|South Australia hosted the 2003 Australian Championships.
There were 104 entrants in the top division - a new record! The venue
was St Peter’s Woodlands Grammar School. It was spacious and comfortable
with ample garden areas to wander through in between games and enjoy the
beautiful sunshine which blessed the event.
Each State was represented and there was also overseas representation,
including the defending champion, Cheah Siu Hean (from Singapore). The
quality of the field was remarkable with 18 of the top 20 players in
Australia present. The competition at the top tables was intense with
the lead changing several times.
Wilma Vialle was the tournament director
– she is well known on the international circuit for her entertaining style
and knowledge of the rules. Wilma made it look easy. She has a
wonderful sense of humour and the ability to get everyone doing the right
thing at the right time.
Final round playoff
Going into the final round, Bob Jackman and John Holgate both needed to win
the final game to take the title. Margins would not decide the winner.
Bob had already accrued an unassailable spread of 1610 points but John held
a one game lead. John played a triple-triple to take the early lead by
60 points. However, Bob fought back to play two late bonus words and
claim a comfortable win. The final score for the playoff game was 485-403.
Adelaide must be a lucky city for Bob – the last time he took out the
National title was ten years previously in Adelaide. Bob has now qualified
to compete in the World Scrabble Championships to be held in Kuala Lumpur in
October this year.
Margins played an important part in separating the first three
places, with all players finishing on 16 wins. Andrew Hamblin took out
second place by a margin of only 26 points ahead of John Holgate.
Edward Okulicz finished fourth and also managed to get the high word for the
tournament with EXCISION for 198 and the high game with 638 points.
Cheah finished well to claim fifth spot.
Youngster wins Open Division
There was also a keenly contested Open tournament run over two days with
many players attending from interstate. Indeed,the prizemoney was shared
between four States. This event was won by thirteen year old David
Eldar from Victoria. It looks like another youngster is on the
way up and will probably be eligible for the Masters division by next
One of the many highlights was a game between Dianne Brumby and Frances
Berry. They made 7 bonus words between them. Dianne had ATTaINS
(77), REDEEME(R) (65), TAIVERS (75) and DEARTHS (76). Frances had
BOWLING (88), FeRNIER (74) and OUTLAWS (79). Dianne won the game
The presentation dinner was a smorgasbord held at the Watermark Hotel.
The food was plentiful and delicious and the atmosphere was great. The
trophies were beautiful pottery bowls.
Media coverage of this event has been great - radio interviews, television
footage and newspaper articles.
King of the hill round - Final board position
Bob Jackman (485) d. John Holgate (403)
Words played: TREATIEs (triple-triple =122), RELOaNED,
INSANIE (68) and INCASING (double-double = 94)
Canberra to host in 2004
The 2004 Australian Scrabble Championships will be held in Canberra.
We look forward to seeing many familiar faces once again. Start saving