Australian Masters and State Challenge
Melbourne 2010

Gadget version

The competitors

John Spaan 1658 [ACT]
John Hamilton 1563 [ACT]
Caroline Scowcroft 1296 [ACT]
Michael McKenna 1681 [NSW]
Mark Smith 1653 [NSW]
Tony Hunt 1599 [NSW]
Helen Maurus 1652 [QLD]
Quentin Abbott 1641 [QLD]
Jane Brown 1545 [QLD]
Heather Lowden 1595 [SA]
Adam Kretschmer 1475 [SA]
Tony Miller 1310 [SA]
Susannah Torcasio 1588 [TAS]
Khen Meerding 1536 [TAS]
Martin Rose 1477 [TAS]
Norma Fisher 1661 [VIC]
Heather Long 1650 [VIC]
Lois Binnie 1500 [VIC]
Sally Martin 1698 [WA]
Chris Hall 1547 [WA]
Robin Andersen 1511 [WA]
Naween Fernando 2038
Andrew Fisher 2030
Edward Okulicz 1997
Alastair Richards 1930
Joanne Craig 1919
Peter Kougi 1881
Richard Jeremy 1830
Rod Talbot 1822
Esther Perrins 1819
John Holgate 1781
Trevor Halsall 1762
Bob Jackman 1750
Carmel Dodd 1739
Karen Richards 1718
Anne Drew 1708
Geoff Wright 1681
Glenys Lawrie 1668
Simon Walton 1641
Edie Mueller 1570
Dianne Brumby 1537
We have 41 of Australia's finest Scrabble players here. Twenty of these are playing as the Australian Masters, and twenty-one are playing in teams of three in the State Challenge.

TAS: Martin, Susan, Khen

VIC: Lois, Norma, Heather

NSW: Michael, Superman, Tony

SA: Tony, Adam, Heather

QLD: Jane, Helen, Quentin

WA: Sally, Chris, Robin

ACT: John, Caroline, John

Getting started

Here we are at a new venue, the Deakin University Burwood Campus. All present and accounted for. We have 20 Masters players and 21 State Challenge players ready to pit wits against each other. Carryover champion and host, Andrew Fisher, welcomed players. We all sang Happy Birthday to Edward Okulicz prior to his first round bout versus Andrew Fisher. Will Andrew be kind to Edward? We'll see, we have annotators recording their moves for your later delectation. Helen Maurus announced a special prize award for the UR word, the most pleasing word containing UR, as judged by Edward the Confessurr. The tournament director is Wilma Vialle.

The winner of the Masters section of this tournament will qualify as the first chosen team member of the Australian team for the 2011 World Scrabble Championship (subject only to playing 90 games during the qualifying period). Glenys Lawrie, president of CASPA (the Council of the Australian Scrabble Players Association), announced a further clause. If Joanne Craig wins, and if she elects to play for New Zealand, the runner up will represent Australia.

A few last minute glitches. Wendy, our caterer, had a nasty fall and is unavailable. Marj Miller and Norma Fisher have had to work out alternative arrangements. And the toilets have had a water crisis. Life wasn't meant to be easy.

Round 1

Edward got his birthday present, a 600 win against Andrew Fisher. Follow the game at Crosstables game 7153. Watch out for how Andrew uses his rack of BBGMIRZ to make a setup for the Z the next turn. The 5 point penalty for Andrew's incorrect challenge of VARIOLAS gave Edward an extra 5 points. Edward's rack of PIHYAXS looked so much like ASPHYXIA that he overlooked (for one turn) the play of APEX. Edward's WEANIES was played as WENA, as he wanted to retain the S in case Andrew set up a hook (there was a blank still out). The slightly different final scores are due to Quackle not using plus and minus for the unused tiles at the end. Many thanks to Denis Visentin and Michael McKenna for annotating the game, and Carol Johnsen for Quackling it. And thanks also to the Crosstables website for accepting and displaying the data.

Round 2

Esther Perrins got her unbirthday present, an opportunity with two blanks and picking up the Q to get a triple triple of QUEASIER for 194. Glenys Lawrie gave Andrew Fisher a good run, but his THUMBING gave her the finger, so he won by 33. It could have been a THUMPING, but Glenys had done quite well, and if only she had been able to use her Q more profitably at the end she might have won. An enjoyable game. A game to play through is Joanne Craig v Trevor Halsall, Crosstables game 7108

Round 3

The Annotated game this round is Esther Perrins and Alastair Richards Crosstables game 7105, a very open game with some brilliant plays.

