~ News Archive 2018 ~

The DECATHON - last Victorian tournament for the year! 30/12/2018

After some latish entries and sadly some unavoidable cancellations 62 players took part in this year's 10 game Decathon, held at the Box Hill Centre, possibly at this venue for the last time. Players were divided into four sections according to their ratings - Masters, Advanced, Intermediate and Recreation.
We welcomed John McNaughton from New Zealand, John Hamilton from the Australian Capital Territory, and Karen and Paul Richards from Queensland. Thank you all for coming, as always it was good to see you all. Standby player for the day was myself (Marj Miller), and our refreshment needs were looked after by Leah Frajman - thanks, Leah!

MASTERS: Peter Kougi, Geoff Wright, Anand
Bharadwaj, Naween Fernando and David Eldar

The ADVANCED winners: Geoff Shepheard,
Sandra Masel and John McNaughton

Peter Bauer, the 2018 Country Champion, was
presented with his trophies by Carol Johnsen
In Masters an unwell David Eldar came out on top, get better soon, David. He finished clear on margin from Naween Fernando with both achieving 9 wins. Peter Kougi slotted into third place on 7 wins, closely followed by Carol Johnsen who had a lovely day out on the tiles. Anand Bharadwaj took home the High Game award for his score of 577 and Geoff Wright played LOITERED for 122 points to win the High Word award.
Advanced saw New Zealander John McNaughton in a tight tussle with local Sandra Masel, with both finishing on 9 wins and John ahead on margin by just 47 points, well done to you both. Third place was filled by Geoff Shepheard on 7 wins. The High Game award went to John McNaughton for his score of 554, and Barry Harridge and Rob Hutchinson shared the High Word prize for their respective plays of FLAMIER and MEEKEST, both scoring 110.

Winners in INTERMEDIATE: Sylvia Galloway,
June Valentine, Rob York and Jeremy Yip

RECREATION winners: Jenny Plant, Laura Khan,
Elize Plaganyi, Oscar Ivanovski and Annette Casey

Thanks to Christie Godby and Sandra Masel for
doing the presentations for me! Great job, girls!
In INTERMEDIATE Jeremy Yip claimed all 10 games to place first, well done, Jeremy, a brilliant effort. Second place went to Rob York on 7 games, followed by Sylvia Galloway also with 7 wins. Sylvia also claimed the High Game award for her score of 508, and June Valentine played JONTIES for 111 points to win the High Word award.
RECREATION:This turned out to be the toughest section, with the first four placegetters all winning 7 games. As this was the smallest section the last round was played as King of The Hill, which meant that some players played each other for the second time. At the end of the day Jenny Plant placed first, followed closely by Laura Khan, Annette Casey, and Angie Winkler - well played, all. The High Game award went to a very happy Oscar Ivanovski for a brilliant score of 516 and the High Word award was won by Elize Plaganyi for her play of STRINGED for 91 points.

These players achieved notable ratings gains: Jeremy Yip +91, John McNaughton +86, Sandra Masel +79, Carol Johnsen +70, Paul Richards +46, Jenny Plant +43 and Glenys Dettmann +40.
Thanks to all the helpers who did a sterling job on the day, as Tournament Director I really appreciated your assistance! I couldn't have done it without you. Some who come to mind are Norma Fisher, Barry Harridge, Carol Johnsen and Heather Long, and Geoff Shepheard and Rob York who are such a great team when it comes time to tidy up - and my thanks to those I've forgotten to mention!
To check the 2018 Decathon results click HERE

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Coming up - The Alchemist Cup, in Penang, Malaysia - December 5-9th, 2018

Michael Tang has put many hours into organising the Alchemist Cup, a follow-on from previous teams divisions at his Causeway Challenge events. Well done, Michael, there is a lot of anticipation in the world Scrabble scene about this prestigious tournament, featuring ten teams of 5 players who will play 45 games over five days against the other teams. Those taking part are from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Rest of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, East Africa, the United States, and the Rest of the World. Best of luck to our five Australians, who together won the Causeway Challenge Team event in 2006 and 2008!

Victory for the Team from Oz in 2006

David Eldar

Chris May

Edward Okulicz

Andrew Fisher

Naween Fernando
Full details of the tournament can be found at the Alchemist Cup website - click on the various headings to find the draw for the entire event, and a list of games which will be streamed live over the five days - a feast for Scrabblers who love to follow the ups and downs of an event. Thanks to Michael and his team - Kumar Nathanael Elijah, responsible for live streaming each round, commentators Jesse Matthews and Jason Katz-Brown, and to our Aussie Webmaster Barry Harridge for their efforts in presenting this event to the world.
UPDATE AFTER DAY 3: At the end of Day One Australia were placed 8th, and had moved up to 4th place by the end of Day 2. Now, after Day 3 our team is leading the field, with 16 games left to play. Well done, team, this is a great effort!
AT THE END OF DAY 4: Thirty-nine games have been completed and in a very tight situation Australia are tied with the U.S.A. in top spot, but are ahead on the number of games won (4.5 games up), while being behind on spread - placings are decided firstly on the number of rounds won, then the number of games won, and then on overall spread. With some tough rounds left to play tomorrow it will be an interesting day, with play starting at 11 am AEDT.

The happy winners - David Eldar, Naween Fernando, Chris May, Andrew Fisher and
Edward Okulicz, with Michael Tang, Tournament Organiser

Having fun - the back view of the "boys".

In the commentary box, late in the tournament.
This became an absolute nailbiter, with the USA gradually narrowing the lead on Australia, and the Rest of the World Team also threateningly close. Going into the last round Australia were one round ahead of the USA, and needed to win the final round to clinch a convincing victory. The USA needed Australia to lose the round 0-5, and their team needed to win their round 5-0 against Nigeria.
Australia played the Rest of the World, losing the round 1-4, and the USA won against Nigeria 4-0, resulting in a two game victory to Australia.
Congratulations to our amazing players, a brilliant team effort from all!

The next Alchemist Cup will take place at the same venue - G Hotel Gurney, Penang, Malaysia - from 2-6th December 2020, and the following countries will be invited to compete - Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and the Rest of the World.
Thank you to those who took the photos, the use of them is appreciated. Click here for the link to the website.

Naween, 28 wins

David, 28 wins

Chris, 28 wins

Andrew, 25 wins

Edward, 24 wins

The Sunbury Tournament, December 1, 2018

Twenty-five players ended up contesting this very pleasant event, after one of the expected attendees sadly became lost on her way to the venue at the Ball Court Hotel in Sunbury, and another simply didn't show up, which is always disappointing. Norma Fisher enjoyed organising the tournament in her home town, which is a short drive from Melbourne. Part of the entry fee went towards lunch at the hotel, and this was most enjoyable, with the hotel staff doing a great job of presenting our meals on time and in a very friendly manner. Thanks for your hard work, Norma, and also the Ball Court staff.

Division C winners: Cherry Chapman, Faye
Leeder and Elizabeth McKean

Division B: Glen Chandler, Noel Coulter
and Sandra Masel

Division A: Angie Pearse, David Eldar,
Marj Miller and Carol Johnsen

Relaxing between games: Dianne Gibson,
Kris Howat and Dorothy Barraclough
Division C produced the highlight of the day when Faye Leeder won all six games, and she was delighted with her efforts. Well done, Faye! Second place went to Elizabeth McKean with four wins, and in third place was Ashley McKeon on three wins. Cherry Chapman's score of 437 won her the High Game Award, and Elizabeth McKean played OUTSIZES for 98 points to win the High Word prize.
Division B was a closely fought battle with Sandra Masel victorious on five wins, ahead of Lynn Weaver and Noel Coulter, both on four wins. Noel's score of 472 won him the High Game Award, and Glen Chandler's play of WARDERS for 98 points secured her the High Word Award.
Division A saw a win to David Eldar who is home from England for a visit, prior to representing Australia in Penang next weekend in the Alchemist Cup. It looked as if David would make a clean sweep of the six games played until Carol Johnsen "showed him how its done" (David's words) in the last game. Nice play, Carol, and a well-deserved second place. Third place went to Angie Pearse, and David scored 604 to take out the High Game Award, with the High Word Award going to Marj Miller for her play of EMERITI for 96 points.
Great ratings gains were achieved by Faye Leeder +87, Carol Johnsen +33, and Sandra Masel +29. Well done, everyone.
To check the full results of the 2018 Sunbury Tournament click HERE

The Trans Tasman Challenge - in Dunedin, New Zealand ~ November 16/18, 2018

After a weekend of keenly-fought Scrabble in Dunedin, New Zealand, the results were Australia 157 wins over New Zealand 131. The individual overall honours went to Dylan Early from New Zealand on 19 wins, clear of Australia's Ron Baginski and Tony Hunt, both on 16 wins, followed by Howard Warner(NZ) and John Holgate with 15 wins apiece. Well done Australia, Dylan and all placegetters.

The Australians, back: Karen Richards, John Holgate,
Ryan Sutton, Dianne Brumby, Bob Jackman, David
Vanzyl. Middle: Victor Tung, Ron Baginski, Tony
Hunt, Rod Talbot, Adam Kretschmer, and Graeme
Lock Lee with his ukulele.

The New Zealanders, back: Howard Warner, Joanne
Craig, Peter Sinton, Andrew Bradley, Cicely Bruce.
Middle: Glenda Foster, John Foster, Lynne Butler,
Patrick Carter, Lawson Sue.
Front: Scott Chaput, Dylan Early.

Captain of the Australian team Bob Jackman speaking
after accepting the perpetual Trans Tasman shield,
with Rod Talbot (Australia), Howard Warner (New
Zealand) and Liz Fagerlund (New Zealand)

The overall individual winner Dylan Early
with Howard Warner and Liz Fagerlund, all
from New Zealand

The Fairfield & Northcote Club Tournament ~ November 11, 2018

The second Fairfield and Northcote Scrabble Club tournament hosted 50 players in 4 sections on Sunday 11th November, being the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which was observed with a minute's silence at 1100 hours. (Special thanks to Tournament Organiser Rob York for this report, for organising and acting as the Standby Player, and for his thoughtful reading of the Ode, which was appreciated by all.)

