Mind Sports Olympiad goes online for 2020
The ABSP are pleased to announce two exciting partnership events with
Mind Sports Olympiad which will take
place on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th August.
Typically, MSO hold a week-long programme of events in
London, but as that was not possible this year, instead they
are holding a month-long festival of games online. The full schedule
is available on the MSO website.
Both Scrabble competitions will be played in real time on ISC and timings
are in line with MSO's overall aim to appeal to a global audience. There
will be cash prizes to be won and the top 3 finishers in each event
will also receive physical MSO medals. Unlike at previous MSO events,
placings will be decided on wins and then spread, rather than their
usual tie-splitting method.
Friday 7th August will be a Speed Scrabble event, where competitors will
have 5 minute clocks. It will be played using void challenge and CSW2019
over 10 rounds from 19:30-22:30 BST. There will be a mid-session break
of at least 15 minutes.
Saturday 8th August will be a more traditional Scrabble event, where
competitors will have 15 minute clocks. It will be played using free
challenge and CSW2019 over 12 rounds from 15:30-23:00 BST. There
will be a mid-session break of at least 45 minutes.
These events are open to all and completely free to enter although
entries may be closed if demand exceeds expectations and the events
get over-subscribed. So, it's in your interests to register early if
you want to take part. You can register for one, or both as you wish,
and you can do that in two ways.
The easiest way to enter is is to drop a Facebook message or an email
to Chris Harrison with your
name and ISC handle. Closer to the time, all entrants will receive
some specifics they may need to know for the day, such as timings, how
to report results and how to join the ABSP ISC channel. Please note the
organisers reserve the right to refuse entry.
We're already looking forward to the events, and we hope plenty of you
can join us for what should be a great celebration of Scrabble, and Mind
Sports in general.
Last updated: 20 July 2020
Update on online tournaments for ABSP members
With several events already completed, here's an update on the ABSP's online tournaments.
We hope everyone is keeping safe and well during these difficult
times. Staying home and not meeting friends and relatives poses many
challenges and has impacted greatly on the game we love. There is
nothing to replace meeting across a real board, but to keep us playing
competitively and in touch with each other, we have a busy calendar
of online events which are played on
(Internet Scrabble Club).
There are tournaments most weekends, with a mixture of interesting
formats and a Tuesday night Scrabble Club too. We are even presenting
virtual medals to the winners!
By far, the easiest way to keep track of events is via Facebook.
If you have a Facebook account, make a request to join the members-only ABSP
Discussion group on Facebook, if you have not already joined it.
You can set up a Facebook account with minimal information if you
are concerned about privacy issues. If you would prefer not to join
Facebook for any reason, please e-mail Chris
Harrison for more information about how to play.
These tournaments are proving a great way of keeping our community
together during this time when we can't meet in person. We would love
to see you there!
Last updated: 1 May 2020
OnBoard 187 availability and announcement
The latest edition of OnBoard is now available from the
database (login required).
The committee prepared the following statement, which is also
downloadable, that was intended to be sent out with postal copies.
However subsequent guidance from government means that we are unable to
post OnBoard at the present time as it does not qualify as an essential
journey. All members who usually receive a postal copy should still be
able to download the latest version from the database.
STOP PRESS — Urgent Member Communication
The latest OnBoard has been published in the midst of an extraordinary
and unprecedented situation for us all. Almost all our daily lives are
being impacted in some way by the Global Pandemic Covid-19, also known
For the ABSP, these are also worrying and uncertain times. Face-to-face
tournaments are on an indefinite pause, and it is currently unclear
if and when things will be able to return to normal. As a result, the
committee must be mindful of the potential impact and effects over the
coming months, and potentially longer.
With no ratings levy, and an expected dip in membership, the ABSP's
income is expected to be severely reduced. It is prudent, therefore,
to hold onto funds in order to protect the future of the organisation,
and ensure we can weather this storm and come out on the other side.
OnBoard is our biggest ongoing expense, so we have taken the difficult
but necessary decision to suspend production of at least the postal
version for the time being. Maintaining current standards and sourcing
fresh interesting content will be increasingly challenging with no events
taking place, and there is no guarantee we would even be able to have
it printed and posted. We hope to still produce a version of OnBoard in
some form, so please continue to send contributions to
to help us with this.
We hope you understand the reason we have taken this decision, and we
will review it on an ongoing basis as events unfold. During any break,
we will still endeavour to send out any essential communication to all
members via email if possible, and regular post otherwise, as well
as continuing to share interim updates on social media and the ABSP Website.
Facebook discussion group is the best way to keep
in touch with all things ABSP. During these times, when other social
interaction will be more limited, we'll strive to have more regular
and varied online activity including Consensus Games and Real-Time
Online ISC Tournaments. If you are not already joined, find us
by searching for 'ABSP Discussion', or via the link above.
We also have a members-only online league, which renews every two
weeks and is currently played through the EA Scrabble Facebook
app. Typically, this means completing ten games over two weeks at
your own pace, making moves at times that suit you. Your commitment
to the league is only ever for two weeks at a time, and you can opt
in and out as you wish. Search for 'ABSP Online (League)' or join at:
Please stay safe and well in these challenging circumstances, and we all
look forward to a time when it is safe to meet again across the boards
and we can look to the future with renewed energy and confidence.
Last updated: 31 March 2020
Updated statement on COVID-19 Coronavirus
The ABSP committee has issued an updated statement regarding the impact
of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, on face-to-face Scrabble in
Please see the updated statement in full
which will be updated further when necessary as and when the government advice
Last updated: 21 March 2020
Internet Scrabble Club tournaments for ABSP members
Following on from our updated
statement, an update from Chris Harrison on some forthcoming online
I am happy to confirm that I shall be running real-time tournaments
open to ABSP Members only on the Internet
Scrabble Club on both of the next two weekends. Both are likely
to be Saturdays (28th March, 4th April) but this will be confirmed in
The first will follow a format outlined in brief in my recent Facebook
poll and the second will be paired more like a traditional face to
face event. Further format details for both will be made available when
registration opens. Natalie Zolty will be helping me a little with the
first, and Wayne Kelly helping, possibly a lot, with the second.
If you intend to take part, it is important that where possible you
have an established ISC rating which requires at least 11 rated games
to be played first. If you have not used ISC much recently, I would
also encourage you to play a few games, and better familiarise yourself
with the software. Nowadays, ISC is normally used via a web browser
at the ISC home page, but Windows users
can download and install
Wordbiz if they prefer to run a native application.
I am sure not many of you will have played a real-time ISC event before,
and we certainly haven't run one, so the first couple of events may be
a learning curve for us all, but I hope you will enjoy and appreciate
the opportunity to interact with some of your friends playing the game
you love in a environment that's as close to the real thing as can be
safely achieved right now.
Last updated: 21 March 2020
ABSP Statement on COVID-19 Coronavirus
The ABSP committee has issued a statement regarding the impact of
COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, on upcoming ABSP-rated
tournaments in the UK and abroad.
Please see the statement in full
which will be updated when necessary as and when the government advice
Last updated: 14 March 2020