The website of the Australian Scrabble Players Association (Victoria) Inc.

Watch this space for the latest news and happenings in the Victorian Scrabble scene, and to find lots of information and to check on news from the past click on the links at left. Your social reporter is Marj Miller, and to pass on any news click here

Geelong ~ Sunday November 13 ~ 6 games, at North Geelong
A.G.M. Tournament ~ Sunday November 20 ~ 6 games, at Box Hill, AGM approx 1.30 pm
Festive Frolics ~ Sunday December 4 ~ 7 games, at Box Hill
Decathon ~ Tuesday December 27 ~ 10 games, at Box Hill

For full details of all tournaments click HERE


The Annual South Australia versus Victoria Border Challenge - October 15/16 2016

Here is a report from Adam Kretschmer, the hard-working co-leader of the SA team, and respected promoter of Scrabble:
This year's SA v Vic Border Challenge saw SA field its largest team ever (26) to battle a pretty big team from Victoria (22). SA's 7 heavy-hitters all performed well, finishing in the overall top 8. After an even start, SA steadily built up a lead between rounds 3 until they were unbeatable at the end of round 9 (of 10). This triggered 'Team Gibsonization' to help even out the intra-team count for some of the lower-ranked players and also provide a sensible shootout for the individual prizes. Michael Cameron and Jane Taylor were victorious over Trevor Tao and myself, to claim 1st and 2nd respectively. Angie Pearse and Geoff Shepheard flew the flag for Victoria to finish in 5th and 10th spots. The final team tally was SA 128 - Vic 92, SA's sixth consecutive win!

South Australia, too strong for Victoria! Congratulations to you all!

The Victorian team, who put up a valiant fight!

As is often the case with this event, the highlight is a breakout performance by an up-and-comer. This year's standout was SA's Wendi Symes, who from a rating of 722 (making her BC debut) strung together 7 wins, including upsets over the Victorian team's top 2 rated players (Geoff W & Norma). Honorable mentions to stalwart Louisa Atsas who caused a lot of upsets on day 1, but slipped just outside the top 3 in the 2nd rating band and to Rachel Telfer who also played well above her rating on BC debut.

The Overall Individual prize winners:
Michael Cameron (1st and High Game 559), Jane Taylor (2),
Norma Fisher (High Word INFLUXES 194), Trevor Tao (3)

The Ratings Band prize winners:
Lyndee Hill (2), Marilyn Evans (High Word JAVELINS 104),
Wendi Symes (1), Glenys Dettmann (High Game 523), Neal Whibley (3)

As always, the competition was fierce but friendly with new friendships and rivalries formed across the border. A big thanks to Victoria for organising this year's event, particularly to Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher. Also, thanks to Paula and her family for all of their work coordinating Team SA.

Barry Harridge with Carol Johnsen in the
foyer of the White Hart Hotel

Paula Brown and Oliver Jenner-O'Shea from
South Australia, with the perpetual shield

Happy Victorians Christiane McCann, Elize
Plaganyi, Latha Weerakkody

South Australia's Rachel Telfer plays
Angie Pearse from Victoria

Thanks for the report, Adam, and from the Victorian team we say thanks to all who helped make this such an enjoyable weekend, and also a big thank you to our new hosts at the White Hart Hotel! Also thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping for the use of her lovely photos, they are appreciated!

The Matchplay Rounds, 2016

The quarter finals are the best of five games, semi finals the best of seven, and the grand final is the best of nine - hopefully this will take place in October, at a central venue to be advised by organiser Nick Ivanovski. More news will follow.....
Update August 3: Two quarter finals have been completed, and Andrew Fisher and Barry Harridge will challenge each other in a semi final, to be played in September. Trevor Halsall won his quarter final against Lynn Weaver, and awaits the winner of the match between Khwanjai Thammaping and Noel Coulter.
August 21: Noel has won his match against Khwanjai, and will now play Trevor Halsall in a semi-final.
September 29: The final will be played between Andrew Fisher and Trevor Halsall, and will be the best of nine games - date and venue to be advised!
The final was completed in the congenial surrounds of The Rose Hotel in Fitzroy, with Andrew Fisher winning five-nil against Trevor, congratulations, Andrew! And thanks to organiser Nick Ivanovski for your continued work on this event.
Andrew Fisher 3
Khwanjai Thammaping 2
Dianne Gibson 2
Trevor Halsall 3
John Rider 0
Noel Coulter 3
Barry Harridge 3
Lynn Weaver 1
Andrew Fisher 4
Barry Harridge 1
Noel Coulter 1
Trevor Halsall 4
Andrew Fisher 5
Trevor Halsall 0

