Our popular Decathon event was back for 2022 and we welcomed 34 players to Balwyn including Paul Richards from Queensland, and Alistair Kane (Victorian Champion 1991, 1999 and 2001) who played his first event in 4 years. In doing so, he set a record for the highest score in a Victorian event for the year!
As with previous Decathons, it was played over 10 rounds, this time to the Tight Australian format. This made for very competitive matches at the top of each division and in A, it went right down to the final game with Andrew Fisher emerging victorious.
Noel Coulter put in the best performance of the day, winning 9 of his 10 games: a stellar effort.
Thank you to everyone who supported the event today - a special thank you to Frank Csarics for his kind words as we returned from lunch and a thank you to the membership overall for your support through what has been a challenging couple of years.
Next year promises to be amazing - and it will be great to see as many of you at the events we have on offer.
Div A winner: Andrew Fisher
Div A 2nd: Edward Okulicz
Div A 3rd: David Eldar
Alistair Kane: High Game 646
Kashi Thiris: High Word BLURTING 140
646 High Game board
Paul Richards
Div B winner: Noel Coulter
Div B 2nd: John Rider & HW SLOWING 104
Div B 3rd: Angie Winkler
Carol Rollmann: High Game 567

PLAYER AWARDS At the start of 2022, as we were slowly coming out of restrictions brought on by the pandemic, Scrabble Victoria introduced three player awards to run from 1 Jan to now, to help us return to regular play. They were Most Improved Player, Best Returning Player, and Best New Player. Each had additional eligibility requirements, which were discussed at our most recent Committee meeting.

Restrictions in 2021 had meant a number of players were unable or preferred not to play in our in-person events. In 2022, we had NINE players who returned to play in 2022 and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those players for supporting our events this year! Some of our players took advantage of the half day tournaments run at MPC, others returned at our Bayside events. We had three players who returned to Scrabble having not played one of our events for 10 years or more! One of those players returned to play when we played the two day event in Bendigo and then played at the Victorian before playing one of our events in Caulfield. On those performances, this player was awarded the Best Returning Player award, earning $250 in the process. Congratulations go to Neil McLean.

This Award was a hotly contested one, with many players staking their claim for the title throughout the year - twelve of our players played over 100 matches this year, with two almost reaching 200! Rob York set an early pace, with Peter Kougi's win at the Nationals catapulting up the leader-board early as well. Oscar Ivanovski was always there and thereabouts and took over the lead for the latter parts of the year. Christiane McCann's performance at the Seniors had her in the top three, but with steady ratings gains by Rob Hutchinson over the last two months, it made for a two player race (against Oscar), to be played out at the final event at Caulfield RSL a little over a week ago. Fittingly, for an accolade as close as this, it went right down to the final game as Oscar played Rob in Game 7 of our Chartisms event. Oscar's victory in that game sealed the award. Congratulations go to Oscar Ivanovski, winning $250 for his efforts.

Thank you to everyone for coming out to play at the Caulfield RSL today. Congratulations to all the prize winners as this was our final event before Christmas (and appropriately named after the only valid anagram of the word). Welcome to Carmel Payne for her first Scrabble event with us! Today's event was also the final event to determine the player prizes we commenced at the start of 2022. The Committee will confirm the results prior to Decathon with official presentations to be made on December 27.
Div A winners: Oscar Ivanovski (3rd & HW), Geoff Wright (2nd & HG 533) & Nick Ivanovski (1st)
Div B winners: Glen Chandler (HG 558), Rob York (2nd), John Rider (1st) & Paula Messer (HW - SQUARED 128)
HW board of Oscar Ivanovski - QUESTED 128
Welcome to Carmel Payne

Twenty players enjoyed another afternoon of 5 games at the Moonee Ponds Bicycle Club (great music in the background). Champion David Eldar took out the bikkies again and we show the board of his game against Justin Moyle where he scored the high game prize with 590 and Justin's score was 411 - a 1001 total points game!
Div A winners: David Eldar, Norma Fisher, Geoff Wright
Div B winners: Kris Howat, Oscar Ivanovski, Darren Chaitman
Frank Csarics, John Rider & Angie Winkler
1001 total points game

