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Bob Jackman
  Bob Jackman

Australian Championships 2003

Jackman wins in playoff

- Anne Michell  

Playoff board   Full results    Photo gallery 1   Photo gallery 2

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.

Final placings
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 Easter.

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 489-439.

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.


Jackman vs Holgate - Final board

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 now!



Full results 

Photo gallery 1 - Main events 

Photo gallery 2 - Presentations & social activities

Australian Scrabble® Players Association (ASPA)
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