Division A - Naween Fernando, Geoff Wright,
Shirley De Silva & Anand Bharadwaj

Division B - John Parker, Angie Pearse,
Paula Messer, Lorraine Thomas and
Glen Chandler

Division C winners - Dianne Gibson,
Lynne Goodinson and Christiane McCann

Div D Winners - Angie Winkler, Annette Casey,
Eileen Mills, Marisa Nuccitelli, Elize
Plaganyi and Latha Weerakkody
Division A saw a fine performance from Naween Fernando, who won on margin ahead of Geoff Wright and Anand Bharadwaj, all with six wins. The High Game prize also went to Naween for his score of 635, and Shirley De Silva played UPRAISED for 140 points to win the High Game prize in A.
Division B was won by Angie Pearse, winning six games ahead of Lorraine Thomas with five wins and John Parker leading the pack on four wins. The High Game award went to Glen Chandler for her score of 537, and Paula Messer won the High Word award for her play of Sequins for 105 points.
Division C was tightly fought with Christiane McCann finishing on 5 wins, beating Dorothy Barraclough on margin. Third place went to Dianne Gibson on 4.5 wins, again with a better margin than others. The High Game award was won by Lynne Goodinson for her score of 472, as well as the High Word for her play of EXAMINER for 104 points.
Division D was won by the ever-smiling Latha Weerakkody with six wins. Angie Winkler and Annette Casey took out second and third, separated by margin, whilst Eileen Mills had a High Game of 522. Well done Eileen! An extra prize had to be found, as Marisa Nuccitelli and Elize Plaganyi both had a High Word of 88 points!!

Shirley De Silva played
UPRAISED for 140 points
Click to enlarge

Paula Messer playing Rob York on Table 12,
with Dorothy Barraclough playing Dianne
Gibson at the next board

In Division A, Gwen Lampre plays Mark Tully
nearest the camera, and Katie Rowe plays
Geoff Shepheard

Tidying up at the end of the day - Barry
Harridge, Norma Fisher, Geoff Shepheard &
Rob York
Excellent ratings gains were achieved on the day by Geoff Wright (+57), Christiane McCann (+44), Angie Pearse (+42), Latha Weerakkody(+41) and Mary Mackie (+30). Special thanks to FaNS members Jan Gilmartin and Christie Godby for the superb catering, Marj Miller (TD), Barry Harridge for computer operations and Norma Fisher for her ongoing help with resources.
To see the full results of the 2018 FaNS Tournament click HERE

Saturday Sessions 8 ~ October 27, 2018

This was the final Session for this year, with eight more planned for next year - well done, Nick Ivanovski! Thirty four players competed in five sections, and at the end of the day all winners received medals for their efforts. Presentations were also made to players in various ratings bands who received the greatest number of cumulative points over the eight sessions this year, and these generous cash rewards were appreciated by all recipients.

Overall winners: Christie Godby, John Rider,
Glenys Dettmann, Noel Coulter, Andrew
Fisher and Naween Fernando

Division A winner,
Naween Fernando

Division B winner,
Rod Casey

Division C winner,
Noel Coulter

Division D winner,
Christie Godby

Division E winner,
Balada Catanchin

Once again thanks to Nick and Clare Ivanovski for running these round robin events, they have proved to be very popular indeed!
To see the full results of the final Session for 2018 click HERE

Vale Carole Eden ~ October 23, 2018

Carole and Mal at the A.G.M. in 2014

Carole with Team Knickerbockers

With Angie Pearse at Tumut

Winners - fun with Marisa and Ann
Carole was a happy and enthusiastic scrabble player, and had been a loyal member of the Victorian Scrabble Association for many years, together with devoted husband Mal. It was always a pleasure to face Carole across the board - she was a very fair and unflappable player, but not reluctant to comment if someone said or did something untoward! Carole had an interesting life, embracing time spent at work, and with family and her many friends. Sadly Carole developed Motor Neurone Disease in 2016, and Mal became chief carer for Carole at their home in Healesville, which was greatly appreciated by Carole as it gave them as much time together as possible.
This was a life well lived, rest peacefully, Carole.

The South Australia - Victoria Border Challenge! Sat/Sunday 20/21st October 2018

The South Australian players, too good again!

The Victorian Team - we'll try again next year!

Dinner on Saturday night - a bit of a wait, but worth it!

18 South Australians and 26 Victorians met at the White Hart Hotel in Horsham to contest the annual Border Challenge, an event that South Australia has now won eight times in succession. Victoria were in a good position on Saturday night after 7 rounds, leading by four games, but a marked slump in form on Sunday morning saw South Australia victorious 92 games to 88.
Some of the Victorian players felt they had been drawn to play too many Vics, but this will always happen when one team has a considerably greater number of players than the other - in previous years the South Australian team has consistently been larger than the Victorian contingent, and they have been playing against each other much more than us Vics have been doing. Short of restricting the number in each team I can see no way to alleviate this happening, and I personally wouldn't be in favour of this.
On a lighter note we all thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Horsham, and catching up with friends from both states. Bruce and his staff at the White Hart Hotel look after our needs very well, which adds to the enjoyment of the weekend. Thanks to Victoria's Carol Johnsen and helpers for organising this year, and South Australia's Adam Kretschmer for his extensive computer work. Well done to South Australia, we'll do battle again sometime next year!

The overall winners - Michael Cameron (three
prizes!), Antony Kimber and Trevor Tao,
all from South Australia

Rating band winners: Kjwanjai Thammaping (Vic),
Julie Robins (SA), Helen Jones (SA), Dorothy
Barraclough (Vic) and Glenys Dettmann (Vic)

Trevor Tao with his ukulele, about to lead the
South Australians in their victory song -
my congratulations to the South Aussies!

Our lunch spot following the conclusion of play
on Sunday - Khwanjai enjoying her lunch beside
the lovely Wimmera River in Horsham

To check the full results of this Challenge click HERE

The Annual Victorian Country Championship and combined Ballarat Tournament - Saturday 13th October, 2018

Here is a report from Carol Johnsen covering this combined event - thanks Carol, and for the photos.
What a wonderful day at the new venue for the Ballarat Club to host the Victorian Country Championship. The Greyhound Racing Club has plenty of parking, easy access, lovely big tables, comfortable and warm surroundings (remember, this is Ballarat!) and lunch was available around the corner at the equally comfortable Flying Horse bistro at the Trotting venue.
Peter Bauer came home late defeating his partner Heather Long by 6 points in the last game to push her from 2nd to 4th place and take out 2nd place in the section, giving him the title of Country Champion for 2018. Fair enough though, as Heather had already been Country Champion before!
Ballarat Club did themselves proud, along with the delightful and delicious snacks served throughout the day. There were three novices competing from the Ballarat Club with Vera Zylan winning best novice with 3 wins. With the smallish fields the day flowed quickly and was enjoyed by all.
To check the full results of this event click HERE

A Division: Angie Pearse, Kris Howat,
Champion Peter Bauer, Carol Johnsen.

B - Vera Zylan (best novice), Marjorie Clark
(1), Elize Plaganyi (3), Jenny Kearney (2)

Vera Zylan plays Marjorie Clark, the Convenor
of the Ballarat Scrabble Club

The Greyhound Racing Club, where the
Club meets on Tuesdays from 10-3pm

The annual Seniors' Scrabble Day Out! October 11, 2018

The happy winners of all the sections, with winners of door prizes and other various things!
Over 50 keen Scrabble players from various areas descended on the Golden Age Community Centre at 47 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley, to take part in a social tournament organised by Carol Johnsen and sponsored by the Department of Health and Ageing, and we thank them for their generous support which has allowed this free event to run regularly over the past few years.
Players were divided into groups of four, and competed in 13 divisions named after various flowers - for example, A for Amaryllis through to M for Marigold. Three games were played and the winner of each section received a prize for their efforts, either a box of chocolates or a Scrabble notebook.
Morning tea was served after Game One, and we enjoyed a mix of dips, crackers, fresh fruit and cakes. Lunch was presented after Game Two and had been ordered from Subway and everyone enjoyed the lovely fresh salad rolls with ham, chicken, or tuna, with extra salad supplied for those with special dietary requirements.
Well done to Carol for her organisational and shopping skills, and thank you to the local players, especially Layhoon (pictured kneeling at left above) and Christiane (standing third from the left), who helped out in so many ways with setting up and tidying up at the end of the day.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy their day out, and if anyone would like to join one of the Scrabble groups which meet regularly at the Golden Age Community Centre the times are as follows: Mondays and Wednesdays 9.30am - 3pm, with a very short break over the Christmas period.

Players from the U3A Kingston Scrabble Group - contact U3A
on 9580 8328 to enquire about joining them in Mordialloc!

Organiser Carol Johnsen, with Laura, Juanita, & Christiane
McCann. All play regularly at the Golden Age Scrabble Club.

Members of Scrabble Victoria - Mary Mackie, Dianne
Gibson, Marisa Nuccitelli, Sita Dasika & Betty Egan.

Saturday Sessions, the 7th event for 2018

The start of the day - Game One underway.
Thirty-six players attended Saint Gabriel's school in Reservoir to compete in the seventh Saturday Session, the second last Session for 2018.
All arrived on time, and Organiser/Tournament Director/Standby Player Nick Ivanovski settled in to play to even up the numbers. Thanks to Nick for his hard work, to Clare Ivanovski for her contribution in keeping us well fed, and to Elizabeth McKean for her donation of her legendary jelly slice. Thanks also to all who helped with setting up and tidying up at the end of the day, your help is appreciated!

There were several good performances on the day, with the highest game score of 550 achieved by Andrew Fisher in A Division, closely followed by Mark Tully who scored 525 in Division B. I'm aware of one nice individual play for the day - DITZIEST was played as a four-timer for 122 points, and I'm sure there were many others. Geoff Wright and Naween Fernando opened their game with 5 consecutive bonuses - Naween played PINBONE, MAULGRED, and SATURANT, with Geoff playing GELATION and SWIVELED! What a great start to a game. Two players won all five games in their respective divisions, namely Glenys Dettmann and Marj Miller.
Below is the rogues' gallery from the event - missing is the winner of Division C, John Rider.
To check the full results of Saturday Session 7 click HERE

Division A winner,
Peter Kougi

Division B winner,
Marj Miller

Division D winner,
Glenys Dettmann

Division E winner Ann Goodwin,
with Rob Hutchinson

Division F winner,
Rajiv Armani

The Annual Essendon Tournament ~ September 30, 2018

Here is a great report from Rob York, the Essendon Scrabble Club Convenor and Tournament Organiser - thanks, Rob! The Club meets on Tuesday evenings at 7pm at the Essendon Senior Citizens Centre, 5 Kellaway Ave, Moonee Ponds - all new players and visitors welcome for a great Scrabble experience!
On Sunday 30th of September, following the devastating 2018 AFL Grand Final, 50 enthusiastic local Scrabblers turned out for the 2018 Essendon Scrabble Club Tournament. Despite a cancellation and the confusion of an extra late entry, by 9.40am the draw went up, the heads went down and the bingoes started flowing!!

