Victorian Championships
Melbourne 2009


The main event is 24 games played on June 6/7/8 (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) open to all comers. There is a reset of pairing memory at the start of each day, so that a player will not be paired against a particular opponent again within one day.

The other event is a 6 game tournament on the Monday.

Click the tabs at top right for results in Championship , Monday A and Monday B.

The team running this are Barry Harridge (director & webmaster), Lalitha Sundaresan (Anand's mum : computer operator) and Marj Miller (assistant director). Thanks also to Norma Fisher, Jack Miller and Dorothy Barraclough and the other people who helped in many ways.

Round 1

A long word from Gillian Kinder, ADORATIONS, but not a bingo. It went from RATION to ADORATION to ADORATIONS (Gillian's moves each time).
A very excited Jenny Brysha brought up her result slip. "I've just beaten the New Zealand champion!" she said. And she had indeed. Joanne Craig had just last week won the New Zealand National Championship.
Carmel Dodd got 111 for ZYMES.

Round 2

Adjudication is by the Zyzzyva word judge program. Players go together to the computer. The photo shows Jenny Brysha's shock reaction.
Sal's brilliant result in round 1 had continued the streak he had had from the previous tournament at the Xiao Ting Box, where he had amazing games for as long as he used the biro given to him by Trevor Halsall. However at the start of this round the pen ran out and so did Sal's streak (he lost to Naween).

Round 3

We are using lagged draws for the rest of today, with pairings for round x based on results from round x-2. This will give us quicker turnaround between games.
"You're not getting this back!" said Sal Costanzo to Marj, flourishing the pen she had lent him. He attributed his win against Andrew Fisher to the pen.
The image of the devilish grin is being used in the tables of results to indicate a win by a player rated lower by 150 rating points or more. I'm calling the icon a gotcha, and Katie Rowe tells me that she played the word GOTCHAS.

Round 4

I just witnessed trauma for Edward Okulicz. He played TRAUMAS, joining WIRRA as WIRRAS but it was successfully challenged off by Andrew Fisher. WIRRA is an interjection expressing sorrow (at having a word challenged off?), not to be confused with WIRRAH (a fish) which does take an S. David was not happy either, losing to Naween Fernando. And now in round 5, David and Edward will play off. Which one will be gruntled?

Saturday Lunch

The Box Hill venue is great for tournaments. Not only can we set it up nicely for our purposes but there is an abundance of fast food places nearby. There was much enjoyment of food this lunchtime. And this is on top of the great dips, sandwiches etc being prepared for between game nibbles by our terrific caterer. In the breaks this afternoon we can look forward to her home made felafels and savory pancakes. Yum!

Round 5

Jeff and Rene Chelton from NSW are regulars at the Victorian Championship. They stay at a wonderful B & B in the bush, but not far to travel. Rene has been playing well in her games against Jeff at home, but at this stage of the tournament it is Jeff who is the star. Have a look at Jeff's scorecard. He is placed third ahead of stars like David Eldar, Edward Okulicz and Andrew Fisher after 4 rounds. Go Jeff! And as I am writing this, Jeff hands in his slip, winning against Geoff Wright.
Poor Rene is doing somewhat worse at this stage, she is yet to win a game. Go Rene! (and she wins round 5 against Khwanjai).
David Eldar defeats Edward Okulicz.
Sal Costanzo's lucky pen is mightier again, slaying Joanne Craig. The photo shows Sal with his lucky pens.

Round 6

Jeff Chelton and Naween the only two undefeated players, face off. A terrific find by Edward Okulicz, IZVESTIA. And an even more startling find by Andrew Fisher, EQUISETA for 212 points!

Round 7, 8

A glitch with the computer's record of who started in rounds 4 and 5 meant that starts and replies were out of kilter. Records have been amended.
Caroline Scowcroft was perplexed. She rechecked that Zyzzyva word judge had disallowed TANGOES. The adjudication is correct, but one of the many Collins publications is wrong. The small paperback dictionary incorrectly shows it. If you have such a dictionary, immediately go to it and cross out TANGOES. Cursing Collins is optional.

Round 9

Sunday's games start off with rematches allowed from yesterday's opponents. So it's effectively king of the hill in round 9. The cream has risen to the top and table 1 has our top two players in Australia facing off, Andrew Fisher (rated 2215) against David Eldar (2050).
This tournament is the last major tournament within the qualifying period for selection of Australia's team of six for the 2009 World Scrabble Championship (and several other qualifying events). Before this event, the indications were that the team would comprise Andrew Fisher, David Eldar, Chris May, Naween Fernando, Edward Okulicz and Peter Kougi. However Peter Kougi's hold is tenuous, being very closely dogged by Trevor Halsall. Peter has exams looming so is not playing this tournament. All the other contenders, bar Chris May, are here.
Jeff Chelton has withdrawn, not feeling at all well this morning, so Marj Miller has stepped in to ensure no byes are needed.
David Eldar tells me he played terribly against Andrew Fisher. But he won. I only wish I could play as terribly as David.

Round 10

The lagged draw has been deemed unfair by several of the top players, so we are discontinuing it. Trevor Halsall assures me he will not hold up the day with his long games. We'll see.
A tense game between Andrew Fisher and Naween Fernando. From Naween's perspective, there was yet a blank and an S unaccounted for. Had he known they were waiting in the bag for him, he might have played to aim to collect the blank and win. He didn't take that gamble and lost. Also Naween's last rack was BELSTT? and he wanted an outplay ending in T. He played BLiTEST* (after 8 minutes' thought) which came off. Andrew pointed out that BLaTEST would have won it for Naween.
David allowed Karen Richard's phony EXURBIA* to stay, so that he could bingo.

