: Elaine Capewell, Ann Hagley,
Diane Stoyan, Cheryle Jerram

Carole Eden with husband Mal,
the new Treasuruer

Looking very relaxed, Rob Hutchinson
with Rob York
Intermediate was won by new committee member Rob York, who was delighted to win all seven games, a stellar performance, Rob! Second place went to John Parker on five, with incoming treasurer Mal Eden third on 4 wins. Mal also won the High Game award for a score of 547, the highest overall for the day, and Dot Rice played WEARING for 92 points to achieve the High Word award.
Recreation was quite keenly fought out, with Mohammed Hegazi victorious on six wins, ahead of Dominica Krstic and Elize Plaganyi both on five wins. Marjorie Clark collected both the High Game and High Word awards, scoring 509 and playing QUASHED for 104 points, well done, Marjorie!

Internediate: Rob York, Dorothy Rice
& John Parker

Rec: Elize Plaganyi & Dominica
Krstic, 3rd and 2nd respectively

Six of the committee: Natasha, Gwen,
Rob, Norma, Marj and Barry

Friends Geoff Wright and Jenny
Brysha - pleased to se each other
Excellent ratings gains were recorded by Rob York +64, Gwen Lampre +52, Ann Hagley +46, Barry Harridge +44, Diane Stoyan +42, Sandra Masel +41, Elaine Capewell +40, Mohammed Hegazi +38, and Elize plaganyi +33.
Well done everyone, there were some great plays on the day! Thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping and Nick Ivanovski for the photos, and also to everyone who attended and helped to make the tournament a success.
To see the full results of the tournament click HERE

Craig Beevers wins the Mind Sports International World Championships played November 19 – 23, at the ExCeL London Exhibition and Convention Centre. Congratulations to Craig, a great result....
Click here for more details

Second placed Chris Lipe v winner Craig Beevers, on the right
Here is a great report from Nick Ivanovski....thanks, Nick!
Two weeks ago, the second Scrabble Champions Tournament, organized by MSI, took place in London. Over 100 players took part over a 24 game preliminary round to determine the 8 quarter finalists who played out the final two days. The top 8 would contend with a knockout format as the ultimate winner battled it out in a Grand Final over the best of 5 games.
Words continued to flow and many great games ensued; there were sizeable victories and “shock” upsets. The reigning champion did not make the final 8 and Australia had 3 reps in the QFs (including Victorian, David Eldar).

From the MSIC webage.
Even those who viewed from afar could experience the vibe as social media played its part in providing a window into the world that is premier international Scrabble. Those who watched on could view streamed games on MSI TV featuring players from all around the world – global Scrabble had a place in the world media as the BBC World Service debated whether Scrabble was a sport on the Saturday of the tournament. The media (traditional and social) played an important part in the spectator’s enjoyment of the occasion and one the organizers and players should be commended for!
Back to the action with the final two days and unfortunately, neither of the 3 Aussies made it past the QFs (David Eldar, Chris May and Alastair Richards bowing out; live commentary noted Chris being able to play SAXIFRAGE in his QF game, which was a standout play to that time. By the time the final was reached on Sunday evening Melbourne time, Craig Beevers of the UK took on Chris Lipe from the US in the Grand Final. After a tense start (with many of the online chatters noting the missed opening bonus from AAMNOO?), the endgame of Game 1 provided tos and fros that kept its audience enthralled.
In the end, Craig Beevers won the SCT and spent the next couple of days in prominent UK media interviews. Congratulations to Craig and may the next instalment of these tournaments provide the enjoyment and the engagement successfully presented in London over those 5 days!! Nick

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The Geelong Tournament, in The Captains Room at the Geelong Football Club ~ November 9, 2014

Game 2 in progress...in the foreground Raelene Owen from Geelong plays Ian Martin from Ballarat

The Geelong football ground

As often happens these days entries were rather slow coming in but when play started we had 42 competing, exactly the same as last year's event. We were in a different area at the Club, this time in the spacious and comfortable Captains Room, with a lovely view over the battleground where the Cats take on allcomers in their Australian Football League matches, and generally do very well! They have a proud history, and many keen supporters.
The main change in arrangements, apart from the room, was the decision of the new management not to allow the provision of the usual biscuits and sweets to enjoy with a cup of tea, but this may have been good for us anyway! Many ate a substantial and enjoyable lunch in the Cats Bistro, or ordered salad sandwiches which were lovely and fresh. Congrats to the Geelong Club members for running such a pleasant event under more difficult circumstances than usual, with special thanks to Club Convenor Marlene Ellis and members Mary McMahon and Anne Menheere, and my apologies to those I've missed! The Club meets on Saturday afternoons, 1.30 pm at the Scots Presbyterian Church Hall, cnr Pakington & Waratah Streets in Geelong West, and they would welcome some new players - all welcome!

Masters: Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher
and Dianne Gibson

Advanced: Paula Messer, Rob Hutchinson,
Janet Bau, Mary MaMahon

The large photo display in the Captains Room,
above the main bar
In MASTERS Norma Fisher was too strong for the opposition, winning five games ahead of Carol Johnsen on four, and John Rider on three. Norma's score of 534 was enough to gain her the High Game award, and Dianne Gibson played the lovely 9-timer THORNIER to win the High Game Award. Good play, Di!
ADVANCED saw a strong performance from Mary McMahon who won five games, followed by Rob Hutchinson on four wins and playing good scrabble on his return from travelling the world. Third place was won by Janet Bau (also on four wins) who had to wait till all results were in to confirm her third place. Diane Stoyan won the High Game Award with a score of 513, and Paula Messer played QUIDS for 110 points to claim the High Word Award.

Intermediate players: Dorothy Barraclough,
Rob York and Betty Egan

Recreation: Balada Catanchin, Marisa
Nuccitelli, Elize Plaganyi & Eileen Mills

Presentations: Mary McMahon with the Geelong
Scrabble Club Convenor, Marlene Ellis
In INTERMEDIATE Rob York, as always in a happy and helpful mood, was too strong for his opponents, winning five ahead of Dorothy Barraclough and Mal Eden, both on four wins. Betty Egan's score of 459 gained her the High Game Award, and Rob York played FERNERY for 95 points to claim the High Word Award.
RECREATION eventually saw victory to Elize Plaganyi after a wrongly entered score was corrected, my apologies to all, especially Eileen Mills for the mistake. Elize finished on 5 wins, ahead on margin only from Eileen Mills, with Marisa Nuccitelli in third place on 4 wins. The High Game Award went to Balada Catanchin for her score of 445, and Del Stitz played BITTERS for 87 to win the High Word Award.
Well done to everyone on your excellent plays and demeanour, and here are the people who gained lots of ratings points, always a great achievement! Eileen Mills +38, Mary McMahon +31, Rob York +30, Norma Fisher +29, Janet Bau, Carole Eden and Elize Plaganyi all gained 27 points, and Marisa Nuccitelli went up 23

To see the full results click HERE

The Trans Tasman Challenge in Wellington, New Zealand ~ Oct 31/Nov1/2, 2014

The Australians, from the left: Karen Richards, Naween Fernando, Matte Dunn,
Carmel Dodd, Bob Jackman, Rod Talbot, Russell Honeybun, John Spaan, Adam
Kretschmer, Esther Perrins, Tony Hunt & Ron Baginski.

The New Zealanders, from the left: John Foster, Lyres Freeth,
Patrick Carter, Peter Sinton, Scott Chaput, Blue Thorogood,
Nick Cavenagh, Howard Warner, Joanne Craig, Lynne Butler, Liz
Fagerlund, with Mike Sigley in front.
At the end of Day One New Zealand are leading the Australians by four, after 96 games played. We'll see what the next couple of days bring - and in the individual standings Patrick Carter from NZ leads Howard Warner (NZ) with Russell Honeybun (Aust) in third place. There are still 192 games to play over Saturday and Sunday, so anything can happen...
At the halfway mark Australia lead by 6 games after a good morning's play! Thank you to Glenda Foster for the regular updates sent to our Ozscrabble list, its certainly keeping us up to date!
Day Two is over, and the two teams remain locked in battle, with Australia leading by the narrow margin of two games, 97:95. Joanne Craig from the New Zealand team has climbed to the top of the individual table on 12 wins, well done, Jo! With 96 more games to play tomorrow it will be interesting to see the final outcome....
Day Three is underway, and after Round 19 New Zealand lead by one game after an excellent round, winning it 9 games to 3. Four New Zealanders are at the top of the individual table, with Joanne Craig leading Nick Cavenagh by 1.5 games.
After Round 21 the battle lines are drawn! Australia lead by just one game, with three to play!
Here are some comments from Glenda Foster after Round 22.....9-3 to Australia and a lead of 7. High individual score to date is Naween’s 637 against Joanne, with an aggregate of 1068. High words reported to date are: NERVING – John Foster, ALPHORNS – Howard Warner, ANSWERER – Naween Fernando, and Adam Kretschmer now leads Joanne Craig by a small margin....