Division C's Clever Clogs!
Dorothy Rice, John Metcalfe, Nicole Lowe

The Brains in Division B:
Rob York, Janet Bau, Phil Moller, John Rider

Unstoppable in Division A: Noel Coulter,
Norma Fisher, Dianne Davis, Mark Tully &
Anand Bharadwaj

The 2018 Victorian Committee: Nick Ivanovski,
Anand Bharadwaj, Gwen Lampre, Christie Godby,
Carol Johnsen, Peter Kougi, Norma Fisher
In Section A, Dianne Davis made COSSETED (149) and Noel Coulter found a purple patch, with a High Game of 587!! The A Section winner, with 7wins was Anand Bharadwaj, with a margin of +824. On 5 wins each, Norma Fisher's margin of +444 placed her in second, ahead of Mark Tully with +185.

Section B was very nearly an all-Essendon affair - Phil Moller played TRENDIES for 122 in the last game, to snare High Word from the clutches of Rob York, who instead had to settle for third place with 5 wins. John Rider and Janet Bau both had 6 wins, but John's margin of +271 paled before Janet's margin of +485. Janet also picked up High Game with 498!

Section C was also won by an Essendon player - young John Metcalf had a clean sweep with 7 wins, a margin of +882 and he also took out the High Game with 508! Second place went to Dorothy Rice with 6wins (+409) and Lynne Goodinson took out third with 4 wins (+303). Not to be outdone, Essendon's Nicole Lowe took High Word with FORTIFY for 93.

Norma Fisher, 3000
games! (file photo)
Special thanks go to Barry Harridge for his computer wizardry, the Essendon Scrabble Club members for their catering goodies, to John Taylor (still slightly jet-lagged) for taking on the kitchen duties and to Christie Godby for the Gluten-free cake!!

Special mention was made to Norma Fisher on achieving 3000 tournament games played in Australia (her medal is coming!). Norma has represented Australia in Trans-Tasman Challenges, and had played many uncounted games overseas, both in New Zealand and the United States, before settling here in 2001. Well done, Norma, a great achievement indeed!

People who made significant Rating gains included Mark Tully (+52), Norma Fisher & John Metcalf (both +44), Janet Bau (+41), John Rider (+36), Anand Bharadwaj +34, Rob York (+33) and Dilendra Nanayakkara (+31).
To check the full results of the 2018 Essendon Tournament click HERE

The 2018 Matchplay Kickoff Tournament

Qualifiers: Helen Hynes, Angie Pearse, Andrew
Fisher, Carol Johnsen, Matte Dunn. Front: Christie
Godby, Trevor Halsall, Peter Kougi

Matchplay Champ Andrew Fisher
Forty players attended to compete in this seven-game open event held on July 8th, to determine who would qualify to play in the subsequent knockout rounds.
Nick Ivanovski welcomed ex-Victorian player Helen Hynes from Queensland, and standby player Marj Miller was needed to even up the numbers. Nick moved the day along smoothly with help from his son and other players, and at the end of the day eight of the top nine finishers opted to contest the later rounds, with Helen Hynes unable to participate further due to her imminent return to Queensland.
Congratulations to all the qualifiers, and to the award winners on the day - many prizes were presented for various achievements including rating band prizes, high word and high game.
To check the full results of the 2018 Matchplay Qualifying Tournament click HERE

Update 30th July 2018: at the time of reporting the quarter finals have been completed, with Naween Fernando victorious over Angie Pearse, Andrew Fisher winning against Carol Johnsen and Peter Kougi winning against Matte Dunn. The most recently completed quarter final saw Trevor Halsall victorious over Christie Godby. Well done to all, more news will follow.

Happy Lina Camilleri with Peter Kougi,
also happy!

Glen Chandler, Dianne Gibson and Betty

John Rider, Mark Tully, John Parker,
and Rob York

Geoff Wright, Natasha Podesser and
Andrew Fisher

Final standings in the 2018 Matchplay

Congratulations to Andrew Fisher on winning this annual event, as always it was a tough contest!
Trevor Halsall 3
Peter Kougi 3
Andrew Fisher 3
Naween Fernando 3
Christie Godby 1
Matte Dunn 0
Carol Johnsen 0
Angie Pearse 1
Trevor Halsall 1
Andrew Fisher 4
Peter Kougi 4
Naween Fernando 3
Andrew Fisher 5
Peter Kougi 3

The Geelong Tournament ~ September 15, 2018

This event was held earlier in the year than usual, but still attracted 30 keen players to contest the 3 sections played.
A Division saw a great win to Kris Howat, who won five of the six games played, followed by Mary McMahon and Geoff Shepheard, both on four wins. Geoff took home both the High Game and High Word awards for the section, scoring 521 points and playing MINIBARS for 158 points. Well done Geoff! Barry Harridge remarked that he had been complaining about the rubbish he had been picking up in the 3 games before the lunch break, and then proceeded to kick off his 4th game with a bingo - RUBBISH (no blanks). And strangely, another of his games finished with neither blank being played. It is a strange game indeed!
In Division B local player Anne Menheere triumphed with the best margin of four players who finished on four wins each, a very close tussle. Second place went to Paula Messer, with Betty Egan third. Betty had a good day, winning the High Game award for her score of 505 points, and the High Word award for her play of OCREATE for 96 points.
Division C was won by Balada Catanchin on five wins, ahead of Marlene Ellis also on five wins, with Raelene Owen third on four wins. Marlene Ellis scored 473 points to win the High Game award, and Marisa Nuccitelli played RELAXED for 101 points to collect the High Word award.
People who made substantial ratings gains were Kris Howat +55, Anne Menheere +42, Balada Catanchin +34, Raelene Owen +32, Marlene Ellis +30, and Noel Coulter +27.
Thanks to Marlene Ellis and the Geelong Club members for their hospitality, and to Carol Johnsen for helping with the organisation, and acting as the Tournament Director.
To see the full results of the 2018 Geelong Tournament click HERE

The Australian Masters and State Team Challenge ~ September 8/9, 2018

The Victorian players - Masters winner Andrew Fisher,
Carol Johnsen, Trevor Halsall, Norma Fisher,
Peter Kougi and Gwen Lampre.

The winning team from the Australian Capital
Territory - Noel Barrett, John Spaan and
individual Challenge winner John Hamilton

The spacious and pleasant playing area at Southport R.S.L.

Scrabble Queensland were the hosts for this year's event, held at the Southport R.S.L. Club. Some travel arrangements were disrupted due to flight cancellations, with Chris May from New South Wales unable to play, and Roberta Tait from Queensland missing her spot in the Queensland team due to illness. Trish Brighton from Queensland filled in for Roberta, and the Masters were a player short. Tournament Organiser Martin Waterworth had the responsibility of sorting out these early problems, and play proceeded smoothly after he did this.
THE MASTERS: After 18 gruelling games the final positions were Andrew Fisher (Victoria, 1st on 14 wins), Peter Kougi (Victoria, 2nd/13), Cameron Farlow (Queensland, 3rd/12), Joanne Craig (New South Wales, 4th/11), and Trevor Halsall (Victoria 5th/10.5). Congrats to Andrew on his third win at this event, an excellent effort as this is always such a tough contest. Rael Hayman fron New South Wales scored 560 to win the High Game prize, and Adam Kretschmer from South Australia played MEDITATE for 158 points to secure the High Word award.
Previous MASTERS Champions: 2005 Trevor Halsall (Victoria), 2006 Bob Jackman (New South Wales), 2007 Naween Fernando (Victoria), 2008 David Eldar (Victoria), 2009 Andrew Fisher (Victoria), 2010 Peter Kougi (Victoria), 2011 Edward Okulicz (New South Wales), 2012 Edward won again, 2013 Alastair Richards (Queensland), 2014 Cameron Farlow (Queensland), 2015 Naween Fernando (Victoria), 2016 Joanne Craig (New South Wales), 2017 Andrew Fisher (Victoria), and again in 2018.

Masters winner Andrew Fisher, with
Jane Brown (Queensland) and Carol
Johnsen (Victoria)

Masters 2nd placed
Peter Kougi with
Jane Brown

Jane Brown with third
placed in the Masters,
Cameron Farlow

Joanne Craig from New
South Wales, fourth in
Masters (file photo)

Fifth in Masters,
Trevor Halsall
with Jane Brown

Jyoti Chandna, High Word in the Team
Challenge, with Jane Brown, Judy
Mason and Martin Waterworth

THE STATE TEAM CHALLENGE: the Victorian team struggled early, while the Australian Capital Territory established an early unassailable lead, with John Hamilton, Noel Barrett and John Spaan all playing extremely well and racking up 37 wins between them, the third highest in the history of this event!
The Victorian team improved greatly on the second day, and led strongly by Gwen Lampre worked their way up to finish in second place with 29 wins. Well done, Gwen Lampre, Norma Fisher and Carol Johnsen! South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania scored 28 wins per team, followed by Queensland on 20 wins and New South Wales on 19.
Individual place-getters in the Team Challenge were John Hamilton (Australian Capital Territory) on 16 wins, (well done, John!), Gwen Lampre (Victoria) second on 12 wins, and Dianne Brumby (Tasmania) third, also with 12 wins. Norma Fisher (Victoria) scored 525 to win High Game, and Jyoti Chandna (New South Wales) played DEVIATOR for 167 points to win High Word, well done to all.
Previous Champion Teams: 2005 South Australia (33 wins), 2006 Western Australia (38), 2007 Victoria (31), 2008 Queensland (32), 2009 Queensland (33), 2010 New South Wales (39), 2011 Queensland (33), 2012 New South Wales (31.5), 2013 South Australia (32.5), 2014 New South Wales (33), 2015 New South Wales (31), 2016 Western Australia (33), 2017 Victoria (31.5), and 2018 the Australian Capital Territory (37).
Congratulations to ASPA Queensland on your successful running of this event, all who attended were appreciative of your efforts.
To check the full results of the 2018 Australian Masters and State Team Challenge in the National Archive click HERE