One of the boards from the
Andrew Fisher-John Rider
match. Click to enlarge

Good friends Dianne Gibson and Barry
Harridge, still friends after their fifth
game....played at the Balwyn Scrabble Club

The final board from Dianne
and Barry's great match-up.
Click pic to enlarge

Lynn Weaver and Trevor Halsall, playing in a
very congenial spot.....Trevor won this one
three games to one

Noel Coulter and Khwanjai Thammaping
in the early stages of their match, played
at the Nunawading Club in Mitcham

The finalists, Andrew Fisher and Trevor
Halsall, completing their final at The Rose
Hotel, 406 Napier Street, Fitzroy

The Seniors Week Tournament, at the Golden Age Community Centre, Mount Waverley

The winning players, with organisers Sita and Tam Dasika fifth and seventh from left

Play under way in the pleasant and spacious playing area....
Fifty players arrived in good time to play in this annual event, capably organised by Tam and Sita Dasika from the local Golden Age Scrabble Club, which meets at this venue on Wednesday mornings from 9.30 onwards. Please drop in if you can find the time, you will be made most welcome.
Players were divided into sections of four, with one section of six, with all sections bearing the names of birds. All divisions were keenly fought, and prizes of chocolates were given to the winner in each section. Well done, everyone!
A lovely lunch was organised by Tam and Sita and the cost of this, together with all other expenses, was covered by the generous grant received from the Department of Health and Human Services via Chris Reidy and the Department of Ageing, and we are grateful for this.
Thanks to all who attended, and thank you again to our hard-working organisers and their helpers.....

The Mount Martha Tournament, October 9 2016

(Thanks to Julie Belle for the following report, it is appreciated, Julie.) A very windy but sunny Sunday saw 44 entrants at the 10th Mt Martha scrabble tournament in Mt Eliza. A good day to be indoors playing scrabble and out of the wind.
We welcomed our only novice Jan McDonald (from our club) to her first tournament, she took the day in her stride and did very well and of course was best novice! In Recreation John Metcalf took out high game with a very impressive 575 points, which was also the highest game score out of all sections. Eileen Mills achieved the high word prize with FIZZIER for a score of 94, well done.

Julie Belle

This lovely building is Mount Martha House
at the corner of Dominion Rd and The
Esplanade, Mount Martha. The Club meets
here on Tuesdays at 1.00 pm

John Metcalf continued his good day with 3rd place, 2nd place went to Elize Plagyani and the winner on 6 games was Christiane McCann...congratulations to you all.
The drive all the way from beautiful Raymond Island paid off for Sylvia Galloway who won high game with a great score of 564, high word with LOONIEST for a fantastic 131 points (the highest word score for the day in all sections) and followed all that with winning first place in Intermediate...very well done Sylvia! The other place getters in Intermediate were Betty Egan in 2nd place and Mal Eden in 3rd place, very well done to you both.
Advanced also saw an entrant do very well in winning high game (512), high word OFFHAND for 90 points and coming first with 5 wins...that trifecta went to Alan Burn...congrats Alan on a fine day indeed! Well done also to Sandra Masel in 2nd place and Dianne Gibson in 3rd place...congrats to both ladies.
The winning theme continued in Masters for Gwen Lampre who won High game with a score of 540, high word for ORANGEY (104) and also took out 3rd place, great effort Gwen! Carol Johnsen not only managed to do a fabulous job on the computer all day doing the draws and results (thanks very much Carol as always for a sterling job) but also took out 2nd place in Masters with 4 wins, now that's great multi-tasking! First place, with a grand total of 6 wins, went to a very well-deserving Norma Fisher who as always, like Carol, contributes enormously to the running of all the tournaments.
Apologies were received from Marj Miller unable to attend due to illness, we hope you are feeling much better Marj, and also thank you for all the behind the scenes help given to this and all the other tournaments.
Whilst thanks are being given....a long day of scrabble can make one very hungry and in need of problems there...because as always all the ladies from the Mt Martha Club went above and beyond (even those unable to attend the tournament) by providing a delicious array of homemade goodies that were all very well received, thanks so much to all the ladies. Thanks also for the contributions made by the club for the lucky door prize, won by lucky Ray Alford, and the prizes donated for high game and high word. Stellar effort all round. Finally, many thanks to all the people that came from far and wide to attend and make it such a lovely day. Julie B.

