The WESPA Youth Cup 2019, 29 Nov - 1 Dec, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thailand won the overall International competition with Tarin Pairor
(Thailand) champion. The best performing Australian was Ronnie Barrett
(ACT), placing 15th overall out of 190 participants and taking out 3rd
place in his age division.
Other Australians placed :
Asher Chhabra (34th), Jason Tang (80th), Alex Lam (106th) Patrick Huynh
(130th) and Tanissha (174th)
The 2018 WESPA Youth Cup, held in Dubai, December 13-15th
The players, with Karen Richards at top left, Martin Teo standing
at right, and seated at centre front
is last year's Champion Aabid Ismail from Sri Lanka, and on his
left is the 2018 Champion
Syed Imaad Ali from Pakistan
The 2018 WESPA Youth Champion,
Syed Imaad Ali from Pakistan.
Our Aussie representatives - back: Sharvin 77th, Aditya 105,
Rahul 49 and Kaustav 94, all from WA. Front: Shireeya 111
(WA), Tanissha 114 (WA), Ronnie 47 (ACT), Asher 84 (NSW)
and Jason 64 (NSW)
This annual event took place over three days, with 24 games played and 116
young players taking part. Congratulations to Syed Imaad Ali from Pakistan
who is the 2018 Champion Youth player, winning 20 of his 24 games. Second
place went to Janul De Silva from Sri Lanka on 19 wins, with Napat
Vatjaranurathorn from Thailand in third place on 17 wins.
Pakistan won the title of best-performed country, and many awards were
presented for the best player in various age groups, also High Game
(Adheesha Dissanayake, Sri Lanka, 664) and High Word (171 points for
ITEMIZES, played by Aabid Ismail from Sri Lanka). The award for mentoring
young Scrabble players went to Tariq Pervez from Pakistan - the
improvement in the play of the young Pakistani players has been
Australia's top-five finishers were awarded with medals and prizemoney
donated by the father of one of the players, thank you for your
generosity, Dr B. Mandal. Congratulations to all, and to Karen Richards,
Chair of WESPA Youth Scrabble, for organising another very successful
Youth Cup - Karen's helpers are numerous, and she is very grateful for all
help received. Also thank you to Deepa Bowmick for the use of her photos -
WESPA Youth Cup 2019 will be held from 29th November to 1st December 2019
in Malaysia, with the venue and exact schedule to be announced shortly.
To see the full results of the 2018 event and to check the progress of
arrangements for 2019 click here
The WESPA Youth Cup, played in Malaysia, November 27-29 2017
Almost 200 young players, in their Youth Cup T-shirts, with Martin
The happy 2017 Youth Cup Champion Aabid
Ismail from Sri Lanka with his trophy,
presented by Nigel Richards from New Zealand, multiple World
Champion in English and French Scrabble.
Congratulations to Aabid who finished half a game clear of
countryman Janul De Silva
Sri Lanka won the Best Team Award overall,
congratulations to this very keen and brilliant
In the photo:
Vignesh Phiraparan (8th), Karen Richards,
Champ Aabid Ismail, second-placed
Janul De Silva, and Martin Teo
Pakistan's Ahmed Abdullah
Abbasi placed third overall
in the event, and the
Pakistani team came in second
behind Sri Lanka.
Well done to all
Here are our wonderful young Aussie players.
Back row: Sharvin 62nd, Aditya 118, Rahul
25, Kaustav 117, Liana 71, Shekinah 51.
Middle row: Ronnie 24 (best Australian
player), Lewis from New Zealand 17, Jason
170 and in front Shireeya 174.
One hundred and seventy-six keen young players from 15 different countries
gathered to take part in this 3-day tournament, the highest number to date
in what was formerly called the World Youth Scrabble Championship. Karen
Richards, with help from husband Paul, son Rhys, Martin Teo and many
others too numerous to mention organised the event, held in the Common
Area, 4th Floor, Summit USJ Mall, Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Congratulations to all who took part, it would have been a wonderful
experience for you all - especially those who travelled for the first
time, and those who caught up with old friends from previous years!
Well done to Ronnie from the Australian Capital Territory who finished as
the highest placed Australian player, followed very closely by Rahul from
Western Australia. Next in line were Shekinah from Queensland, and Sharvin
from Western Australia.
Thanks go to the West Australian Geriatric Specialists Association and
Advanced Diagnostic Imaging and Intervention who teamed up with the
Australian Scrabble Players Association of WA (ASPA WA) to provide the
kit, beautifully designed by Joanne Hamilton, (a real standout in my
opinion, Joanne!) and generous assistance with travel as well. Also anyone
else who assisted in any way, either financially or in practical ways -
Edie Mueller from WA is one of these, your dedication as youth coach in
Western Australia is wonderful, Edie! Also thank you to Jay Jay Jegatheva
Jegathesan for your regular updates on the tournament, and the use of your
photos, it is appreciated!
Lewis from NZ, with Ronnie
School Scrabble in Drouin West, Gippsland ~ October 30 2017
The host team, Drouin West
Visiting from Bona Vista P.S.
The team from Nilma Primary School
Students from Warragul North P.S.
The Championship: Cailee, Haley, Champ Ayden, Ella
The Plate: Griffin, Shalini, Molly, and the winner Tom
Special thanks to Principal Ms Kerry Ware and the Drouin West Primary
students and staff for hosting this year's Gippsland
Primary Schools Scrabble Championship and Plate.
Victoria representatives Gwen Lampre, Barry Harridge and myself (Marj
Miller) thoroughly enjoyed our day at the school helping to run the event
- we love the enthusiasm and friendship displayed by the players. Twenty-four
from four primary schools (Bona Vista, Drouin West,
Nilma and Warragul North
) took part, playing three games each in two
separate sections. All seemed to enjoy the event, and we were extremely
impressed with the courteous, friendly and mature behaviour displayed by
all students. A delightful lunch of sandwiches, fresh fruit and scones
with jam and cream was provided to the helpers by the Drouin West staff
and we thank them for this, it was most enjoyable.
Winners in the CHAMPIONSHIP
were the new Gippsland Primary
Schools Champion Ayden from Drouin West
, second placed was Ella
from Warragul North
, and third place went to Haley, also from
Ayden also took home the High Game trophy for an
excellent game score of 215, and the trophy for the Highest Word score was
won by Cailee from Warragul North
for her play of HUGS for 42,
hooking the "S" onto "NOCK" (a rare word for a notch) on a triple word
score to make two triple words at the same time. Well played, everyone!
In the PLATE
the top finisher was Tom from Warragul North,
finishing just ahead of Molly, also from Warragul North,
from Bona Vista
in third place. Molly's great score of 169 won her
the High Game Trophy, and Griffin from Bona Vista
played QUITS for
42 points to take home the High Word Trophy. Good play, everyone, Barry
noted that your scores improved considerably during the day, and you're
all playing to a good standard indeed!
The Perpetual Shield for the Champion School
will go to Drouin
as Champ Ayden is one of their students.
We haven't established a host for next year's event, so if any of the
Gippsland primary schools would like to offer we would be very pleased to
hear from you. Thank you again to all who helped, including the staff from
visiting primary schools who accompanied their students, the dedication of
all involved is admirable.
Miriam plays Molly
Natalie plays Tess
Hayden and Sheree
Isabella and Ella
Tyler and Nicola
Cailee plays Emily
Keira and Haley
Ashlyn plays Caleb
Rees and Alex, having fun
Shalini plays Jasmine
Charlotte and Griffin
Matilda and Tom
The 2017 WESPA WORLD CUP ~ 27, 28, 29 November, in Malaysia
Here are some thoughts from Karen Richards, Chair of WESPA Youth
who has done an amazing job organising this event since
2006. Thanks, Karen.
This is the twelfth annual world youth championship. This year, it is
called WESPA Youth Cup, due to copyright issues re using the name World
Youth Scrabble Championship, despite this name having been endorsed for
our use in 2006, by Mattel UK. The Scrabble branch of Mattel are now
based in USA.
With close to 200 competitors, from 15 countries, it is the biggest
event yet. There are very strong players competing from a number of
countries, so it is impossible to anticipate the Champion. Sri Lanka has
won the team event for the last few years, with three in the top ten in
2016, including Thavalakshman Yoganathan, who finished second. India are
fielding some very strong players, particularly Aditya Iyengar. They are
also sending the youngest player, six-year old Madhav. Pakistani players
will again feature in many of the top places. Abdullah Abbasi was
runner-up in 2015. Malaysian Tengku Ariff Shah has been winning many
local events, so maybe it is time for another Malaysian to take out the
big prize. Hong Kong have been steadily working at improving their
standard of play for the last few years, having only debuted in 2015,
and we are expecting that they will one day field a winner. Or maybe the
winner will come from an African country (Kenya or Nigeria) where they
are working hard to attract more and better youth players. It is great
to welcome back Philippines and Indonesia, who were absent in 2016 due
to the cost of getting to Europe.
Australia has nine young representatives this year,
and we wish
them all good luck and happy experiences in this challenging event. Also,
good luck to our official Ozzie Team Coach Edie Mueller!
Kaustav, Coach Edie, Sharvin & Aditya
To find more detail about this event please click HERE
The Gippsland Primary Schools Scrabble Championship & Plate ~
November 18, 2016
Another wonderful day spent with 26 primary school students from 4 schools
- Bona Vista, Drouin West, Drouin South and Neerim and District. The event
was coordinated by the host school's co-Principal Cara Stevens (Bona
Vista). The Drouin South students attended even though it was a
student-free day at their school because they did not want to miss out.
The teachers were delighted with the concentration, enthusiasm and
sportsmanship exhibited by the children.
The pleasant surrounds at Bona Vista Primary School
The trophies and perpetual plaque, won by Drouin South
Scrabble Victoria Staff, with some local scarecrows
Watching the plays, ZEN always comes out as one of the favourite words the
children use and it is rarely challenged by the opponent. Playing a blank
for no score; not challenging words and adding an S onto a word and not
expanding on it were plays often seen. However, it was also pleasing to
see, as the games progressed from first to third, that the scores
improved, appreciably in most cases.
Three games were played by the participants in the Championship and Plate
Sections with the prizes being spread across the field which was pleasing.
In the Plate Section Trent (Drouin West) placed 1st, also taking the High
Game (217) and High Word PAW (45). Christian (Drouin West) was 2nd with 2
wins (58 margin) and Patty (Bona Vista) was 3rd, also with 2 wins and a
margin of 32. In the Championship Hayden (Drouin South) took out 1st place
with 3 wins, with Ayden (Drouin West) 2nd with 2 wins (218 margin) also
High Game (248) and Brodie (Bona Vista) was 3rd with 2 wins (45 margin)
also High Word QUOTE for 45. Unfortunately, Ayden only was able to play
two games, so his performance is admirable. The children certainly do love
the colourful green and purple trophies and the perpetual plaque goes to
Drouin West P.S. (the Championship winner's school as is the usual
The Championship players receiving
their awards, congratulations everyone!
The happy winners in the Plate with Carol
Johnsen, well done to all
Play under way in the spacious room, with
Drouin West players in the foreground
ASPA Vic players and teaching staff assist
the players with the format on the day
The Bona Vista players
Visiting from Neerim and District
The Drouin South participants
The Drouin West players
Thank you to Association helpers - Elize Plaganyi, Christianne McCann,
Gwen Lampre, Norma Fisher and Marj Miller (trophies) and the teachers and
parents from the schools. Bona Vista P.S. is set in idyllic surroundings
with the green Gippsland hills visible from all sides and is always such a
pleasant day with a sausage barbecue at lunch ($1 each) provided by the
school. It is always a delight for us city folk to visit there. Already,
Drouin West P.S. has put up its hand to host the 2017 Gippsland Primary
School tournament - can't wait! Carol Johnsen (thanks for the report,
Scrabble New South Wales run an exciting Tournament for young players
~ October 24, 2016
The competing students from the three schools, with organisers and
The fourteen award winners with trophies and certificates, with
Tony Hunt and Joanne Craig
Three schools participated in this event, and all 42 participants enjoyed
the experience. The host school was Cabramatta PS
, with Croydon
and Fairfield West PS
students visiting. Scrabble NSW
players organised and conducted the event, namely Tony Hunt, Hailey
Sutton, Tisa Ng, Joanne Craig and Altaf Thawer, with assistance given by
several visiting teachers and parents. Some students played as
individuals, some played in pairs, and all played three games with a total
of 45 minutes allowed for each game.
A healthy lunch was appreciated, and after some intensive calculations by
Hailey the winning school was declared. Only games played between students
from opposing schools were counted, and the champion team for 2016 is
The individual winner overall is Wilson from
, well done, Wilson. Three players won all their games,
with Wilson's superior margin securing him the win. Second and third
places went to Grace and Sharon, representing Croydon PS, well done to you
Cabramatta teacher Tony Hunt briefing the players on the
expectations and schedule for the day.
An adjudication in progress. Electronic devices were used,
and the word list was Collins Official Scrabble Words 2015
Joanne Craig, the current Australian Masters
Champion, with the individual winner, Wilson
After the event chief organiser Tony noted the following - apart from
the obvious benefits with regards to numeracy and literacy, Scrabble
also provides a forum for the development of decision-making,
confidence, strategy and working with others. Its a great avenue for
children who are competitive but may not have an affinity with physical
sports. It is also one of the few competitive activities in which
children are able to participate on an equal footing with adults. At
some tournaments in NSW the range in ages can be from 8 to players in
Tony thanks all helpers
who ensured the day was a success, and
plans are being made to conduct a similar tournament in Term 3 of 2017, so
if any other schools would like to take part please contact Tony Hunt on
0417 470 167 for details.
Cabramatta Primary School
Croydon Primary School
Fairfield West Primary School
Four young Ozzies travel to Lille for the 2016 World Youth Scrabble
Championship - August 27/28/29
Our Australian players - Radheya, Koko, Shekinah and Rahul
Helping at the event - Barry
Harridge and Paul Richards
Once again Karen Richards,
WESPA Youth Chairperson, has worked
hard to organise this event, with a great deal of assistance from many
others around the world, including those at Mind Sports International.
Four young Australians have been able to travel to France to compete, and
we thank those who made this possible - what a wonderful experience! Also
thanks to Jay Jay Jegathesan
and Nick Ivanovski
input, and use of their photos.
Here is a report from Jay Jay on the standings etc at the end of Day 2
thanks, Jay Jay:
Team Australia fought gamely through a tough 10 games on day 2
of the World Youth Scrabble championships. Rahul (35) and Shekinah
(44) on 10 wins each and inside the target top 50... with Radheya
moving to 8 wins & Kaustav to 7 wins...