The A.G.M. Tournament ~ Sunday August 19, 2018

Relaxing at lunchtime: Dominica Krstic, Angie
Winkler, Annette Casey, Mark Tully
Forty-four players took part in this annual tournament, and attended the Association's Annual General meeting which took place after the fourth game.
Tournament Organiser and Association President Carol Johnsen welcomed everyone, with a special welcome to newish player Carolyn Miller who had played Club scrabble for some years, and in the Saturday Session tournament the previous week - I hope you enjoyed the day, Carolyn!
The A.G.M. saw all Committee members returned, with the exception of Treasurer Rob Hutchinson who has stepped down due to personal commitments - thank you for serving on the Committee for the past couple of years, Rob. The position of Treasurer is currently vacant so if you know of anyone who might like to do the job please let President Carol know. The meeting voted to increase the number of ordinary committee members to six, and Anand Bharadwaj is the new member - Anand's scholastic achievements are notable, and he has a particular interest in promoting Youth Scrabble. Good luck, Anand!
The tournament started punctually and was very enjoyable, with delicious food provided in the breaks by caterer Liz Mc Kean and her mum. Thanks to you both, we all enjoyed it!
Division A saw Naween Fernando win all 7 games, well done, Naween. Second placed was Nick Ivanovski on 5 wins, with Dianne Davis third, also on 5 wins. The High Game prize went to Nick Ivanovski (594 points, the highest overall on the day) and Mark Tully plyed NARTJIES for 119 points to take home the High Word Award.
Division B was strongly contested, with June Valentine the victor on 6 wins, followed by Elaine Capewell and Dorothy Barraclough who both won 5 games. Elaine took home both the High Game and High Word prizes for her score of 506, and her play of SWEETEN for 98 points. Well done, everyone.
Division C was won by Asley McKeown, who won 6 games to finish clear of Laura Khan and Annette Casey on 5 wins each. Annette scored 487 points to collect the High Game Award, and Laura played QUACKED for 130 points to win the High Word Award - this was the highest word score for the day, nice play, Laura.
Excellent ratings gains on the day were achieved by June Valentine +48, Rena Aitken +44, Dianne Davis +33, Annette Casey +31 and Dorothy Barraclough +31. Ashley McKeon increased his provisional rating by 182 points, well done, Ashley and everyone, a great effort from all.

Division A: Naween Fernando, Dianne Davis,
Nick Ivanovski, Mark Tully

June Valentine, Elaine Capewell, multiple
winners in Division B

Multiple winners in Division C:
Annette Casey & Laura Khan

Second time tournament player, Carolyn
Miller, with regular Lina Camilleri

To see the full results of the 2018 AGM Tournament click HERE

Saturday Sessions 6 ~ August 11, 2018

Thirty-four players took part in the sixth Saturday Session for the year, providing great competition for all who attended. Nick Ivanovski welcomed new players Carolyn Miller and Niki Misinale, I hope both enjoyed their day.
Winners on the day were Andrew Fisher (A), Julie Belle (B), Kashi Thiris (C), Robin Steward (D) and Marisa Nuccitelli (E). Outstanding performances came from Andrew, Robin and Marisa, with all winning the five games played in their divisions. Robin played a great game to score 599 points and take home the High Game cash prize on the day, agonizingly close to the magical goal of 600! Well done to everyone, and thanks to all who helped Nick run the event!

Marisa Nuccitelli, E Division

Robin Steward, Division D

Div. C winner, Kashi Thiris

Winner Div. B, Julie Belle

Andrew Fisher, Div. A winner
Players who achieved excellent ratings gains on the day were Robin Steward + 42, Marisa Nucitelli +39, Kashi Thiris +29, and Julie Belle and Andrew Fisher who gained 24 points each.

To see the full results of the 2018 Saturday Session #6 click HERE

The Peninsula Tournament, July 28, 2018

After a late change of date due to a mix-up with the bookings 14 people met at the Mount Eliza Community Hall to contest the event, under the able direction of Carol Johnsen - thanks Carol, and also for the delightful food you provided. After six enjoyable games Angie Pearse proved too good and took home the top-place prize, with Jane McDonnell and Dianne Davis in second and third places respectively. Angie also played SEIZING for 108 points, the highest word score for the day, and the highest game score overall was achieved by Marj Miller for her score of 502.
Well done to everyone, and thanks for adjusting your weekend plans and coming on Saturday!

The winner Angie Pearse with Tournament
Director Carol Johnsen

Lynne Goodinson plays Sandra Masel, in
very pleasant surroundings

From the left: Dianne Davis, David Robinson,
Geoff Shepheard, Jane McDonnell

Mike McDonnell, Oliver Podesser, Barry
Harridge, Mark Tully
To see the full results of the 2018 Peninsula Tournament click HERE

Saturday Sessions 5 ~ July 21, 2018

Thirty-two players took part in the first of the Saturday Sessions for the second half of the year, with three more scheduled from August till late October. Two players competed in a tournament for the first time, namely Penny Mikulicz and Rajiv Amarnani, well done to you both. The usual format of five-game Round Robin groups resulted in five winners who received medals as awards, with the majority of the tournament revenue held over for the final 2018 Session in October, when substantial aggregate prizes will be awarded.

Trevor Halsall, Division A

Mark Tully, winner Div B

Christie Godby, Division C

Doreen Ivanovski, Div D

Balada Catanchin, Div E

New player Penny Mikulicz

Rajiv Amarnani, novice
Players who achieved excellent ratings gains on the day were Balada Catanchin +39, Anand Bharadwaj +30, Christie Godby +23, Norma Engel +22, and Shaun Donelly +22.
To see the full results of Saturday Sessions 5 click HERE

Annette Casey is the Most Improved Victorian Player for 2017-2018

President Carol Johnsen with the
winner of the award, Annette Casey.
Congrats, Annette!
This coveted award is presented to the player who has gained the most ratings points over the previous 12 month period, from June 1st till May 31st the following year, after being rated in the system for the whole period.

This year's excited and deserving winner was Annette Casey who gained a total of 228 rating points after playing 72 games in the allocated period. Annette received a "Map of Victoria" trophy and a cash prize for her brilliant effort, well done, Annette!

Other great rating gains over the year were recorded by Siva Sivapalasundram +186, Lynne Goodinson +163, Phil Moller +169, Christiane McCann +150, Cheryle Jerram + 150, and John Metcalf +146.

Three other Victorians also gained considerable points - Jeremy Yip, Oscar Ivanovski and Doreen Ivanovski, but as none had competed over the full 12 month period, they weren't eligible for the award.

Well done to everyone who improved their rating over the year, it's not an easy thing to do....and good luck in your Scrabble for the coming year.
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The second McKinnon House Fundraising Tournament ~ July 24, 2018

The tournament attendees, with helpers
This is the second time that Khwanjai Thammaping has organised an event to raise funds for an end-of-year trip for the residents at her place of work, McKinnon House. With the help of other staff and carers, including Fili and Joyce, several of the residents attended and enjoyed some scrabble, some against our Victorian ASPA members - well done, all. The residents had been practising at McKinnon House with the aid of the "big" scrabble board, with help from Khwanjai, Christie Godby and Rob York. At the tournament a delightful lunch was cooked for all by Sue, Khwanjai's colleague, and this was appreciated by all, as were the generous between-game snacks.
A raffle and donations helped to swell the final total raised, which by the end of the day amounted to $1000, a very pleasing amount indeed. Khwanjai and the McKinnon House residents are deeply grateful for the support received from all.

McKinnon House residents and Scrabble
players get together

Player Dorothy Barraclough with Michaela
and her sister Lisa

Happy players Balada Catanchin & Elaine
McGinnes with the jelly slice

Relaxing after lunch - Geoff Wright, Rena Aitken
and Jenny Brysha

Shaun Donnelly with Khwanjai Thammaping

Ashley McKeon, new
player on the day
The six-game three-division tournament resulted in some some great play under the excellent supervision of Tournament Director Barry Harridge, thanks on behalf of Khwanjai for your contribution to the smooth running of the event, Barry.
Barry welcomed Ashley McKeon to his first rated tournament - we hope you enjoyed your day, Ashley, winning 3 games is a great start to your Scrabble career.
Division A saw Geoff Shepheard win six games to emerge the victor (great result, Geoff), with Geoff Wright second on 5 wins, and Alan Burn third on four wins. Alan also won the High Game award for ONESELF (97 points), and Angie Pearse won the High Game prize for her score of 527.
Division B was won by Glen Chandler with five wins, followed by Paula Messer and Shirley de Silva, both on four wins. Dominica Krstic's great score of 535 won her the choccies for High Game, and Shaun Donnelly's mighty play of MIGHTILY for 119 points earned him the High Word prize. Both Dominica's High Game and Shaun's High Word were the best overall on the day, well done to you both.

Division A: Geoff Wright, Alan Burn, Geoff
Shepheard & Angie Pearse

Div B: Paula Messer, Dominica Krstic, Shirley
de Silva, Glen Chandler & Shaun Donnelly

Division C: Elaine McGinnes, Elizabeth McKean
and Glenys Dettmann

Friends - Carol Johnsen, Fili and Suchada from
McKinnon House, and Lina Camilleri
Division C saw the second clean sweep for the day, a great effort from Glenys Dettmann to win six games, with Elizabeth McKean second on five wins, and Balada Catanchin in third place on four wins. Jenny Plant's excellent score of 467 earned her the High Game award, and Elaine McGinnes played INVESTS for 106 points to win the High Word chocolate.
It was lovely to see the McKinnon House people enjoying themselves, as did the Association members. Well done to all placegetters, and to those who made significant rating gains on the day: Geoff Shepheard + 62, Glen Chandler +49, Glenys Dettmann +41, Balada Catanchin +39, Elizabeth McKean +37, Christie Godby +6, and Betty Egan +30.