Adam Kretschmer accepts the Cup....
Just 12 games left to play, and New Zealand won Round 23, 8 games to 4. Howard Warner from NZ has now taken the individual lead from Adam Kretschmer, and there are four at the top on 16 wins - Howard, Adam, Joanne Craig and Russell Honeybun. Here are some comments from Glenda - "Round 23: NZ 8-4. Australia leads by 3. NZ want at least 8-4 in the last round to guarantee a win and Australia needs to stop them."
Here are Glenda's words after Round 24: "Australia wins 7-5 and retains the shield. Individual winner is Adam Kretschmer on 17 wins and a slender spread differential of 7 points to Joanne Craig. Joanne was best New Zealand player." Third placed was Howard Warner (NZ) with Esther Perrins (Aus) and Russell Honeybun (Aus) fourth and fifth, all three on 16 wins. The only draw for the event helped Nick Cavenagh (NZ) to take sixth spot on 15.5 wins.
Well done, Australia and Adam Kretschmer! And thank you again, Glenda, for your regular posts, and to all the New Zealanders who helped with running the event! Travel safely, everyone.
To study the full results click HERE

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Coaching Session at the Nunawading Scrabble Club, Mitcham ~ October 21, 2014

Carol Johnsen with Andrew Fisher, Naween
Fernando and Trevor Halsall

David Valentine, composer, singer & guitarist
singing his composition "Nariel Creek"

Interested attendees, Yvonne and Denis
May from Croydon, with Mal Eden
Thank you to Cheryle Jerram for opening the Club for this event, and to the Members of ASPA (Vic) who presented the session - Trevor Halsall, Naween Fernando and Andrew Fisher, it was appreciated by those who attended. Here are Khwanjai Thammaping's thoughts on the event, thanks Khwanjai, and also for the photos!
My few hours break from study on Tuesday 21 October to attend the Scrabble Coaching Clinic in Mitcham, Melbourne, was pretty interesting: meeting new friends, one from MOSP on Facebook - (Melbourne Online Scrabble Players), experiencing what outsiders think of Scrabble thru the song "Nariel Creek" by composer David Valentine who popped up with his guitar before the coaching started, learning "Common Errors in Competitive Scrabble" (I didn't realise that they are errors) and the most interesting session (for me) was the games between Andrew Fisher & Naween Fernando when everyone tried their best to give them "a thought" and the answers were "Yes", "No", "More likely" and "Would rather be".

Nunawading Club Convenor Cheryle Jerram,
with Kath Poloso and June Valentine

Having a break - the club room is spacious,
cool in summer, warm in winter...all welcome!

June Valentine in front, Norma Fisher, Cheryle
Jerram and Geoff Shepheard
On the way back home while I was waiting for the train at Mitcham station, I got a chance to talk to two security officers who were patrolling around the station and learnt that one of them played Scrabble at home with his young son (of course I mentioned about our young Anand) and the other officer showed me his iphone with "Words with Friends". I said to myself "Scrabble is just around the corner, like 7-Eleven!"

The Nunawading Club meets at 7pm on Tuesdays, and everyone is welcome to attend, at 16 Station Street, Mitcham, very close to the Mitcham Railway Station - Melways Map 48 J9

South Australia defeat Victoria, for the fourth year in a row! October 18/19 2014

This was a happy weekend in Horsham, with great camaraderie between the opposing teams - 21 from South Australia, and 19 from Victoria, with all games played between the two states counting towards the team tallies. South Australia proved just too strong - the final score was 99-91, congratulations to the South Aussies!

The Victorious South Australians!

The Vanquished Victorians, not looking too unhappy!

Paula Brown (SA) plays Chris Scholten (Vic)

Dieter Jedamski (Vic), concentrating!

Helen Jones (SA) v Barry Harridge (Vic)

Balada Catanchin and Marisa Nuccitelli (Vic)

Our representatives for the Trans Tasman Challenge, Oct 31 - Nov 1/2

Matte Dunn,

Fernando, Vic
A team of 12 Aussies will travel to Wellington, New Zealand, for the challenge - our Aussies are Esther Perrins, Naween Fernando, Bob Jackman, Ron Baginski, Rod Talbot, Russell Honeybun, Adam Kretschmer, Matte Dunn, Tony Hunt, Carmel Dodd, John Spaan and Karen Richards, and we wish them all good luck in Wellington.
The New Zealand team comprises Blue Thorogood, Howard Warner, Nick Cavenagh, Joanne Craig, Lyres Freeth, Peter Sinton, Mike Sigley, John Foster, Patrick Carter, Liz Fagerlund, Scott Chaput and Lynne Butler, and this sounds like some strong opposition for our team!

Fun at the Seniors Week Scrabble Day Out ~ Thursday October 9, 2014

Once again Tam and Sita Dasika organised a very pleasant day at the Mount Waverley Golden Age Community Centre, with over fifty happy scrabble players enjoying three games of scrabble in groups of four or six, with each group named after a breed of dog.

Many players from the Victorian Scrabble Association played, with many of the general public playing for the first time, and many returning from previous years - all enjoyed the day out and our hosts worked hard to keep us well nourished, with lovely sandwiches and hot food at lunch time, and we thank them for their efforts. Thank you also to Carol Johnsen for her computer work, and Norma Fisher, Cheryle Jerram and others for their help, it was appreciated by all.

The large photo shows the winners of all sections, and some who won prizes for playing highest words, or achieving excellent game scores. The others give an indication of the happy atmosphere on the day, with all enjoying the company and the games.

The Annual Mount Martha Tournament ~ October 5, 2014

Thanks to Tournament Organiser Julie Belle and the members of the Mount Martha Club (all great cooks!) for a lovely day out, it was great! Here is a report from Julie, thanks Julie, this is appreciated!
Many thanks to all the participants who came from far and wide to join us today at the 8th Mt Martha scrabble tournament. This year we were at a different venue, the St Francis Xavier Church Hall which proved to be a success ...helped also by the gorgeous weather that enabled the participants to spill out into the sunshine.
We welcomed two new novices today, Libby Nelson and Priscilla Kopp who both learnt the ropes quickly and played well.

Recreation: Priscilla Kopp, Edith
Wilson, Libby Nelson, Geoff Gittus,
Marisa Nuccitelli

Intermediate: Mal Eden, Brenda
Thurgar, Glen Chandler, and John

Fun in Advanced: Katie Rowe,
Lorraine Thomas & Angie

Masters: Dianne Davis, Marj
Miller, Carmel Doney, Norma
Fisher and Gwen Lampre
In Recreation today Marisa Nuccitelli and Libby Nelson both played very well with four wins each and a very close margin, coming 3rd and 2nd respectively. Geoff Gittus led the field with a mighty 6 straight wins...fantastic! Libby Nelson was on fire at her 1st tournament...not only best novice and 2nd placing but also a high game score of 424. She was also a winner in our eyes after making the most delicious vanilla slices for morning tea!
Intermediate's Mal Eden did a fine job to achieve high word with 'bitsers' for 96. John Parker impressed with high game as well as taking out first prize with 5 wins...well done on both counts John.Followed by Brenda Thurgar in 2nd place and Glen Chandler in 3rd place, both with 4 wins each. Well done ladies!
Congratulations to Elaine Capewell in Advanced for winning High Word with 'welting' for 92 points. Katie Rowe had a great day achieving a high game score of 549 as well as taking 3rd place with 4 wins...good on you Katie:) 2nd place was awarded to Lorraine Thomas with 5 wins...well done Lorraine. The 1st place prize in Advanced today went to Angie Pearse with 5 wins...good work Angie.
Moving onto Masters...Marj Miller had a great word for her High word win with 'meerkat' earning her 89 points...well done Marj. Gwen Lampre scored a very commendable 592 points to win High Game. Congrats to Norma Fisher who came 3rd with four wins...just pipped at the post by Dianne Davis who also had 4 wins ...well done to you both. .....and in first place....with 5 wins...a brilliant day for Carmel Doney who was playing up in Masters. Great work:)

Fun in the sun at lunchtime with
Geoff Gittus and Gwen Lampre

The end of the day - Julie Belle
tidying up, well done, Julie & Co.
A huge thank you as always to Carol Johnsen for keeping the day running very smoothly as tournament director. Many, many thanks to all the ladies from the Mt Martha Scrabble Club for making the day such a success with their delicious home made goodies...particularly in light of daylight saving starting today thus an early start indeed to keep us all well fed! Many great contributions were also made for the lucky door prize...won by Mohammed Hegazi...congratulations....and also towards the general prize pool. A few faces were sadly unable to come and were missed including our Club Convenor Marj Barnes, Jeannie Jones, Marion Kearsley and Mary McMahon. We hope to see you all again next year, many thanks Julie:)

To see the full results of the tournament click HERE

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Scrabble at The Transplant Games, September 29 2014

These were held at the light and spacious Middle Park Bowling Club, and one of our members Lainie Mercieca, pictured above, very capably took charge of the Scrabble Games played on the day, organising the participants so that each of them played three games in the time available. The winner received a beautiful hamper from Pamper Gifts, donated by Lainie, and a lovely prize indeed! Thanks to Lainie for the time and effort spent in promoting Scrabble, I'm sure it was a happy day for all.

The Annual Essendon Tournament ~ September 28, 2014

Below is a report from first-time Tournament Organiser, Rob York - well done Rob and the Essendon Club members, and thank you all for another very pleasant tournament, and the lovely cakes and yummy sausage rolls! Thanks also to Lois Binnie from all her fellow Scrabble players for her contribution as Tournament Director and Organiser over many years, it is appreciated!
Phew!! It's been a great deal of work, but the Essendon Tournament has been completed, without any major problems (or minor ones, except for the Chocolate Birthday cake I left at home!) Whilst attendance was down on last year, counting apologies and the absent super-masters, we had almost as many as for the 2013 Essendon Tournament! Lois Binnie warned me how much I would have to do, although with Norma prepping the books, Carol J on the mic, and Marj Miller taking the load of TD, assisted by Lainie Mercieca on the computer, I'm pretty sure I had it easy!