Thirteen players from Victoria played ten players from South Australia at the Best Westlander Motel, Horsham for the annual tussle. A script developed by Barry Harridge and refined by Adam Kretschmer had in each round, each SA player matched against a Vic player. Of the three remaining Vic Players, two played against each other and the other had a bye. Only the ten matches each round where VIC played SA counted towards tallies. The upshot was South Australia won 64.5 games to Victoria 35.5 games. A fun meeting whatever the outcome. Congratulations to South Australia and thanks to all who organised or helped.
Helen Jones (Best Performer under 1200 rating); Jane Taylor (HG 568); Norma Fisher (HW INERTIAE 122) and Adam Kretschmer (Overall winner)
VIC TEAM: Carol Johnsen, Marjorie Clarke, Neil McLean, Rob Hutchinson, Glenys Dettmann, Barry Harridge, Angie Winkler, Faye Leeder, Doreen Ivanovski, Norma Fisher, Val Martin, Tessa Knight & Cherry Chapman
SA TEAM: Anthony Kimber, Helen Jones, Francoise Finlayson, Jane Taylor, Fiona Braendler, Adam Kretschmer, Susan Roberts, Malcolm McAnulty, Suzanne Healey & Paula Brown
Traditional 1st Round draw

The weather this time was not so inviting to allow us to venture out onto the balcony to enjoy lunch and the bay views, however 26 players had a good day. Welcome to Tess Pardy as a Novice. Congratulations to Andrew Fisher and Christie Godby for winning their respective divisions. Lynne Butler, visiting from NZ, took out 3rd place. High Games winners were David Eldar 619 and Christie Godby 487, while Frank Csarcis took out Division A HW with BOASTER for 100 and Doreen Ivanovski sealed it with QINTARS for 97 in Division B.
Naween Fernando (2nd), Andrew Fisher (1st), Edward Oculicz (4th) and Lynne Butler (3rd)
Mardi Healy (2nd), Glen Chandler (4th), Doreen Ivanovski (HW) & Christie Godby (1st & HW)
Andrew Fisher
Christie Godby

This popular venue attracted 34 keen players once again. It was a pleasure to welcome Lynne Butler visiting from NZ (1985 Victorian Champion) and Ruth McInerney visiting from England. A welcome return for Justin Moyle who last played in 2009. He is keen to return to play and has started a club in Bayswater (see CLUBS).
Congratulations to division winners Edward Okulicz, Darren Chaitman & Jessica Richards. High Game and High Word winners were Div A: Lynne Butler 574, Edward Okulicz - STANINES 131; Div B: Neil McLean 509, Rob Hutchinson - FORAGED 91; Div C: John Rider 509, Paula Messer - PAIRING 96.
David Eldar (3rd), Peter Kougi (2nd), Lynne Butler (HG) & Edward Okulicz (1st & HW)
Darren Chaitman (1st), Neil McLean (3rd & HG), Rob Hutchinson (HW) & Justin Moyle (2nd)
John Rider (HG), Jessica Richards (1st), Doreen Ivanovski (3rd), Paula Messer (HW), Glen Chandler

Thank you to everyone who supported our event today at Moonee Ponds Club � and welcome to our two first time players, Dani Weber and Kelly Galloway. It was reminiscent of when Essendon Scrabble Club held their tournaments the day after the Grand Final.
Div C - Glenys Dettmann, Liz McKean & Doreen Ivanovski
Angie Winkler - Div C winner
Div B - Norma Fisher & Oscar Ivanovski
Div A - David Eldar & Edward Okulicz
a nice board - note COPPERED (HG 587 David Eldar)

Victoria tops the pool! Naween Fernando is the new Australian Master with Peter Kougi finishing third in that division. And Team Victoria, comprising Gwen Lampre, Dianne Davis and Heather Long performed admirably to take out the State Team Challenge.
Peter Kougi (3rd), Naween Fernando (Champion), Sally Martin (HW & HG), Rod Talbot (2nd)
Dianne Davis, Gwen Lampre & Heather Long (also individual winner)

Classic & AGM
  We welcomed our biggest attendance (33) since pre-COVID and all enjoyed this new venue at the Caulfield RSL, just around the corner from the Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick shops and with tram and train closeby. Two novices, Mark Gillespie and Jessica Richards participated and we welcomed Mardi Healy back after a long absence.
The games were keenly fought, with each Division having someone go through undefeated. High Games: Div A - David Eldar 609 and Div B - Paula Messer 560. High Words: Div A - DIGAMIST - Andrew Fisher and Div B - PIRATES - Carol Rollman
Div A - Standing: Naween Fernando (4th); Geoff Wright (5th); Seated: Andrew Fisher (2nd & HW), Edward Okulicz (3rd), David Eldar (1st & HG)
Div B - Standing: Mardi Healy (4th), Carol Rollmann (HW), Doreen Ivanovski (3rd); Seated: Glen Chandler (2nd), Oscar Ivanovski (1st), Paula Messer (5th & HG)
Rene Aitken and Carol Johnsen framing one of the many displays at the RSL.
STONILY - What are the odds on the same player (in this instance Christie Godby) in consecutive moves making the same move with the same letters?
The playing room

Audree Clifton turns 100
One of our past members, and long-time player in Victoria, Audree Clifton celebrates her 100th birthday today. On behalf of Scrabble Victoria, I would like to pass on best wishes for this milestone event! Audree’s last tournament was in 2016, but she still plays online on Scrabble Go and remains a formidable opponent. Happy Birthday Audree!!