To see the full results of the event click HERE

The Essendon Tournament, September 26, 2106

The Essendon Club Members: Lina Camilleri, John Rider,
Norma Engel, Audree Clifton, Janet Bau, Rob York, John
Taylor. Seated: Nicole Lowe, Barry Harridge, Cynthia Cook.
Fifty four players joined the Essendon Club Members to play in their annual four-division tournament, held at the Box Hill Centre. Homemade goodies were enjoyed by all present, and a big thank you to all the Essendon cooks for their yummy contributions! And thank you to Elaine Capewell for capably manning the kitchen (or should that be "womaning" the kitchen?? It should indeed, I just checked Zyzzyva and its there as an acceptable word!)
Rob York was in charge of proceedings as Tournament Director for the day, and the event moved along smoothly with expert computer help from Carol Johnsen, and general help from many others - Rob is appreciative of your help. Also thank you to Khwanjai Thammaping for the use of her photos, thanks, KJ.

The Essendon Scrabble Club meets on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm, at the Essendon Senior Citizens Centre, at 5 Kellaway Ave, Moonee Ponds. All players are welcome to attend, both newcomers and more experienced players - Rob York and the members will look after you.

MASTERS: Geoff Wright won five of the seven games played, closely followed by Norma Fisher and Heather Long, both on four wins. Norma Fisher won the High Word award for her non-bonus play of UMIAQ for 108 points, and this equals the record for a non-bonus word for this year - interestingly, the word played on both occasions is UMIAQ. The High Game award went to Heather Long for her score of 520, well done, girls.
ADVANCED: a fine win went to Sandra Masel who is in fine form at the moment - Sandra won five games, followed by John Rider also winning five, and Barry Harridge won four to take third place. The High Game award went to Dianne Gibson for her score of 467, and Cheryle Jerram played HUDDLED for 109 points to take home the High Word award.
INTERMEDIATE: Geoff Shepheard triumphed on six wins, with John Parker second also on six, and Betty Egan third on five wins. The High Game award was shared by Geoff Shepheard and Tam Dasika for their scores of 487, and Carol Mascitti played JOINERS for 99 points to win the High Word prize.
RECREATION saw a great victory to Elizabeth McKean who finished on six wins, half a game clear of Norma Engel and a game clear of Christiane McCann on five wins, well played, Elizabeth. The High Game prize went to Ann Goodwin for a great score of 480, and Christiane McCann played INQUIRE for 103 to win the High Word award.

Masters: Norma Fisher, Geoff Wright
and Heather Long

Advanced: Barry Harridge, John Rider,
Sandra Masel and Cheryle Jerram

Intermediate: John Parker, Geoff
Shepheard and Betty Egan

Recreation: Christiane McCann, Norma
Engel, Liz McKean and Ann Goodwin
Great ratings gains were achieved by Lina Camilleri +40, John Parker +40, Sandra Masel +39, Elizabeth McKean +38, Betty Egan +37 and Geoff Shepheard +36.
Well done everyone, and if you wish to see the full results of the event click HERE

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Joanne Craig wins the 2016 Australian Masters, and Western Australia win the State Team Challenge! September 10/11, 2016

The Masters: Joanne Craig (1), Alastair Richards (2),
John Holgate (3), Andrew Fisher (4). What talent!

The venue - Fredricks Restaurant

Our workers: John & Elaine Capewell, Barry
Harridge, Nat Podesser, Amy Hutchinson
It was a great weekend of Scrabble in Melbourne, where 41 of Australia's best players met to contest the two events - 20 played a round robin in the Master to decide the best player in the country, and 21 took part in the State Team Challenge to decide the best team in Australia amongst the seven states and territories. There was alo an individual comp running concurrently within the Teams event, and this was won by rising star David Vanzyl from Western Australia.
The venue was the same as three yeas ago, Fredricks Restaurant at the Alexander Motor Inn in Essendon. We were well looked after by Nathan and the staff, including a very pleasant dinner on Saturday evening which most were able to attend. Our member Elaine Capewell, with the help of husband John, looked after our needs for lunch and snacks beautifully over the two days, and this was greatly appreciated by all. Thanks, Elaine. Our computer work was done by Amy Hutchinson, and we thank Amy for her assistance - Amy remained cool and calm when some things weren't going well! The bulk of the organising for the event was done by Norma Fisher, Carol Johnsen and Barry Harridge, thanks to you all!