Masters: Carol Johnsen, Barbara Berlin,
Harry Malcolm & Heather Long

Advanced: Carmel Doney, Julie Belle, Angie
Pearse, Paula Messer, & Dianne Gibson in front

Play underway at Box Hill on a very windy but
mild to warm spring day - lovely
In the Masters Section, Carol Johnsen continued her return to form with 6 wins(+42). Barbara Berlin took second place (4/+482) as well as High Game (582), and Heather Long (4/+308) placed in third. Harry Malcolm took home the High Word prize with SALVETE for 102 points. Advanced was picked clean by Dianne Gibson with a perfect 7 wins (+453), with Julie Belle second (5/+88) and Carmel Doney third (5/+34). Angie Pearse with 558 took High Game, and Paula Messer played ESQUIRE for a very tidy 124 points.

Inter: Glenys Dettmann & Farida Akbarally,
visiting from Sri Lanka after a 7 year break

Recreation: Lorna Patching, Rena Aitken, Ann
Goodwin & Balada Catanchin

Afternoon visitors - Nick Ivanovski with his
very tired son, and Natasha Podesser
With sixteen players, Intermediate was awash with talent, but the player with the true wild card was our international visitor, Farida Akbarally... Six wins and a margin of +404 gave Farida 1st place, ahead of Glenys Dettmann (6/+68) and third place Marlene Ellis (5/+138) who is on a play-up charge for permanent promotion out of Recreation!! High Game was taken by John Taylor (the Essendon Tournament Specialist!) whilst High Word went to Gillian Renwick with JOCKEYS for 94. Recreation was blitzed by Ann Goodwin with a margin of +546, 7 wins and High Word (SQUIRES for 102). Balada Catanchin (5/+89) came in second and Lorna Patching (4/+236) finished third. After her first 500+ game 20 tournaments ago, Rena Aitken backed up with 551 to take High Game!
Impressive ratings gains were achieved by Dianne Gibson (+60), Glenys Dettmann (+57), Marlene Ellis & Ann Goodwin (both +53) and Carol Johnsen (+43). My special thanks go to all at the Essendon Scrabble Club, for their support, good-natured teasing and the superb baked goods! I only hope that next year we can have a bigger, better tournament!! Rob Y

To see the full results of the tournament click HERE

The International Fundraiser #2 ~ September 14, 2014 at Box Hill

Division A winners - Julie Belle,
Nick Ivanovski, Lainie Mercieca

Well played in Div B - Paula Messer,
Carol Mascitti, Geoff Shepheard

Happy winners in Division C - Elize
Plaganyi and Balada Catanchin

The action at Table 1, Game 1 -
Jenny Brysha plays Bridget Halge
Forty players gathered at the Box Hill Centre to contest the three sections organised, and it was a generally pleasant day's scrabble. Standby player Carol Johnsen played the first three games, but dropped out to keep the numbers even when one player went home at lunch time. After expenses were met $515 was raised, a commendable effort, and we thank all who supported the cause.

A reconstruction of Carol Mascitti's great
play: "SQUEALED" for 212 points
In Division A Nick Ivanovski won all 7 games, well done, Nick! The battle for second place was intense as the next seven players finished on four wins, with the best of these being Julie Belle, followed by Lainie Mercieca. Both girls were very pleased with their efforts, as Lainie mentioned "it's quite some time since I was on the podium!" Nick's score of 538 won him the High Game prize, and his play of ASSIZER for 131 gained him the High Word chocolate.
Division B saw Dorothy Barraclough lose her first game, but recover to win the next six, a great effort, Dorothy. In second and third places were Paula Messer and Geoff Shepheard, each winning 5 games. Paula scored 574 to win the High Game award, and the highlight of the day was Carol Mascitti's great play of SQUEALED for 212 points, a nine-timer through an "A" on the top row. Well done, Carol!
In Division C the winner was ecstatic - Balada Catanchin won 6 games to achieve her dream of winning her section, followed by Elize Plaganyi and Marjorie Clark in second and third places respectively on 5 wins. Marjorie scored 470 to win High Game, and also played FLOWERS for 125 to achieve the High Word award. Good play, everyone!
Great ratings gains were achieved by Balada Catanchin +50, Dorothy Barraclough +44, Nick Ivanovski +37, Glen Chandler +32 and Eileen Mills +30, after returning from a few months break.
To check the full results of the tournament click HERE

Cameron Farlow from Queensland is the 2014 Masters Champ, and New South Wales is the Premier Team!

Cameron had a great start, winning his first 7 games. This followed on from a streak of wins in Queensland to create a new Australian record of 28 wins in a row. Wow! But then it went up-and-down for him, dropping to 5th place, then climbing the ladder again. Cameron finally caught up with Trevor Halsall (Vic) who had been leading for Rounds 8-18. Trevor came in second with Esther Perrins (NSW) 3rd, Andrew Fisher (Vic) 4th, Naween Fernando (Vic) 5th and Peter Kougi (Vic) 6th. Congratulations, Cameron, a well deserved win! And well done, everyone else....

Round 6 - Cameron Farlow
and Edie Mueller from W.A.

Naween Fernando congratulates
Cam Farlow after Game 18

Round 14 - Andrew Fisher plays
Trevor Halsall

More Rd 14 action - Helen Hynes
versus Dianne Brumby
The State Team Challenge was won by the daunting New South Wales team who finished just half a game clear of the strong Australian Capital Territory team, followed by Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Well done to New South Welshmen Victor Tung, Rocky Sharma and Ryan Sutton - and congrats to Ryan who also won the title as top of the individual standings within the Teams Event, the best of the 21 contestants - an impressive achievement, indeed!

The triumphant New South Wales
team - Ryan Sutton, Victor Tung
& Rocky Sharma - the team won by
just half a game - congrats, guys

Ollie Jenner-O'Shea, Daniel
Piechnick, Susan Roberts, Tony
Hunt, Natasha Podesser and Adam

Saturday night - some Victorians
ready for dinner -
Mythili Rudra, Peter Kougi &
Naween Fernando

The serious faces of Scrabble -
closest to the camera, Adam
Kretschmer v Trevor Tao, Peter
Kougi v Andrew Fisher
Barry Harridge's role as Tournament Director and Webmaster was appreciated, and all reports compliment South Australia on their hosting of this prestigious event. Scrabble in South Australia appears to be in a very healthy state under the guidance of Jane Taylor and Adam Kretschmer, and their willing band of members assisted in many ways, both with the organisation and annotation of games etc. Thanks to Barry for most of the excellent pics, and to Bob Jackman for the great one of the team.
To check the results of both events click HERE

September 13/14 - click here to follow the Australian Masters & the State Team Challenge, in Adelaide

Most of Australia's top players will gather at the Adelaide Theosophical Society at 310 South Terrace to contest these great events, and well done to the team from South Australia for organising the event, and to Barry Harridge who has meticulously updated the qualification standings over the past year. Barry will travel to Adelaide to direct the event, so good luck to all.
Play starts at 9am both days, with ten games on Saturday and nine on Sunday. The emergency numbers are 0431 666 228 or 0408 981 833.
Here is a rogues' gallery of our Victorian players who will take part - the first six are contesting the Masters, and the other three form our Victorian team. Good luck, everyone!










Jack Durand from the U.K. is the 2014 World Youth Scrabble Champion! Click here for more news

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International Fundraiser #1, August 24th 2014

Forty six players took part in this 7 game event, and as we were raising some money to support our two players Naween Fernando and Matte Dunn who are travelling to New Zealand to compete in the Trans Tasman Challenge later in the year we used NZ place names as titles for the three sections - Auckland, Bunnythorpe and Christchurch. We had an extra prize donated by Elizabeth McKean (thanks, Liz!) and this was won by Sue Bridges for playing the word KIWI as the best word referring to New Zealand.
Thanks to all who played for supporting this event, and also purchasing some wonderfully priced books from the great book sale organised by Norma Fisher and Carol Johnsen - the final total raised on the day was $645, and the generosity of everyone present was appreciated.

The happy winners of Auckland section:
Carol Johnsen, Nick Ivanovski and
Lorraine Thomas

More happy faces, Bunnythorpe section:
Carol Mascitti, Geoff Shepheard,
Julie Belle, Anne Bingham

Well done in Christchurch section!
Liz McKean, Dominica Krstic and
Gianna Devcic
It was fortunate that our standby player Carol Johnsen was needed to compete to avoid a bye as she and Nick Ivanovski, who was miserable with a heavy cold, played a draw in "Auckland", giving them 6.5 wins each with Nick winning the section on the day by just 71 margin points - wow! Third placed was Jane Taylor from South Australia on 5 wins - we had welcomed Jane, the S.A. President, earlier in the day - lovely to have a visit from you, Jane. The High Game Award went to Carol Johnsen for a score of 502, and Lorraine Thomas played REQUEST for 108 points to win the High Word chocolate.
In "Bunnythorpe" the competition was equally fierce, with a rapidly improving Geoff Shepheard in first place on 6 wins, followed by Anne Bingham (also improving still!) on 5.5, with Julie Belle third on 5 wins. Carol Mascitti did well to collect both the High Game and High Word prizes, scoring 536 for High Game and playing WATCHING for 110 points for High Word.
"Christchurch" saw a happy Dominica Krstic place first, winning 6, with Elizabeth McKean second on 5, and third place went to Gianna Devcic, also on 5. Gianna also won the High Game award for a score of 447, and Liz McKean played REFINES for 89 to take home the High Word chocolate.