An up and down day for Rahul and Shekinah who put together
streaks of 6 and 5 wins each interspersed with losing streaks. Sanchit
Kapoor of the UAE leads the overall with Aabid Ismail of
Sri Lanka in 2nd. 3 Lankans and 3 Thais in the top 10... along with
former world champion Jack Durand from Britain in 3rd. My early
predicted winner Abdullah Abassi from Pakistan had a surprising losing
streak of 5 games but has fought back to 15th. Should be an interesting
Shekinah on the right ~ her many interests
include tae kwon do and dancing
Rahul loves swimming, cross country,
aquathlon & triathlon, versus England's Jack
Kaustav, often known as Koko, thrives on
chess, learning Japanese, reading and music
Radheya on the right - his many interests
include film making, art and writing
The winner, Sanchit Kapoor ***
What a great shot of the contestants! Click to enlarge
Well done, team! Radheya 75th, Shekinah 46th, Kaustav 85th, Rahul
The tournament is over, and what a wonderful experience it has been, with
many new friendships made, together with lifelong memories! The winner
is 16 year-old Sanchit Kapoor from the United Arab Emirates
he has lived since the age of seven after emigrating there from India with
Congratulations to Sanchit, who finished on 20 wins
impressive margin, three games clear of the following placegetters - (2)
Thavalakshman Yogan (LKA)on 17 wins, (3) Aabid Ismail (LKA) 17 wins, (4)
Siriwat Suttapintu (THA) 17 wins, (5) Aditya Iyengar (IND) 16 wins, and
(6) Jack Durand (ENG) also on 16 wins.
Again thanks is given to all who helped with organising this amazing
event, congratulations to you all!
Anand Bharadwaj helps raise funds for Unicef's School-in-a-Box Program
~ July 4, 2016
Afternoon tea with most of the participants
Play in progress at the pleasant home of the Balwyn Scrabble Club
For the fourth consecutive year Anand, with his parents Kannan and
Lalitha, visited the Balwyn Scrabble Club to meet with members and
visiting friends to play simultaneous scrabble, with Anand winning most of
the games! Junior player Pranav was able to visit due to being on school
holidays, and thanks to dad Sri for bringing him over. Anand hasn't had
any spare time lately to play Scrabble, and relished being back in the
Scrabble environment for some friendly challenges.
As usual Lalitha and Kannan were in charge of scoring and replenishing
Anand's racks, and also brought an enormous birthday cake to celebrate
Anand's sixteenth birthday. All enjoyed this together with some lovely
goodies supplied by everyone who attended - thank you all for this, and
for your generosity in supporting Unicef. The School-in-a Box program
supplies equipment for both children and teachers in needy countries and
the amazing boxes are welcomed with great excitement by the recipients.
Well done, Anand and everyone!
From left: Kannan, Anand, Balada,
Dominica, Pranav, Rosie
Regular Balwyn Club players David
Lemish with Fintan and Hilary Conway
Nick Ivanovski (our Facebook guru)
with Rob York, Essendon Club Convenor
A social game between Carol Johnsen
(with her granddaughter) and Norma Fisher
Kannan, Lalitha, Anand, Barry Harridge
and Rosie Whalen
The ASCI in Malaysia, April 16 -17, 2016
We had two young players representing Australia at the ASTAR Scrabble
Challenge International in Kuala Lumpur. They were Sharvin (U15) and his
sister Shireeya (U12), from Perth, Western Australia.
Sharvin came 21st out of 184 in the under 15 section including high game
for the section of 588, with a combined game score of 1088. A fantastic
game at any age! Sharvin won 8 games of the 12 played.
Shireeya came 43rd out of 76, winning 6 from 12 games in her first
tournament, an amazing result!
The playing area, what a wonderful sight.....
Sharvin, concentrating on his game
Shireeya, enjoying her first tournament
Well played to you both, and what a wonderful experience. Also thank you
to Karen and Paul Richards for your continuing support of all young
players, both here in Australia and around the world.
players at the National Champs and the Plate - March 26/27/28, 2016
The young ones: Ronnie, Pranav, Lewis (NZ), Koko, Aditya, Sharvin,
Harper, Karen, a little future champ, Meghna, Minuki and Shekinah
A total of nine budding Aussie players
and our young friend from
New Zealand, Lewis, will be competing this year. Eight of these are taking
part in the Coaching Clinic and the Youth Tournament organised by Karen
Richards for Good Friday, which will set them up nicely for the following
has qualified to play in the Championship, which he did last
year here in Melbourne, and the nine playing in the Plate are Ronnie
from the Australian Capital Territory, Shekinah
from Queensland, Sharvin,
Aditya, and Koko
from Western Australia, and Minuki, Meghna,
Harper and Pranav
from Victoria. Good luck to you all!
Scrabble South Australia
is awarding a trophy for the young player
with the highest rating gain
over the whole event, and this year
there will be trophies and cash prizes donated by Marj Miller awarded to
the top three youth finishers
over both events, based firstly on
the number of games won, then margin. Lots to play for, indeed! (On a
personal note, I'm sorry I can't be there to cheer you all on! Marj M.)
The individual trophies for the top three
finishers over both events
Five-game Youth Tournament:
Special award for the Youth Player who achieves the
Highest Rating Gain overall, produced by Antony Kimber
This was played on Good Friday and Ronnie
placed first, with Shekinah and Minuki
in second and third places
respectively, all on four wins. High Game was played by Ronnie (503), and
the High Word was played by Minuki - EASTING for 105.
The Major Tournaments:
In the Championship Lewis from New Zealand
finished 60th in the
field of 80, a good effort indeed. Of the Plate players the highest
finisher was Shekinah from Queensland
who placed a very creditable
15th, well done, Shekinah. Next in finishing order were Ronnie, Minuki,
Pranav, Sharvin, Aditya, Koko, Harper and Meghna. Well done to all!
Overall youth winners
(this included Lewis (NZ), who played in the
Championship section, and very nearly featured in this list)
Trophies and cash prizes, based on the number of wins, and then margin:
1. Shekinah Giffen (Qld) 14 wins, margin +350
2. Ronnie Bennett (ACT) 11 wins, margin +176
3. Minuki Satharasinghe (Vic) 11 wins -205
Highest rating gain
(rack trophies donated by Scrabble South
Australia, and produced by Antony Kimber) After all ratings were
calculated an extra trophy was required, as Pranav Srivatsan (Vic) and
Sharvin Jeyendran (WA) each gained 91 rating points over all events,
congratulations to you both!
Minuki, Ronnie and Shekinah, the top three
Sharvin, equal Rating Gain
Pranav, equal Rating Gain, & Karen
From W.A. - Koko, Edie Mueller, Sharvin, Aditya
Thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping, Barry Harridge and Deepa Bhowmick for the
photos - the following show our young Scrabblers, and also how important
the support of parents is to the participation of the young ones. Well
Koko with mum Deepa
Ronnie in action
Little brother & Minuki with Mum
Gabrielle & Harper Pestinger
Lewis and Linley Hawkins, NZ
Khrish & Vidhya with Meghna
Sharvin with his dad Jey
Refreshments for Shekinah...
Aditya and Pranav at work
Minuki and her proud brother
Future Coaching Dates with Karen Richards! some with Alastair
November 27/28 2015 in Bangkok
(2 days, Thursday and Friday)
followed by Princess Cup, an excellent tournament for players aged 20 and
under. Alastair will do an expert level session, while I work with
beginners and intermediate level players. For more info on the 2015
Princess Cup click here
I will pay for accommodation of anyone who comes to that, if required.
Flights from the Eastern Australia states, to Bangkok, are approximately
$750 return (less from Perth) There is an adult side tourney as well, if
you are aged 21 upward. Thailand is fantastic fun and
inspirational....there will be 6000 children playing, but our youth will
be competing in a group of approximately 50 from all different countries.
December 4th 2015 in Perth
(Saturday) an Intermediate level
coaching clinic, for those rated approximately 600 to 1200, run by
Alastair. If there is a demand and space, I will coach a few beginners, at
the same time.
January 16th to 20th, 2016 in Brisbane
(Saturday to Wednesday) (not
March 25th, 2016 in Adelaide (Friday)
- limited to 8
players......must be prepared to also compete in Australian Championship,
26th to 28th March. I can pay for accommodation for a couple of young
players, if required. Intermediates (approx 600 to 1200 rating). Local (ie
from Adelaide) beginners may be included, and will not be required to
compete in Australian Champs.
April 16 and 17, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur
(Saturday and Sunday) ASCI is
an event run by University of Malaya, with about 400 players. Categories
include School, University, and Open. Whilst this is not a formal coaching
clinic, if any young player would like to compete, I am offering to
accompany them, and do some one-on-one coaching as we travel and compete.
Wonthaggi North P.S. for the Gippsland Primary Schools Championship!
November 16, 2015
Tara, Overall Champion and High
Word. Tayla, second place and High Game.
Leo, third place.
Brianna, second. Jacob, first. Olivia, third &
High Word. Mrs Hutton with Nicola's award for High Game.
At the back: Rob York, helper from Scrabble Victoria
Thirty children from surrounding schools met at Wonthaggi North
for a great day of scrabble and friendship, and we
thank WN teacher Mrs Tracey Hutton
for hosting this event.
Students were ferried by various means from Bona Vista, Fish Creek and
schools to join their peers, and it was a delight to meet
such rounded and well-mannered children - Scrabble Victoria members Carol
Johnsen, Rob York and Marj Miller had a lovely day out, together with
Carol's beautifully behaved granddaughter!
Players were divided into two groups, the Championship and the Plate,
and the photos show those who fared well on the day.....the overall Championship
and High Word trophies were won by Tara
from Bona Vista Primary,
from Fish Creek placing second and winning the High
Game Award. In third place was Leo
from Welshpool Primary, well
done to you all!
In the Plate
from Wonthaggi North placed
from Welshpool was second, Olivia
Creek placed third and won the High Word award, and the High Game trophy
was won by Nicola
from Wonthaggi North. Great play, everyone!
Tayla plays Katie
Ethan versus Luke
Rufaro versus Tara
Jaycob versus Olivia
Meah plays Myles
Rohan with Matilda
Lachlan plays Brianna
Elsa and Bianca
Fraser plays Courtney
Brodie with Alex
Mohamed plays Teagan
Sylvia and Jacob
Harry plays Jaxon
Summer and Erik
Callarnee plays Leo
Three games were played, with two completed before the lunch break. Lunch
was a sausage sizzle organised and cooked by the Parents & Friends
, and this was enjoyed together with the lovely fresh
sandwiches and home baking supplied by Tracey and the Wonthaggi North
We hope everyone enjoyed their day playing Scrabble, and
we look forward to seeing many of you again next year at the Bona
Vista Primary School.
Games in progress....
The workers - parents, teachers, aides
Lovely elephant, with WN head Karen
Rufaro with the P.F.A. ladies
Organiser Mrs Tracey Hutton
A very successful World Youth Scrabble Championship comes to an end in
Perth, and Nicholas Hong is the new Champion!
Our young Aussie players, from left - Chelaka, Koko, Pranav, Tim,
Sharvin, Radheya, Liana,
Rahul, Meghna, Pieta, Riva, Shekinah, Ronnie, Ben, Aditya and
All the players, representing many countries.....with Karen
Richards at centre, and
Tournament Director Martin Teo hiding amongst the youngsters in
the front row!
The 2015 Champ Nic Hong
Hardworkers Barry and Karen
After three days of well organised and enjoyable scrabble played in a
happy atmosphere at the charming University of Western Australia
Singapore's Nicholas Hong
emerged as the new Youth Champion for
2015! Nic, who was far enough ahead before the last game to be Gibsonized,
was simply ecstatic to have won! Sadly Nic was booked to fly home soon
after the event which meant he was unable to compete in the ensuing WESPA
World Championship, so his place was filled by the runner up, as per WESPA
Nic finished on 18 wins, a game clear of Abdullah Abbasi
Pakistan, and a further half game ahead of the defending Champion Jack
from England. Congratulations to all, and to our top placed
Aussie player Tim Mason
, who came in fifth - this is Tim's last
year at the W.Y.S.C., and thanks for your great representation over the
past few years, Tim!
Our other fifteen young representatives finished in various positions and
in excellent spirits - for most it was their first time at a World
Scrabble Championship, and all will benefit from this fun experience!
Thanks go to Karen Richards
, the World Chair of Youth Scrabble,
who again worked extremely hard to organise this challenging event,
including running coaching clinics in Australia and various parts of the
world. Scrabble is much stronger thanks to your efforts, Karen! Barry
put in many hours of computer (and thinking!) time, both
before and during the event to ensure that all ran smoothly, and the input
of Jay Jay Jegatheva Jegethesan
, manager at the University of W.A.
and father of contestants Radheya and Rahul, was absolutely invaluable!
Many helped behind the scenes, and this includes Edie Mueller
has worked with the Western Australian juniors to assist in improving
their Scrabble. All involved are grateful to the many unnamed helpers,
which of course includes all parents who support their children so
Chelaka and Ronnie
Harper, Sharvin, Meghna, Aditya, Koko
Meghna and Shekinah
Radheya and Liana
Co-organiser Jay Jay
Some invaluable parents!
World Under-10 Champion moves to Australia
Melbourne players are excited about Minuki moving to Australia with her
parents. Last year, in Colombo, she snatched the World Champion Under-10
title, despite the fact that Qatar has no adult mentors. She has been
teaching herself, with her mother's help. This year, she will be
representing Qatar, again, at WYSC in Perth. Ronnie will be pleased to
know that Minuki is too old to contest the Under-10 category again. Next
year, we hope she is representing Australia in France. All the best for a
happy tournament, Minuki!
The 2015 World Youth Scrabble Championship in Perth, Western Australia
This wonderful event is fast approaching, and below are our excited young
Australian players who are gearing up to take part. It will as always be a
challenging event for all, and we wish all participants a happy time and
lots of luck! It will be a great learning experience, and the value of the
wonderful opportunity to make friends with young people from around the
world cannot be underestimated! So good luck to you all, and above all,
Bharadwaj is interviewed by The under Age! Click here
to read it....
Western Australia's Youth Players receive their Team Shirts!
L to R: Sharvin, Aditya, Tim, Coach Edie, Koko, Radheya and Rahul
(missing - Liana)
Thank you to our generous sponsors
for these great Oz shirts - modelled
by Rahul and Radheya
Six of the seven WA players who will be representing Australia at the
World Youth Scrabble Championship in Perth were formally presented with
team t-shirts at the Rockingham tournament, by WA Scrabble Association
President, Graham Bell.