The A.C.T. team - Noel Barrett, John
Spaan and Alex Boiko

New South Wales - Graeme Lock Lee,
Greg Pinchbeck and John Barker

The Queenslanders - Paul Richards,
Roberta Tait and Trish Reynolds

The victors from the West - Robin
Andersen, David Vanzyl and Edie Mueller

The Victorian Team - Gwen Lampre,
Norma Fisher and Carol Johnsen

The Tasmanians - Keri Hart, Martin
Rose, and Dianne Brumby

South Australia - Antony Kimber, Jane
Taylor and Oliver Jenner-O'Shea

The final Team Standings - well done,
Western Australians!

The State Team Challenge: Western Australia fielded a very strong team to record 34.5 wins, defeating Victoria on 32.5, with South Australia close behind on 31.5 - WA and SA had excellent margins, and SA would have easily placed second with just one more win. The High Game award went to Noel Barrett from the Australian Capital Territory for an amazing score of 614, and Graeme Lock Lee's brilliant play of SUBWAYED for 194 points gained him the High Word award! Good work, John and Graeme!
In the concurrent individual standings David Vanzyl placed first on 13 wins, two games clear of Noel Barrett and six more players on 11 wins - Edie Mueller, Dianne Brumby, Jane Taylor, Antony Kimber, Gwen Lampre and Carol Johnsen - its such a tough competition!

The Champion State Team, from W.A. -
Edie Mueller, David Vanzyl, Robin Andersen

The second placed Team - Carol Johnsen
& Norma Fisher. Missing - Gwen Lampre

First and second in the Individual Team
Comp - David Vanzyl and Noel Barrett

At presentations - TD Natasha
Podesser and Carol Johnsen

The Masters: There was great interest in this event and the outcome wasn't finally decided until the last game. Going into this Joanne Craig and Alastair Richards were equal on games, with Alastair holding a superior margin. As it happened Joanne beat Russell Honeybun, and Alastair lost to Andrew Fisher by just 15 points - Andrew had lost the previous six games, so for the first time since its inception in 2005 we have a female at the top, on 15 wins....congratulations, Joanne, and commiserations to Alastair, who finished on 14 wins! John Holgate was very pleased with his results, claiming many prized scalps on his way to third place, on 12.5 wins. Fourth was Andrew Fisher who had a magical first day, winning 9/10 and leading overnight, but was not so fortunate on the final day, finishing on 12 wins...such are the vagaries of Scrabble! Alastair claimed the High Game award for a score of 594, and two players scored 158 points to each claim a High Word award - Heather Long played LIVERIES, and later Nick Ivanovski played REFINERS.

Two well known faces - Barry Harridge
with the Masters winner, Joanne Craig

Heather Long (Vic) & Nick Ivanovski -
Masters High Word winners

A pivotal game late on the final day,
Esther Perrins plays Joanne Craig

Starting the final game in the Masters -
Alastair Richards & Andrew Fisher

Thanks to all who contributed to the smooth running of this prestigious tournament, and again congratulations to Joanne Craig and David Vanzyl on their great play!
To see the full results of both the Australian Masters and the State Team Challenge click here
And to see a report on the tournament as it happened click here

The 2016 MSI World Scrabble Championship in Lille, France!

Australia has eight people playing in Lille, four in Division A and four in Division B...Shekinah from Queensland stayed on to play following the World Youth Championship, as did fellow Queenslanders Karen and Paul Richards who ran that excellent event very successfully. Our other players are David Eldar, residing in the UK but still very much an Australian from the state of Victoria, Trevor Halsall Victoria, John Hamilton from the Australian Capital Territory, and Bob and Liz Jackman from New South Wales. Good luck to all, and enjoy the event!
At the end of Day One Mark Nyman from England leads the 72 players in Division A, and our young Australian John Hamilton is placed first of 66 players in Division B.

David Eldar, Div A,
14th after 8 games

Trevor Halsall, Div A,
28th after 8

Bob Jackman, Div A,
34th after Day One

Karen Richards, Div
A, 48th after Day 1

John Hamilton, Div B,
1st after Day 1

Paul Richards, Div B,
23rd after 8 games

Shekinah, Division B,
37th after Day 1

Liz Jackman, Div B,
60th after 8 games

Game 17, Div A - leader David
Webb (right) plays second placed
Mark Nyman, both from England

Game 17, Div B - Roland Olsson
plays our Australian teenager
Shekinah - 41st at this stage
DAY 2: A tough day's play for many, and at the end of play our Aussie players were experiencing some ups and downs.....David Eldar 9th, Bob Jackman 24th, Trevor Halsall 27, Karen Richards 66, and in Division B John Hamilton is 18th, Paul Richards 38, Shekinah Giffen 44, and Liz Jackman 54.
David Webb from England is playing strongly and leads Division A by margin alone from Mark Nyman, with Joel Wapnick in third place. Nigel Richards is hovering in 10th place, and it will be interesting to see the top 8 at the end of Day Three - these 8 go through to play a series of finals on Day 4, with the top two at the end of this playing off on Day 5 (Sunday) for the title.