Balada Catanchin and Mary Mackie
working hard in "Christchurch"

Serious scrabble in "Bunnythorpe"
Carol Mascitti plays Marlene Ellis

"Auckland" section, with Mary McMahon
playing Dianne Gibson
Great ratings gains were achieved by Geoff Shepheard +56, Carol Johnsen +54, Glenys Dettmann +42, Dominica Krstic +40, Elizabeth McKean +38, Nick Ivanovski +37, and Anne Bingham +35.Well done, everyone, and thanks to all who helped on the day - your assistance is appreciated.
To see the full results of the tournament click HERE

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See below for the final standings in the 2014 Victorian Matchplay, as at August 24

The finalists, taken at Box
Hill last year - Peter Kougi
watches Mythili Rudra's play

Matchplay 1st round action -
Gwen Lampre plays Lynn Weaver
at the Balwyn Club

More 1st round action - Julie
Belle plays Harry Malcolm, early
on a cold morning at Box Hill

A semi final, played at the
Bentleigh Club: Natasha
Podesser plays Peter Kougi
Congratulations to Peter on his first win in the Matchplay, a good effort. Here is a short report, thanks, Peter, and again well done!
The 2014 Victorian Matchplay competition concluded this weekend with myself facing final debutant Mythili in the best of 9 final. Prior to this we had played 689 face-to-face games, so were quite familiar with each other's playing style! It was an enjoyable, seesawing affair. Mythili fought valiantly and with the match at 4-3 to me did well to play a decent endgame under time pressure in game 8, but 10 points lost due to 2 earlier unsuccessful challenges meant she fell short by 3 agonising points, giving me a 5-3 win.
The games between Mythili and Peter can be played through here (Game 6 was conceded by Mythili, which I think was a good decision).
Peter Kougi 3
Trevor Halsall 3
Mythili Rudra 3
Harry Malcolm 3
Michael Rubinstein 3
Natasha Podesser 3
Gwen Lampre 3
Barbara Berlin 3
Noel Coulter 0
Jenny Brysha 2
Lainie Mercieca 1
Julie Belle 0
Rob York 1
Oliver Podesser 1
Lynn Weaving 1
Geoff Shepheard 0
Peter Kougi 3
Barbara Berlin 0
Harry Malcolm 1
Natasha Podesser 3
Trevor Halsall 3
Gwen Lampre 0
Mythili Rudra 3
Michael Rubinstein 0
Peter Kougi 4
Natasha Podesser 1
Trevor Halsall 1
Mythili Rudra 4
Peter Kougi 5
Mythili Rudra 3
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The 2014 Clota Cottage Fundraiser, August 10 - Gwen and Sue triumph!

The winners in Div A - Kashi Ross, Gwen
Lampre, Norma Fisher, Cheryle Jerram

These are the clever people in Division B -
Julie Belle, Sue Bridges, & Fintan Conway
Many thanks to Ann Hagley for this report.
This was a really good day. We raised over $700. Everything on the cake stall sold like “hot cakes” and the raffle raised over $150.00. This year the Senior Support Group will be going to Castlemaine for three nights. The money raised at the tournament will pay for the third night. While we receive some government money it only covers one night; the staff donate their time for one night and so we have to raise the money ourselves for the third night. Our ladies really enjoy their trip, and we are able to subsidise a main meal for them each night. For some this is their only chance to get away for the whole year and they really look forward to it. Thanks to everyone who came along and participated, with a particular thanks to Marj Miller who contributed so much of her time and also to Norma Fisher, always there when you need her. On behalf of the staff and social support group many thanks.
Thirty two players took part, and we thank Mary Mackie for acting as the Standby Player on the day. Due to an advertising error on my part some were expecting a seven game event when it was planned as a six game event, and I apologise to those who would like to have played the extra game, and hope you will accept my apology.
Division A was keenly fought out between the winner Gwen Lampre and second placed Norma Fisher both on five wins, with Lorraine Thomas happily filling third spot on four wins. The High Game prize went to Kashi Ross for a fine score of 518, and Cheryle Jerram played UNBAITED for 140 points late in the day to take home the High Word prize.
The outcome in Division B was more clearcut, with Sue Bridges winning all six games, followed by Julie Belle on five wins, and Fintan Conway winning four to place third. Fintan also scored 502 to win the High Game award, and Latha Weerakkody played WARFARE for 96 points to claim the High Word prize.
Some excellent ratings gains were recorded on the day: Mary McMahon +37, Gwen Lampre and Sue Bridges both +35, Julie Belle +25, Gayle Cameron +24, Fintan Conway +23, Lorraine Thomas +22 and Ann Goodwin +21. Well done, everyone!
For full results of the tournament click HERE

Carol Johnsen is the 2014 Vic Country Champion - August 2, 2014

Here is a report from the Tournament Director and Organiser, Mary McMahon - thanks for your hard work, Mary.
Saturday 2 August was the perfect day for the Victorian Country Champs. The temperature outside in Daylesford varied from -1 up to a balmy 7C. With only 14 other entries I decided to admit a borderline player who had bought her country place but not yet moved in (mostly so I could play too). Competition was keen if often mismatched with a rating range of over 1000 in an open format. But due to a very cheap venue I was able to award prizes in 2 rating bands so everyone was in the running for a reward. Hopefully we will get a bigger turnout next year.
Once underway the event moved along smoothly, and as usual everyone enjoyed being at the Daylesford Bowling Club for this event, with the bistro serving tasty and generous meals.
I hope to have a photo soon of the placegetters, and will update this report when this is available.
To check the full results of the tournament click HERE

Anand helps raise more funds for Unicef's School-in-a-Box program! July 14, 2014 ~
Once again many of the Balwyn members, plus friends, gathered at the home of the Balwyn Scrabble Club to assist the efforts of Anand and his parents, Lalitha Sundaresan and Kannan Sethuraman. To see further details go to the Youth Page - click HERE

The World Youth Fundraiser ~ July 6, 2014

This tournament was organised some time ago when we were uncertain whether or not Victoria would have any representatives at the World Youth Championship, and as it turns out we haven't as Anand Bharadwaj, our frequent player at the Championship, is unable to attend this year due to a heavy study load, as well as a multitude of other commitments! The money raised will be earmarked for Youth Support in future years, and we thank the 48 players who attended for their support and generosity. The total raised was $715, which included previous donations from the Bentleigh Club, member Graeme Jones and an extra donation from one of the players present.
We welcomed a new young player who relocated fairly recently from Sri Lanka with his family, and we trust that Chelaka Paranahewa enjoyed his first tournament - early results were disappointing, but Chelaka won his final game, with three bonus words contributing to the win. Well done, Chelaka, we hope to see you at another tournament soon.

Division A - Natasha Podesser, Norma
Fisher, Barry Harridge, Elaine Capewell,
Dianne Gibson

Division B - Paula Messer, Betty Egan,
Lynn Weaver, Geoff Shepheard, and
John Parker

C Division winners - Dominica Krstic,
Carole Eden, Elizabeth McKean, and
Ann Goodwin

Our new player on the day, Chelaka
Paranahewa plays Balada Catanchin, with
Marisa Nuccitelli at the next board
The players were neatly divided into three sections, and Division A saw Natasha Podesser playing too strongly for her opponents. Tash won six of the seven games played, closely followed by Norma Fisher also on six wins, with a very happy Dianne Gibson in third place on 5 wins. Barry Harridge scored 511 points to take home the High Game chocolate prize, and Elaine Capewell's play of TATTLED for 101 points secured her the High Word chocolate - well done, everyone, this was a tight tussle indeed!
In Division B John Parker, who had been going through a tough period lately with his scrabble, triumphed on 6 wins, ahead on margin from Paula Messer who is experiencing a stellar run at the moment. Third place went to quiet achiever Betty Egan on 5 wins, with the High Game award going to Lynn Weaver for her score of 496, and the High Word award went to Geoff Shepheard for his play of TWEAKED for 97 points.
Division C was won by Ann Goodwin, and this was a long-awaited win, I think! Ann was the only one to win six games, followed by Dominica Krstic and Carole Eden on five wins. The High Game award went to Elizabeth McKean for her excellent score of 537, the highest game score across all sections for the day. There was a tie for the High Word award - Del Stitz happily played CHEERILY for 101 points, and later in the day Marlene Ellis played REZONES for the same score. Well done to all!
Several excellent players gained ratings points - John Parker +59, Dianne Gibson +48, Del Stitz +40, Ann Goodwin +38, Paula Messer +37, Natasha Podesser +36 and Betty Egan +33. Thank you to everyone who helped make the day a pleasant success, namely Norma Fisher who was our emergency player on the day and was pleased to take part in the event, and thank you for setting up for the day and doing so much tidying up at the end of it, with the invaluable help of Geoff Shepheard. Also thanks to Barry Harridge for his ongoing technical support, and doing many other helpful tasks. Thanks to Marisa Nuccitelli for manning the registration desk, and Gwen Lampre for her ongoing duties as Membership Officer - all who played on Sunday were financial members which is excellent, and very good for the Association.
Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for the photos, and if you use Facebook you can see Nick's album on the Scrabble Victoria page - click HERE

To see the full results of the tournament click HERE

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The 2014 Matchplay Kickoff ~ June 22 ~ see above for the later Matchplay pairings & results

A mix of players and visitors - Balada Catanchin, Lynn
Weaver, Marj Miller, Trish Mitchell, Gwen Lampre and
Chile Malcolm, with Lovelia and Zev Malcolm in front.

Late in the day, starting to flag a little, perhaps.....
Forty-two took part in the 8th Victorian Matchplay qualifier event on a cold winter Sunday. Peter Kougi triumphed, winning 6 out of 7. His only loss came at the hands of Trevor Halsall who won their encounter with an endgame victory holding the awkward DLPQTW?, and who also scored the High Word earlier in the game with BRANDIES for 158. Young Anand Bharadwaj finished 2nd, and Barry Harridge had a great day finishing 3rd, claiming narrow victories over Trevor and Natasha Podesser. Rating band prizes were awarded to Paula Messer, Peter Bauer and Lynn Weaver. Peter Kougi won the High Game award with 647, though it is worth mentioning that Lynn Weaver scored 614 in one of her early games. Some fine words observed on the day were: OXIDISING by Julie Belle and DECLUTTER by Dorothy Barraclough.

