THE WORLD OF COMPETITIVE SCRABBLE

Scrabble news from three continents feature in what was a comparatively quiet month for tournament Scrabble on the World calendar.


Starting in the US, there were two tournaments in June. Sam Rosin won the Charm City tournament at the start of June whilst Rob Robinsky emerged victorious at the St Louis tournament. 2014 World Runner-Up Chris Lipe taking the runner-up position here, including the highest game score in the tournament of 610. Astute followers of our social media feed will recall the venue providing a refreshingly different backdrop to the usual tournament podium winner photos.

As we head down under, Victoria (which is Australia’s second most populous state) hosts its annual state Championship every June. The date is always set to coincide with the three day long weekend (celebrating the Queens Birthday) with 2017 being the second year this tournament has been WESPA rated.

The number one seed was the 2016 Australian Champion (and 2017 Runner-Up) Trevor Halsall and toward the end of the third day, his victory in the tournament was assured, maintaining a three win difference from runner-up Jimmy Scarff. Rod Talbot, Dianne Brumby and Jane Taylor completed the top five. The next Australian tournament on the WESPA calendar is the Australian Masters (and State Team Challenge).

2017 Victorian Champion Trevor Halsall with ASPA Victoria's Carol Johnsen


The prestigious ABSP Masters is a long standing premier tournament on the UK Scrabble calendar which started in 1992. Sixteen rounds of Scrabble, featuring sixteen of the top players in the nation. In posting our preview earlier in June, the defending champion, Allan Simmons, highlighted the form of David Webb and Lewis Mackay in terms of players to watch. After Game 15, the defending champion had to beat the 7th seed, Paul Allan, to retain the title by enough to overcome the small spread difference.

Simmons’ 547-403 win gave him his fourth victory in this event, and his third in 10 years. His top two scoring games coming in Rounds 10 and 14 (562 and 595 respectively), though these were not the highest scoring games for the tournament.

Wayne Kelly’s 608, in his game versus Calum Edwards may have been higher later in the tournament but it was still not enough to top Rik Kennedy’s 623-451 win over Robert Richland. That game in Round 11 was also the highest combined score for the tournament, edging (only slightly) the 533-522 win by Phil Robertshaw over David Webb.

Allan Simmons, four time winner of the ABSP Masters


Staying in the UK, and on a final note, due to unforeseen circumstances, the host nation for the World Scrabble Championships has moved from Qatar to the UK. Nottingham is the new venue for what will provide an intense and exciting week of Scrabble in England: players will now be able to enjoy both the “Worlds” and the BMSC, the timing for each tournament now separate but in close proximity to each other.

Next month features tournaments in India, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US, showing once again the extensive choice the global player has to enjoy their love of this game.

In the meantime, happy Scrabbling!





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