The Victorian Scrabble Championship ~ Trevor Halsall wins his third title!
June 9-10th 2018

The delighted 2018 Champion, Trevor Halsall

The major place getters: Rod Talbot (NSW equal High Word),
Esther Perrins (NSW 2), Trevor Halsall (Vic 1 & equal
High Word), Joanne Craig (NSW 3), Andrew Fisher (Vic 5) &
Naween Fernando (Vic 4).
Here's a report from Tournament Organiser and Director, Carol Johnsen - thanks, Carol.
Oh, the Melbourne weather, with a promising field of 52 players coming to the Victorian Championship it was going to be a good weekend. Well, by 8.45am on the Saturday, 8 players had phoned in to dip out - mostly because of sickness. Our first sign of winter, and we all fall by the wayside.
Nine games each day ran smoothly and provided continual challenges by at least 8 players to vie for the Championship until the end of the 17th game where Trevor Halsall had a very large margin lead, virtually ensuring that he was once again the 2018 Victorian Champion.
One of Trevor's games against Naween Fernando attracted international attention as it involved only a total of 20 moves with 7 bingos between them and the surprise was that a play of CAPIZ by Trevor for 87 points was more than any of the 7 bingos had scored. Also Glen Chandler and Paula Messer were delighted when the play of GOATEES fitted very nicely over the O of IVORIES.
Aside from the published results, our special prizes of $300 each went to John Rider for "Highest Placed Under 1400" and Jeremy Yip for "Highest Placed Under 1200".. Glen Chandler - RELATION - and Paula Messer - JEWELLED both scored 122 and were awarded $50 each for "Highest Word for Under 1400" and $50 was won by Angie Pearse - 529 - for "High Game Under 1400".

Gwen Lampre, High Game Champs,
with Rene Chelton

Rod Talbot and Trevor Halsall, joint
High Word winners in the Champs

Angie Pearse, High Game Award Rated
under 1400 - score 529 points

Victoria's Jeremy Yip, highest
finisher Rated Under 1200.

Glen Chandler & Paula Messer, joint
winners Under 1400 High Word Award

Our visitors from New South Wales

Queensland players who made the trip

From South Australia - Carmel and Jane

Visiting from Tasmania, Dianne Brumby

Table 1 - Alan Burn v Elize Plaganyi
Special thanks to Norma Fisher for her pre-tournament assistance, and to all who helped in any way throughout the tournament - your help is appreciated indeed. Also thanks to standby players Christie Godby and Marj Miller, our photographer Khwanjai Thammaping, and to our caterer Elizabeth McKean who did a sterling job keeping everyone well fed with a great variety of food. Thanks, everyone!
Notable rating gains were achieved by the following: Jeremy Yip (who is still on a provisional rating) gained 171 points, Angie Pearse +79, Keri Heart from Tasmania +78, John Rider +73 and Joanne Craig from New South Wales + 54.
To check the full results of the 2018 Victorian Championship click HERE

Vale Margaret Warmington 24/8/1930 ~ 25/5/2018

2010: Margaret with friends Lorraine Thomas
and Ann Hagley

Margaret at her 80th birthday, with Alistair Kane
Here are some words from Barry Harridge, a friend of Margaret for many years:

Sad to hear of the passing of Margaret Warmington. She and her husband Jim, who died some years ago, were stalwarts of the earlier Scrabble scene in Melbourne. They both shared a great sense of humour and were loved by so many in the Scrabble scene. Rest in peace, Margaret.
Postscript: The funeral arrangements have now been made. The service will take place at Wattle Park Chalet on Wed 6 June at 11am.

The Cranbourne Tournament ~ May 20, 2018

Late in the day: Khwanjai Thammaping plays
Dominica Krstic, nearest the camera

Cranbourne's hard workers, in the kitchen!
Katie Rowe, Gayle Cameron and Sue Bridges
Is he coming? Is she not? A surprising number of last-minute withdrawals and last-minute entries kept us guessing right up to the start of the tournament on Sunday, but the numbers settled and we played three equal sections of 12, with some interesting results. Before we started, it was my privilege to present Noel Coulter with his 1000 game badge. Congratulations Noel!
Morning and afternoon tea were provided by Sue Bridges and Gayle Cameron who also played in the tournament, and by Elaine Capewell who was not well enough to attend but nevertheless sent her usual delicious cakes and slices.
Two boxes of Harry Potter Scrabble Sets were awarded after Game 6. Dianne Davis took one home for the Smallest Winning Margin with just one point difference, and Val Wills won the other for the Lowest Winning Score of just 298. Taped under a "lucky chair" was a photo of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Annette Casey was the winner of this third prize, a tall jar of unusual coloured and scented soaps.

Division C winners: Annette Casey, Rena
Aitken, Laura Khan

Division B: Siva Sivapalasundram, Lorraine
Thomas, John Rider

Division A: Cheryle Jerram, Angie Pearse,
Natasha Podesser, Geoff Wright

Annette Casey, who won the Lucky Seat Prize
after sitting on the hidden Royal Couple!
Laura Khan won C Section with 6 wins and a margin of 190. Christiane McCann was 2nd with 5 wins and a 316 margin, and Annette Casey also with 5 wins came in 3rd with a margin of 154. Lynne Goodinson had an excellent score of 528 to win High Game, and Rena Aitken took home the High Word prize with 90 for DECEIVER.
The B section was won by John Rider with 6 wins and a margin of 392, followed by Siva Sivapalasundram who had 5 wins and a 349 margin, closely followed in 3rd place by Lorraine Thomas who also won 5 games. Her margin was 326. Dianne Gibson's score of 508 won the High Game award, and Siva Sivapalasundram scored 90 for FORINTS for the High Word prize.
Geoff Wright had a great day in Section A with 6 wins and the top margin of 547. Cheryle Jerram surprised herself with 5 wins for 2nd place with a margin of 206, and Natasher Podesser made a late run to finish 3rd with 4 wins and a margin of 284. Lynn Weaver had the highest scoring game in the A section with 504, and the High Word prize went to Angie Pearse who scored 95 points for ENDOWING.

Katie Rowe with Noel Coulter, very proud of
his 1000 game badge

Siva Sivapalasundram v. Phil Moller, with Glen
Chandler playing John Rider at the next board

Tournament Director Katie Rowe at the end of
the day, very happy that all is almost done!

Jenny Brysha v. Dianne Davis, with Natasha
Podesser playing Alan Burn next door
Marj Miller's help was invaluable in so many ways, but particularly guiding me on the computer program which I only use once a year and trip up on occasionally, and Gayle Cameron and Sue Bridges made catering look easy. Norma Fisher must have been up at dawn to deliver equipment and help set up, although unable to stay for the tournament, and Rob York made a quick delivery before he too had to leave. Thanks also to Geoff Shepheard for so much assistance after the tournament.
Thanks to Katie for this great report, and thanks to the Cranbourne members for their hard work and yummy baking!
Some happy players, with excellent ratings gains after the event, were Cheryle Jerram + 45, John Rider +39, Annette Casey +39, Laura Khan +38, and Siva Sivapalsundram + 33. Well done to everyone!
To check the full results of the 2018 Cranbourne Tournament click HERE

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The 2018 Tri-State Challenge in Gundagai - Victoria Win again!!

The final standings - only games played between
the three states counted towards the team results.
Another enjoyable weekend trip to Gundagai where Victoria was once again victorious in a tight finish to defeat ACT and New South Wales. Thirty-one players competed (10 ACT, 11 Victoria and 10 NSW).
Play commenced at 1pm on Saturday afternoon with 5 games followed by two after dinner. At the end of the night, Victoria had a handsome lead of 10 games.
But then, how the tides turn. On Sunday morning, NSW and ACT made their late charges and either could have overtaken Victoria.
Tremendous thanks are due to John Hamilton for his outstanding work in determining how best to format the tournament for fairness. Four sections with 3 playing round robins and one a straight Australian Draw with a King of the Hill worked out brilliantly.
Noel Coulter had a double with HEISTING for 158 and the Highest Game score of 552; and Norma Fisher was the winner of the Highest Ratings Gain with 59 points. Novice Hillary Wilde of Tumut competed and it was pleasing to see Arie Holla play before he moves from Tumut to Ballarat later in the year.

The Victorian team, with Heather Long missing!
Well done to you all!

The team from the Australian Capital Territory -
congrats on second place

Team New South Wales, who came in a close third!
Well done, N.S.W.

The Victorian team singing their new theme song,
penned by Peter and Glenys Dettmann

The Victorian team stood up this year with a ditty sung to the tune of "On the Road to Gundagai" penned by Glenys and Peter Dettmann:
There's a stack on my rack
That I want to throw back
At the Tri-State in Gundagai.

Where the Vics are competing
And winning without cheating
Beneath the cloudy sky.

Tho' Actrarians and Welshies are trying their best,
They will struggle to beat us 'cos we have the zest
So...we keep playing to win
Which is never thought a sin
Then return from Gundagai!

Next year's Tri-State Challenge (to be hosted by NSW) is booked in at the Junee RSL for May 4 and 5, 2019. Put it in your diaries now. Accommodation in town includes the Junee Motor Inn, The Crossing Motel and the Junee Tourist Park. Make sure you book your accommodation early. (Thanks to Carol Johnsen for this report.)

Carol Johnsen with Div A
winner, Bob Jackman
from NSW

Carol with Norma Fisher,
winner of Division B and
High Rating Gain

Gary Pollard from NSW, winner of Div C,
with Owen Randall (ACT) and opponent
George Khamis (NSW)

Carol congratulates Division
D winner, Glenys Dettmann
from Victoria

Serious play in progress - Ronnie Bennett (ACT)
plays Norma Fisher from Victoria, with Noel
Coulter and Peter Bauer, both from Victoria

First-time tournament
player Hillary Wilde
from Tumut, NSW

To check the full results of the 2018 Tri-State Challenge click HERE

Vale Doug Ristic ~ May 7, 2018

Doug, looking healthy and happy, in 2010
at the Marwal Centre in Balwyn North.

The Vic Team at Wagga Wagga in 2011, with Doug on the right

Doug in his element, after
catching a heap of fish.
Doug had played scrabble for many years, in many tournaments and at various clubs. He was particularly fond of traveling to the Border Challenges, which took him to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, and various towns in Victoria's west, such as Dimboola, Donald, Nhill and Horsham. His first recorded tournament is the 2001 Victorian Championship, and his most played opponents over the years were Mal Eden, the late Alan Cole and Dorothy Barraclough.
Doug always spoke lovingly of his mother, who managed to keep all the family in touch in spite of time spent in homes in various places, such as Geelong.
His greatest interest, probably even greater than Scrabble, was fishing. One of Doug's best mates was Rex Hunt, well known AFL footballer, commentator and fisherman. Last week on his radio show Rex made the comment that Doug was a champion fisherman, and always ready to teach the sport to those with less knowledge.
Many remember Doug as a very difficult and outspoken person, but many also remember him as being a kind-hearted and caring person. He passed away on Monday May 7th after a series of health problems, and his ashes have been scattered over The Three Sisters fishing area off Sorrento pier, a favourite take-off place for many of his fishing ventures.
Thank you to Dianne Davis and Frank Csarics for attending the lovely service, held in a rotunda near Sorrento pier, following which ten of Doug's family and friends took to sea in a friend's fishing boat to scatter his ashes.
Doug is survived by his three sisters and three brothers. Rest in peace, Doug.