They are pictured with WA Youth mentor and trainer, Edie Mueller. All have
also been trained by Karen Richards and Alastair Richards over the past
year and are looking forward to the start of the WYSC at the University of
Western Australia on the 31st of October.
Tim spearheads the WA contingent and will be playing in his 3rd WYSC, with
Rahul playing in his 2nd. All other WA members will have the honour of
flying the flag of their country for the first time!
The stylish team shirts will be presented to all members of the Australian
team and are proudly sponsored by Apollo Health, E-Type Design and the
University of Western Australia.
Scrabble Coaching with Karen Richards in Queensland before the 2015
The participants, with Karen and Paul
We held a fun Scrabble "camp" in Brisbane in September, to train some of
the newest members of the Australian team for World Youth Scrabble
Championship, to be held in Perth at the end of October.
Such intense workshops are an excellent method of introducing youth to
Scrabble, because it ensures they will have some success right from the
very start (ie win some games). We also equip them with the skills to
improve rapidly thereafter, eg by introducing them to study methods such
Apart from the learning factor, we have found that introducing them to
each other helps to set up both a cooperative and supportive network, and
an element of competition, as they strive to better their ratings faster
than their peers. These youngsters will all be great players in future.
In the picture, you will see Shekinah (Qld), Meghna (Vic), Koko (WA),
Sharvin (WA), Aditya (WA), Pranav (Vic), and Tuppy (Alastair's dog). The
oldies in the picture are Karen and Paul Richards. Missing from the photo
was Riva (Vic).
Ballarat Club hosts a second group of Malaysian students - Sept 13,
The Malaysian and Damascus College Students - click to enlarge
Games under way, with adjudicators and helpers
After their very successful first effort, the hardworking members and
volunteers of the Ballarat Club made another group of Malaysian students
from Selangor welcome to a social scrabble challenge against students from
the local Damascus College. This was held at the Kohinoor Community Centre
on Errard Street, Ballarat South, where the club holds their weekly
Tuesday meetings, commencing at 10am. The 17 Malaysian students were
accompanied by 5 teachers and guides and all seemed to enjoy using their
knowledge of English against the 17 local students, helped where necessary
by club members who acted as adjudicators and mentors. Following lunch of
soup, sandwiches, home-baked cakes and biscuits and a generous supply of
chocolates a group of the Malaysian students performed a traditional dance
before being taken to visit some local wildlife. Neville Hesketh, club
secretary, had produced very elegant Participation Certificates for every
student – quite a task! Thanks to Neville and all members of the Ballarat
Scrabble Club for their hospitality in hosting this wonderful cultural
Neville Hesketh presents dictionaries to
the Team Leaders
Entertainment from the Malaysian Students,
in the spacious Ballarat venue
The Malaysian team shirt, worn by all
Organisers from Malaysia and the
Ballarat Scrabble Club
Anand Bharadwaj raises money to support Unicef's School-In-A-Box
program, with help from the Balwyn Scrabble Club Members and Friends -
July 13, 2015
The happy crew in front of the "Big Board", set up in the very
Function Room - missing is our ace photographer Khwanjai Thammaping
This was a fun day at the Club, which meets regularly on Mondays at 1.00
pm - everybody is welcome, at the Balwyn Community Centre, 412 Whitehorse
Road, Balwyn. Please drop in, we'd love to see you there.
It was a good day to be sheltered and warm inside as it was wet and cold
outside, and all enjoyed the lovely afterrnoon tea supplied by the
members, as well as a slice of Anand's birthday cake. Anand recently
celebrated his 15th birthday, and it was lovely to share this with him. He
is an extremely busy young man with an involvement in many activities, and
we wish you well in all of them, Anand!
The participants were divided into groups of eight with a separate board
set up for each player, and Anand moved around the room playing eight
people at a time, turn after turn. His mum Lalitha and dad Kannan were
invaluable in recording scores and replenishing Anand's racks, and the
process moved along smoothly throughout the afternoon. A total of 23 games
were played with Anand victorious in all but two, with Ann Hagley and Marj
Miller the two who luckily drew all the good tiles from the bag! Luck
plays a major part in Scrabble, I believe.
The surrounds at the Balwyn
Rob York setting up the Scrabble
Barry Harridge, Carol Johnsen
and Lalitha Sunderesan
Paula Messer & Norma Fisher
with Anand & Kannan
Loyal Balwyn player David Lemish
shakes hands with Anand
Regular Balwyn member Fintan
Conway with Khwanjai Thammaping
Friends and regular combatants
Wynnie Pennells and Rosie Whalen
Birthday cake time - Lalitha with
Anand and Kannan
Thank you all on behalf of Anand and family for your generous support of
such a worthy cause, it is appreciated - I think we may have assisted in
raising enough for two boxes, a wonderful effort indeed. To see Anand's
report on this event, and the Letters and Numbers day out, click
Pestinger plays his first tournament ~ June 28, 2015
Natasha Podesser on the left, with new
players Harper and Gabrielle Pestinger
Harper finishing his game against Mary
Mackie, with Faye Leeder nearby
pleased to welcome Harper and mum Gabrielle to the Youth Fundraising
Tournament in June, and both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. With a
background of playing Scrabble regularly at home the day held no fears
for either, and we were grateful for the assistance of their opponents
who helped make the day so special.
Aside from Scrabble, Harper loves soccer, futsal, Australian Rules
Football, reading and eating out, a wonderfully varied array of
interests! We wish both well in their future involvement in Scrabble.
Fun with Scrabble at Ballarat for visiting Malaysian Students ~ June
Many of the Malaysian students
Happy prizewinners at Ballarat
As part of their English studies 25 young people from the Seri Binteng
School in Kuala Lumpur, accompanied by three English teachers and two
guides, together with seven students from local Damascus College, joined
players from the Ballarat Scrabble Club and surrounding districts in a
relaxed and very enjoyable day. Firstly the Seri Binteng choral group
presented "Transformers" which highlights the harmony of the many ethnic
groups living peacably side by side in Malaysia, and this was followed by
a dance presented by students representing different cultures within their
school - Malay, Chinese and Indian.
Three enjoyable scrabble games were played, and amongst the girls present
the highest score (311) was recorded by Vicky Wong Jing, with the highest
scoring word played by Nur Saiyidah Bt Zakaria - PLACINGS for 72 points.
Zhi Yang scored 328 points for the highest score for the boys, and also
played the highest scoring word - PROVERS for 84.
Lovely traditional dancing
Happily enjoying Scrabble
Damascus College students
Neville Hesketh, Zhi Yang, Kaye Campbell
Ballarat Club Members provided a lovely lunch, including tomato soup which
was very welcome on a chilly Ballarat day at the Wendouree Bowling Club.
The visit was appreciated by the students, and may be repeated at a later
date. Thanks to all who helped with the organisation, particularly Kaye
Campbell, Neville Hesketh and Maggie Solomon, your hospitality was
appreciated by all.
Go to the top
The Gippsland Primary Schools Championship and Plate at Moe, November
We were welcomed to South Street Moe Primary School by teacher Jenny
Jones, known to her students as Ms JJ - the number of schools
participating was down c/f last year, but the 36 children who took part
were happy to be there playing Scrabble and mingling with their peers from
Foster, Newborough, Welshpool and District, Wonthaggi North and South
Street Moe Primary Schools. Once again the visitors from Scrabble Victoria
(Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher, Barry Harridge and myself) were very
impressed with the warmth, politeness and helpfulness of all the students,
and we thank you all for this. Several teachers attended from the several
schools, and we thank them for providing transport from their various
areas. Lunch from Subway was lovely and fresh and really appreciated,
thank you, Jenny.
The Championship winners - from left, Lizzy Oldham (Newborough)
Kristen Skee (Newborough), Leo Cashmore (Welshpool), Dylan
Bagnall (SS Moe), and the Champion Margot Bettles from Foster.
The winners in The Plate - Emily Grange (Newborough),
Sarah Oldham (Newborough), Courtnie McNamara (South Street)
and the Plate winner, Shaylee McCarthy (South Street Moe)
The bright and cheerful library with play in progress and
visiting teachers at the rear, our host Jenny Jones at centre,
and Scrabble Victoria's Barry Harridge at the computer.
As usual the students were divided into two groups, and the winner of the
Championship was the same person as the winner of the Plate last year,
well done, Margot Bettles from Foster Primary. What a great achievement!
Second in the Champs was Kristen Skee from Newborough (both Margot and
Kristen won all three games played), and third place went to Dylan Bagnell
from South Street. Lizzy Oldham from Newborough scored 210 to win the High
Game Trophy, and Leo Cashmore from Welshpool played "BOX" for 36 points to
win the High Word Trophy in the Championship.
The Plate section saw victory to a very happy Shaylee McCarthy from the
host school South Street Moe, with Emily Grange from Newborough Primary in
second place - again both girls won all three games played, separated by
margin only. In third place Courtnie McNamara won 2 games, and also scored
160 to win the High Game Trophy for the Plate. Sarah Oldham's play of
"CARROT" for a score of 44 won her the High Word Trophy, well done to all
who played their games in such good spirits.
Alyssa Grose (SSM) plays
Maddie Robinson (SSM)
Lizzy Oldham (N) plays
Annalise Kulbe (WN)
Kristen Skee (N) plays
Ben Fletcher (F)
Leo Cashmore (We) plays
Brody Cox (N)
Dylan Bagnall (SSM) plays
Meagan Hawkett (SSM)
Erik Gordon (We) plays
Seth Bagnall (SSM)
Grace Gee (F) plays
Sarinthip Incha (SSM)
Jade Abbott (N) plays
Melody Pederson (N)
Will Thatcher (WN) plays
Matthew Neal (SSM)
Brent Milligan (N) plays
Margor Bettles (F)
Syra Cheesman (N) plays
Britney Matthews (SSM)
Front: Chloe Bramley (WN) v Ethan Burrow (F). Back: Charlie
Cashmore (We) Marley Clegg (SSM)
Rahni Nicklen (N) plays Courtney
Zoelee di Van Der Schoeren (SSM)
plays Courtnie McNamara (SSM)
Shaylee McCarthy (SSM) plays
Damian Whelan (SSM)
Ella McKie (WN) plays
Sofie Platt (We)
Emily Grange (N) plays
Sarah Oldham (N)
Teachers Jill Mastwyk & Peter Siddels,
hoping to host this event next year
Thanks to South Street for hosting, and at the moment Wonthaggi North
Primary School, through teacher Peter Siddels, has offered to organise
next year's event - thank you, Wonthaggi North!
Jack Durand from the UK is the 2014 WYSC Champion! Congratulations,
Our Aussie contestants - Shekinah
Giffen, Tim Mason, Rahul Jegatheva,
with Ronnie Bennett in front
The clear winner, Jack Durand from
the UK, receives the trophy for his
A pivotal game - Jian Rong from
Singapore, who eventually placed 2nd,
plays the winner, Jack Durand
Lewis Hawkins from N.Z.
finished 7th, Best under
12 & Under 14
Most of the 120 competitors in the 2014 event
This annual event looks to have been fun, and a wonderful experience for
the 120 contestants. Ably run by Karen Richards and Barry Harridge with
massive help from the Sri Lankan Scrabble Association, the 24 games moved
along smoothly with Jack Durand from the United Kingdom gaining an early
lead and finishing with 20 wins, three games clear of Jian Rong from
Singapore and Mariam Arif from Pakistan, with Victor Gwee from Singapore
Among our Australian reps Tim Mason from Western Australia finished 24th,
Rahul Jegatheva (also from W.A) placed 88th, and our younger players
Shekinah Giffen from Queensland and Ronnie Bennett from the Australian
Capital Territory finished 98th and 99th respectively, a wonderful
learning experience for all. Thank you for acting as ambassadors for
Scrabble in Australia, and I hope that most of you can attend in future
Also thanks to all who assisted in making this event such a success, your
efforts are appreciated. To see the full results click HERE
Preview ~ The World Youth Scrabble Championship ~ August 29/30/31 2014
The venue at BMICH -
the Main Hall
In the grounds,
a nice spot to relax
One of the buildings,
a great place
Another interesting area
Four young Aussies are competing this year - Tim Mason and Rahul Jegatheva
from Western Australia, Ronnie Bennett from the Australian Capital
Territory, and Shekinah Giffen from Queensland, and we wish them all well.
Anand Bharadwaj is unable to attend this year due to various commitments,
mainly educational, and we'll see what next year brings for Anand.
The event is being held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International
Conference Hall (BMICH) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and I'm sure all will enjoy
the venue, and the event.
Once again Karen Richards from Queensland, Chair of the WESPA Youth
initiative, has done a huge amount of work with assistance from the Sri
Lankan Scrabble Association, and Barry Harridge is travelling over to
handle the computer program and will bring us news as it comes to hand.
To visit the official youth website click HERE
Go to the top
A Day of Support for Unicef, organised by Anand Bharadwaj
Thanks to Anand for the following report on the charity day held at the
Balwyn Community Centre on July 14 2014, and well done to Anand for his
continuing support of Unicef in his role as Victorian Ambassador.
Details of my fundraising event for UNICEF’s School-in-a-Box initiative
Anand Bharadwaj, Trinity Grammar School, Kew, Victoria.
When I attended the world education games ambassadorial briefing in
February 2013, I had the chance to hear the UNICEF representatives talk
about the School-in-a-Box initiative. As the Victorian Ambassador, I not
only promoted this initiative to my fellow students in my school and at
other schools in Melbourne, but I also wanted to contribute to this
noteworthy cause through other means. Being a professional Scrabble
player, I decided to organise a fundraising tournament by playing
against a number of other professional tournament players
simultaneously. This novel idea was wholeheartedly supported by the
Victorian Scrabble Association. In the inaugural event last year, we
collected about $520. This year, I wanted to continue this event to
raise money for this worthwhile cause.
On 14th July 2014, thanks to the generous support of Marj Miller and
Norma Fisher, two of the office bearers of the Victorian Scrabble
Association, we were able to hold this charity event for the second year
in a row. I played two rounds, a total of 24 opponents and 12 at a time.