Happy winners in the Open - Barry
Harridge, Peter Kougi, Trevor Halsall,
Anand Bharadwaj

Happy winner - Lynn Weaver, third in
the ratings band section, with Tournament
Director Norma Fisher and Barry Harridge

Nick Ivanovski, who dropped in to take
some photos for the Scrabble Victoria
Facebook page, with happy Oscar

That amazing moment when you're almost
as tall as your dad - Kannan Sethuraman
and Anand Bharadwaj
Norma Fisher did a fantastic job making sure players were well fed, as well as doing many other jobs before, during and after the event. Thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping who was available as the reserve player and helped in many ways, and brought yummy food along, and to everyone who helped run this tournament, including Rob York, Geoff Shepheard and Jack Miller who stayed around to help tidy the Centre. Thanks for the tournament report, Peter Kougi! To see the full results of the Kickoff Tournament click HERE

The 2014 Victorian Championship, and Queen's Birthday Tournament ~ June 7/8/9

The New Champion for 2014,
Peter Kougi from Victoria

Winner of the 2013/14 Highest Rating
Gain in Victoria, Balada Catanchin
The field eventually ended up on fifty for the Championship, and it would have been a couple more but someone slept in - this person shall remain nameless! Carol Johnsen was the Tournament Director for the first two days, with Barry Harridge taking on the task on Day Three. We had many interstate players competing, and we thank you all for coming and hope you enjoyed your time with us, it is always good to see you! The tournament was run with two restarts which meant that some players played the same opponent three times, which can be rather disheartening if you lose to the same player three times, but is good from the point of view of keeping the higher rated players playing those who are performing well.

Following Victorian tradition we announced the Winner of the Highest Rating Gain in Victoria over the previous 12 months, and this award went to Balada Catanchin for increasing her rating by 240 points. Balada is a truly worthy winner as she also played the most tournament games of any Victorian player over the same period - 207 games. To see further detail of the High Ratings Gains within Victoria click here

Second, Trevor Halsall,

Third place, Carmel Dodd
from South Australia

Fourth place, Matte Dunn
from Victoria

Fifth place, Joanne Craig
from New South Wales

High Word, Helen Jones
from South Australia

Our new player on Monday,
Faye Leeder
Late in the Championship there were several lead changes and it was possible for several players to win the title, but as it turned out two of the Victorian contenders met in the last game, namely Peter Kougi and Matte Dunn, and whichever player won this matchup would be the 2014 Champ. Fortunately for Peter Kougi the tiles were kind to him and he was able to overcome Matte, and we congratulate Peter on his victory, the second State Championship title for him to add to his 2011 win in New South Wales! Peter finished on 17 wins from the 24 played, a game clear of Trevor Halsall (Victoria), Carmel Dodd (South Australia) and Matte Dunn on 16 wins, with Joanne Craig from New South Wales in fifth place on 15 wins.

The High Game award went to Barbara Berlin (Victoria) for her fine score of 662 in Game 17, and this held for the remainder of the tournament. Helen Jones (South Australia) was delighted to play the nine-timer DISPLACE for 167 points to win the High Word award - well done to everyone.
By the end of Game 24 some excellent ratings gains had been achieved: Carmel Dodd +105 (brilliant, Carmel), Latha Weerakkody +85, Matte Dunn +75, Betty Egan +70, Francoise Finlayson +65, Noel Coulter +60, Glenys Dettmann +56 and Elaine Capewell +55.
To see the results of the Championship click HERE

Queen's Birthday Tourney:
Rod Casey, first in A

Second in A Section -
Bridget Halge

Third place in A Division,
Carmel Doney

Brilliant winner of
B section, Lorna Patching

Second place in B
section, John Parker

Fintan Conway, High Word
& High Game in B
In the Queen's Birthday 6-game event which ran concurrently with the Championship on Monday the 32 players were divided into two sections, and we welcomed Faye Leeder, a new player from the Watsonia Club - Faye enjoyed the day but found it quite tiring, as I'm sure most of us found our first venture into the fascinating world of Tournament Scrabble. We hope to see you back with us, Faye!
Section A saw Rod Casey with 5 wins, ahead on margin alone from Bridget Halge, followed by Carmel Doney on 4 wins. Rod also scored 523 to win the High Game award, and played FAHLERZ (copper ore) to take home the High Word award, weighted down with bright yellow envelopes.....great play, Rod. Section B saw Lorna Patching triumphant in all six games, a wonderful effort, Lorna. Second place went to John Parker on five wins, with Marlene Ellis third on four. Popular winner of the High Game and High Word awards was Fintan Conway, with a game score of 488 and 109 points for his play of ZANIEST. Congrats to all prize winners, excellent play from all!
Great ratings gains were recorded by Lorna Patching +43, Bridget Halge +42, Angie Winkler + 35, and Rob York +34.
To see the results of the Queen's Birthday Tournament click HERE

Peter Kougi with the Championship Trophy Board
and Map of Victoria, with Marj Miller & Norma
Fisher - both delighted with Peter's win!

Some players from South Australia: Carmel Dodd,
Helen Jones, Jane Taylor, Francoise Finlayson,
Rob Marotta, Adam Kretschmer, Barry Jordan

Visiting from New South Wales - Bob Jackman,
Liz Jackman, Joanne Craig, John Barker, Rene
Chelton and Jeff Chelton

Norma Fisher annotating the final game,
with Matte Dunn and Peter Kougi doing battle.
The winner of this would be the Champion...

Some Victorian players, mostly from the Essendon
Club: Rod Casey, John Rider, Nicole Lowe, Rob
York, Glenys Dettmann and Janet Bau

Two of the Tournament Directors: Carol Johnsen
and Barry Harridge in a quiet moment, doing
some wonderfully technical tasks!

Finally, thank you to all who helped to make the event/s successful: Rena on KP duty on Day One, and Jen doing the same on Days Two & Three, also Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher, Barry Harridge, Lalitha Sundaresan, and all who helped us pack up, specially Rob York and Geoff Shepheard, and our standby players over the three days - Barry, Norma, and Mary Mackie, your assistance was greatly appreciated! Also, thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping and Nick Ivanovski for the photos, they're great!

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The Annual Cranbourne Tournament ~ May 18 2014

Fifty-eight players took part, playing seven games in four divisions and enjoying the day. Unfortunately the tournament organiser Katie Rowe was unwell, and various people stepped in to assist when Katie went home to rest. Cranbourne Club Member Elaine Capewell was available to act as the emergency player but wasn't required to play as player numbers were even, and Elaine did a great job looking after the catering and doing many other small jobs which kept the tournament running smoothly. Other helpers were Sue Bridges, Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher, thanks to everyone. Paula Messer was celebrating her birthday and was presented with a cake to enjoy with everyone present, and all enjoyed the lovely homemade goodies supplied by the Cranbourne Members.

The Masters: Peter Kougi, Trevor Halsall,
Heather Long

Advanced: Jenny Brysha, Sylvia Galloway,
Kris Howat

Intermediate: Khwanjai Thammaping, Oliver
Podesser, Dorothy Rice

Recreation: Livia Caulfield, Mardi Healy,
Rena Aitken, Ann Goodwin, Lorna Patching

Peter Kougi's High Game - Peter
played six bonus words, setting
a new record for 2014.
MASTERS saw a tight tussle for first place, with four players finishing on five wins - first was Peter Kougi with an excellent margin of +840, followed by Trevor Halsall, Heather Long and Chris Scolten - Chris had a great day's scrabble, as he was "playing up" from a lower section. High Game and High Word prizes went to Peter Kougi who scored 117 for his play of POULTICE, and his game score of 575. Nice play, Peter!
ADVANCED was equally keenly fought, with the top five scoring five wins each, with Jenny Brysha very happy to finish on top, followed by Kris Howat and Mary McMahon, with Lorraine Thomas and Noel Coulter the other two on five wins. Jenny Brysha also took home the High Game Award for her score of 525, and the High Word Award went to Sylvia Galloway for play of ACQUIRES for 101 points.
INTERMEDIATE saw a clear victory to Dorothy Rice who won six of her seven games, followed by three players on five wins - Khwanjai Thammaping, Oliver Podesser and Dorothy Barraclough. In a great day's play Dorothy Rice also took home the High Game Award for her score of 450, and the High Word Award for her play of FEAZING for 95 points - well done, Dot!
RECREATION was the largest division with 18 players, and was won by one of our newer players Mardi Healy on six wins - well played, Mardi! Second place went to Lorna Patching who also won six, with Ann Goodwin third on five wins. The High Game Award went to Livia Caulfield for her score of 482, and Rena Aitken played AVERAGE for 91 points to win the High Word Award - good play, everyone.
Excellent ratings gains were recorded by Chris Scholten +59, Dorothy Rice +53, Lorna Patching +43, Heather Long +31, Mary McMahon +31 and Noel Coulter +31.
Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for the pics, and thank you to the Cranbourne players for organising such a pleasant day, your efforts were appreciated by all.
To see the results of the Cranbourne Tournament click HERE

The Tri-State Challenge at Wagga Wagga ~ May 3/4 2014

The victorious New South Wales Team

The Australian Capital Territory Team, second place

Team Victoria, third place
Over 30 Scrabble players converged on Wagga Wagga in New South Wales for the annual joust between three states - the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria. We met at the Senior Citizens' Centre on Tarcutta Street after lunch on Saturday, after the trains from Sydney and Melbourne arrived. Five games were played prior to our pizza dinner, and two after, with a further three games played on Sunday morning, finishing in time for the train travellers to catch their return transport.