The annual Nunawading Tournament ~ April 29, 2018

The Nunawading Players, front: John Parker, Cheryle Jerram,
Elaine McGinnes, Fintan Conway. Back: Phil Moller, Geoff
Shepheard, Margaret Hopstaken, Latha Weerakkody, Karen Harris
and Fintan's carer Kate.

Sixty keen players competed at our regular venue,
the Box Hill Senior Citizens' Centre, in four
divisions: Masters, Advanced, Intermediate and

Margaret Hopstaken from the
Nunawading Club, who played
(and thoroughly enjoyed!)
her first tournament.

Karen Harris, also from the
Nunawading Club, who
returned after a break from
tournament play.
Thanks to Cheryle Jerram, convenor of the Nunawading Scrabble Club, for this report:
A number of members of the Nunawading Club had success: Cheryle Jerram, Geoff Shepheard and John Parker were all in ‘the money’. Our Novice, Margaret Hopstaken, enjoyed her first competition, and Karen Harris played again after an absence. Other winners were Natasha Podesser, Paula Messer, and Ann Goodwin. Delicious food provided by our caterer, Elaine Capewell, was supplemented by generous contributions from club members. Our Director and computer operator, Marj Miller, again made an invaluable contribution with some help from Barry Harridge. Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher were again stalwart supporters.

The Masters winners: Natasha
Podesser, first and High Word: EXPLAIN
for 131 points, with Geoff Wright,
third place. Missing: Gwen Lampre second
and Andrew Fisher High Game 573.

Advanced: Cheryle Jerram first (won all 7
games!), Geoff Shepheard second, Barry
Harridge High Game 497 & High Word
UNPLACED 98 points. Missing: Lynn
Weaver third.

The Intermediate winners: Tam Dasika
second place and High Word JEERINGS 101,
with Paula Messer first place, Dorothy Rice
High Game 498 points, and John Parker third

Recreation Champions: Del Stitz third,
Ann Goodwin first, with Trish Magee,
second place and High Game 504 and High
Word BASTIONS 149 points, the best
overall for the day.
Impressive ratings gains were achieved by Cheryle Jerram +77, Trish Magee +44, Gwen Lampre +44, and Tam Dasika +41. Well done to these players, and to all award winners in each division.
To check the full results of the 2018 Nunawading tournament click HERE

Saturday Session IV ~ April 14, 2018

The fourth and final session of the first batch of Saturday Sessions for the year saw forty players in attendance at St Gabriel's School in Reservoir , despite some rather inclement weather. Players were divided into six divisions, and all played five games. Winners on the day were Andrew Fisher, Julie Belle, Barry Harridge, Rob York, Robin Steward and Annette Casey. Congrats, everyone!

Annette Casey, Div F

Robin Steward, Div E

Rob York, Div D

Barry Harridge, Div C

Julie Belle, Div B

Andrew Fisher, Div A

Prizewinners for the first four combined Sessions: in front, Oscar Ivanovski,
then from left to right: Andrew Fisher, Carol Johnsen, Geoff Shepheard,
Dorothy Barraclough, Shaun Donnelly, Elizabeth McKean & Ann Goodwin.
The Overall Results:
There were two Ratings Gain prizes overall, and these were won by Robin Steward and Carol Johnsen, well done to you both.
Points were also awarded over the four Sessions based on placings - first in a section was awarded 6 points, second - 5 points, third - 4 points, fourth - 3 points, fifth - 2 points, sixth place and below received 1 point. (In the case of ties the prize monies were equally divided between the players.) Saturday Sessions Awards were presented as per the above system:
For those rated above 1350 Carol Johnsen's aggregate was 22, with Andrew Fisher second on 19 and Geoff Shepheard third on 16.
For those rated 1000-1349 Robin Steward's aggregate was 23, followed by Shaun Donelly 19 and Dorothy Barraclough on 17.
For those rated Under 1000 Elizabeth McKean's aggregate was 17, followed by Ann Goodwin and Oscar Ivanovski who tied for second place on 16 points.
The concept of this series of tournaments has been well received by the players, and we thank Nick Ivanovski for his foresight in organising and running them, and thanks to Clare Ivanovski for looking after refreshments for us.
The next series of four Saturday Sessions commences on July 14, and we hope you can make it!
To see the full results of Saturday Session IV click HERE

The Australian Championship and Plate, March 31 - April 2 2018

Edward Okulicz from New South Wales, the
delighted 2018 Australian Scrabble Champion

CASPA President Carol Johnsen (Victoria) with Tournament
Organiser and Director John Hamilton (ACT)
The 2018 National Championship and Plate were well organised in Canberra by the team from the Australian Capital Territory, led by President John Hamilton, Susan MacGillivray and Christine Foot, with help from several other Canberrans, including Phillip Hamilton. Phillip played several games to keep the numbers even in the Championship, and Webmaster Barry Harridge from Victoria posted regular updates of the standings as well as playing the last game as someone had to leave early. John organised the live-streaming of some games with his young helpers, and this was appreciated by many. Well done to you all, it was a most enjoyable event.

The Bradman Stand at Manuka Oval proved to be a pleasant venue, with Canberra's lovely weather enabling welcome access to the balconies and seating surrounding the ground, and easy access to the Manuka Shopping strip which was great for those seeking lunch. Support from sponsors Communities at Work, the Argyle Hotel and delivery firm Deliveroo was greatly appreciated by all.

As always this 3-day 24-game Championship was contested by a tough field, with a total of 89 players taking part. All but five of the top twenty-five Australians competed, joined by one of Malaysia's toughest players Yeo Kian Hung, and welcome regular visitor Cheah Siu Hean from Singapore, always a challenge to win against.
There were six different leaders throughout, with Yeo Kian Hung in first place after Rounds 1,2 and 14, Cameron Farlow (Queensland) lead after Round 3, Jakob Teitelbaum (A.C.T.) lead after Round 4, Daniel Piechnick (South Australia) lead following Rounds 5, 16, and 18-21, Esther Perrins (New South Wales) lead after Round 17, and the Champion Edward Okulicz (N.S.W) lead after Rounds 6-13, 15, and 22-24.

Daniel Piechnick,
second place

Yeo Kian Hung, third place, with John Hamilton
and Webmaster Barry Harridge

Jakob Teitelbaum, fourth
place and High Rating Gain

Esther Perrins,
fifth place

Chris May,
sixth place

Naween Fernando,

Trevor Halsall,
eighth place
Edward finished on 18 wins, half a game clear of Daniel Peichnick on 17.5, and Yeo Kian Hung on 17. Congrats to Edward on such a fine performance, it was a well deserved win to someone who does so much for Scrabble. This is Edward's second title, the last being in 2001, so he was delighted to win after such a long break.
The High Game Award went to Andrew Fisher for a great score of 642, and Anand Bharadwaj's excellent play of HERBIEST for 194 points won the prize for High Word. Jakob Teitelbaum from the A.C.T. won the High Rating Gain for the Championship gaining 105 points, well done, Jakob and everyone else, as far as I could see the tournament was played in excellent spirits, and it was a delight to take part.

Russell Honeybun Western Australia, Naween Fernando Victoria,
Graham Lock Lee New South Wales, and Andrew Fisher Victoria,
High Game Award winner (642)

Anand Bharadwaj, Victoria,
High Word Award winner for
HERBIEST, 194 points

Ian Ting from Western
Australia, winner Rating
Band 1400-1600

Dianne Davis, Victoria,
second place in Rating
Band 1400-1600

Katie Rowe from Victoria,
winner Rating Band Under

Geoff Shepheard, Victoria,
second place Rating Band
Under 1400

This event was also hotly contested, with 60 keen Australians vying for one of the many prizes on offer. The lead changed many times, with the following leading at various times: Alan Mathews (Western Australia) lead the field after Games 1,3,and 6, John Salmon (Western Australia) lead after Game 2, Susan Roberts (South Australia) lead after Game 4, Kannan Sethuraman (Victoria) lead after Game 5, Suzy Brownlow (Queensland) lead after games 7-8 and 10-11, Shaun Donnelly (Victoria) lead after Game 9, and Games 12-19. At this stage all Victorians were hopeful that Shaun would win the Plate, but his unlucky third day saw Don Hadley from New South Wales take charge, emerging as the winner after leading from Games 20-24. Congratulations, Don, a well-deserved win.
Don finished half a game clear on 17 wins, ahead of second-placed Francoise Finlayson, with Suzy Brownlow third and Ronnie Bennett fourth, both on 16 wins. The next four placegetters won 15 games, with Rhona Kenyon fifth, Shaun Donnelly sixth, Larissa Huxley seventh, and Phil Moller eighth.

Don Hadley N.S.W., first &
Rating Band 1000-1200

Francoise Finlayson, South
Australia, Plate second

Ronnie Bennett, Australian,
Capital Territory, Plate fourth

Rhona Kenyon, Australian,
Capital Territory, Plate fifth

Shaun Donnelly, Victoria,
Plate sixth

Larissa Huxley, Queensland,
Plate seventh

Phil Moller, Victoria,
Plate eighth
High Game for the Plate was won by Benjamin Lee for his great score of 536, and Terry Horan took home the High Word Award for playing JETLINER for 185 points.
Ratings band prizes were awarded to Don Hadley and Suzy Brownlow for best performed players rated 1000-1200, and Louisa Atsas and Liz Jackman were rewarded as best rated players Under 1000. The Overall Ratings Gain Award was won by Heather Sorensen, who gained the amazing amount of 101 points. Well done to everyone, it was a great contest indeed, and worthy of mention is the number of prizes won by the host state, the Australian Capital Territory. Well done to you all!