In each round, I played simultaneously against 12 opponents, each set up
with their own board. The boards were set up in a horseshoe shape, which
facilitated me to walk around and play my moves in rapid succession. In
each turn, I visited a board and had roughly 5-10 seconds to play my
move. My parents then replenished my rack, scored the moves and
adjudicated word challenges. After about four hours, I had completed the
24 games and finished with 19 wins, and 5 losses. All the 24 players
were recognised Australian Scrabble players, two of whom were at Masters
level (against whom I played twice) and seven others were at Advanced
level. All in all, it was a fun-filled afternoon, helping us to raise
$585 for this worthy cause. My parents and I plan to add another $400 to
this total and we aim to support the provision of at least four
Tam & Sita Dasika with Kannan,
Anand making a move, & Lalitha
Norma Fisher with regular Balwyn
member Paula Messer
Carole Eden with Patricia Mitchell,
supporting the cause
Khwanjai Thammaping with Mal
Cheryle Jerram & Dominica Krstic,
with carer Ron, & John Carpenter
I would like to once again express my gratitude to the Victorian
Scrabble Community for their generosity and support of this event. I
also want to express my special thanks to Khwanjai Thammaping who took a
lot of photos during the occasion and the Balwyn Community Center who
waived the fee for the use of their facilities. Last but not the least,
I want to thank my parents for their whole-hearted support.
Anand celebrated his recent
birthday with us - 14 now!
Regular Balwyn players, Rod
Casey and Balada Catanchin
Lainie Mercieca with Rob York,
Sita and Tam Dasika, with Rena
Aitken and Jenny Brysha
Valued Balwyn Club members David
Lemish and Lorraine Thomas
Thank you to all who helped with the success of the afternoon, and also to
those who provided us with lovely goodies for afternoon tea, including
Anand's 14th birthday cake, it was appreciated!
To see Khwanjai's album on Facebook click here
And to see the spreadsheet of the day's results click
Introducing our new junior player, Chelaka Paranahewa ~ July 2014
We were pleased to welcome Chelaka to his first tournament on July 6th at
the Box Hill Centre, and it was a tough initiation for a young competitor
who hadn't played at a club, or received any formal training in tournament
rules and etiquette - however Chelaka took all this in his stride and
enjoyed the challenge, winning the final game of seven played, and finding
three bonus words to help with his win.
Chelaka arrived in the country with his family earlier this year and was
disappointed to find that Scrabble wasn't part of the curriculum at his
chosen school, and decided to play in a tournament for the experience.
Well done, Chelaka, we hope you enjoy your association with the Scrabble
Community, both here in Victoria, and around Australia and further afield.
World Youth Scrabble Championship - Thursday December 12 till Saturday
December 14, 2013
Four young Aussies competed this year - Marvi Delfin and Tim Mason from
Western Australia, Anand Bharadwaj from Victoria, and Ronnie Bennett from
the Australian Capital Territory. The venue was the Etisalat Academy in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with play commencing at 2pm on Thursday 12th
and finishing at 5pm Dubai time on Saturday December 14.
Tim Mason, Anand Bharadwaj &
Marvi Delfin, who finished 22nd.
All 138 players: from Australia 4, England 4, India 7, Kenya 7, Kuwait
1, Malaysia 7, New Zealand 1, Nigeria 24, Oman 1, Pakistan 18, Qatar 18,
Sri Lanka 10,
Thailand 9, Trinidad and Tobago 8, Uganda 1, United Arab Emirates 17,
and the USA 1.
To find the full details regarding qualification, playing conditions,
accommodation, customs of the country etc. click HERE
Winner Moizullah Baig
Second Javeria Mirza
7th place - Anand Bharadwaj with Karen Richards
At right, Tim Mason, tenth place, with Karen
Ronnie Bennett, best player under 6 years of age
The team from Pakistan were very strong this year, filling the top two
placings as well as eighth to receive the overall award for the best
performed team. Part of their improvement was deemed due to previous
coaching by Australia's Alastair Richards, congratulations to all on your
Of our representatives this is Marvi Delfin's last year playing for
Australia, thanks for your efforts, Marvi! Tim Mason and Anand Bharadwaj
are still young enough to compete again, and Ronnie Bennett has many years
in which to hone his skills. Thank you to all for representing Australia
so well, and good luck in your future endeavours as young Scrabble players
and ambassadors for Australia!
The 2013 Gippsland Primary Schools Championship, at Welshpool ~
October 22, 2013
Fifty-two keen students took part in this annual event, travelling long
distances to compete against their peers from the surrounding areas -
Primary Schools repesented were Fish Creek, Foster, Newborough, St
Joseph's Warragul, Tarwin Valley, Toora, Wonthaggi North and Wonthaggi,
and the host school Welshpool and District Primary. Local teacher Ms
Jeanette Swann organised the event, and also runs the Welshpool Scrabble
Club on Monday nights at the local hotel - all are welcome, so please
support this group!
Here is a comment from Jeanette; "from our end it was a fantastic day –
each school has commented on the positive attitude and behaviour of all
the students. We are certainly looking forward to next year. The seed was
sown with Toora, Foster, Meeniyan and Welshpool – let’s share a bus for
the day!" Next year the host school will be South Street Moe, under the
guidance of staff member Lynette Blunt whose son Robert was the inaugural
Champion in 2007, thanks for taking on the task, Lynette.
Clockwise, from bottom left - the 2013 Champion Matilda Traill, with
the chief organiser Jeanette Swann;
play underway; Winner of the Plate, Margot Bettles: listening quietly
at Presentations; Mal Eden watching
the play; the Foster Primary School Mascot.
Here are the placegetters in the two Divisions - many of the results were
very close, and we congratulate all participants on their play, and the
spirit in which the games were played - well done, all.
~ First Matilda Traill (Foster PS), Second Anne Adams
(Foster PS), Third Chloe Bramley (Wonthaggi North). The High Game Award
for this section went to Oliver Cox (Foster PS) for a score of 166 points,
and the High Ward Award went to Anne Adams who played QUIET for a score of
In the Plate
first place went to Margot Bettles (Foster PS),
second was Jack Fraser and third place went to Paddy Mulqueen, with both
boys representing St Joseh's, Warragul PS. The High Game Award for the
Plate was collected by Margot Bettles for a score of 153 points, and the
High Word Award went to Payden Norkett-Beckett (Newborough PS) who played
QIN for 42 points. This is one of the newer words used in our Scrabble
Lexicon and is very helpful at times when "stuck with the Q" - its a
Chinese stringed instrument related to the zither, and the same as a
Haileybury College triumphs over Melbourne High School for the first
time! October 5, 2013
This was another fun day at Melbourne High School on the last weekend of
the school holidays, the fifth Scrabble Challenge between the two schools,
and all involved enjoyed a happy but strongly competitive day - Haileybury
College fielded a team of three who played all their games against MHS
students, and the tally after the two teams had played twelve games saw
Haileybury victorious by nine games to three, a brilliant efort indeed.
In the first game HC captain Sol Dasika caused disappointment to the MHS
captain Sam Jiang who was playing in his last challenge, and this set the
tone for Sol's day - he won all four games, finishing as the Individual
Champion overall. His team mates Andrew Chen and Nicholas Mezo also did
very well indeed.
The best performer from Melbourne High was Neel Parmar, well done Neel -
we could see where Neel gets his talent from as his mum proved late in the
day to have a good knowledge of the game! Neel also scored 101 for
GAUGERS, the highest word score for the day.
The finishing order of all players was as follows - Sol Dasika HC, Neel
Parmar MHS, Josh Khaw MHS, Andrew Chen HC, Michael Cui MHS, Carlo
Piccolo-Cody MHS, Sam Jiang MHS, Nicholas Mezo HC, Will Parker MHS,
Raymond Sun MHS, Matthew Roth MHS and Andrew Wei MHS.
Congratulations to all who took part, and thanks to MHS teacher Alexandra
Grimwade for organising the day and the lovely lunch, and to everyone else
who assisted in any way - Norma Fisher, Carol Johnsen, Mal Eden and
teachers Catherine Sparrow and Chris Scholten, your help was very welcome.
Good luck for the future to all the Year 12 students who are moving on
soon, either to undertake tertiary studies or join the workforce.
Anand's efforts assist Unicef's School-in-a-Box program - 2013
Here is a report from Anand, and thank you to the Balwyn Club members and
various friends for supporting Anand in this fundraising effort.
Details of my fundraising event for the UNICEF’s School-in-a-Box
initiative ~ Anand Bharadwaj, World Education Games Ambassador for
When I attended the ambassadorial briefing in February 2013, I had the
chance to hear the UNICEF representatives talk about the School-in-a-Box
initiative. As the Victorian Ambassador, I not only promoted this
initiative to my fellow students in my school and at other schools in
Melbourne, but I also wanted to contribute to this noteworthy cause
through other means. Being a professional Scrabble player, I decided to
organise a fundraising tournament by playing against a number of other
professional tournament players simultaneously. This novel idea was
wholeheartedly supported by the Victorian Scrabble Association.
On 23rd September, my idea came to fruition thanks to the generous
support of Marj Miller, Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher, office bearers
of the Victorian Scrabble Association.
The family, hard at work!
Dominica Krstic and Angie Pearse
Chris Wilding and Fintan Conway
Paula Messer and Sue Bridges
I played simultaneously against 21 opponents, each set up with
their own board. The boards were set up in a horseshoe shape, which
facilitated me to walk around and play my moves in rapid succession. In
each turn, I visited a board and had roughly 5-10 seconds to play my
move. My parents then replenished my rack, scored the moves and
adjudicated word challenges. After about three hours, I had completed
the 21 games and finished with 14 wins, 6 losses and a draw. Of the 21
players I played, all were recognised Australian Scrabble players of
whom four were of Masters level and seven were of Advanced level. All in
all, it was a fun-filled afternoon, helping us to raise $520 for this
worthy cause. My parents and I plan to add another $400 to this total
and we aim to support the provision of at least four Schools-in-a-Box.
I would like to once again express my gratitude to the Victorian
Scrabble Community for their generosity and support of this event. I
have created an Excel Spreadsheet giving details about the games for
those who are interested.
Balada Catanchin, Rosie Whalen, Rob York, Cheryle Jerram,
Marie D'Rosario and Carole Eden
Ready for their next turn....
To see the outcome of all games played
The 2013 World Youth Scrabble Championship ~ December 12/13/14
The entrance to the Academy
The main building
An impressive setting
Overlooking the gardens
This event will be held at the Etisalat Academy in Dubai, United Arab
Emirates, with play commencing at 2pm on Thursday and finishing at 5pm on
Thanks to Karen Richards (WESPA Youth Chairperson) for the hours of hard
work involved in setting up this event - to find the full details
regarding qualification, playing conditions, accommodation, customs of the
country etc. click HERE
And to check out the current standings of our young Australian players
please visit HERE
Great performances at the Nationals - Easter 2013
After Game 12, probably - Anand 424, David 415
Scores in a later matchup - David 412, Anand 320
Shekinah McGiffen achieved the "Youth High Rating
Gain" Award - with Karen Richards
Seven young players, including two from New Zealand, competed in this
annual 3-day Easter event, and all enjoyed the excitement and the
challenge. Current World Youth Champion Michael McKenna
South Wales finished in sixth place in the Championship
with the 2011 Youth Champ Anand Bharadwaj
from Victoria one place
behind, picking up 58 ratings points for his efforts. Both Michael and
Anand recorded 16 wins, and both had some excellent games - each notched
up a win against the eventual winner, 2006 World Youth Champ David
As it happened Michael and Anand weren't drawn to play each other over the
24 games played - this would have been an interesting challenge for both,
and followed with great interest by many.
In the Plate
Western Australia's rising star Tim Mason
placed 14th and picked up 61 rating points, and is now just 10 points
short of being eligible to represent Australia at the World Youth
Championship later this year - well done Tim, that shouldn't be too much
of a challenge for you. Next in the Plate was young New Zealand player Lewis
who placed 42nd, winning 12 games and establishing a
provisional Australian rating of 1091. Next in line was John
from New Zealand - John also won 12 games and finished
48th, and now has an Oz rating of 1083. Shekinah Giffen
Queensland came in 67th with 11 wins, and next was Sam van Vliet
from New South Wales with 9 wins. Well done to all who competed, what a
wonderful experience for all.
New South Wales
Tim Mason, from
Lewis Hawkins, from
Sam van Vliet,
New South Wales
received the award for the Highest Rating Gain, for
a player aged 18 and under, for her wonderful rating gain of 79 points -
well done, Shekinah.
Prior to the event four of the young players - Shekinah, John, Lewis and
Tim - attended a coaching clinic with Karen and Alastair Richards, and the
benefits of this are apparent in their results. Thanks to Karen and
Alastair, and all who are encouraging our younger players to play and
To see all the final results check the National Scrabble website - click HERE
Go to the top
A look at Anand Bharadwaj's experiences in the Scrabble World.....
Anand at the Nats in 2008,
competing in the Plate
Analysis following the game between Anand and
Trevor Halsall at the Team Challenge in March 2013
Anand has always been hopeful of maintaining a steady increase in his
rating, with few hiccups along the way. This is a very difficult aim to
achieve, and since Anand commenced playing tournaments in late 2007 he has
had just a few downturns, and many highlights - including attending
several Australian Championships, being part of the Victorian team at the
State Team Challenge, competing in the Trans Tasman Challenge in 2012 (at
one stage Anand held the High Game for the tournament with a score of 613,
only to be pipped a short time later by Richard Jeremy from the Australian
Capital Territory with a score of 622), participating in several World
Youth Scrabble events, and winning the 2011 Youth Championship in Johor
Anand was unable to attend the World Youth Scrabble Championship late in
2012 due to commitments connected to his schooling, but was delighted when
his friend Michael McKenna from NSW brought the trophy back to Australia.
This was the third time Australia had produced a Youth Champion, and we
remain delighted with these results - David Eldar won the inaugural
Championship in 2006, at the University of Wollongong.
Anand also took part in the 2012 Australian Masters in September 2012
against some formidable opposition including some of his mentors, placing
18th of 20, and dropping 36 rating points. Since then he has once again
gradually climbed the ladder, culminating in an increase of 33 points at
the recent Melbourne Team Challenge where he captained the Aficionados to
6th place in a field of ten teams.
Anand remains wonderfully enthused about Scrabble, his music and his
studies, and leads a very busy life - its still undecided whether he will
travel overseas later this year but we wish our "almost" teenager all the
best in everything.
2013 ~ Youth Scrabble is growing strongly in Western Australia!
Jane Walker, Education Officer
ASPA (WA) Inc
Radheya with his Trophy
"Let's Play Scrabble," written by Jane Walker with help from highly
qualified teachers is bringing Scrabble to Primary School youngsters in
WA. Student progress in English, Math and Social Interaction can be
formally assessed by their teachers as the program meets National
Curriculum guideline requirements and Jane, Glenys Lawrie, Graham Bell and
Karen Richards are doing all they can to make it available to all states.
To contact Jane for more information or to enquire about obtaining the
program please click here firstname.lastname@example.org
There may be a delay but Jane and the team will do their best to help you.