Moiz Ullah Baig, in 2013
DAY 3: Here's a story of disappointment from the tournament - Moiz Ullah Baig from Pakistan missed out on qualifying for the Div A finals when he lost Game 24 by just one point - a win here would have seen him playing in the Finals...a great effort from the 2013 World Youth Scrabble Champion! And here's how he looked in 2013!

Many of the fancied players have failed to make the finals, including Nigel Richards (NZ) and David Eldar (Australia). Here are the eight who will do battle, and how they finished the 24 qualifying rounds....Mark Nyman (England) 19 wins, David Webb (England) 19, Allan Simmons (Scotland) 18, Robert Robinsky (USA) 17, with the next four on sixteen wins - Brett Smitheram (England), Adam Logan (Canada), Lewis Mackay (England) and Joel Wapnick (Canada).
And here are the top 8 finishers in Division B: Abdullah Abbasi 19, Anand Buddhev 17, Mohamed Kamara 17, Tariq Pervez 17, Sandy Nang 17, Jack Mpakaboari 16, Howard Rayner 16, and Daniyal Sanaullah 16. Good luck to all finalists, and to those who plan to take part in the One Day Saturday event!

Karen Richards receives her trophy for
placing first on Saturday
DAY 4: in the one day Saturday Tournament Karen Richards (Australia) swept all before her, finishing on seven wins and winning on margin from three others on seven - Winter Winter, Gerry Carter and Martin Teo - well done, Karen!
Div B: Daniyal, Jack, Sandy and Howard won their quarter-finals to advance to the semis, with Jack victorious against Daniyal, and Sandy winning her match against Howard.

Division A: in the quarter finals Adam Logan triumphed over Allan Simmons 2-1, Mark Nyman won against Joel Wapnick 2-1, Brett Smitheram beat Robert Robinsky 2-0, and Lewis Mackay was victorious against David Webb 2-1.

The semis were the best of five games, and in these Mark Nyman won against Adam Logan 3-2, and Brett Smitheram accounted for Lewis Mackay 3-2. Both were tough matches, and now one way or another the 2016 Champ will be a Brit, a great effort indeed!

Happy Champ, Brett Smitheram

Mark considers his move during the final against Brett

Jack Mpakaboari with his trophies

DAY 5: The Finals: Division A: there was great interest in the final with many following the games around the world, and the outcome was a brilliant win to Brett Smitheram 3-0 against Mark Nyman. The highlight of the third game was a nine-timer played by Brett - BRACONID for 176 points, which put the game out of Mark's reach - congratulations to you both, such brilliant play from two very great Scrabble players!
Division B saw a convincing victory to Nigeria's Jack Mpakaboari, winning 3-0 over Sandy Nang from the USA. Congratulations, Jack, scrabble in Nigeria is going from strength to strength!
Well done to all who put so much time in to running this prestigious event, especially those who laboured long into the first night to transfer the data from the supplied program, which wasn't working well, to John Chew's TSH program which enabled the rest of the tournament to move along smoothly. Thank you to all involved!

The Winter Pick Me Up Tournament ~ August 21, 2016

Play has started - Betty Egan & Dominica Krstic checking a word
This enjoyable tournament was run by the Victorian Committee to fill a gap in the calendar, and to give our members an extra game of Scrabble in August. Fifty-four of our regular players came to contest the four sections offered......thank you for supporting this event. Seven games were played, and as always competition was brisk!
Gayle Cameron did a lovely job of keeping us fed and watered, and also giving our Standby Player Norma Fisher (who unfortunately wasn't needed to play to even up the numbers) some invaluable practice in preparation for the State Team Challenge, taking place here in Melbourne next month.
Carol Johnsen attended early to help with setting up, and our very capable computer operator Amy Hutchinson did a great job on the technical side - thanks, everyone, including those who helped with setting up, and with packing up at the end of the day.....your help is really appreciated.