Round 11

The fruit platters are fantastic.
It's great to see players from all round Australia coming to our State Championship. Some like John Rider (QLD), Carmel Dodd (SA), David More, Maree Heynan, Jeff and Rene Chelton (NSW) are regulars. Other NSW players like Bob Jackman, Joanne Craig, Edward Okulicz, Karen Richards, Alistair Richards come fairly regularly. ACT Player Caroline Scowcroft is new as also is La'Reine Lang and our overseas visitor is Nina Clarke from Tasmania. It's a long wayfrom WA but Russel Honeybun (WA) made a special trip this year. This is the first time for Adam Kretschmer (SA), an up and coming player with some great ideas for getting new Scrabblers from the wider community. I'm sure we'll see him here again in the future.

Round 12

David Eldar's win against Naween, together with Andrew Fisher's loss to Alastair Richards puts David two games ahead of the pack. He'll be hard to catch now. Surprisingly David has not done any word study for almost two years. The long term memory must be working well. "You can't continue to coast" advised Andrew Fisher.

Round 13

Why does Edward have chagrin written all over his face? Because he played DEGAUSSED and took the lead but then picked up RJUQPFC which counted against him as remaining tiles when Andrew went out with ATONIES. Final score 488:381.
Bob Jackman has had three consistently high games with scores of 501, 499 and 500.

Round 14

Who is the greater dyslexic? Joanne Craig who played this word or Andrew Fisher who failed to challenge? Meanwhile David Eldar elegantly makes a nine letter word, wrapping about IN.

Round 16

Just to prove the point that noone is invincible, the mighty David Eldar fell to John Barker (this is only David's second loss at this stage). "Don't lose it!" says John as he hands in the result slip. The photo at right shows the final board.
Alastair Richard's PUBITY* is left unchallenged by Trevor Halsall.

Round 17

Players have voted to play 9 games on the Sunday, so Round 17 will be the last game. Having just 7 games on Monday will help players who have a tight schedule for airline flights.
The first tied game in this tournament, between Bob Jackman and Alistair Kane, notable also for Alistair's 116 for ZILLAHs in the first move (pictured at left).
Andrew Fisher narrowly defeats David Eldar to equal his number of wins. David had some tricky high tile racks at the end, and had to make up for earlier phoney (the photo shows that David has been taking drama lessons from Jenny Brysha). It's going to be interesting tomorrow.

The one day event

We welcome the players in the one day event. This adds two recent young players (Robert Blunt and Jayden Kuhne) and one "old" player (Natasha Podesser) to the youth contingent (where Alastair Richards and Anand Bharadwaj are playing in the Championship). These players are actively encouraged by Karen Richards. I notice that Karen enlists Alastair's help to set Anand up to use Zyzzyva's cardbox word learning system.

Round 18

Championship players had been told that clocks would be started at 9am. So it was good to see everyone on time. And I must say that players have been exemplary in their general behaviour and consideration. This is indeed a very friendly tournament.
David Eldar loses his game to Edward Okulicz, so surrenders the lead to Andrew Fisher.

Round 19

Many interesting stories this round!
Edward repays Andrew for the earlier match where Andrew caught Edward with a heavy last rack. This time Edward trounces Andrew 491:310 so now he has elation written on his face (John Parker has elation written on his toenail). Edward nearly missed TUNERS+S (an anamonic for TUNERS : REMODEL THE PIANO'S ABCDEFG).
And a very tense endgame between David and Trevor. Trevor plays the very nice PROPAGED, but misses a winning play in his last move. Can you find the winning move using ACEILNS on the board shown? Edward Okulicz had spotted it.
Naween makes a terrific ten, extending APO to APOLOGISER.

Caroline Scowcroft gets a winnable triple triple.

Round 20

The three leaders, David, Andrew and Edward all lose!
Alistair Richards attains the new high game score of 604 (see photos at right).

In the Queen's Birthday event, Ruth Fewings achieves a quirky notoriety by tying her first two games.

Round 21

David Eldar loses to Karen Richards. And Edward has a losing score of 511 to Nawen's 515.

Round 22

Edward played EOLIPILE, and later hooked at the end to make EOLIPILES. Even more impressively, Trevor later front hooked to make AEOLIPILES.

Round 24

It's all over. Players have judged this to be a most enjoyable tournament. The Victorian Champion for 2009 is Andrew Fisher, who recently secured the title of Australian Champion for 2009.

1st Andrew Fisher  High word Andrew FisherEQUISETA212
2ndDavid Eldar High game Alastair Richards604
3rd Edward Okulicz
4th Naween Fernando
5th Trevor Halsall

Queen's Birthday

The Queen's Birthday event was won by Rod Casey (section A) and Josef Peeters (section B).

More stories and photos

See the Scrabble Victoria website for Marj Miller's writeup. And check out more photos at Khwanjai Thammaping's Facebook pages for the Vic Champ and Queen's Birthday events.

2009 Victorian Championship :

Tournament organiser: Barry Harridge & Marj Miller, Webmaster: Photos: Barry Harridge and Khwanjai Thammaping.