Benjamin Lee, Western
Australia, High Game 536

Terry Horan, A.C.T., Plate
High Word 185

Heather Sorensen, A.C.T.,
Plate - Highest Rating Gain

Louisa Atsas, South
Australia, Best Under 1000

Liz Jackman, N.S.W., second
Rating Band Under 1000

John Barker is honoured in song by good friends New
South Welshmen George Khamis and Graeme Lock Lee
All awards were presented at a celebration dinner which was held at Rydges Hotel not far from Manuka Oval, and apart from the delight for those who received awards a highlight of the night was an award and congratulations extended to New South Wales player John Barker who recently played his 7000th tournament game in Australia, as well as many more overseas in various cuntries. John is a great supporter of Scrabble, well done, John. Graeme Lock Lee and George Khamis honoured John with a musical tribute, with Graeme playing his trusty ukulele. Edward's acceptance speech was delightful, once again well done, Edward!
The 2019 Championship and Plate will be hosted by Tasmania over the Easter break, April 20-22nd, and I look forward to catching up with many of you there.

To check the full results of the Championship and the Plate in the Australian archive click HERE

The Nationals Warmup Tournament ~ March 25, 2018

This open 7-game event attracted 52 players who enjoyed the day out, with new caterer Livia Caulfield doing a wonderful job with a lovely variety of goodies. Thanks, Livia! President Carol Johnsen welcomed the players, including new player John Ryan. John enjoyed his baptism of fire, winning two games and achieving a provisional rating of 680, well done, John. It was lovely to have our Tasmanian friend Frances Adams playing - Frances is on her way to Canberra with good friend Katie Rowe for the National Championship, so good luck, Frances and everyone.

Overall top three placegetters - Geoff
Wright, Katie Rowe & John Rider

Winners rated 1000-1300 - Noel Coulter,
Diane Stoyan & Rob Hutchinson

Winners rated below 1000 - Rena Aitken,
Annette Casey - absent: Laura Khan

The High Word and High Game winners -
Gwen Lampre and Sue Bridges
Overall the top three placegetters were Geoff Wright who was delighted to take first place, followed by John Rider and Katie Rowe. (Good play, everyone!) All were on six wins separated only by margin, so it was a very close contest indeed. John had been uncertain whether to play in the Championship or the Plate in Canberra at Easter, but the decision has been made for him - John has reached a rating of 1300 which precludes him from entering the Plate.

The second rating band (1000-1300) also saw three players finish on 5 wins with Rob Hutchinson in first place, Noel Coulter came in second, and Diane Stoyan placed third. Well played, all! Noel is looking forward to the Nationals, and will be a formidable opponent for many of the players.

In the third rating band (below 1000) Rena Aitken had a wonderful day, finishing on four wins as did second-placed Laura Khan and Annette Casey. All three are improving their Scrabble, which is great. Well played, girls!

An overall High Game Award was won by Sue Bridges for a great game score of 573, and Gwen Lampre took home the overall High Word Award for her excellent play of EXITING for 141 points.

New player on the day, John Ryan - welcome
to tournament play, John

Angie Winkler, Trish Magee, Mal Eden and
Elize Plaganyi

Oliver Podesser plays Geoff Shepheard,
with Diane Stoyan playing Laura Khan

Mythili Rudra plays Rob Hutchinson, and
Katie Rowe plays Jenny Brysha
Notable ratings gains were achieved by the following: John Rider +65, Laura Khan +56, Geoff Wright +46, and Annette Casey +41. Well done to everyone, and thank you to all who helped in any way, your assistance is appreciated as always.
To see the full results of the Nationals Warmup click HERE

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Happening over Easter - the National Championship and Plate

The Australian Capital Territory's John Hamilton, with helpers Susan McGillivray, Philip Hamilton and others, has been busy organising these events, to be played at Manuka Oval, Manuka Circuit, Griffith in Canberra from March 31st to April 2nd.
Both sections will play 24 games: 8 on Saturday, 9 on Sunday, and 7 on Monday. Players rated 1300 and above will play in the Championship, while those below 1300, with a few exceptions, will take part in the Plate. John Hamilton is the Tournament Director, and Victoria's Barry Harridge is the Webmaster for the event.
Here are the top twelve contenders (eight are previous Australian Champions, some multiple winners) with their home state or country, in no particular order:

Peter Kougi

Edward Okulicz
New South Wales

Naween Fernando

Russell Honeybun
Western Australia

Anand Bharadwaj

Trevor Halsall

Andrew Fisher

Chrs May
New South Wales

Esther Perrins
New South Wales

Cameron Farlow

Yeo Kian Hung

Daniel Piechnick
South Australia
Good luck to all contenders in both the Championship and the Plate, and if you'd like to follow the event over the Easter weekend click HERE

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Saturday Sessions lll ~ Saturday March 10, 2018

Lovely blue skies over St. Gabriel's, Reservoir

Champs in Div A - Trevor Halsall, Andrew
Fisher, Edward Okulicz, Naween Fernando.
All are playing in the Australian Scrabble
Championship in Canberra at Easter, and it
promises to be an intriguing event!
The third Saturday Session (in the first group of four) saw 42 players take part, with Edward Okulicz from New South Wales joining Division A to give the top-rated players some different tough opposition.
Division A - Trevor Halsall won all five games and achieved his highest rating level in his entire Scrabble history, well done, Trevor!
Division B - the closest-fought section, but Carol Johnsen continued on her winning way - Carol has won all three Division B medals to date.
Division C - Barry Harridge was very hard to beat, winning four games ahead of the rest of the field.
Division D - Shaun Donnelly was one of two people to win all five games, well done on your win, Shaun.
Division E - Robin Steward also won five games to convincingly win his section - good play, Robin.
Division F - Balada Catanchin played well to win this section with four wins - well done, Balada.
Division G - Annette Casey won four games to win her first trophy, great play, Annette!

Division A Winner,
Trevor Halsall

Division B winner, Carol
Johnsen with Rod Casey

Division C winner,
Barry Harridge

Division D winner,
Shaun Donnelly

Top in Division E,
Robin Steward

Champ in Division F,
Balada Catanchin

Division E winner,
Annette Casey

Annette Casey plays Margaret Peterson, with
Rebeccah Booth playing Oscar Ivanovski

Happy Div F players - Balada Catanchin, Ann
Goodwin, Norma Engel, Marisa Nuccitelli

Division C contestants - Barry Harridge,
Lynn Weaver, Rob York

The end of a good day - Nick Ivanovski with
Kashi Thiris and Faye Leeder
Happy players who raised their ratings substantially were: Robin Steward +45, Trevor Halsall +42, Balada Catanchin +39, Shaun Donnelly +38, Barry Harridge +31, and Annette Casey +29. Well done, everyone. The major cash prizes will be handed out after the fourth Saturday Session, which is scheduled for April 14th.
To check the full results of Saturday Sessions lll click HERE

The annual Langwarrin Tournament ~ March 4, 2018

The Langwarrin crew: Peter Attwood, Alan Burn,
Geoff Gittus, Mardi Healy.
Top: Katie Rowe, Chris Radin, Elaine Capewell
This was the 18th yearly event run by the Langwarrin Club, well done, Langwarrin members! 42 players contested three sections at the Langwarrin Community Centre, and it was a happy well-run occasion. Thanks to Tournament Director Carol Johnsen and Club Convenor Mardi Healy and all her willing helpers who did such a great job and provided a wonderful array of food to keep us all well nourished. It really was delightful!

The outstanding performance on the day came from Dianne Davis in Division AVIARY - Dianne won all six games, well done, Di. Second place went to Frank Csarics on five wins, with Noel Coulter third on four wins, a good comeback, Noel. The High Game Award went to Geoff Shepheard for his score of 496, and Jenny Brysha's play of SEIZERS for 108 points won her the High Word Award. Jenny also earned herself a place in the National 2018 records with her opening play of QINTArS for 100 points, well done, Jenny.

In BEACH Division Marj Miller won five games, a little ahead on margin of Rob York also on five wins, with Mal Eden finishing third on four wins after a slow start to the day. The High Game Award went to Mal Eden for his score of 511, and Rob York took home the High Word Award for his play of INTERSEX for 98 points.

CURRAJONG Division saw Langwarrin player Geoff Gittus come out on top, winning five games ahead of Latha Weerakkody and Ann Goodwin, both on four wins. The High Game Award went to Latha Weerakkody for her excellent score of 469 points, and the High Word Award was won by Eileen Mills for playing SQUARES for 91 points.

AVIARY Champs: Geoff Shepheard, Frank Csarics,
Jenny Brysha, Dianne Davis and Noel Coulter

BEACH division winners: Mal Eden, Marj Miller
and Rob York

The CURRAJONG winners: Geoff Gittus, Latha
Weerakkody, Ann Goodwin and Eileen Mills
Some happy players achieved excellent ratings gains on the day - Dianne Davis +49, Noel Coulter +46, Frank Csarics +38, Rob York +34, Geoff Gittus +34, and Eileen Mills +31. Congratulations to you all!
To see the full results of the Langwarrin tournament click HERE

Saturday Sessions 11 ~ February 24, 2018

Saturday Sessions 2 - Rebeccah Booth at the centre

Rob York and Shaun Donnelly at the head of Table D

Three generations of the
Ivanovski family played -
Doreen, Nick, Oscar

Winner of Division F:
Elizabeth McKean.
Liz now has 2 wins

Division C winner,
Geoff Shepheard.
Geoff is also on two wins

Carol Johnsen,
winner of Division B
for the second time

The victor in Division G,
Marisa Nuccitelli,
who won all 5 games

Triumphant in Division D,
Rob York,
winner of all 5 games

Winner of Division A,
Andrew Fisher,
on the comeback trail

First tournament for
Margaret Peterson
from the Watsonia Club
To see the full results of Saturday Sessions 2 click HERE

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The Annual Melbourne Team Challenge ~ February 11, 2018

Ann Goodwin, Jenny Brysha, Phil Moller, Natasha Podesser,
Oliver Podesser, Lina Camilleri and Siva Sivapalasundram,
who received his 1000 game badge earlier in the day

Play in progress, with the Twinkles playing the Black Caps at Bench A, and the Green Caps playing the Bunnies
at Bench B

Once again 56 players arrived to compete in the Team Challenge, a round robin type event with 8 teams of 7 players playing their opposite number in the seven opposing teams. The teams are worked out according to ratings in one of Barry Harridge's clever programs, and this year it worked like a dream. Thanks to Barry the event got off to a smooth start, which it hasn't always done!