The Masters crew: Alan Burn, Nick Ivanovski
& Gwen Lampre

Advanced winners: Janet Bau, Lorraine
Thomas, Rod Casey & Dianne Gibson

Inter: Kris Howat, Siva Sivapalasundram,
Sandra Masel, Liz McKean & Paula Messer

Some of the support crew - Marj Miller,
with Oscar and Amy
MASTERS was won by Nick Ivanovski who had a great day, winning all seven games and scoring 621 to take out the High Game award. Second place was filled by Alan Burn, followed by Gwen Lampre, with both winning four games. Mary McMahon's moment of glory was her play of SLITTIER for 113 points which secured her the High Word award. Nice one, Mary!
ADVANCED saw our evergreen player Rod Casey finish on top with 6 wins, separated only by margin from Janet Bau who has now moved up a section with her excellent play. Dianne Gibson was surprised to find herself in third place on four wins (she thought she had only won three). Rod Casey scored 612 to win the High Game award, and the High Word award went to Lorraine Thomas for her play of HEROINE for 102 points.
INTERMEDIATE was won by Sandra Masel with 6 wins, clear of Kris Howat on 5 and Siva Sivapalasundram on 4 wins - Siva is gradually working his way back to his former rating, but its proving to be a big challenge for him, as it is for us all! The High Game award went to Elizabeth McKean for her score of 499 (well done Liz, especially when you were playing up from Recreation!) Elizabeth also shared the High Word award with Paula Messer, both words scoring 88 points - Paula played ZIPPERS, and Liz played PROVIDE.

Recreation winner John Metcalf, happy to
receive a prize and a Play-up Certificate!

Christie Godby, delighted to take second
place in Recreation, and High Game!

Play in Rec: Lynne Goodinson v. Rena Aitken,
Trish Magee v. Del Stitz at the far board

Front: Angie Pearse plays Alan Burn,
with Gwen Lampre playing Mary MacMahon
RECREATION was by far the largest section, and it was a big challenge to gain a placing - first was John Metcalf on 6 wins, followed by Christie Godby also on six, with Trish Magee third on five wins, good efforts from all! The High Game prize went to Christie for her score of 495, and Christiane McCann found SKYTING for 104 points to claim the High Word Prize.

Kris Howat plays Siva Sivapalasundram, and
Glen Chandler plays Dianne Gibson

June Valentine plays Janet Bau, with Rod
Casey playing old friend Sylvia Galloway

From left: Balada Catanchin, Marisa
Nuccitelli, Carole Eden and Dorothy Hunt

Lorraine Thomas plays Noel Coulter, with
Lainie Mercieca playing Katie Rowe
There were some impressive ratings gains on the day, with Janet Bau topping the list on +56, Rena Aitken +46, John Metcalf +44, Fay Boxshall +43, Nick Ivanovski +41, Trish Magee +38, Sandra Masel +38, Rod Casey +35 and Christie Godby +30.
Well done to all, and thank you to all for the spirit in which the tournament was played, it was a pleasure to be the Director!

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The 2016 Victorian Country Championship ~ Saturday August 6th

This event was again held at the comfortable and welcoming Daylesford Bowling Club and was contested by sixteen of our country players - to qualify to play in this event competitors must live outside a radius of 40 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne, and it gives those who play the opportunity of meeting with and competing against their friends from surrounding areas.
Once again Mary McMahon took on the role of Organiser and Tournament Director, with help from Norma Fisher. Thank you both for your efforts, Mary and Norma, and thank you to Khwanjai Thammaping for the photos, they are appreciated.
A lovely leisurely bistro lunch is always available for the players who wish to partake, and this was enjoyed by all in the downstairs dining room, providing a welcome break from the stressors of the tournament!
In Division A Norma Fisher emerged the winner, followed by Angie Pearse and Mary McMahon in second and third places respectively. Peter Bauer showed his strengths by winning the High Game (559), and tying for the High Word with his play of BINDIEST for 131 points. Heather Long equalled this by playing ELECTION, well done to you all.
Division B saw victory to Robin Dettmann ahead of Marlene Ellis and Marjorie Clark, with first-time player and new member of the Ballarat Club Tessa Knight earning the High Game Award with a score of 538, and the High Word went to Robin Dettmann for her score of 89 points. Well done, everyone!

Norma Fisher, with the very attractive
perpetual trophy

Div A: Peter Bauer, Norma Fisher, Mary McMahon,
Angie Pearse, Heather Long

Div B: Tessa Knight, Robin Dettmann, Marlene
Ellis, Marjorie Clark

To see the full results of the 2016 Country Championship click here

The Trans Tasman Championship - Fri/Sat/Sun August 5/6/7 in Adelaide, South Australia

The New Zealand Team, from left: Anderina McLean, Nick Cavenagh,
Lynn Wood, Murray Rogers, Lyres Freeth, Patrick Carter, Liz Fagerlund,
Lawson Sue, Howard Warner and Glennis Hale

The Australian Team, from left: John Holgate, Adam Kretschmer, Rocky Sharma, Tony Hunt, Nick Ivanovski, Daniel Piechnick, Karen Richards, Ron Baginski,
Esther Perrins, Bob Jackman, Russell Honeybun, Alastair Richards, Victor Tung, Stephen Mooney Pursell and Trevor Tao.
This selective event takes place every two years, with the host country alternating - this year its being played in Adelaide in South Australia, with Barry Harridge directing events and keeping us up to date.
The format has changed, with ten New Zealanders and sixteen Australians playing an unrestricted round robin. Games played between the two countries will count towards the Team Tallies, and there will also be an individual winner.