In the meantime Year 9 student Radheya Jegatheva competed in his first
event at the annual Fremantle Scrabble Tournament, held in February.
Radheya received a trophy for the best/most unusual word in his division -
He wasn't part of the "Let's Play Scrabble" program but honed his skills
playing against his dad JJ, who is now a keen supporter of the educational
program and assisting with spreading the word amongst the local schools.
Here are Radheya's comments in an interview published in a Department of
Education newsletter: “To be really good you have to practice a lot,” he
said. “I love learning new words and Scrabble is a fun way for me to
increase my vocabulary.” Well done, Radheya, a good start to your
tournament career indeed.
Michael McKenna triumphs at the 2012 World Youth Scrabble
To see how the Aussie Fab Four (and the other 56 competitors!) fared over
the three day event click HERE
The happy winners of the many trophies presented on the day.
Congratulations, Michael, a great victory! Michael's history at the WYSC
is impressive - 2009 third, 2010 fourteenth, and 2011 third, for the
At the end of Day 2 Michael was trailing by two games, behind the
brilliant player William Kang from Malaysia, and level on games with
Cheong Yi Wei, also brilliant and also from Malaysia.
Day 3 saw Michael win 5.5 of the seven games played to finish on 18.5
wins, 1.5 games clear of Yi Wei in second place and William in third
place, both on 17 wins. At one stage it appeared that Michael had lost by
one point to Jessica Pratesi from the UK, but following a recount the game
was declared a draw which was a great help to Michael in the final stages
of the event.
Our other young reps acquitted themselves well, and finished as follows -
Marvi Delfin 35th, Rangi Collins 43rd, and Maree Farlow 44th.
Well done to all, it must have been a wonderful experience meeting so many
people fom so many different places, and either forming new friendships or
cementing old ones.
Special thanks to Karen Richards for her ongoing support and organisation
of Youth Scrabble, and to Barry Harridge for bringing us such excellent
game-by-game updates of the event. Also thanks to Amy Byrne, the Scrabcast
Team for bringing us live coverage of many games, Steve Perry from the
ABSP for his assistance, and two more special thank yous, firstly, to
Mauro Pratesi for allowing the use of his excellent photos, thanks, Mauro,
and from Karen Richards "to all the children and parents who stayed back
to help us pack up, since we had a plane to catch - it was really, really
2012 Champion Michael McKenna
(Australia) with Amy Byrne
Second place - Cheong
Yi Wei from Malaysia
Third place - William
The Aussies - Marvi Delfin, Michael McKenna,
Rangi Collins & Maree Farlow
The youngest - Ronnie
Bennett, aged 6 (UK)
Michael McKenna versus Rangi Collins
Marvi Delfin, concentrating......
Joe Knapper (UK) plays Maree Farlow
Jessica Pratesi (UK) with Michael McKenna
The 2012 World Youth Scrabble Championship ~ December 7/8/9
This event will take place in December at the Brittania Hotel in
Birmingham in England, under the guidance of WESPA Youth Coordinator Karen
Richards, with assistance from Barry Harridge and the UK Scrabble
Australia's representatives this year are Maree Farlow from Queensland,
Marvi Delfin from Western Australia, Rangi Collins from South Australia
and Michael McKenna from New South Wales. Michael finished in third place
last year, behind Aussie player Anand Bharadwaj and Victor Gwee from
Singapore. Anand is unable to attend this year due to school commitments
but we are hopeful that he will make it next year.
In the meantime good luck to our young players, it will be an enjoyable
and challenging experience for all!
The Gippsland Primary Schools Championship and Plate ~ October 23 2012
Joint Champion Zoe
Bettles, Foster P.S.
Joint Champion Erin
Park, Bona Vista P.S.
Plate winner, Jayde
McGlead, Foster P.S.
Fifty-four enthusiastic and very well behaved young players gathered at
the Bona Vista Primary School to contest this annual event, accompanied by
various teachers, teachers' aides and parents. Schools represented this
year included Foster, Newborough, Nilma, Warragul North, Welshpool,
Wonthaggi and our hosts Bona Vista. The school is set in idyllic
surroundings and looks like a wonderful place to experience one's early
years of formal learning. Principal Cara Brasier welcomed everyone,
including Scrabble Victoria members Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher, Barry
Harridge and Marj Miller. All present were well looked after with
refreshments, including a sausage sizzle lunch perfectly cooked by some of
the Bona Vista parents. Thank you to all for your superb planning and
The outcome in the Championship, after four hard-fought games played very
harmoniously and in excellent spirits, was a draw between Zoe Bettles from
Foster and Erin Park from Bona Vista, with both winning all their games.
Next was Emma Pritchard from Warragul North with 3.5 wins, and next in
line on 3 wins were Elise Demczuk from Newborough and Brooke Zuidema from
Foster. Last year's Champion Pia Westaway from Foster collected the High
Game Award for a score of 235, and the High Word Award for playing QUITS
for 66 points.
In the Plate Jayde McGlead from Foster placed first, followed by Kalani
Pakoti from Warragul North and Patrick Smythe from Nilma. All three
players won all four games, separated only by margin. Jayde also took home
the High Game Award for a sore of 216, and Jacob Albrecht from Welshpool
played JOGS for 56 points to win the High Word Award. Well done to all
players, and thank you for sharing a very pleasant day with us.
We are hopeful that next year's event will take place at the Welshpool
Primary School, and we thank Welshpool teacher Jeanette Swann for offering
to host the event.
Some of the Champs players - Emma Pritchard,
Elise Demczuk, Zoe Bettles, Pia Westaway
The Plate placegetters - Kalani Pakoti, Patrick
Smythe, Jayde McGlead, Jacob Albrecht
Relaxing in the pleasant atmosphere at
Bona Vista Primary School
Cooking our very pleasant lunch - sausage in bread
with tomato sauce - delightful!
Go to the top
A lovely day in the sun, between games
Some serious play
More serious endeavours
The cooks at work
Haileybury College versus Melbourne High School ~ September 8 2012
This was a fun afternoon at Melbourne High on a cool windy day well-suited
to indoor pursuits, and we enjoyed the company of sixteen very keen and
polite young Scrabble players, with the boys outnumbering the girls
fourteen to two.
At the end of the day Melbourne High finished two games clear of
Haileybury, who have vowed to triumph at the next encounter, and we wish
them good luck with that endeavour next year.
Individually the overall winner was Sol Dasika from Haileybury, with Neel
Palmar the top player from Melbourne High. Sol also recorded the High Game
and High Word for the day, and all players enjoyed the experience,
especially the lovely lunch of sandwiches, slices and fruit supplied on
this occasion by Haileybury College.
All competitors used timers for the first time following a talk on the
subject by Carol Johnsen, and many of the players suffered serious time
penalties, which in many instances altered the outcome of games, causing
some laughter, groans, and good-natured comments.
Thanks to dedicated teachers Alexandra Grimwade (Melbourne High) and Chris
Scholten (Haileybury College) for their onging organisation and support,
and to Carol Johnsen and Norma Fisher who organised everything so
competently on the day. The respective team leaders Sam (MHS) and Daniel
(HC) presented each of us with a lovely African violet, and we thank you
for your thoughtfulness - your gifts are appreciated.
GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT ~ July 5/6 2012
World record holders Alastair
Richards and Michael McKenna
Well done to Michael and Alastair and the support team for making it into
the Guiness Book of World Records. Below is a report from Karen Richards,
thanks Karen, and thank you for the picture, Garth van Vliet. This report
is on the Youth page as Michael is still eligible to compete in the 2012
World Youth Championship - good luck, Michael. Sadly, at the advanced age
of 20 Alastair is too old for the Junior ranks but is rapidly gaining an
enviable reputation in Senior Scrabble ranks throughout the world:
On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th July, in Sydney, Michael McKenna (age
17) and Alastair Richards (age 20) set out to break the record for
highest number of points scored in 24 hours playing Scrabble. The
existing record of 162171 was set by Austin Shin (a teenager at the
time) and Chris Hawkins, a Maths teacher from UK.
For anyone who has never been involved in such an attempt, I must say
that it is impossible to imagine what it is like to play game after game
(many as short as 5 minutes) without a substantial break, for 24 hours.
The total number of games played exceeds that played by many tournament
players over an entire year. The existing record holders, plus
challengers to this record (Craig Beevers and Ray Tate, also from UK)
were very helpful with their advice - particularly Chris, whose advice
to put the tiles in a box lid, rather than using a bag, was incredibly
useful - it allowed both players to draw tiles virtually simultaneously
at times. The boys also learnt from Ray's misfortune, when he passed out
from not drinking enough water - something which is difficult to
remember to do when you are concentrating intensely, and the room is
very cold (we chose to leave it that way, as we felt that artificial
heating would make them sleepier.)
LENGTH OF CHALLENGE – 23 hours 56 minutes 54.9 seconds, 195 games
Total score 170682
PREVIOUS RECORD BROKEN AFTER 22.5 hours Mid-game 185
Some interesting statistics:
Overall average combined game score 875
Highest average game score of group of 10 games (games 20-30) was 931
Lowest average game score for group of 10 games (last 10 games) was 799
Highest individual score 700, Alastair, game 155
STATS FROM MAKBUL MANJI: Combined average score 438: Alastair's average
474 Michael's average 402 Alastair contributed 54% of points, Michael
46% Highest game 700
FROM ME: I thought the cutest word was FORHOOIE/D. ALASTAIR'S pick of
cutest moves: REAEDIFYE/S
A special thankyou to the stalwarts who worked flat out the entire time.
Apart from Garth, who was doing a bit of everything essential, we had
Rene Chelton disassembling boards and reassembling sets of tiles for
rapid turnover, and Raelene Moon taking photos and updating information
to the internet every few minutes. Phillip Hamilton was a godsend,
arriving when I had just about determined that I was too slow at
inputting information into Quackle. Tony Hunt and Tisa kindly took over
for about 4 hours, giving Rene and Philip a reprieve.
Before attempting such a feat, one has to apply to Guinness World
Records for approval, and a "number." After the event, there is a pile
of paperwork to be done, things like statutory declarations, evidence
etc. I imagine it could be months before this attempt is given official
recognition. When this happens, we hope to get some media recognition.
Initially we hoped someone would be able to use this record attempt to
raise money for a worthy cause, but there weren’t any volunteers
available to organise this. Hence we decided to use it simply to
publicise Scrabble via internet, particularly Facebook, where there are
thousands of players who do not yet compete in normal tournaments.
The prior internet publicity drew a steady stream of spectators to the
event, including one family with two children who were really
interested, and already play a little. For this alone, it was worth
doing. We have been asked whether we would do it again. For me the
answer is, “No, we must have been crazy”. That was something one would
only do once in a lifetime (but who knows whether the “boys” would feel
inspired to repeat it if the next challengers overtake this record).
Haileybury College versus Melbourne High School ~ June 23 2012
The Melbourne High Team, with teacher
Alexandra Grimwade at the centre
Click to enlarge
The visiting students from Haileybury -
not in the picture - teacher Chris
Scholten Click to enlarge
Alexandra, Sam - MHS best, Stephanie - HC
best, Chris, Carol Johnsen & Norma Fisher
from Scrabble Victoria Click to enlarge
Emily Lok versus Alan Stein - Emily
played "ORDERING" for 61 points, final
game score 286:271 Click to enlarge
The top-scoring word for the day - FOREVER
103 points, played by Jonathon Truong MHS
For the third time many keen and talented lovers of Scrabble from these
excellent educational facilities joined forces to compete against each
other, and to take part in a coaching clinic devised and presented this
time by Barry Harridge - thanks Barry, your efforts were appreciated.
Melbourne High under the guidance of teacher Alexandra Grimwade hosted the
event, and we were all made to feel very welcome, and were well fed indeed
- thanks, Melbourne High. The Haileybury team was led by teacher Chris
Scholten who regularly plays in tournaments organised by Scrabble Victoria
- all students are welcome to participate in these events, and we would be
delighted if you could join us for a very different experience - if you
would like some more details please contact me - see above.
Melbourne High proved too strong for Haileybury on the day, winning 26:10,
but all appeared to enjoy the day. Some of the higher scoring words were
played by Jonathon Truong MHS: FOREVER 103 points, Ozgun Karahan MHS:
POCKETS 89 points, Madison Butler HC: MAILING 78, Richard Cai MHS: SPIFFED
78, Samuel Jiang MHS: QUICK 77, and Kevin Wong MHS: KNITTING 70. The top
players from each school were presented with Collins Dictionaries, and MHS
as hosts also received one to add to their Scrabble equipment.
Michael Welst and Kevin Wong, both from
Alan Stein MHS, Andrew Chen HC, Andrew
Ong MHS, Casey Duong HC
Oscar Finn HC, Stephanie Moulic HC,
Madison Butler HC, Mary Malek HC
Richard Cai form Melbourne High, with
Paula Wong from Haileybury College
Sam Jiang MHS, Jamie van Hoff HC,
Brian Phan MHS, Hannah Vuong HC
Emily Lok from Haileybury College
with Haimish Finn, also from HC
Jonathon Truong, Ozgun Karahan, Michel
Cui, Neel Parmar, all from Melbourne High
Alex Grimwade MHS, Chris Scholten HC,
Norma Fisher Scrabble, Ioana Sabau HC
To view the full results click HERE
Click HERE to read Anand's
report on his World Youth Scrabble Championship win!
Victoria's Anand Bharadwaj is the 2011 World Youth Scrabble Champion!
As well as the winnner's cheque
Anand received awards for Best
Performed Player Under 12,
Under 14 & Under 16.
After three days of intense Scrabble Anand has emerged the winner of the
sixth World Youth Scrabble Championship, held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Anand won 19 of the 24 games played and finished two games clear of the
other 83 competitors, although this does not reflect the closeness of the
competition throughout the event - it really was a tight tussle, with
Anand's main rival being fellow Aussie Michael McKenna - well played,
Michael and Anand. Second placing went to Victor Gwee from Singapore,with
Michael from Sydney in third place.
Our other Aussie reps did well - Jayden Kuhne (Victoria 29th), Kitty-Jean
Laginha (NSW 32nd), Marvi Delfin (WA 35th) and Maree Farlow (Qld 80th).
The inaugural W.Y.S.C. was held in 2006 at the University of Wollongong in
New South Wales and was won by Melburnian David Eldar, and Australians are
delighted to have a second Champion in our midst.
