THE WORLD OF COMPETITION SCRABBLE – FEBRUARY
The truly global aspect of WESPA comes to the fore in this report with tournaments from four continents being featured.
Before we look at what happened in February, a final take on tournaments to see out January is in order: Australia's first tournament on the WESPA calendar came from Sydney. The City of Sydney International Masters started in its current format in the late 1990s with Nigel Richards being one of the early winners. Nigel did not play in this edition but it was another Richards who took out the title.
Alastair Richards took out this year's title from Noel Barrett and Joanne Craig.
South Africa featured a smorgasbord of fantastic Scrabble with the City of Cape Town International. Featuring the world number 1, Australia's number 1 and the WESPAC champion amongst a field from 11 countries, this always promised much and did not fail to deliver on any level. It says much for the international nature of the tournament that the top five positions were filled by players of different countries! Nigel Richards (NZL) won from David Eldar (AUS), Komol (THA), Rex Ogbakpa (NGA) and Dave Weigand (USA).
It was here that we also take the current world high game score - and it did not come from any of the top 5! South Africa's Dylan Early with 2 nine timers and other high scoring plays to reach 725.
The international theme continued into Israel, where players from ten nations played out the Eighth Israeli open, which was comprehensively won by Evan Cohen, taking the title from Anand Buddhdev and Ami Tzubery.
In Malta, the tournament scene commenced there with a one day tournament in mid-Februrary that was taken out by David Delicata: Malta has its prominent MISO tournaments within the next few months and is always a great place to take in some Scrabble!
Pakistan held one of the biggest school's tournaments on record hosting around 750 players - astute followers of WESPA Scrabble would have read Tariq Pervez's excellent report on this event; a phenomenal achievement combining Scrabble, corporate sponsorship and media coverage!
As we look into March, Australia and the UK have WESPA tournaments; the South Australian Championships and the Australian Championships features in a “Festival of Scrabble” in Adelaide. Keep an eye out for photos of these events, especially with the nation's premier Scrabble event rounding out the month. The UK Easter Championship features at the same time as the Australian and will ensure eager followers will have two hemispheres of Scrabble to follow at this important time.
Finally, we head to Hong Kong: they announced that Jason Tsang will represent HK at WYSC in Lille later in the year. In addition, Michael Tang from Singapore took part a 6 game tournament at the Trafalgar Brewing Company: this excellent report allows us to end with the announcement that Causeway is back for 2016!!
Enjoy your Scrabble this month and we will be back at the start of April!