To follow the ups and downs of the tournament and the Team standings go to Barry Harridge's website - click here

There are also some games being posted by Oliver Jenner O'Shea - click here

The venue is the South Australian Bridge Association, 243 Young Street, Unley, and there will be extra tournaments on Saturday and Sunday for extra players who wish to play.

At the end of DAY ONE Australia lead New Zealand 30.5 games to 19.5 games, and the individual leader is Russell Honeybun from Western Australia on seven wins, a game clear of eight players all on six wins - Alastair Richards, Howard Warner, Esther Perrins, Patrick Carter, Ron Baginski, Bob Jackman, Daniel Piechnick and Lawson Sue - a very tight tussle indeed!

About lunchtime, on Saturday - 9 games to be played today! After Round 12 Australia leads New Zealand - 46.5 to 29.5, and in the individual event Russell Honeybun and Ron Baginski lead the field on 10 wins, but are under serious threat by the followers - Alastair Richards, Esther Perrins and Daniel Piechnick on nine wins each, with Lyres Freeth, Howard Warner and Tony Hunt on eight wins - watch your backs, Russ and Ron! And go, Team Australia!

The end of DAY TWO - 8 games to come tomorrow, 17 completed! The gap has widened somewhat between the rival countries, with the Australian team ahead of New Zealand 68 games to 42.
The individual comp sees the highest rated player filling top spot, namely Alastair Richards on 14 wins, followed by Ron Baginski on 13.5, Daniel Piechnick 13, Lyres Freeth 12.5, Russell Honeybun and Esther Perrins both on 12, Howard Warner and Bob Jackman on 11.5 and Trevor Tao on 11 wins. Expect some movin' and shakin' tomorrow, anything could happen!

Lyres Freeth and Alastair Richards
with their cups
The end of DAY THREE - the tournament is over, and Australia emerge the winners on 96 games to 64, well done to the Oz Team. In the individual standings Alastair Richards (Aus) has deservedly finished in first place on 20 wins in a closely fought finish - in second place, and just half a game behind was the rising star from New Zealand Lyres Freeth, who has collected many respected scalps along the way - I think this young lady will go a long way on the World Scrabble stage, as well as in New Zealand! Next four placegetters were Daniel Piechnick (Aus), Howard Warner (NZ), Esther Perrins and Trevor Tao, both Australian players. Well done to everyone, and well done to Barry Harridge in his role as Tournament Director, Webmaster, photographer and software programmer. To the best of my knowledge the tournament went without a hitch, so well done to Barry and the organising team from South Australia, including Oliver Jenner O'Shea and everyone working behind the scenes, all have done a great job, as always.
To view the full results of the 2016 Trans Tasman Challenge in the Australian National Archive click HERE

1: Alastair Richards, OZ - 20 wins,
margin +2090

2: Lyres Freeth, NZ - 19.5 wins,
margin +1487

3: Daniel Piechnick, OZ - 18 wins,
margin +1025

4: Howard Warner, NZ - 17.5 wins,
margin +1292

5: Esther Perrins, OZ - 17 wins,
margin +1037

6: Trevor Tao, Oz - 17 wins,
margin +626

7: Ron Baginski, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +258

8: Russell Honeybun, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +1060

9: Bob Jackman, OZ - 15 wins,
margin +338

10: Nick Cavenagh, NZ - 15 wins,
margin +185

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Fundraising tourney to assist the McKinnon House residents have a holiday!

A great photo of the players and the helpers! Click the photo to enlarge...
Khwanjai Thammaping works with Fili and Joyce and the residents at McKinnon House, and all are planning an end-of-year trip to Phillip Island, so this fun tournament was Khwanjai's way of raising some funds to help them achieve their dream - apparently some have been speaking about this plan for up to ten years, so we hope that the assistance of our generous scrabble players goes some way to helping them get there! Thanks to you all. A stall and raffle helped swell the funds, and some of the residents visited after lunch for some social scrabble, and it was lovely to meet such strong and courageous people.
Lovely food was served throughout the day, including some of Khwanjai's great specialty dishes shared at lunchtime! The players were divided into three sections, and all sections were keenly contested - some highlights of the day included Geoff Wright winning all six of his games in Division A, Sandra Masel winning five to take out Division B, and John Metcalf also winning five to win Division C, his first win in any tournament. Well done, everyone!