The WESPA W.Y.S.C. presentations - Victor Gwee second, Karen
Richards, Anand Bharadwaj first, Michael McKenna third, with two
gentlemen from Johor State Tourism
Here is an extract from Andrew Fisher's blog, and if you'd like to read
more of Andrew's thoughts about Scrabble and various topics click HERE
Fantastic to see Anand winning it 19-5, two games ahead of the field. I
got a phone call tonight, which turned out to be from Michael Tang: "You
trained him well, my friend". Then he put Anand on for a short chat.
Apparently at least two games went his way because of things he had
picked up from me; one where he stuck his opponent with a W, and
slow-played to win it (he said this was from a game I once played
against Carmel Dodd, though I don't recall it), and the other when he
was in arrears and made a double-edged opening, ultimately bingoing out
when his opponent was unable to block. He also fought back from 160 in
arrears in another game. Amazing. I told him he might be able to gain a
place on our next WSC team - something to shoot for, and perhaps WYSC
will have 'been there, done that' status for an eleven-year-old?
Thanks to Karen Richards, WESPA Youth Chair, for the huge amount of
organisation undertaken to ensure that the event ran smoothly, and to all
who helped in any way, including Barry Harridge who bought us regular
updates on the progress of all players.
To see the full results of WYSC 2011 click HERE
At the World Youth Scrabble Championship in Johor Bahru - end of Day 2
Thanks to software guru Barry Harridge for the great pic at right - there
is just one day left to play (6 games) and its a very tight struggle
Our young reps are doing extremely well, and in the first game tomorrow
Michael is drawn to play against Anand, with Anand leading 1:0 so far in
their head-to-head battle in this event.
The pic shows our six competitors, and here are their placings at the end
of Day 2: Kitty-Jean Laginha (left) 16th on 11 wins, Jayden Kuhne 18th on
11 wins, Michael McKenna 2nd on 14, Anand Bharadwaj 1st on 15, Marvi
Delfin 20th on 11, and Maree Farlow 81st on 6.
Keep up the good work, everyone, and good luck with the tiles on the final
Jayden wins the Open Division at the Causeway!
Jayden accepting his Open Division Trophy
in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Some of our young Aussie players at the Causeway ~
Michael McKenna, New South Wales: 6th in Masters.
Jayden Kuhne, Victoria: Open Champion.
Cameron Farlow, Queensland: 6th in the Open.
The new Causeway Champion is Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
with Ricky Purnomo
from Singapore victorious in Masters.
Congratulations to you both.
And after 45 games Jayden Kuhne
has finished 6.5 games clear of
the other 83 players in the Open Division, a brilliant effort. Jay played
the last 11 games of the event without a loss, well done, Jay! Second and
third places went to Fadlan Satria
and Robbie Swandanu
respectively, both from Indonesia, both on 29.5 wins and separated only by
margin. Thanks to Barry Harridge
for the pics, and more of Barry's
shots are available at his website - to see the rest click HERE
As I have little information about Jay's win I've reproduced part of Ugandan
Champion Phillip Edwin-Mugisha's
report as posted to Ozscrabble.
Thanks, Phillip (who is known to many as The Phenomenon), your posts are
always a good read!
In the packed 84-player Open Division Nicky Huitson and Arul
Inthirajah were just pipped at the death to the Top Ten Prize
positions. Ouch. Don't complain, your week was still better than mine. I
was very happy to see Martin Waterworth battle for 9th. The
massively popular Radhika Mahalingaiah got 8th and Carolyn
Watt, who was dressed for the Milan fashion catwalks, 7th. Markus
Loke (yeah him) was 4th and some school-going teenager I don't
know named Jayden Kuhne grabbed $1000 and the Champion's trophy.
Bet he's gonna be popular with the girls in the cafeteria. The Aussies
are very excited about his talent. Don't recall him in the prize-giving
but from the Scrabble Victoria website photo he looks like a rakish Justin
Bieber. And that's what we need in Scrabble, good-looking
Champions who can give us 500 million You Tube hits. Especially as some
of us are good-looking, really hot, but we aren't Champions.
To see the full results of the 2011 Causeway Challenge click HERE
Go to the top
Our Young Ones off to the World Youth Champs
New South Wales
New South Wales
On December 4-6 the World Youth Scrabble Championship will take place in
Johor Bahru in Malaysia, and we have six young people travelling there
from various states to compete. For Maree Farlow it is a first-time
experience but all others have attended previous events, with Michael
probably being the most experienced. All will play 24 games over the three
day tournament, and enjoy the chance to renew old friendships and form new
ones. Barry Harridge is attending to do the webwork and we look forward to
his usual professional updates.
We wish our players all the very best of luck and lots of fun, and you'll
be able to follow their progress by clicking HERE
The Gippsland Primary Schools Scrabble Championship ~ November 15 2011
L.to R.: 2011 Champion Pia (Foster P.S),
Kelsey (Newborough) High Word "ZODIAC" 63
points, Yasmin (Foster) 2nd & High Game 274,
Melissa (Foster) 3rd.
L.toR.: Demi (Newborough) 3rd & High Game 201,
Elli (Toora) High Word "DRINK" 45 points,
Brooke (Foster) 2nd, and the Plate Winner
Erin (Bona Vista)
Everyone had a lovely day's scrabble at Foster when 34 delightful and
well-behaved children from various schools in the area travelled to
compete in the annual Gippsland Primary Schools Championship. The schools
represented were Bona Vista, Newborough, Tarwin Valley, Toora, Wonthaggi
North and Yarragon Primary Schools, and of course Foster Primary. Scrabble
Victoria members Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher, Barry Harridge and Marj
Miller helped run the day, and were made very welcome by Foster Principal
Fiona Bull, other local teachers and of course the students. (Thanks to
Barry for the collage above.) The tournament took place in the General
Purpose Room, surrounded by an interesting array of musical instruments,
sound equipment and banners displaying the names of each House, namely
Darby, Oberon and Waratah. An interesting Picasso Cow stood in pride of
place in the foyer of the school, courtesy of a Dairy Board promotion - on
arrival the cow was plain white, and the students spent quite some time
decorating the cow with various coloured cutouts, and on closer inspection
many of these were in the shape of a cow, a fascinating and fun project
The children were divided into two sections and all played three games of
scrabble, and it was good to see the enthusiasm displayed by all
participants. The event was not only an opportunity for improving numeracy
and literary skills but also a wonderful social experience with new
friendships forming quickly across the Scrabble boards.
The General Purpose room, with play in progress
Norma v Carol, with Principal Fiona Bull at back right
During the luncheon break Carol and Norma played a very competitive game
in the outdoor covered play area which generated much interest among both
children and adults. We were very impressed with the students' skills at
keeping score and their sense of fair play exhibited with good humour and
easygoing courtesy. We congratulate all players (and their teachers) for
these virtues, and thank Fiona and the Foster Primary School for their
hospitality, and look forward to next year when the event may be hosted at
Bona Vista, under the guidance of teacher Cara Brasier.
Front: Rhylea (Wonthaggi Nth) v
Chloe (Bona Vista). Back:
Mitchell (Toora) v Angus (Bona Vista)
Front: Jayde (Foster) v Alex (Tarwin
Valley). Back: Demi (Newborough)
v Billy (Yarragon)
Front: Melissa (Foster) v Pia
(Foster). Back: Grace (Tarwin Valley)
v Abbie (Toora)
Front: Yasmin (Foster) v Georgia
(Bona Vista). Back: Tyler (Foster)
v Austin (Tarwin Valley)
Saffie (Bona Vista) v Heidi, with
Elly, both from Wonthaggi North
Hannah (Newborough) v Erin
Shaye (Yarragon) v Hayyan
Evelyn (Yarragon) v Montana
Ruby (Tarwin Valley) v Brooke (Foster)
Justin v Kelsey - both Newborough
Elli (Toora) v Sheona (Wonthaggi Nth)
Martin (Bona Vista) v Shelbie (Toora)
Go to the top
The great Dairy Board Cow
A missed opportunity
The Trophies and Perpetual Shield
Some interest in the challenge
The second Melbourne High/Haileybury College Challenge ~ August 20
The Melbourne High players, with staff member Alexandra
Click to enlarge
The Haileybury College Team, with staff member Chris
Click to enlarge
Sixteen students attended this tournament at Melbourne High School, with a
coaching clinic conducted by our World Championship players Andrew Fisher
and Naween Fernando. The level of play of the participants varied
considerably, and all picked up some helpful tips as did the teachers and
other Association members present, including our World Youth Championship
reps Anand Bharadwaj and Jayden Kuhne.
The students were divided into two groups, led by Jay and Anand, and a
team game was played using Quackle with comments on the team's suggestions
provided by Andrew and Naween. Jayden's team received a very good mix of
letters from the random draws allocated by Quackle, and came out the
winners 487 - 360. At one stage Andrew was asked by Anand's team what he
would do with a particular set of letters, and Andrew's succinct reply,
which caused quite a bit of laughter, was "forfeit the game and move on to
The tutors, Andrew Fisher & Naween Fernando
Paolo Awdry (MHS) v Hannah Vuong (HC)
Eddie Chen (MHS) v Niran Dasika (HC)
Vishal Chopra (MHS) v Chris (HC Staff)
The coaching session was followed by a very enjoyable lunch, organised by
one of the students, Eddie Chen. Thanks, Eddie. This was followed by a
three-game tournament, with all games keenly contested and thoroughly
enjoyed by the players. Jay and Anand each played for one of the school
teams, and teachers Alexandra Grimwade and Chris Scholten Smith both
played for Haileybury to even up the numbers. However these games were
discounted when the final tally of games won by each school was calculated
by Carol Johnsen, with Melbourne High finishing ahead of Haileybury, by
just one game. The winner of the individual contest between all students
was Paolo Awdry, well played, Paolo.
Ozgun Karahan (MHS) v Amy Hu (HC)
Alexandra (MHS Staff) v Jay (Scrabble Victoria)
Herbert Cheung (HC) v Dan Wall (MHS)
Miran Fernando (HC) v Nick Parry-Jones (MHS)
Thank you to all who assisted on the day, your time and commitment was
appreciated, and it was a good feeling to give enjoyment to the students,
and to promote the game of Scrabble which we all enjoy. Two of the
participants have already competed in tournament/s organised by the
Association, so for those interested in playing a rated scrabble
tournament click on the home button at the top of this page, then click on
the link to "Tournaments" to find all the relevant details. Members of
Scrabble Victoria will be delighted if you can spare the time to join us.
Go to the top
Max Mattvey (MHS) v Justine Ross (HC)
Ruben Clark (MHS) v Stephanie Moulic (HC)
Anand (Scrabble Victoria) v Sam Jiang (MHS)
The group during the final announcements
Anand Bharadwaj makes the 2011 Vic State team!
The annual State Team Challenge takes place in Adelaide in September, and
Anand, who recently celebrated his eleventh birthday, is part of the team
representing Victoria. Anand has many interests, including piano, flute,
sporting events (in particular cricket and Aussie Rules football) and is
very passionate about Masterchef.
The other team members are Norma Fisher and me, and as Anand has the
highest rating of the three of us we have appointed him Team Captain. We
are all looking forward to this event where teams of three compete against
teams from the other six Australian states for the title of Champion Team,
and it will be a wonderful feast of very competitive scrabble and a great
experience for all.
Go to the top
The Inaugural Senior Schools' Challenge ~ Haileybury College versus
Melbourne High School ~ Saturday April 30 2011
The staff do battle - Alexandra v Chris
Melbourne High School, a magnificent building
Both these schools have active Scrabble groups, and we brought them
together for a small tournament at The Unicorn Pavilion, the home of the
MHS Old Boys. Melbourne High were rather disappointed by their reduced
number of attendees, but in the games played between the two groups they
emerged victorious, downing the students from the Keysborough campus of
Haileybury College eight games to four. The overall individual winner was
Jordan Pheasant-Kelly who amassed an impressive positive margin of well
over 500 in his three Games played against the Haileyburians.
It was a fun event, and we thank the interested teachers from both schools
for their assistance - Alexandra Grimwade from MHS, and Chris Scholten
from Haileybury. Thank you also to Nicholas Parry-Jones for his
enthusiastic help in organising the event, and the excellent thank you
speech he delivered at the end of play. Thanks also to Alexandra and Nick
for the lovely cakes we enjoyed for afternoon tea, and to Carol Johnsen
and Norma Fisher for their expert assistance.
We are hopeful of expanding this experience later in the year, perhaps
including other schools to add further interest to the event.
Justine Ross (HC) v Jordan Pheasant-Kelly (MHS)
Jack Stein (HC) plays Nicholas Parry-Jones (MHS)
Sam Jiang (MHS) versus Stephanie Moulic (HC)
Herbert Cheung (HC) versus Miran Fernando (HC)
Friends Hannah Vuong & Amy Hu, both from HC
Truss Hubble & Justine Ross, from Haileybury
Great performances at the National Championship, Easter 2011
In a field of 96 competitors our young players acquitted themselves
extremely well, with Michael McKenna (NSW)
placing, Anand Bharadwaj (Vic)
finishing 11th, and Kitty-Jean
in 55th place. The World Youth Coordinator Karen
Richards presented Michael with the award for the Youth player who
achieved the highest rating gain over the tournament. With a gain of 148
points Michael was the clear winner of this award, having accounted for
players of the calibre of Andrew Fisher, Edward Okulicz and Naween
Fernando along the way. Well done, Michael, a brilliant result. In the
Plate section our other young player Isaac Kan (NSW)
of 56 players, and all enjoyed the event immensely.
News from the World Youth Scrabble Championship 2010
Champ Ker Jen Ho
Preedee, 2nd place
Fun at the W.Y.S.C. - Marvi, Kitty-Jean, Natasha
Eighty-two young players took part in this 24 game event held in Manila
from 8-10th December. The standout performance came from Malaysian
competitor Ker Jen Ho who finished in first place with 19 wins. Second
place went to Preedee Kongthanarat from Thailand on 18.5 wins, and third
was William Kang from Malaysia on 18 wins.
An excellent score of 610 won the High Game Award for Shahroz Zamir Ansari
from Pakistan, and two players tied for the High Game Award - Jessica
Pratesi from the United Kingdom played "VEERINGS" for 158 points, and
Pranav Kaarthik from Qatar scored the same for "SELECTED".
Our six reps acquitted themselves well, with Kitty-Jean Laginha in 5th
place, Michael McKenna 14th, Jay Kuhne 22nd, Natasha Podesser 24th,
Phillip Hamilton 28th and Marvi Delfin 33rd. Well done to all, and thanks
again to the Richards family for their continued commitment to Youth
Scrabble, it is appreciated as always.