Individual Winners ~ John Barker
NSW 1 and High Word, John
Hamilton ACT 3, Bob Jackman
NSW 2 and High Game

Rating Band Winners ~ Natalya
Stamenkovic Vic High Game, Owen
Randall ACT 1, Rhona Kenyon ACT
3, George Khamis NSW 2

Foreground ~ Tony Hunt NSW
plays Dorothy Barraclough Vic,
with Richard Birch NSW and Betty
Egan Vic in the background

NSW players do battle ~ Bob
Jackman plays Jan Serisier, with
John Barker playing Rene Chelton
in the background

The end of the second day ~ Pat
Schuberg NSW packing up, with
Lainie Mercieca Vic playing Kashi
Ross, also from Victoria
It quickly became apparent that NSW were the strongest team. John Hamilton, president of the ACT Scrabble Association, worked out the percentage of games played between the states, and the figures show the following:
ACT defeated Victoria 20 games to 13: NSW defeated Victoria 23 games to 15: NSW defeated ACT 10 games to 8. Well done New South Wales, too strong again!

Two individual competitions ran concurrently with the Teams Event, and the top section saw John Barker win 8 games to finish ahead of Bob Jackman, both NSW players, with John Hamilton of the ACT in third place. Bob scored 578 to win the High Game prize, and John Barker played FLINCHER for 101 points to take home the High Word award. The ratings band prize for players rated below 1250 was won by Owen Randall from the ACT, followed by NSW team captain George Khamis and Rhona Kenyon from the ACT.
We had welcomed two Victorian players to their first tournament, Natalya Stamenkovic and Elizabeth Healy who are both involved in promoting Scrabble in Wodonga. Both thoroughly enjoyed their initiation, with Natalya scoring 489 to win the High Game prize. Well done to you both, you both did very well.

Ronnie Bennett ACT plays Liz
Jackman NSW, with Elizabeth
Healy Vic & Arlene Williams ACT.

Players enjoying their pizza
dinner on Saturday evening,
with 2 games still to play

With the perpetual trophy ~ John
Barker, Bob Jackman, Director
Carol Johnsen, George Khamis

Marisa Nuccitelli Vic plays Natalya
Stamenkovic Vic, and Rob York Vic
plays Clem Bennett from the ACT

An interesting spot between
Albury and Wagga Wagga ~ the
picturesque pub at Gerogery
Special thanks to Carol Johnsen from Victoria for organising and acting as the non-playing Tournament Director and kitchen person, your efforts were appreciated! Thanks also to George (NSW) and John (ACT) for encouraging their players to attend - its possible that this event will be held in Junee next year, and more news will follow on this suggestion. To see the results of this tournament click here

The 2014 Australian Scrabble Championship and Plate - April 19/20/21

Ten Past Champions - nine played. Back: Trevor Halsall 1994,
Cheah Siu Hean 2002/2004, Joan Rosenthal 1995, Moana Nepia
1986. Front: Edward Okulicz 2001, Chris May 2011, Andrew Fisher
2006/2009/2012, Bob Jackman 1993/2003, Nick Ivanovski 1990,
John Holgate 1987/1992/1996/1998.
Sixteen Victorians competed in the Championship and eight in the Plate, at the Burwood RSL in Sydney. Reports have praised the venue and the general running of the event, and we congratulate the New South Wales Committee and helpers on the results of their planning and hard work.
Monday evening saw many players enjoying the Presentation Dinner on a cruise on lovely Sydney Harbour, a great finale to a great weekend.

A strong performance from Daniel Piechnick of South Australia saw him finish on 19 wins, two games clear of the field, at the end of the 24-game Championship. Congratulations, Daniel, a fine performance indeed! Edward Okulicz from New South Wales came from behind to finish second on 17 wins, followed by four players on 16 wins - Chris May and Esther Perrins from NSW, Andrew Fisher from Victoria, and Alastair Richards from Queensland.

Seventh to tenth places were filled by Cheah Siu Hean from Singapore, Ryan Anderson from Queensland, Russell Honeybun from Western Australia and Ron Baginski from Queensland. Victoria's Peter Kougi scored 618 to win the High Game Award, and there was a tie for High Word in the Championship - David Vanzyl played FLAKIEST and Therese Nichols played SOOTHING, each scoring 176 points. Well done to all 86 players in this event, its a test of stamina to compete in it!

The 2014 National Champion,
Daniel Piechnick

The Plate: Lewis Hawkins:3rd, Don Hadley:1st,
Keri Hart:2nd

Rene with Andrew Fisher,
fifth in the Champs

Rene and Peter Kougi, High
Game Award in the Champs

Rene with Paula Messer, 8th,
and best Victorian in The Plate
The Plate saw Don Hadley from New South Wales take the lead after Round 15, and Don won all remaining games except two to finish on 19 wins, two games clear of Keri Hart from Tasmania and Lewis Hawkins, a talented lad visiting from New Zealand. David More scored 552 to take home the High Game Award, and two players tied for the High Word Award - Sue Gordon (New South Wales) played MAILBAGS for 158 points, and Anne Hough (Queensland) played CONFOUND to equal Sue's score. Well done to all 66 players in the Plate, a most enjoyable event and as keenly contested as The Championship.
Thank you to various people for the photos, including Raelene Moon, Khwanjai Thammaping, Barry Harridge and Nick Ivanovski.

Tournament Director Barry Harridge (Victoria),
with his able 2 I/C, Fred Reynolds (NSW).

Rene Chelton, NSW Committee, studies the
perpetual trophy, with Barry Harridge

Clockwise, from left - Marisa, Norma, Paula,
Betty, Glen, Jenny, Angie, Dianne

On the dinner cruise - Jenny Brysha with mum
Rena Aitken, a happy end to the tournament

Full results are available in the Archives on the National website, so click HERE to see how everyone fared.

If you use Facebook you can see Nick Ivanovski's coverage on the Scrabble Victoria page - click HERE

Khwanjai Thammaping has posted her excellent photos on Facebook - click HERE

The Frankston North Tournament ~ April 13, 2014

Masters - Norma Fisher with Natasha
Podesser, first in section

Advanced - June Valentine, Julie Belle,
Angie Pearse, Rod Casey, Kris Howat

Intermediate - Mal Eden, Glen Chandler,
Rob York
Fifty-four players took part in this event, organised by Ray Alford of the Frankston North Club which meets on Tuesdays at 12 midday at the Mahogany Neighbourhood House, 26 Mahogany Ave, Frankston North. Ray had hoped to have the assistance of his wife Lorraine to look after the kitchen, but unfortunately Lorraine wasn't well enough to come, and Ray was grateful for the help of some of our members who assisted him with the kitchen chores. Thanks girls!
The four sections were keenly contested, with the closest results being recorded in MASTERS - six players each recorded four wins from the seven games played, with first place going to Natasha Podesser, followed by Barbara Berlin second and Norma Fisher third. Natasha also scored 542 to collect the High Game award, and John Rider scored 104 points for his play of WEATHERS to win the High Word award.
In ADVANCED Rod Casey had a stellar day, winning six games to achieve first place ahead of Kris Howat and Julie Belle, second and third respectively on five wins each. The High Game award went to Angie Pearse for a score of 523, and June Valentine played RELEVANT for 149 points to win the High Word award for the day - this was the best overall for the day, well played, June!
INTERMEDIATE saw a fine win to Glen Chandler on 5 wins, just 26 margin points clear of Mal Eden also on 5 wins, with Fintan Conway a game behind in third place. Well played all, there have been some ups and downs lately for some of these players, so its good to see an upward trend. Rob York was very pleased to take home the awards for both the High Game and High Word for his game score of 483 points, and his play of FIREWEED for 93 points.

Recreation - Ann Goodwin, Glenys Dettmann,
Gianna Devcic, John van der Schoor

Frankston North Club member and first time
tournament player, Mardi Healy

The end of the day - Norma Fisher with
Barry Harridge
Ray welcomed new player Mardi Healy to the RECREATION section, and Mardi enjoyed her day, winning three games. Well done, Mardi. First place went to Ann Goodwin on 6 wins, the second section winner to do this on the day. Second and third places went to Mohammed Hegazi and Gianna Devcic respectively, both winning five. Glenys Dettmann scored 474 to win High Game, and John van der Schoor played WIGGLER for 99 points to collect the High Word award for the section.
Good ratings gains on the day were achieved by Rena Aitken +45, and Ann Goodwin and Rod Casey both gained 43 points. Congratulations to all placegetters and award winners, I'm sure you enjoyed the day. The full results of this event can be seen HERE

Scrabble Promotion at Box Hill ~ April 6, 2014

Sandra Masel, representing everyone
except Nick. Well played, Nick!

The board after the consensus game -
a lovely game for Nick.

Carole Eden plays Glenys Dettmann -
note the layout of the tiles
Nick Ivanovski, who runs both the Scrabble Victoria Facebook site and the Melbourne Online Scrabble Players Group, was behind this promotional day, designed to encourage online tournament players to join us in playing face-to-face tournaments. Several online players mingled with ASPA Vic members, and all enjoyed the experience.
An exhibition game of modified Duplicate Scrabble started off the day, with members from various rating levels pitted against each other.
This was followed by a consensus game, played by all present against Nick, who was far too good for the combined opposition. Nick received magical tiles, picked from the bag next to the large display board - and Sandra Masel, representing the "Rest of the Room" did not have any luck - Nick played five bonus words, while our side only managed one! Check the board above - our lonely bonus, SNAPpIER, is in the top right corner, and Nick's bonuses are scattered around the board: ATOMISED, ALLEGES, IGNORErS, BENEFITS, and Nick's favourite find, ALOPECIA!
The third section of the day was devoted to a knockout Speed Scrabble Tournament, and this was fun - most of the eight players stayed within the "ten minute per player" restriction, with just a few going overtime.
Thanks to Nick and all who helped to make the day a fun experience and a success, and we hope our visitors will be encouraged to join us for a live tournament in the near future.