Two of our visitors on the day, Eloise with
her mum Penny

Division C: John Metcalf, Eileen Mills,
and Marlene Ellis

Div B: Betty Egan, Siva Sivapalasundram,
Sandra Masel and Lorraine Thomas

Division A: Norma Fisher, Marj Miller, Julie
Belle, Mary McMahon and Geoff Wright
Division C saw John first, with Marlene Ellis in second place and Eileen Mills third. Both High Game and High Word went to Marlene Ellis who scored 553, and played PEACHING for 98.
Div B saw Sandra victorious, with Lorraine Thomas in second place followed by Siva Sivapalasundram third. Betty Egan scored 520 to win High Game, with Sandra Masel winning High Word (LEVERAGE for 122 points).
Place getters in Div A were Geoff first, Marj Miller second, Julie Belle third, and High Game was played by Norma Fisher (541) and the High Word went to Mary MacMahon (SHALIER, 103 points).
Notable ratings gains were achieved by Geoff Wright +36, Laura Khan +34, John Metcalf + 29, Marj Miller +26, Sandra Masel +24, Elize Plaganyi +23 and Eileen Mills +20. Laura and John continue to rise steadily up the ratings ladder - well done to all, and thank you to Khwanjai for organising such a pleasant day, we did appreciate it!

Organiser Khwanjai Thammaping chats with
her supervisor, Fili.

Friends Mark Reed and Marisa Nuccitelli
during their game

Julie Belle v Mary McMahon in front, with
Marj Miller & Norma Fisher at the next board

Marlene Ellis plays Eileen Mills, with
John Metcalf and Lorna Patching next door
To check the full results of the 2016 McKinnon House Fundraiser click HERE

The Matchplay Kickoff Tournament ~ July 17, 2016

Winners on the day - in front, Andrew Fisher & Khwanjai
Thammaping. Back: John Rider, Dianne Gibson,
Barry Harridge, Lynn Weaver, Noel Coulter, Trevor Halsall

Ratings Band Winners - Janet Bau, Rob York,
Paula Messer, Christie Godby
The Match Play kicked off in style on 17 July with our highest player attendance in 7 years!
48 players vied for 8 positions in the knock out stages, where all the finalists get cash prizes. In addition, there were non-cash prizes to hand out on the day - and we are very thankful for a donation of 3 boxes of chocolates by Lainie Mercieca to bring the prize total up to 17!
To the Scrabble, Andrew Fisher went through the Kick Off undefeated. Trevor Halsall took out the high game and high word with a 600+ game and a 9 timer (as was the case last year as well!). There were many records that came out of the event: Trevor's 622 is the 4th highest score in Australia this year to date. It featured two 9 timer plays (FOOTLERS and ALLOTTEE), something that is very rare in Scrabble tournaments! In that game, Norma Fisher scored 517, which is this year's (and all time) highest losing score. Their 1139 is the highest aggregate game score (and 2nd of all time in Australia).
The 8 who are proceeding to the knock out stages are (in position order on the day) Andrew Fisher, John Rider, Lynn Weaver, Trevor Halsall, Noel Coulter, Khwanjai Thammaping, Dianne Gibson and Barry Harridge. The knock out fixtures will be sorted shortly with a venue being sourced for the eventual final later in the year. Thank you to everyone for making it an absolutely wonderful day!
Many thanks, Nick

Tournament Organiser and Director, Nick
Ivanovski - thanks, Nick!

Players on the day, Lynn Weaver, Lorna
Patching & Laura Khan

Their game over, Angie Pearse and Anne
Menheere tidy up

Khwanjai Thammaping with her chocolates -
Khwanjai is running our next tournament!

An Amazing game - Trevor Halsall 622 plays
Norma Fisher 517 - Click photo to enlarge

Enjoying the tournament - Trish Magee,
Christiane McCann and Laura Khan

John Rider concentrates on his game against
Dominica Krstic

First plays second place, Andrew Fisher v
Trevor Halsall, as always a serious challenge
Thanks to Nick Ivanovski for the above report, and to Khwanjai Thammaping and Nick for the pics! To check the full results of the 2016 Matchplay Kickoff click HERE

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