For full results click HERE
Performances at the Causeway Challenge
At the Causeway: Tim Michaels from the USA, with
Natasha Podesser, Michael McKenna & Phillip Hamilton
In the Masters Australia's best performed young player was Michael McKenna
in 19th place on 24.5 wins, well done Michael. Second place was filled by
Alastair Richards who recently passed the cutoff age and is now a
fully-fledged senior player, a great effort, Alastair. Also competing in
this section was Kitty-Jean Laginha. In the Open Division youngsters Eden
Choo from Singapore and Tim Michaels from the US finished fourth and fifth
respectively, followed by our other Oz players - Natasha, Jayden, Phillip
and Marvi. Stay tuned for results from the WYSC, starting on Wednesday.
The Princess Cup - Michael pipped on margin alone
After 15 games and a slowish start, Michael McKenna has worked his way up
to second place, an outstanding achievement against Thailand's best. A
great effort, Michael, and well done to Natasha Podesser who finished 14th
on 8 wins, and Kitty-Jean Laginha who won 7 games to finish in 19th place.
Good luck for the Causeway and the WYSC!
News about our players competing in the 2010 Princess Cup, the
Causeway Challenge & the World Youth Championship - what a great
The Causeway Challenge
The Princess Cup
The Princess Cup
is being played in Bangkok on November 28-29 and
comprises 15 games against an international field. Natasha, Kitty-Jean and
Michael are competing in this event, travelling with World Youth
Chairperson Karen Richards. To follow this event click HERE
Following this they will join Marvi, Phillip and Jayden for the Causeway
in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The Causeway is a very
challenging 45 game event played over five days from December 1-5, an
absolute feast for those who like to play longer tournaments. Results and
happenings will be available as they come to hand - click HERE
After this all will travel to Manila in the Philippines to represent
Australia in the World Youth Scrabble Championship
, a 24-game
event played over three days from 8-10th December. Karen and all involved
in arranging this exhausting schedule are to be commended, and thank you
to those who have contributed financially - your assistance is greatly
appreciated. Good luck to everyone, it should be a fun experience for you
all! This link will let you keep up to date with the fortunes of our
players - click HERE
Natasha Podesser, Vic
Kitty-Jean Laginha, NSW
Marvi Delfin, WA
Michael McKenna, NSW
Phillip Hamilton, NSW
Jayden Kuhne, Vic
The Youth Scrabble Logo
Scrabble Clinic for Helen's students at Kirwan State High School,
This report was published in the school news letter, well done Naween,
Helen and Julie.
On Wednesday, 10th November, twenty students participated in an all-day
Scrabble Workshop and minitournament. This included an address by
special guest Naween Fernando, who is current Australian National
Champion, third-ranked player, and World Scrabble Championship
contender. Mr Fernando had participants using their brains from the
get-go with spelling and anagramming contests and an interactive
demonstration game, won narrowly by the boys’ team. The word game
enthusiasts present were exposed to the world of competitive Scrabble by
engaging in a scoring tutorial, finding out many of the two and three
letter words playable in the game (QI and ZA came in very handy!), and
giving their minds a workout by finding bonus words using all the tiles
in their racks. Notable plays included FRAPPES by Dustyn van Milt,
SHEEPY by Chloe Evans and Jessica Staton, and FANATICS by Zac
Hutton-Morel and Brittany Marshall. All students displayed a focus and
keenness that did Kirwan High proud, and achieved many personal
successes throughout the day, expanding their literacy and numeracy
skills all the while. Scrabble Club meets at second lunch on Tuesdays in
MU02. For further information, please contact Helen Maurus on 4773 8159
or email@example.com . Special thanks to Julie Brice from Brice
Engineers, who generously donated prizes and provided lunch, and
assisted during the afternoon session.
Great Results at the 2010 New South Wales Championship!
Thanks to Karen Richards for the following report on the excellent results
for the youth players who competed in this 24-game event. Click on the pic
This was the 18 and under contingent at NSW Champs - Zavier Carr
(left), who had the highest rating gain for a young player at the NSW
Championship (105). Also shown - Alastair Richards, Michael McKenna, Ben
Munson, and Phillip Hamilton. Phillip won "Highest Game" award for the
NSW Championship, 597. Alastair finished 7th this year (he won it two
years ago, aged 16). Ben is holding the Joan Rosenthal Shield, which he
won this year, for the NSW player with highest rating gain over a year
(529). This award was won last year by Phillip (rating gain in 2009 of
280) and the previous year by Michael (rating gain in 2008 of 764).
The adults are not getting much of a look-in when it comes to rapid
Go to the top
The 2010 Gippsland Primary Schools Championship & Plate ~ August 5
Placegetters in the Championship:
Justin Morrow, High Game - 209 points
Belinda Bursa, the 2010 Champion
Georgia Brick, 2nd and High Word:
"ELDRITCH" 80 points
Martin Bridson, 3rd place
Plate Division: Jack Morgan, 1st place
Connor Murphy, High Game - 233 points
Maddie Dixon, High Word "DAZE" 42 points
Kelsey Paige, 2nd. Abbie Tapsel, 3rd.
This event took place on a very wet winter's day at the Yarragon Football
Club rooms and was hosted by Robyn Jones and Jan Jansen from Yarragon
Primary School - thank you to you both for a warm welcome and some lovely
snacks. Thanks also to Norma Fisher and Katie Rowe from Scrabble Victoria
who assisted in the running of the tournament.
Twenty-eight children from seven local schools participated, and all
appeared to enjoy the four hard-fought games played as well as meeting
their peers from the surrounding area. The new Champion for 2010 is
Belinda Bursa from Yarragon Primary School, who narrowly defeated
second-placed Georgia Brick from Boolarra. Martin Bridson from Bona Vista
placed third, while the High Game award went to Justin Morrow from
Newborough for a score of 209. Geogia found "ELDRITCH" for 80 points to
win the High Word award, an excellent play. This unusual word was familiar
to Georgia from a book she had read and illustrates the important part
that reading plays in education.
In the Plate Jack Morgan from Yarragon placed first, winning all four
games. Second place went to Kelsey Paige from Newborough, with Abbie
Tapsel from Foster placing third. Connor Murphy from South Street Moe won
the High Game award for a score of 233, while Maddie Dixon from Korumburra
played "DAZE" for 42 points to win the High Word award. Next year this
event will be hosted by teacher Tristan O'Kane and the children from
Boolarra Primary School, and the students who will still be eligible to
compete are already looking forward to taking part.
Jessie, Newborough PS v
Abbie, Foster PS
Mitch, Boolarra PS v
Brooke, Yarragon PS
Ebony, Bona Vista PS v
Tyler, Yarragon PS
Jack, Yarragon PS v
Maddie, Korumburra PS
Ella, Boolarra PS v
Connor, South Street Moe PS
Erin, Bona Vista PS v
Susan, Foster PS
James, South Street Moe PS v
Kelsey, Newborough PS
Alex, Foster PS v
Justin, Newborough PS
Belinda, Yarragon PS v
Georgia, Bona Vista PS
Nikkea, Boolarra PS v
Bryley, Korumburra PS
Cambell, South Street Moe v
Philip, Newborough PS
Georgia, Boolarra PS v
Sam, South Street Moe PS
Karli, Foster PS v
Hayden, Korumburra PS
Jeanette, Yarragon PS v
Martin, Bona Vista PS
Two of the teachers receiving
some tips from Norma Fisher
Georgia's High Word - 80 pts -
"ELDRITCH" Click to enlarge
Coaching at Haileybury College - a fun experience!
Coach Olga Visser
Enjoying the game against Olga.
Olga Visser, the President of the Queensland Scrabble Association and
interested in promoting scrabble amongst Australia's younger players
conducted this session on May 22nd, and a good mix of youngsters and
adults attended. We were taken through the importance of knowing the two
and three letter words, hooks, words with heavy endings, the wonderful
array of words which can be made from the letters of RETAINS plus another
letter, and much more.
The large display board was utilised when Olga played a game of duplicate
scrabble against the whole class, losing dismally to the combined
knowledge of fifteen keen and vociferous opponents.
Following a break for refreshments all students joined forces and played
two versus two in some hard-fought games, and all agreed that the session
was well worth while. Many thanks to Olga for your time and patience, and
to Scrabble Victoria member Chris Scholten for arranging the use of the
library at Haileybury, where he teaches Latin amongst other interesting
things. Click on the pictures below to see the enlargements.
Go to the top
Young Aussie Players at the Australian Scrabble Championship, April
Back: Alastair, Michael, Natasha, Cameron, Jayden, Phillip.
Front: Isaac & Anand.
Eight of our Under 18 players took part in either the Championship or the
Plate, with some excellent results, enjoying the keen competition over the
24 games played. Alastair had a good chance of winning the Championship,
but losses in some of his later games meant he finished in fourth spot, a
creditable effort indeed. Natasha received a smaller type of scrabble
clock than is usually used for the highest rating gain of those rated
Under 18, well done Natasha.
Here are the results and rating changes in the Championship:-
4th Place, wins 17, margin +1100, rating change
+74, new rating 1885
24th Place, wins 13.5, margin +522, rating change
+0, new rating 1635
33rd Place, wins 13, margin +71, rating change
+80, new rating 1529
42nd Place, wins 12, margin +459, rating change
+8, new rating 1495
47th Place, wins 12, margin +8, rating change
+30, new rating 1402
64th Place, wins 11, margin -314, rating change
-28, new rating 1335
71st Place, wins 10, margin +102, rating change -8,
new rating 1390
And in the Plate:
42nd Place, wins 11, margin -585, rating change +43, new
Well done to all, these are great results for everyone and you can all be
proud of your performances in this highly competitive event.
WHAT DO YOUNG SCRABBLE PLAYERS DO ON THEIR HOLIDAYS?
News and an invitation to young players from the World Youth Scrabble
Chairperson, Karen Richards.
Youth Coaching Clinic April 2010, in Adelaide
To read more about it in the flier click here
Alastair Richards (17) travelled to the Philippines and India to run
Scrabble workshops for young players, with the help of me, his mother.
On the second day Alastair played 11 games simultaneously against the
best young players, losing only one of them (to Traci Malitao, older
sister of Matthew, who competed in WYSC 08 and 09) while I took on
another 8 players, nearly losing to Jobert in the process. After the
Philippines coaching clinic the host country organised an impromptu
tournament - 8 games, with 12 adults and children competing - and called
it the "Philippines-Australia Friendship Games". Alastair won this
event, losing only to Matthew Malitao (13) who finished 12th in WYSC09
(Alastair finished 2nd in WYSC09).
The group arriving for the Coaching Clinic
Robin Robina, president NASCAP, with Alastair
Alastair and Karen with their opponents
I will be running a similar coaching clinic for young players in
Adelaide at Easter, straight after the Australian Scrabble
Championships. Beginners are especially welcome, so please click here
to get the PDF flier or contact me via email for further details - firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to the top
News from the Fourth Melbourne Marathon, January 9/10 2010
Before the start of the tournament.
The winner, David Eldar
Of the twenty-eight players who took part eight were aged 20 years or
less, including the winner, and all showed great stamina and good humour
to last through the 24 games played.
Apart from Michael McKenna all gained ratings points, and it needs noting
that Michael played three former Australian Champions, firstly Nick
Ivanovski, 1990 National Champ at the age of 18 years and three months
(Michael was victorious in this particular game). Apart from Nick's win in
1990 I am unsure of his achievements in the early days although his fame
is legendary, and most players remember his speed at the game, earning him
the nickname "Quick Nick". Secondly, Naween Fernando, the Oz Champ in 2005
& 2008 learned his skills in his very early years in Bahrain, winning
both the Bahrain (firstly at the age of eleven) and the Gulf Championships
several times,and the Australian Masters in 2007. The third Australian
Champion competing was David Eldar who won the event in 2007 at the age of
17, the Causeway Challenge in the same year, the inaugural WYSC
Championship in 2006 and the Australian Masters in 2008.
Below are the finishing positions and rating changes of the under 21's,
well done everyone, I'm sure you enjoyed the challenge!
Timeout for Michael, Sunday am.
David Eldar - 1st/21 wins/+15
Michael McKenna - 4th/14 wins/-4
Jayden Kuhne - 10th/13 wins/+84
Jason Stockdale - 12th/12 wins/+28
Phillip Hamilton - 13th/12 wins/+78
Natasha Podesser - 14th/12 wins/+24
John Hamilton - 17th/11.5 wins/+51
Robert Blunt - 25th/9 wins/+129
Michael McKenna v Natasha Podesser
Jason Stockdale plays Geoff Wright
Nick Ivanovski v Phillip Hamilton
John Rider v John Hamilton
Jayden Kuhne v Josef Peeters
Robert Blunt relaxes during a break
Great results at the Victorian Decathon 29-12-2009
Jayden Kuhne, Alastair Richards,
Natasha Podesser, Jason Stockdale,
Five of Australia's teenage players took part, including the second
placegetter at the recent World Youth Championship Alastair Richards, with
some excellent and exciting results - below are their stats for the event:
Masters 1st of 20, rating gain 94 points, now
Masters 7th of 20, rating gain 42 points, now
Won High Word Award for "TRENISES", value 122.
Masters 13th of 20, rating gain 17 points, now
Won High Game Award with a score of 545.
Advanced 3rd of 18, rating gain 113 points, now rated
Recreation 9th of 12, rating now 791.
Congratulations to you all. Apart from Jason and Alastair the above
players are eligible to compete in the 2010 WYSC, and will be joined in
the Philippines in December by other young competitors from various
Go to the top
World Youth Championship December 8-10 2009 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Our team: Michael, Natasha, Alastair, Anand, Phillip,
Robert and Cameron.
Congratulations to Ong Suanne from Malaysia on her victory in this event,
one game clear of Alastair Richards with Michael McKenna placing third.
Our other competitors acquitted themeselves very well in the strong field
of 81 players, with Cameron Farlow in 13th place, Phillip Hamilton 23rd,
Anand Bharadwaj 28th, Natasha Podesser 30th and Robert Blunt 54th.
Alastair's reward for second place was a very large cheque for 2,500
Malaysian Ringgits, which equates to about AUD$860, well done, Alastair.
And as well as placing third Michael received an award for the highest
placed player Under 16 years of age, while Anand received the award for
the highest placed player Under 10 years of age. The team's performance
overall has been truly outstanding, my congratulations to all.
The Princess Cup, Thailand, November 29-30 2009
For players aged 17 years and under. This event comprised 15 games, and
our youth players acquitted themselves very well, and also gained some
valuable experience playing against young players from other countries.