Paula Messer and Gwen Lampre,
winner of the Speed Tournament

Lainie Mercieca plays Geoff Shepheard,
watched by Frances

Ken Low plays Elise Dettmann, watched by
Nick Ivanovski and Carolyn Chiew

Dominica Krstic plays Paula Messer,
a serious challenge

The Annual Nunawading Tournament ~ March 30, 2014

Sixty keen players contested this event, and it was an enjoyable day's Scrabble! From a Tournament Director's point of view everything went smoothly until late in the day when the computer suffered a serious meltdown, meaning that we were unable to enter the results for the final round, and consequently were unable to present the awards - these will be distributed by the Nunawading Club Convenor Cheryle Jerram in the near future! The tournament file has been recreated, so everything is in order. The only award we were able to present on the day was to Lois Binnie, who was triumphant in Masters, on the day before she leaves for a trip to the USA, followed by relocating to New Zealand - we wish Lois all the very best in her new life, and hope to see her occasionally. Over many years Lois has contributed greatly to the good of Scrabble, serving on the Committee for quite some time and running the Essendon Scrabble Club, and their annual tournament. This year the event will be organised by Rob York, thanks for taking over, Rob.
Achievement badges were presented to John Parker for 2000 tournament games played, and Anne Menheere and Cheryle Jerram each received a badge for 1000 games played - congratulations to all!

Lois Binnie, at her farewell tournament!

John Parker, 2000 games played!

Cheryle Jerram, 1000 games

Anne Menheere, 1000 games
Many thanks to the Nunawading Club Members for the lovely array of goodies available on the day - particularly Cheryle Jerram, June Valentine, Lorraine Thomas and Geoff Shepheard, and thanks to Paula Messer for collecting the entry fees at the start of the day, and to Geoff and Rob York for their invaluable help with packing up at the end of the day. We welcomed Rob Marotta who was visiting from South Australia, and Lynn Weaver to her first tournament. Lynn did extremely well in Intermediate, winning four games, placing 5th and gaining an initial provisional rating of 1160. Well done, Lynn, a great result indeed!.

Rob Marotta from South Australia

New player, Lynn Weaver

Group in Masters, Game Five

Sandra Masel chats to Angie Pearse
As mentioned the winner in MASTERS was Lois Binnie on 5.5 wins, a great effort after a less than enjoyable day at the recent Team Challenge - well done, Lois, a good comeback! Second place went to Nick Ivanovski on five wins, followed by Geoff Wright also on five. Rob Hutchinson's highlight of the day was his nine-timer - ANTIHERO for 176 points - and the High Game of 568, a great game, Rob - its your highest recorded game score to date!

ADVANCED saw Elaine Capewell on six wins, ahead of Lorraine Thomas also on six - third place went to Sandra Masel on five, and the High Game award went to Cheryle Jerram for a score of 525. Two players scored 104 to draw for the High Word award - June Valentine played QUIETEST, and Rob York played SOFTIES - well done to you both.

In INTERMEDIATE rapidly improving Geoff Shepheard placed first on six wins, followed by Paula Messer and Fintan Conway both on five wins, well done all. The High Game award went to our new player Lynn Weaver for a score of 469, and the High Word award was divided between three players, all scoring 101 for the following plays - Dorothy Barraclough played COMPLIES, Gillian Renwick played QUILLED, and Carol Mascitti played BACKERS. Nice plays, girls!

RECREATION was won by Marlene Ellis from the Geelong Club - second place went to Glenys Dettmann, and third was Rob Marotta, both on five wins. Ann Goodwin scored 495 to win the High Game award, and the High Word prize was awarded to Elize Plaganyi who played SHRINES for 94 points. As always all sections were fiercely contested, and it was good to see Mary Mackie back playing after fracturing her hip.

Geoff Shepheard, winner of Intermediate

Tables 1 - 10

Tables 11 - 20

Tables 21 - 30
Impressive ratings gains on the day were achieved by the following players: Geoff Shepheard +62, Elaine Capewell +51, Lorraine Thomas +43, Fintan Conway + 41, Lois Binnie +41, Cynthia Cook +40, Del Stitz +40, Sandra Masel + 34 and Sue Bridges +33. Congrats to all, and thank you again to Cheryle and the Club Members for running such a pleasant tournament.
The Nunawading Club meets on Tuesday evenings, 7.00 pm at 16 Station Street, Mitcham, and all are welcome to attend!
Full results of this tournament are available here

The Langwarrin Tournament ~ March 16, 2014

Gwen Lampre, who received her
badge for playing 2000 games

Marisa Nuccitelli, proud to
receive her 1000 game badge

Marjorie Page plays Leigh Donnelly,
watched by Geoff Gittus

Jean McKinnon, Marion Kearsley,
Rena Aitken, Livia Caulfield
This was a pleasant day at the Langwarrin Community Centre, ably organised by Club Convenor Geoff Gittus assisted by the members of the Langwarrin Club, which meets on Tuesday evenings at 7.00pm at the Centre for some great scrabble and fun. Many homemade goodies were supplied by the members, and thoroughly enjoyed by the sixty-two players who attended. Divided into four sections, all competitors played six games in good spirit and the day moved well under the direction of Tournament Director Carol Johnsen, with Geoff Gittus attending to the many minor details which assist a tournament to flow smoothly. Two players achieved significant milestones - Gwen Lampre was presented with her badge marking 2000 tournament games, and Marisa Nuccitelli reached the 1000 game mark and was presented with her badge - well done to you both!

Recreation: Marisa Nuccitelli,
Chris Radin and Marion Kearsley

Intermediate: Dorothy Barraclough,
Rob York and Oliver Podesser

Advanced: Sue Bridges, Carmel
Doney, John Rider, Katie Rowe

Masters: Norma Fisher, Trevor Halsall,
Marj Miller, Ray Alford
In Recreation Langwarrin Club member Chris Radin won all six games, a great effort Chris! Second was Marion Kearsley, who at 90 years young brilliantly won five games, followed by Balada Catanchin on four. Balada also scored 516 to take out the High Game prize, her first score over 500. Marisa Nuccitelli played BREADING for 83 points to win the High Word award, well done all.
Intermediate saw Rob York once again in fine form, winning five to finish ahead of Dorothy Barraclough, also on five, with Oliver Podesser third on four wins. Rob took out the High Game Award with a score of 511, and the High Word Award went to Dorothy Barraclough who played WAFFLES for 103 points.
Advanced was won by John Rider, who also won all six games, a great effort, John. Kashi Ross and Sue Bridges filled second and third places, both winning four and Kashi claiming second place by just 10 margin points. Carmel Doney scored 531 to win High Game, and Katie Rowe won High Word with ZANTE for 109 points.
Masters was won by Trevor Halsall, winning five games and beaten only by second-placed Ray Alford who finished with four wins, with Norma Fisher third, also on four wins. Trevor scored 608 to win High Game, and Marj Miller's highlight for the day was winning the High Word Award with THORAXES for 105 points.
There were some large ratings losses on the day, counteracted by some excellent gains - Marion Kearsley +60, John Rider +56, Chris Radin +34, Dorothy Barraclough +34, and Rob York +32. Congratulations to all!

Lunchtime saw some fun with Natasha Podesser who was taking part in the World's Greatest Shave, losing her lovely hair in her campaign to raise money for the support of people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma or a related blood disorder. Those present gave generously in support of the cause, and Natasha thanks you for your generous donations. Norma Fisher did an excellent job wielding the scissors and clippers with great dexterity, and Natasha ended up shorn but still looking beautiful. Well done Tash, and happy birthday wishes for your 21st!
Thank you to Geoff, Carol and the Langy members, your efforts were appreciated by all.
Full results of this tournament are at the tournament archive

The Annual Melbourne Team Challenge - February 23, 2014

Once again 50 keen competitors arrived early to take up the challenge of being part of the 5-person winning team, and claiming the prestigious title of Melbourne Champions for 2014. Julie Belle was on standby in case someone didn't arrive, but all players turned up safely, and we thank Julie for taking on this task and for her generous assistance during the day.

Carmel Doney, Oliver Podesser, Harry Malcolm,
Elaine Capewell & Marisa Nuccitelli

Natasha Podesser, Balada Catanchin, Carol
Johnsen, Dorothy Barraclough & Katie Rowe

EMANON: 26 Wins
Geoff Wright, Anne Menheere, Marlene Ellis,
Chris Scholten & Marie D'Rosario

Front: Carole Eden, Dieter Jedamski
Rear: Mal Eden, Cheryle Jerram, Nick Ivanovski
Barry Harridge had previously written software to allocate players to teams for this particular event and so the laptop produced a very fair draw, with all teams as evenly matched as possible - the range of average ratings for the teams was 1245 to 1250, so statistically it was a very even playing field. Each team was expected to win 22.5 games plus or minus 0.1. Some players did rather better or worse than expected, partly due to the vagaries of Lady Luck, or perhaps the capricious Tile Fairy!
The Easy Peasies, comprising Harry Malcolm, Carmel Doney, Elaine Capewell, Oliver Podesser and Marisa Nuccitelli took up the challenge and didn't look like being headed all day, well done, Easy Peasies! (Elaine had been phoned early on the day to play as there had been a cancellation, and she had a wonderfully satisfying day, winning eight of her nine games!)