Scrabble in July
  Another enjoyable day of Scrabble in Balwyn. We welcomed back Helene Slode after a long absence. Both divisions were close-run, especially B Division where the top 4 all won 5 games. Trevor Halsall won the High Game 581 and High Word with TERPINOL 149 with some exceptional play. B Division saw Paula Messer with the High Game 502 and Carol Rollmann scored 111 for SWIZZLE. The winners were a family affair, as both Nick and Oscar Ivanovski were successful in their respective divisions.
Div A - Trevor Halsall (2nd & HW); Nick Ivanovski (1st & HG) and Geoff Wright (3rd)
Div B - Paula Messer (HG) ; Oscar Ivanovski (1st); Mal Eden (2nd), Glen Chandler (3rd) and Carol Rollmann (HW)
Current Leader Boards
July 10
Winter had well and truly come today for us with a chilly start to the day! We had 26 players take part today, and a lot of great word play ensued. Trevor Halsall almost made it through undefeated, though Dianne’s victory over him in the final round was not enough to unseat him from the title in the top Division today. Oscar Ivanovski dropped the one game to also win his Division with 6 wins. Annette’s run today was a standout in her rating band. Ten players went home with prizes (chocolates) today. Some fun was had with the Division names in honor of the winter weather. High word in Div A was EXUDATE (99) for Norma Fisher and Elizabeth McKean score 140 for BRAISING in Div 9, narrowly eclipsing Mal Eden's STEWING.
Div A happy Winner - Trevor Halsall(1st)
Div A - Norma Fisher (HW); Dianne Davis (2nd); Carol Johnsen (HG) & 3rd; - Front: Trevor Halsall (1st)
Div B - Frank Csarics (3rd); Oscar Ivanovski (1st); Oliver Podesser (HG); Annette Casey (Under 1000); & John Rider (2nd)
June 26
This event continued the use of the draw structure trialled at the Victorian Championships for players in both divisions. Welcome back to Christianne McCann and Janet Bau who joined our growing number of players who have taken part in at least one event this year. Congratulations to all winners, noting the interesting tight tussles for the first three places in each division. High Word winners were Carol Johnsen (GLAMOURS - 140) tying with Rob York (DEARNESS - 140) in A Division and Doreen Ivanovski (VIZIERS - 113) in B Division.
Div A - Edward Okulicz(3rd); David Eldar (1st); Trevor Halsall (2nd); and Carol Johnsen (HW)
Div B - Doreen Ivanovski (HW); John Rider (2nd); Glen Chandler (3rd); Oscar Ivanovski (HG); and Janet Bau (1st)
What a great weekend of Scrabble that has just concluded. Windy Hill is an excellent venue. Thank you to Barry Harridge for all computerwork), the venue organizers, and those who came to play our flagship event. High Game 607 by Andrew Fisher is shown below and Nat Podesser's High Word was 158 for REMOVING
Congratulations to Anand Bharadwaj for winning his first Victorian Championship title, and to all other prize winners.

Winners: Edward Okulicz (2nd); Andrew Fisher (3rd & HG); Anand Bharadwaj (Champion); Carol Rollmann (Under 1000); Judy Mansfield (Under 1300); & Nat Podesser HW
Qld - Keri Heart, Paul Richards & Karen Richards
SA - Carmel Dodd, Jane Taylor & Judy Mansfield
Go to ONLINE to see full results and ratings.
Close finish with Peter winning 18/24 games with a margin of 1181 to beat Chris May by the margin of 129. High Game was Chris May with 613 and Carol Johnsen scored 212 for BLIZZARD.
Other Victorians' placings (Championship)- Mythili Rudra 12th, Trevor Halsall 14th, Nat Podesser 21st, Heather Long 35th, Carol Johnsen 37th, Lainie Mercieca 39h, Kashi Thiris 46th and John Rider 52nd. And in the Plate - Peter Bauer 11th, Khwanjai Thammaping 14th and Siva Sivapalasundram 17th.
Marlon Prudencio (Phillipines) 6th; Cameron Farlow 5th; Norma Fisher 10th & Rating Band; Andrew Fisher 4th; Carol Johnsen HW; David Eldar 3rd; Peter Kougi 1st; Liz Blanch Ratings Band; Chris May 2nd.