Here are the standings:
6th Alastair Richards (17 years) W9 L6 +656,
13th Cameron Farlow (17 years) W8 L7 +46,
14th Phillip Hamilton (16 years ) W8 L7 -316,
18th Michael McKenna (14 years? ) W7 L8 +55,
20th Robert Blunt (14 years) W6 L9 +41.
To find more info go to the website - click HERE,
then click on "Live Coverage"
Anand ~ 2009 Victorian Spellmasters Junior Champion
Andrew Fisher with Anand,
taken in July ths year
Anand Bharadwaj, one of our representatives who will shortly travel to the
World Youth Scrabble Championship in Malaysia has competed regularly in
the annual Spellmaster Championship. Instead of competing in the Geelong
Scrabble tournament on November 8th Anand spent the day facing up to some
stiff opposition from the other 20 qualifiers, and after a total of nine
rounds he was crowned Champion for 2009. Here are the words he was asked
to spell - ECHOES, BEGINNING, VAULT, LLAMA, BINOCULARS, MUESLI, FURTIVE,
AGHAST and the winning word was STAGNANT. Well done Anand, from my
experience of playing Scrabble with you and watching your progress since
first playing competitively in December 2007 these words would not have
presented you with a problem!
Anand is pictured at right with Australia's top rated player Andrew
Fisher, who will soon travel to Malaysia to compete in the World
Championship and the Causeway Challenge. Andrew has encouraged Anand
during his Scrabble career with tips on study methods, rack management,
strategy etc. The two share some common interests - music, a love of words
and particularly the game of Scrabble, and both are mathematical wizards.
Thanks also go to Karen Richards who has been of great assistance to
Anand, and to all of Anand's opponents who for the most part have given
Anand great encouragement. We wish both Andrew and Anand the best of luck
in their respective events in Johor Bahru.
Youth Coaching Clinic April 2010
Karen Richards is holding another of her successful youth coaching clinics
for Scrabble in Adelaide in April 2009.
Read more about it in the flyer (click to get
Australia's 2009 World Youth Championship Team
Australia has 7 places and the following players are preparing to attend:
Kitty-Jean is unable to attend this year's event, and although Robert
didn't quite reach the qualifying standard (having played his first
tournament in April this year) he will attend as an extra, and is paying
an extra fee to compete.
All players are grateful to Karen Richards for her foresight in
instigating this annual event, and special thanks to Barry Harridge for
updating the standings regularly over the Qualification Period. More news
will follow as the event draws closer, and we wish our Youth Reps good
luck in Malaysia, and hope that all enjoy the experience.
Some stats for our Youth Reps
Go to the top
|HIGHEST GAME SCORE
||RATING AS AT JANUARY 1ST
||RATING AS AT OCTOBER 18
The 2009 Gippsland Primary Schools Championship
Andrew Richardson, High Word Award.
Cameron Cilia, 3rd. Devin Pollock 2nd.
Daniel Board, Champion & High Game
This happy event took place on September 4th at Korumburra, with the event
very capably organised by local teacher Candice Huntley. Players from
various schools in the Gippsland area - Toora, Newborough, South Street
Moe, Morwell Park, Tarwin Valley, Yarragon and Korumburra - competed in
two sections, the Championship and the Plate.
Jeanette McKee, 3rd place.
Nic Jenkins, 2nd place & High Word.
Alex Witty, Plate winner & High Game
This year's Champion is Daniel Board (Yarragon) who won all five games,
with Devin Pollock (Yarragon) second and Cameron Cilia (Newborough) in
third place. Daniel also received the award for High Game, and Andrew
Richardson (Tarwin Valley) played "ZAG" to win the High Word Award. In the
Plate section the winner was Alex Witty (Yarragon) who also won all five
games, followed by Nic Jenkins (Toora) and Jeanette McKee (Yarragon). Alex
won the award for High Game, and Nic won the High Word award with "HYDRA".
Congratulations to all who received trophies, and to all contestants for
the spirit in which the tournament was played.
Norma, Barry and I assisted in the running of the event, and enjoyed our
day with twenty-eight very well behaved and charming children. We also
enjoyed meeting the various teachers who provided transport for the
children, and we look forward to next year's event, planned to take place
at Yarragon in September under the guidance of local teachers Jan Jansen
and Robyn Jones. Here are all the contestants, and thank you to Barry for
Bryley vs Nic
Caroline vs Taylah
Connor vs Cameron
Daniel vs David
Devin vs Andrew
Haden vs Sharni
Isis vs James
Jackson vs Eloise
Jeanette vs Maddie
Jesse H. vs Cambell
Justin vs Alex
Nick vs Jesse C.
Nicole vs Paige
Steph vs Adonica
Raising funds for our WYSC representatives
A special tournament was held on July 5 2009 to assist with travel
expenses when our Youth Reps travel to Johor Bahru in Malaysia for the
World Championship in early December. The combined families of Natasha
Podesser, Anand Bharadwaj and Robert Blunt (who couldn't be with us, due
to attending Karen Richard's Advanced Coaching in NSW) all pitched in and
helped the Committee with the organisation of the event, supplying lovely
food throughout the day, and helping in many ways, as did our young
players. The highlight of the day for Natasha was a win against Geoff
Wright, and Anand was excited by the play of his opponent Shaun Donnelly
who recorded High Game in their section with a lovely tally of 558 -
surpassing his previous best game by 29 points.
Thank you to all who attended the tournament, your support is appreciated
and we hope you enjoyed the event. A second fundraising tournament is
planned for Sunday October 11th at the Mitcham Senior Citizens' Centre,
and we hope that it will also be an enjoyable success.
Go to the top
Anand with dad Kannan, manning the
Natasha, looking great, and pleased
to have won against Geoff W.
Robert at the Vic Champs with Karen,
receiving "High Junior Rating Gain Award"
At the Vic Champs, June 2009
Back: Robert, Jayden, Karen, Alastair, Natasha
In Front: Anand
Just two young players took part in the 24-game Championship, with
Alastair Richards (NSW) finishing a creditable 6th in a tough field and
taking home the High Game award when he scored 604 points against Norma
Fisher. Anand Bharadwaj competed in his second Vic Champs, this year
winning 10 games and placing 39th. Unfortunately the NSW Schools Swine Flu
restrictions resulted in the withdrawal of Phillip Hamilton, we hope you
can make it next year, Phillip.
In Division A of the two-section Queen's Birthday event on Monday Natasha
Podesser placed 8th and scored 503 to win the High Game Award, while
Jayden Kuhne placed 11th in just his second tournament.
Karen Richards presented a rotating board to the junior player who gained
the most rating points over the weekend, and this clearly went to Robert
Blunt, whose 11th place in Division B gained him 69 ratings points for the
tournament. Well done to Robert and everyone who participated. Here are
some pics taken at the event.
Rene Chelton vs Alastair Richards
John Barker vs Anand Bharadwaj
Natasha Podesser vs Janet Bau
Lynette and Robert Blunt
Queen's Birthday Players
Ex World Youth Champ David Eldar
Most Improved Player 2008-9
Marj with Anand & his trophy,
carved by Trevor Barraclough
Katie Rowe (artist) presents
Anand with his portrait
Every year in Victoria an award is presented to the player, either junior
or senior, who has achieved the Highest Rating Gain from May 31st one year
to May 31st the following year. Only players who have been in the
Australian rating system for the full 12 month period can win this award,
and last year Natasha Podesser easily gained this distinction. This year
our worthy winner is Anand Bharadwaj, whose rating has climbed from 884 to
1190, an increase of 306 points. Anand narrowly pipped the second
placegetter for this award, our #1 player and National Champion Andrew
Fisher whose rating rose by 302 points over the same period.
Congratulations, Anand (and Andrew!!), this is an excellent achievement.
Leongatha Coaching Clinic - Wrap-up
Back Row: Jayden Kuhne, Cameron Farlow, John
Hamilton. Centre: Will Jackson, Nathan Seeto,
Robert Blunt, Michael McKenna. Front: Isaac Kan,
Aaron Kan, Ruth Hamilton
It was great to see so much interest and enthusiasm for Scrabble amongst
the youngsters who attended the clinic at the Leongatha Caravan Park, and
we were fortunate that fine weather allowed some fresh air breaks between
Relaxing at the Caravan Park
Scrabble Victoria thanks Karen Richards, John Hamilton and Michael McKenna
for their tuition, and in Karen's case for a huge amount of organisation,
and donations of her personal time and money. It is great to see the
younger Scrabble players stepping in to the role of coaching, and we do
appreciate the assistance of John and Michael. Also thank you to Ubisoft,
who donated various educational Nintendo games, which proved to be the
most popular choice when awards for various achievements were presented.
Norma Fisher, Katie Rowe and myself helped where possible, and all were
treated to lovely lunches and dinners planned and cooked by Connie To,
mother of Isaac and Aaron Kan from NSW, and Lyn Ridsdale, grandmother of
Will Jackson from WA. Thank you to you both, we all appreciated your
efforts. Robert Blunt, winner of the 2007 Gippsland Schools Championship
attended, as did new Victorian player Jayden Kuhne and mum Tania, and we
are confident of seeing these new members at our tournaments soon.
Cameron, Jayden and Tania
Robert and John
Aaron and Nathan
Cameron with Karen
Nathan, Karen, Ruth, Isaac
Will, Isaac and Robert
Go to the top
Ruth and Isaac
Jayden, Aaaron, Nathan
Happy Faces at the end
Leongatha Coaching Clinic April 09
During the 2009 Easter school holidays from 16th - 18th April, Karen
Richards, who is the Chairperson of the World Youth Scrabble Organisation,
will be running a coaching clinic in the recreation room of the Leongatha
Apex Caravan Park in Turner Street, assisted by players from Scrabble
Victoria and some experienced younger players.
This opportunity is offered to young people aged 10-15 years in the
Gippsland area and is guaranteed to inspire the participants to greater
things in the Scrabble world. Registrations will be taken in the order
in which I receive them, and anyone who misses out will be placed on a
reserve list and contacted if a vacancy becomes available.
Parents and teachers may attend, and this would be of benefit when
assisting the children with their scrabble, both at school and at home.
Leongatha Caravan Park
Leongatha Primary School
The Town Hall
Accommodation if required: Students attending can either travel
daily to the clinic, or stay at the Leongatha Caravan Park (pictured
above left, phone 5662 2753) if space is available - approximate cost of
shared cabin accommodation - $20/$30 per night. Please make your own
arrangements with Kay and Bim Puru at the caravan park, and ensure that
you have a responsible adult staying in your cabin.
The adjacent Leongatha Motel is another option, phone 5662 2375, but
again you would need to be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Food: Lunch - all participants may bring their own lunch and
snacks, or bring $30 - $50 to cover the cost of purchasing lunch and
Breakfast & Dinner: Live in students will be charged $10 per
day to cover this cost.
Tournament: On Sunday April 19th, following the coaching clinic,
there will be a rated Scrabble tournament at the Leongatha Primary
School on Horn Road for players of all ages, whether or not they have
been involved in the clinic.
All students who participate in both the coaching clinic and the
tournament will receive a gift of a Scrabble T-shirt, and there will be
many prizes awarded for various achievements at the clinic.
Parents or teachers who wish to be involved and arrange for children to
attend should contact me, please - Marj Miller, phone 03 9850 2366, or
for further details.
Gippsland Primary Schools
Teacher Anita with 2007 Gippsland
Schools Champion Robert Blunt
In 2007, teacher Sue McLaren (Newborough PS) encouraged primary schools in
the Gippsland area to conduct Scrabble competitions within their schools
throughout the year. The season started in Education Week in May, and
culminated in an interschool playoff in Literacy and Numeracy Week in
early September. The winner of the 2007 Gippsland Primary Schools
Championship was Robert Blunt from Moe, pictured at right. Scrabble
Victoria helped at these events in 2007, and did so again in 2008 when
Lynette Blunt (South Street, Moe) did the organising, with the help and
support of teachers and parents. The program will continue in 2009 under
the guidance of Candice Huntly from Korumburra PS.
At the Gippsland Primary Schools Championship 2008
Back: Helpers Marj, Barry, Karen, Norma, Gwen
Middle: Ebony, Cassie, Anscar, Natasha
Front: Rachael, Rebecca, Devin.
In 2008, Karen Richards from New South Wales attended the final
playoff. The picture at left shows the prizewinners at the 2008
Gippsland Schools Scrabble Championship. Division A: Natasha Cininas
(San Remo, 1st & High Word), Anscar Densley (San Remo, 2nd), Cassie
Pollock (Yarragon, 3rd & High Game).
Division B: Devin Pollock (Yarragon, 1st), Rachael Fairfoot (San Remo,
2nd & High Game), Rebecca Sanders (Warragul North, 3rd), Ebony Remyn
(Warragul North, High Word). Karen has been instrumental in encouraging
young Scrabblers by conducting regular coaching clinics, generally in
NSW. She invited some of the Gippsland players to a clinic in Wyong, and
Natasha Cininas, the 2008 Gippsland Schools Champion, with runner-up
Anscar Densley attended the clinic, and played in subsequent
tournaments. We hope to see them at Victorian tournaments in the future,
and hope that they convey their enthusiasm for Scrabble to their friends
World Youth Scrabble Championship
The first World Youth Scrabble Championship was held in Wollongong in
2006, and was won by Australia's own David Eldar. In 2007, it was held in
Johor Bahru, Malaysia. In December 2008 it will be held in Penang,
Malaysia. See http://www.youthscrabble.org
for more details. The picture below shows nine of the ten junior players
who competed in the 2008 Australian National Championship and Plate, held
over Easter at the Prahran Town Hall in Melbourne.
Young Aussie competitors with Karen at the National
Championship in Melbourne, Easter 2008
Back: Karen R., Alastair R., Jason S., James G.
Front: Phillip H., Michael McK., Anand B., Natasha P.,
Kitty-Jean L., Matthew S.
Our young players
The future of Scrabble relies on the youth of today. It has been very
satisfying to see the enthusiasm and ability of our young players over
recent years. David Eldar started as a thirteen year old, and has now won
several major titles. He achieved the rank of Australia's highest rated
player by the age of 17, and is the current Australian Masters Champion.
Other notable achievements at the 2008 Nats came from Alastair Richards
from NSW who finished 4th in the top division in a tough field of 108
Most Improved 2007/08
with Matthew Selvanera from SA crowned the winner of the Plate. A great
effort from all who participated.
Jason Stockdale, Natasha Podesser and Anand Bharadwaj have all improved
markedly in their Scrabble ability. Each year we recognise the player who
has achieved the highest rating gain for the previous 12 months, and
Natasha P. was presented with this award for 2007/08, having increased her
rating by 323 points over the year. A great achievement, Natasha.
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