Round 4

Mark Smith had a wonderful game against John Hamilton. He got PRINTOUT (64), SAUCIER (72), BAWLING (99), KAZOO (78), SHEEREST(86), EX(35) and TAINTED(79) to contribute to his final score of 608. John Hamilton had one bonus word REDEPLOY (88). And have a look at Naween Fernando playing Peter Kougi, Crosstables game 7106


Lunch was a well appreciated spread of zeps and biscuits from Subway.

Round 5

An annotated game from the State Challenge, Adam Kretschmer(SA) versus Lois Binnie (VIC) Crosstables game 7112

Round 6

An annotated game Andrew Fisher v Rod Talbot Crosstables game 7113

The urtext



The tournament dinner was held nearby. Jeremy Richards again tortured the guests with anagrams based on their names.

Day Two

Denis Visentin from Tasmania has been doing a great job in preparing the annotated games (although the site is closed for maintenance today). He and Edward were discussing whether there were distinctive personality types associated with top Scrabbblers. They agreed that the room contained remarkably normal players. As for ourselves, Denis remarked, we're not eccentric just Tasmanians.

Round 11

Geoff Wright failed to appear, so his game against Andrew Fisher was forfeited. For subsequent games today, Marj Miller will take his place as standby player.


Tournament director Wilma Vialle hosted a lunchtime session of Letters and Numbers, The letter selections were JAATLERDE and NRNRAEOAB and LHRSNEOIE and EEIOSTFSC and DRGIIOOVE and STHAAEYSX. Denis wanted to have HASTYSEX but Wilma wouldn't allow it. The longest words, including one nine, were all found of course.

A new high word score

WINDSOCK through the S earned Edward a whopping 212 points.

An impressive start to a game

Bob Jackman got four bingos in his first four moves, playing against Marj Miller, AUGITIC(71), WINTERLY(80), MUSKIER(78) and ENCAENIA(77). Very impressive, as Marj was the first to acknowledge.

Surprise visitors

Several Scrabblers have come along to watch the games, and sometimes help with annotations. Julian McKail has been watching with interest. But midway through Sunday afternoon we had a visit from the Letters and Numbers team, Richard Morecroft, David Astle and Lily Serna. They took the opportunity to chat to some of the people who have appeared on the show, and other fans of the show and of DA's crosswords. They observed a few games with great interest, and they were delighted to see how well Edward Okulicz was going, since he acts as a reesearcher for the TV show.

Annotated games

Thanks to a dedicated team of annotators, including Denis, Marj, Carol, Cheryle and Michael, there are quite a few games that you can follow move by move on the Crosstables website. Inevitably there may be the odd error, and anyone who detects an error and knows how to edit a GCG file can fix it and let Barry know.
Andrew FisherEdward OkuliczGame 7153
Joanne CraigTrevor HalsallGame 7108
Alastair RichardsEsther PerrinsGame 7105
Naween FernandoPeter KougiGame 7106
Andrew FisherRod TalbotGame 7113
Anne DrewNaween FernandoGame 7114
John HolgatePeter KougiGame 7116
Esther PerrinsJoanne CraigGame 7129
Edward OkuliczTrevor HalsallGame 7131
Naween FernandoRichard JeremyGame 7128
Alastair RichardsJoanne CraigGame 7127
Naween FernandoRod TalbotGame 7125
Edward OkuliczRod TalbotGame 7124
Alastair RichardsNaween FernandoGame 7130
Adam KretschmerLois BinnieGame 7112
Michael McKennaSusannah TorcasioGame 7121
John SpaanLois BinnieGame 7123
Andrew FisherNaween FernandoGame 7132

The finish

The winner of the Australian Masters for 2010 is Peter Kougi, a young player from Victoria. He only claimed the title in a nailbiting last round, when the heretofore leader, Edward Okulicz last his final game when Alastair Richards got a triple triple. Edward almost caught up despite this, and had had an outstanding run averaging almost 500 points per game.
The individual winner of the State Championship is Michael McKenna, a fifteen year old whiz from New South Wales.
The state that did best in the State Championship was New South Wales by a long shot. Have a look at the archived results and also check out the awesome Stats on the Stats tab, as superbly programmed by Edward.