May Tournament
  Twenty-four players competed in two divisions back at what was a favourite venue. Congratulations particularly to Neil McLean who comes down from Bendigo for placing 1st in B Division (having rejuvenated his interest in tournament play after being "missing" since 2005}. Nat Podesser scored 140 for PARLOURS (HW) (see board below); Doreen Ivanovsi 91 for BOOKEND in Div B; John Rider had high game {530) Div A; and Oliver Podesser 558 in Div B
Div A - Kris Howat 3rd; Nat Podesser 1st & HW; Geoff Wright 2nd.
Div B - Neil McLean 1st & HG; Frank Csarics 2nd; Carol Mascitti 3rd; Doreen Ivanovski HW; Oliver Podesser HG

Post Nationals
  Eighteen competitors took part in this wonderful venue - Moonee Ponds Club on Mt Alexander Rd. Congratulations to Carol Mascitti on winning all 5 games. Norma Fisher score the High Word with JINGOES for 110 and High Game of 597.
Carol Mascitti (1st C Div)

Bayside 1 Tournament
  Fourteen competitors took part in this wonderful venue - Mordy HQ on Nepean Highway Mordialloc. Congratulations to Dianne Davis on winning all 7 games. Oscar Ivanovski scored the High Word with FLIRTING for 122 and Alan Burn had the High Game with 508.
Mordy HQ view out to sea from the balcony

March Tournament
Returned to the popular Moonee Ponds Club for our first half-day comp in just over 15 months. It was our best-attended event in 2022 and hopefully signals a return to more numbers in coming months! Thank you to everyone in attendance for their support and for the venue for hosting us.
There were four divisions playing a round robin format - only two players went through undefeated but only one won all their games?? We welcomed back a number of players who had not played in over 12 months; as a result, the second of our three 2022 awards has been activated. In D Division all the players there won 2 games, so it was very tight indeed.
High Word winners were Div A - Geoff Wright - TUNICATE 102; Div B - Noel Coulter - NEUTRALS 126; Div D - Ann Goodwin - JOINERS 102.
Div A - Trevor Halsall (1st & HG 507); Norma Fisher (2nd)
Div B - Shaun Donnellly (1st), Rob Hutchinson (2nd)
Div C - Cherry Chapman (1st), Neil McLean (2nd)
Div D - Carol Rollmann (2nd), Faye Leeder (1st)
A draw at 461 each for Trevor Halsall & Carol Johnsen

Ruth Fewings Memorial Tournament

Twenty players, including four interstaters, had a wonderful weekend in beautiful Bendigo to celebrate the contribution of Ruth Fewings (albeit delayed by two years due to Covid-19). Two divisions played 9 games of Round Robin with game 10 King of the Hill. Congratulations to Edward Okulicz and Rob York for winning their respective divisions. With 9 straight wins Edward has equaled the longest winning streak (14 wins) in 2022. High Game (629) for A Division went to Joanne Craig and B Division won by Shaun Donnelly (529).
Ruth's son,Father Andrew Fewings (Parish Priest at the St Therese's Primary School venue) opened the tournament. Thanks to Peter Bauer and Heather Long for their work in organising the tournament. And it was a pleasure to welcome back, after 17 years, Neil McLean, also from Bendigo. Neil had organised the last tournament held in Bendigo in 2005.
Div A - Joanne Craig (2nd & HG), Edward Okulicz (1st), Jane Taylor (3rd), Norma Fisher (HW)
Div B - Rob York (1st & HW), Paula Messer (2nd), Shaun Donnelly (HG), Noel Coulter (3rd),
Interstaters - Jane Taylor (SA), Joanne Craig (NSW), Judy Mansfield (SA), Carmel Dodd (SA)
Div A - HW - 140 LATENING Norma Fisher
Div B - HW - 176 STORMILY Rob York
Edward Okulicz - 4 bingos as a starter
Rob York with a backdrop of Bendigo's roses

Scrabble in her sleep?

Chris Radin models her prize as 2nd placegetter in the 2021 Langwarrin Club Challenge for the year with fellow Club members Peter Attwood and Geoff Gittus approving in the background. Presentations were made this month and the perpetual trophy pictured to the righthand side of Chris was won by Alan Burn.

Cancelled Tournaments
The Victorian Committee is very sorry that it has had to cancel the tournaments which were to be held in February. Unfortunately, COVID-19 events and protocols have forced the need for this. However,  the Ruth Fewings Memorial Tournament will definitely be going ahead on the weekend of 5 and 6 March in Bendigo.  We hope to welcome lots of players back. Details are on the Tournaments page.

Nine-Timer scores 221
Paula Messer scores 221 for QUANTITY down on TINGLES at Balwyn Club on 7 February.