The Black Caps (2nd) Marisa Nuccitelli, Christiane
McCann, Paula Messer, Noel Coulter, Angie
Pearse, Lynne Goodinson, Norma Fisher

The Bunnies (3rd) Back: Dianne Davis, Rob York,
Glenys Dettmann, Katie Rowe.
Front: Fintan Conway, June Valentine

The Robin Hoods (4th) Carol Mascitti, Gayle
Cameron, Annette Casey, Lynn Weaver, John
Rider, Mythili Rudra

The Pirates (5th) Mary Mackie, David Eldar, John
Parker, Rob Hutchinson, Dominica Krstic,
Elizabeth McKean, Angie Winkler
Highlight of the day was the performance of the GREEN CAPS (congratulations to you all!) who finished 2 games clear of the BLACK CAPS, with the BUNNIES just behind on margin. Well done, Green Caps! Other high achievers were those who won all seven games, and not surprisingly the three who achieved this filled the top three places in the concurrent individual contest, well done David Eldar, Michael Smitheram and Shaun Donnelly. (David has enjoyed his time at home in Melbourne, and has since returned to his other home in England. We look foward to your next visit, David.) The overall High Game Award went to Peter Kougi for his excellent score of 568, and the High Word Award went to Paula Messer for her play of QUASHED for 109. Well done to everyone.

The Builders (6th) Rebeccah Booth, Glen
Chandler, Shaun Donnelly, Elize Plaganyi,
Lorraine Thomas, Dorothy Hunt, Andrew Fisher

The Blue Caps (7th) Christie Godby, Peter
Kougi, Latha Weerakkody, Elaine McGinnes,
Barry Harridge, Kris Howat, Rena Aitken

The Twinkles (8th) Elaine Capewell, Laura
Khan, Geoff Shepheard, John Metcalf, Lorna
Patching, Faye Leeder, Gwen Lampre

President Carol Johnsen presented June
Valentine with her 1000 game badge -
congratulations, June!
Two people received badges to mark 1000 tournament games played, congrats to June Valentine and Siva Sivapalasundram. Our caterer for the day was Khwanjai Thammaping, thanks for a great job well done, Khwanjai, it was appreciated. Tournament Director for the day was myself, but I had a very easy day as our Standby Player Carol Johnsen wasn't needed to play and handled the computer input and many other jobs for me, thanks Carol! Also a big thank you to our Resources Officer Norma Fisher for her ongoing input to tournaments in Victoria - Norma found that her battery was flat when she was about to leave her country home, and made a very quick trip down the Calder Highway after her son was able to get her on the way. Lastly, thanks to all our members who assisted with setting up in the morning and packing up at the end of the day, your help is invaluable!

Individual topdogs on the day - Shaun Donnelly,
David Eldar and Michael Smitheram

High Word and High Game Award winners, Paula
Messer and Peter Kougi

Happy players - Ann Goodwin, Marisa Nuccitelli
and Balada Catanchin

Some of the workers - Marj Miller, Barry Harridge,
Carol Johnsen and Khwanjai Thammaping
As always there were some players whose rating benefitted greatly from the Team Challenge: Michael Smitheram +200 (provisional rating), Shaun Donnelly +77, Annette Casey +53, Glen Chandler +53 and Lynn Weaver +52.
To see the full results of the Melbourne Team Challenge click HERE

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The Inaugural Saturday Session, February 3rd 2018!

Organiser of the Saturday Sessions, and
Tournament Director - Nick Ivanovski

Clare Ivanovski, who looked after our needs
for the day - thanks, Clare!
February 3 saw the first of eight Saturday Scrabble tournaments held, and the first for St Gabriel's Primary School in Reservoir as a venue. 42 players divided into 7 groups of 6 for a 5 game round robin tournament. It saw three players attend their first tournament in quite some time as Heather Iapozzuto, Robin Steward and Doreen Ivanovski joined 39 other players. At the top of the divisions we had the current World Champion David Eldar joining former Australian Champions Andrew Fisher, Peter Kougi and Naween Fernando, making the field a very strong one.
The format sees players all accrue individual points that lead up to earning cash prizes after the fourth tournament. Winners of each division received an engraved Scrabble Sessions medallion. Congratulations to our inaugural division winners, David Eldar, Carol Johnsen, Geoff Shepheard, John Metcalf, Dorothy Barraclough, Elizabeth McKean and Oscar Ivanovski.
Several players achieved excellent rating gains, and this will be important following the fourth Saturday Session when the cash prizes are handed out - Carol Johnsen +48, Rod Casey +37, John Metcalf +34, Elizabeth McKean +33, and Robin Steward +32.
To see the full results of this event in the National Archive click HERE

Players in Division F, from left - Glenys
Dettmann, winner Liz Mackean, Elize
Plaganyi, Christiane McCann

Hard workers in Division E - Christie
Godby, Doreen Ivanovski, Heather
Iapozutto, winner Dorothy Barraclough

Division B - Norma Fisher plays Geoff
Wright with Andrew Fisher standing and
Rod Casey seated at the table

Time for a catchup between games - Lynn
Weaver and Carol Mascitti enjoy a chat in
the breakout area

Regular tournament
players Angie Pearse
and Peter Kougi

Division G - Lina Camilleri, Angie Winkler,
Ann Goodwin, Faye Leeder, Marisa Nuccitelli
and the winner Oscar Ivanovski

Division A players - Naween Fernando plays
Mythili Rudra, with Rod Casey playing
Angie Pearse at Table B.

Division C - top player Geoff Shepheard
with Diane Stoyan, Shaun Donnelly, John
Parker and Mal Eden

Division A winner David Eldar plays Peter
Kougi - serious Scrabble indeed!
With Rod Casey and Geoff Wright

Doreen Ivanovski,
who hadn't played a
tournament since 2003

Victorians do extremely well at the C.S.I.M.! January 27/28 2018

Winners at the C.S.I.M. Edward Okulicz, Peter Kougi, Andrew Fisher,
Naween Fernando, Trevor Halsall and David Eldar

N.S.W. President Bob Jackman with Ratings Band
prizewinners Alan Burn and Jyoti Chandna
This prestigious open tournament - the City of Sydney International Masters - was contested by 44 players, with several interstate players attending, including eight from Victoria. John Hamilton from the Australian Capital Territory ably directed the event, organised chiefly by the President of the New South Wales Scrabble Association, Bob Jackman, and it took place at the Bankstown Sports Club.
Prizes were given down to sixth place, and Victorians took out the top five places, in the following order - David Eldar, Trevor Halsall, Naween Fernando, Andrew Fisher and Peter Kougi, with Edward Okulicz from N.S.W. filling sixth place. Alan Burn from Victoria collected the prize for best performed player rated from 1400-1700, and Jyoti Chandna from N.S.W. took home the award for best performed player rated below 1400.
The High Game Award went to Joanne Craig for her brilliant score of 641, and Ron Baginski played SENNIGHT for 158 points to take home the High Word Award. Well done to all prizewinners, you are to be congratulated on your achievements.
To see the full results click HERE

The first Victorian tournament for 2018 - The Bil Rose Aestival, January 14

64 players contested the annual Bil Rose Aestival, a perfect number for a Round Robin, resulting in 8 groups of 8 players. Sections were named after tennis players: Aiava, Barty, Cabrera, De Minaur, Ebden, Federer, Gavrilova and Hewitt. Some players participated whom we hadn't seen playing for a while, including Jenny Plant, Ellen Frajman, and Diane and Wayne Stoyan - welcome back, everyone. We also welcomed Benjamin Lee, visiting from Western Australia to sing at the Melbourne Town Hall, and to take some valuable ratings points back to the west. Well played, Ben. There was a theme word prize for the best word relating to TENNIS, and this was won by Gill Renwick for her play of NET.

Some of the worthy winners: Benjamin
Lee (De Minaur), Janet Bau (Cabrera),
Geoff Wright (Barty) & David Eldar

More champions: Balada Catanchin
(Gavrilova), Khwanjai Thammaping
(Ebden), Dominica Krstic (Federer),
Jeremy Yip (Hewitt)

Hgh Game & High Word Winners:
Jeremy Yip: HG Divs E-H, Rod Casey:
HG Divs A-D, Dianne Gibson: HW Divs
A-D, Kannan Sethuraman: HW Divs E-H

Benjamin Lee, visiting from Western
Australia for the performance of "Light
The Dark" on Saturday evening at the
Melbourne Town Hall. Well done, Ben!

The Australian Open is about to start
and the prize for the best tennis word
was a ticket to the Open. Gillian
played "NET" to score the prize.
AIAVA saw David Eldar victorious on 6 wins, losing only to Anand Bharadwaj, with Naween Fernando and Peter Kougi in second and third places on 5 wins.
BARTY was won by Geoff Wright on 6 wins, with his only loss being to Mary McMahon. Dianne Davis placed second on 5 wins with John Rider third on 4.
CABRERA was keenly fought with Janet Bau placing first on 5 wins, with Angie Pearse second also on 5 wins, and Rod Casey third on 4 wins.
De MINAUR saw our visitor from Western Australia, Benjamin Lee, place first on 7 wins, followed by Dianne Gibson and Cheryle Jerram, both on 4 wins.
EBDEN was also keenly contested and was won by Khwanjai Thammaping on 5 wins, with Siva Sivapalasundram and John Metcalf second and third on 4 wins.
FEDERER saw Dominica Krstic place first on 6 wins, losing only to Laura Khan. Dorothy Barraclough was second on 5, with Christiane McCann third on 4.
GAVRILOVA was also keenly fought out, with Balada Catanchin first on 5 wins, followed by Lynne Goodinson also on 5, and Jenny Plant on 4.
HEWITT was a happy place for Jeremy Yip in his second tournament - Jeremy won all 7 games, followed by Fintan Conway and Geoff Gittus on 5 wins each.

Friends Lorna Patching and Dorothy
Barraclough, enjoying the day

Jenny Plant has returned after a break,
with Lynne Goodinson

Fintan Conway with his mum Hilary
Conway, and Tim Whiting

Two of our regular players, Paula
Messer and Geoff Shepheard

Good friends and travel companions
Balada Catanchin and Elaine McGinnes
Jeremy Yip gained 199 provisional ratings points, and other high achievers were Benjamin Lee +75, Geoff Wright +43, Dominica Krstic +40, Janet Bau +32 and Balada Catanchin +32.
Thanks to all who helped in any way, and to see the full results click HERE

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