I wrote this article to send to the Canberra Times:
On the weekend myself, John Spaan, Susan MacGillvray, and Richard Jeremy attended the Australian Masters and State Challenge Scrabble tournament in Melbourne. It was a very eventful weekend and I was pleased with the results. Canberra’s own, Richard Jeremy finished 9th in the Australian Masters showing that he has what it takes to battle it out with the best of best in the Scrabble world.
The top three positions in the State Challenge were females with the South Australian team winning the event. Western Australia came second and NSW finished third while ACT finished sixth. In the Masters division the top four positions were taken by Victorians with the Australian number 11, Trevor Halsall winning overall. This was an excellent result for him. His last major title was the Australian Nationals in 1994. The fifteen year old and Australian number 7 from Victoria, David Eldar, finished second proving that he is an outstanding player to represent Australia in the World Scrabble Championships, which are held later this year in London.
Scrabble players tend to learn a lot of words and not a lot of meanings. I had a good laugh when one of my opponents played PUBS onto my QUAFF to make QUAFFS and I decided to challenge as I didn’t know the meaning of QUAFF. I subsequently discovered that it means to drink your beverage very quickly and can be used as a noun or a verb. Some other interesting words played include BUAZE, TORULAE, ORDAINED, PANDERS, EROTICS, AIZLE, FADIEST, SALLIED, TORCHINGS, YEANING, BAPU, FERMI, VAURIEN, HYLEG, CURIOSA, INTERSEX, ACTINIAE, STALLION, BEASTIE, MARTINS, PIRANHA, and QUILLETS.
Another notable play by one of my opponents was the word SYSTEMED which was played through two triples for 176! I thought I had a comfortable lead at the time, being 120 points or so in the lead. This was the highest scoring play at the tournament.
Three out of the four representatives from Canberra improved their ratings with Richard Jeremy increasing his ranking to 15th in Australia which was an outstanding result. John and I went up a few rating points although I would have like to go up more. Susan dropped a few rating points but still some great games. It was a highly enjoyable tournament and we all hope to go back next year and improve on our results.