Norma Fisher & Harry Chojna, with Lainie
Mercieca, Anne Bingham, Lorraine Thomas

Rob Hutchinson, Trevor Halsall, Jenny Brysha,
Elizabeth McKean & Jenny Kearney in front

Irlande Alfred, Andrew Fisher, Rebeccah
Booth, with Angie Pearse & Noel Coulter

Suave Barry Harridge, Ann Goodwin, Mary
McMahon with Glen Chandler & Bridget Halge
Of interest was the fact that the computer generated draw put Carole and Mal Eden together in The Knickerbockers, as well as Lainie Mercieca and her dad Harry Chojna together in The Black Caps. Norma Fisher had spent quite some time prior to the event purchasing a variety of hats for the teams and these generated quite a bit of interest and fun, although some were the incorrect size for the recipient/s!

Seated: Marjorie Clark & Gwen Lampre, with
Sue Bridges, Carol Mascitti & Lois Binnie

Front: Angie Winkler, Rob York, Elize Plaganyi,
with Naween Fernando & Dianne Gibson

The playing area, more colourful than usual!
In the foreground at Bench F, Naween
Fernando plays Andrew Fisher

Leader of the Knickerbockers and our Facebook
whiz, Nick Ivanovski, preparing for the first
To add more variety to the day prizes were awarded for various theme words - the HARMONY award went to Anne Menheere for her play of JOY, the PEACE award was presented to Nick Ivanovski who played PEACE, and the TEAMWORK award went to Katie Rowe who played LEADERS.
Thanks to all players for their cooperation in getting some good photos of their team, it was great. Also special thanks to all who helped to make the day a success, and thanks to those who helped with setting up, and those who stayed to help with tidying up at the end of the day, as always your assistance was appreciated.
Full results of this tournament are at the tournament archive

The Camberwell Tournament ~ February 9, 2014

Here is a report from TD Barry Harridge, thanks Barry!

Carol Johnsen with Val
Hardiman, who received her
1000-game badge.
Melbourne's spell of hot weather meant that the Box Hill Scrabble venue was a good place to be. 62 boys and girls had an enjoyable day playing Scrabble, and of course the ice creams dispensed by Jen were well appreciated. We were pleased to have two interstate visitors, Alan Mathews from Tasmania and Rob Marotta from South Australia.
The placings were hotly contested and went right down to the wire. As a four section tournament, there were several who availed themselves of the Victorian custom of 'playing up'. A player within 50 points of a section boundary could elect to play in the next higher division, as also could a player bearing a certificate that they had gained by placing in the top three in a recent tournament.
Barbara Berlin was one such player, electing to play up in Masters, where to tell the truth, she rightly belonged. She went very well during the day and nearly each time she brought up a result slip, she thanked me for allowing her to play up. By the end of the day she was the only undefeated player in Masters, so she gained first place and her 75 point rating increase assured her of a more certain lodging in Masters section for upcoming tournaments. Second and third place in Masters went to Carol Johnsen and Heather Long.
Advanced section was keenly contested. Lainie Mercieca was leading at the end of the penultimate round, and had calculated that the only way she could lose first place was if she lost to Jenny Brysha by 33 points or more. It must have been a tense game. It was certainly low scoring. Jenny 322 to Lainie 278 was enough for Jenny to claim first place. Sue Bridges was not far behind in third place. All these women were on five out of six wins.
Intermediate section saw schoolteacher on vacation, Anne Bingham take first place ahead of Sylvia Galloway and Betty Egan.
Recreation results were Elize Plaganyi first, Marlene Ellis second and Ann Goodwin third.

The Masters: Carol Johnsen, Barbara Berlin,
Mary McMahon, Heather Long.

Advanced: Lainie Mercieca, Sue Bridges,
Jenny Brysha.

Intermediate: Oliver Podesser, Anne Bingham,
Betty Egan, Sylvia Galloway.

Recreation: Elize Plaganyi, Marlene Ellis,
Liz McKean, Rob Marotta.
Prizes of Scrabble chocolates were awarded to high scoring words containing J, Q, X, Z and WU. A prize for a word with at least five vowels went unclaimed. The Camberwell tournament has been a long running annual event and the Camberwell Scrabble club which meets on Saturdays is one of Victoria's oldest. Meg Henderson has retired as convenor and has left it in the capable hands of Patricia Mitchell assisted by a team of rostered helpers. We would love to see Scrabblers at our club.

Full results of this tournament are at the tournament archive.

An exciting tournament in Sydney - the CSIM - January 25/26/27, 2014

Fifty players competed in this testing annual event, the City of Sydney International Masters. Many travelled from interstate, including five Victorians who did well in a class field.

Andrew Fisher

Naween Fernando

Alastair Richards

Ron Baginski

Esther Perrins

Peter Kougi
After three tough days Andrew Fisher overtook fellow Victorian Naween Fernando to take out the generous first prize on offer, finishing a game clear with 21 wins in the 26-game event. Congrats, Andrew! Naween had lead the tournament for most of the three days after winning his first nine games, and interestingly Andrew then won his last nine games in a good run home to achieve first place.
Prizes went down to 6th place, and the other placegetters in order of finishing were Alastair Richards and Ron Baginski (both from Queensland), Esther Perrins (New South Wales) and Peter Kougi (Victoria). Our other Victorians, Trevor Halsall and Mythili Rudra, finished eighth and thirtieth respectively, with Mythili playing the highest scoring word for the tournament - RESTACKS for 181 points.
Well done to all, it must have been a most enjoyable weekend's scrabble!
To see the results for all 50 players click HERE

The 2014 Ballarat Summer Tournament ~ January 18th

This event saw 32 players divided into three sections, under the guidance of Club Convenor Tess Robinson, her good friend Jenny McLeod, and Tess's growing extended family - they are all a great help to Tess. Here are a few words from player Norma Fisher - a scrummy spread of chicken and salad, bread and butter, sandwiches, etc was served at lunchtime with baked goods and bikkies throughout the day...........wonderful country hospitality, which was enjoyed by all.

A, first place

A, second place

A, third & High
Game - Norma
Fisher 511

A, High Word
Kris Howat

B, first place

B, second & HW -
Rob York

B, third place

B, High Game
Marjorie Clark,

C, first place
Elize Plaganyi

C, third place
It was a great result to see Natasha Podesser and her dad Oliver place first in Divisions A and B respectively, well done to you both - the country air must suit you! The file photos above show all who played well on the day, except for Allison Slee who performed well in Division C, placing second and winning High Game for her section - 450 - as well as High Word, FASHION for 79 points. Well done, Allison....and everyone else! Those who improved their rating considerably on the day were Balada Catanchin +42, Oliver Podesser +41, and Marisa Nuccitelli +32. Well done all, and thanks to Tess and her helpers for all your hard work.....it is appreciated.
To see the full results click HERE

First Tourney for 2014 in Victoria ~ the Bil Rose Aestival ~ January 12

Once again we honoured the late Bil Rose, who for quite some time had held the Guiness Book of Records title as the Oldest Scrabble Tournament Player in the world. Traditionally this has been a round robin format, and this year sixty-eight players took part, divided mainly into groups of eight with a couple of sections comprising groups of ten. Sections were named after tennis players, including several Aussies, and for the first time for quite some years we were able to use Section H, which was named after the evergreen Lleyton Hewitt.
Starting with Section AZARENKA the winner was Naween Fernando with six wins, followed by Andrew Fisher on five; the High Game went to Trevor Halsall for 576, and Andrew played INSERTER for 113 to win High Word.
BARTY was won by Norma Fisher on 5 wins, followed by Frank Csarics in second place on 4 wins, with Norma scoring 511 to collect the High Game Prize, and Frank played VARIETY for 104 points to win the High Word Award.
CILIC saw Bridget Halge and Dianne Davis both finish on six wins, with Bridget's margin securing first place. Bridget also played WARSHIPS for 96 points to win High Word, and Chris Scholten scored 487 points to take home the High Game Award.
DJOKOVIC presented the highlight of the day, with Mary McMahon winning all seven games, ahead of John Rider on five wins. Well done, Mary! The High Word Award also went to Mary for her play of HAZIEST for 110 points, and John scored 489 to collect the High Game Award for the section.
EBDEN was won by Paula Messer who finished with five wins, ahead of Carol Mascitti on four wins. These two also took home the High Game and High Word Awards - Paula's score of 97 for LEECHES won High Word, and Carol's excellent score of 528 won the High Game.
FEDERER saw our two "Anne's" in a fierce battle for first place - Anne Menheere and Anne Bingham won six games each, with Anne M's margin making the difference. Fintan Conway was all smiles as he collected the awards for High Game (511), and High Word for his play of SUPERMEN which scored 131, the highest across all sections for the day. Good play, Fintan!

AZARENKA ~ Naween Fernando

BARTY ~ Norna Fisher

DJOKOVIC ~ Mary McMahon
GADJOSOVA saw Irlande Alfred take first place with five wins, ahead of Gianna Devcic (and three others) on four wins. Gianna scored 472 to win the High Game Award, and Marlene Ellis played DISHIER for 102 points to win High Word.
HEWITT was won by Ann Goodwin on five wins, followed closely by Liz McKean, also on five. Rena Aitken scored 556 (her best score in tournament play to date!) to win the High Game Award, and the High Word Award went to Ann for her play of STOOGED for 89 points.

EBDEN ~ Paula Messer

FEDERER ~ Anne Menheere

HEWITT ~ Ann Goodwin
Some of the great ratings gains for the day went to Mary McMahon +65, Bridget Halge +54, Mythili Rudra +50, Balada Catanchin +50, Anne Menheere +48, Anne Bingham +47, and Dianne Davis +45.
Thank you to all who helped make the day such a pleasant success, and to Nick Ivanovski for the pics, and well done to all for the spirit in which the tournament was played.
To see all the results click HERE

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