Early tournaments in 2024
There's under three months to go until Easter already, but there are
tournaments coming up from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight,
from Belfast to Cork and from Nottingham to Peterborough, all before the
Easter Matchplay kicks off in Coventry. There is also the invitational
Grand Slam for winners of 'A' divisions and wildcards towards the end
Here's a round-up of the events coming in the next three months.
All the information, entry forms and contact details are on the main ABSP calendar.
Isle of Wight
- a three-day event, starting on the Friday afternoon, featuring two
10-game tournaments played back-to-back with promotion and relegation between divisions
at the half-way point. This tournament is organised by Steve Perry in conjunction with
Isle of Wight Tours.
Wayne Kelly is running the Grand Slam
event in late February in Warrington. This is an invitational event for players who have won an 'A' division tournament
since 2020, plus the most improved players from those years, the players with most runners-up spots and the most 'B' division wins,
the highest rated player not already qualified and the highest-rated youth player for the year.
Another busy weekend with a one-day tournament on both days, although players may be hard-pressed to play in both given they are over 400 miles apart!
The Saturday tournament is Chris Hawkins'
tournament organised by Neil Scott on the Sunday.
Of course, if anybody fancies the challenge of playing in both, we'd love to hear how you're managing it!
tournament takes place on the southern coast
of Ireland, the weekend after St Patrick's Day. Chris Broderick is the organiser for this two-day tournament.
Before we know it, the early Easter will be upon us. Wayne Kelly is organising a 4-day long weekend in Coventry that includes
the Warm-Up event
for warm-up on Good Friday and Saturday morning with the
running from Saturday afternoon to Easter Monday.
Last updated: 7 January 2024
New Year's Honours List
Happy New Year ABSP members! The start of a new year means it's time
for Wayne Kelly to reveal the updated
titles and awards after 2023.
Firstly, many thanks to the Stewart Houten and Rachel Bingham for
their parts in the maintenance of the database over the last year.
Contained in this post will be Titles information, Highest Rated Player,
Most Improved Player and a few other stats!
I think it may be the worst-kept secret in the ABSP community but
this year, after a long wait, we finally have a new title holder.
Natalie Zolty scored 5 170s in a row and had to wait until the final
event of the year to get her average for the year back to 170 to attain
the rank of Expert. Many congratulations to Natalie for holding her
nerve and getting her just reward.
- 3 years
- Colin Northmore (3 170+ ratings)
- Wolfram Poh (3 170+ ratings)
- 2 years
- Chris Cummins (2 170+ ratings)
- Jack Moran (2 170+ ratings)
- Brian Po (2 170+ ratings)
- Wale Ilori (1 180+ and 1 170+ rating)
- Chris Lipe (1 180+ rating from last year)
- 1 year
- John Ashmore
- Sunny Bhatia (first 170+ rating)
- Joanne Craig
- David Delicata
- Nick Deller
- Stewart Houten
- Mohamed Alieu Kamara
- Toby Abs (first 170+ rating)
- Chris Vicary
- Ryan Wee (first 170+ rating)
- 1 year
- Kong Chock Heng (1st 180+ rating)
- Rik Kennedy
There are some with potential to get back on the ladder but with a rating
higher than their previous best so they have been excluded. Let me know
if you think there is anything amiss.
Highest Rated Player
The Highest Rated Player Award is given to the highest rated ABSP Member
on January 1st of each year, provided that they have played at least 30
games in the previous year. The winner is Harshan Lamabadusuriya (194)
Harshan has certainly made his mark on not just the ABSP scene this
year but with second place in the WESPAC event also, he went global!
(Brett Smitheram had not played 30 games this year).
Most Improved Player
The Most Improved Player award is given to the ABSP member (as at
31st Dec) who has a full rating at the start of the calendar year,
plays at least 30 games throughout that year and improves their rating
the most. The player's rating at the end of the year must be higher
than any previous end-of-year full rating. The winner for 2023 with
an improvement of 34 from 106 to 140 is Barry French. Barry played 254
games over the year.
Four other players met the criteria and improved by at least 10:
- +18 69 Lisa Atkins
- +17 105 Kevin Rayment
- +11 139 Rebecca Wilkinson
- +11 164 Joel Davey
Some other stats:
Most games played and most prolific Expert – Craig Solomons (395)
Most prolific GM – Phil Robertshaw (153)
Unweighted ratings for those with a rating over 150 plus details
of highest games scores for 2023 can be found on the ABSP database.
Well done to all winners - and those that missed out - keep trying!
Last updated: 1 January 2024
Early Autumn tournaments coming up
As the Summer draws to close (although with the current heatwave across
most of the country, it might not feel so much like it!) a number of
tournaments are coming up soon across the country in Middlesbrough,
Glasgow, Warrington, Holmfirth, Nottingham and Lancaster.
Looking ahead, there's more coming later in the Autumn in Edinburgh,
the Winter Matchplay in Milton Keynes and Nottingham Nomads (again),
before the end-of-year Twixmas tournament leads into the new year for
the Northern Ireland championships in Belfast and the Isle of Wight
tournament in Shanklin.
If you don't fancy the chilly weather, why not try the
Continental Championship at the end of September in Bucharest, with an
early bird and a main event; or take a week-long trip to Malta for MISO
for an early bird, late bird, main event and also incorporating the Seniors
World Championship this year.
For more details on these events, and events further in the future,
please see the main calendar
Cleveland - two separate one-day tournaments on
organised by Trish Matthews.
Nottingham Nomads: the latest edition of Stewart Houten's one-day
on Saturday in Mapperley, Nottingham. Also look
out on the main calendar for the final Nomads tournament of the year
coming in early December.
Lancaster: after running a hugely popular tournament
earlier in the year, Rebecca Wilkinson is running another one-day
tournament in Lancaster
on Saturday 21st October.
Last updated: 5 September 2023
Tobias Outi wins the 2023 British Matchplay Scrabble Championship
Tobias Outi has won the
British Matchplay Scrabble Championship
held at the Kents Hill Park Conference Centre in Milton Keynes over the
August bank holiday weekend.
Tobias beat Wayne Kelly 426-378 in the final round to win the title with
a 18-6 +998 record, just ahead of Brian Po (17-7, +900) with Wayne ending
up in third position (16-8, +860)
The fourth and fifth place prizes were split by just two spread points,
with Chris Cummins (16-8, +634) just edging out Nick Deller (16-8, +632)
Although Tobias had held a one game lead going into the final round
of games, none of the prize positions had been decided, so there was
everything to play for. Tobias' victory meant he secured the title,
with Brian having to settle for second after defeating Chris in that
final round. Nick defeated Craig Solomons (15-9, +763) by just 11 points
in their round 24 match to clinch fifth place.
There were also three ratings prizes in the championship division, with
the first going to Teresa Lyes (14–10, −220) who raised her rating by
nine points by achieving a tournament performance rating of 35 above her
initial rating, including a win against top seed and defending champion
Lewis Mackay. Rafal Dominiczak (19 above rating) and Rose Northmore
(17 above rating) won the other two ratings prizes.
In division B, Jared Robinson clinched victory with a round to spare,
finishing 18½-5½ +1452 to win by two games ahead of Paul
Thomson (16½-7½, +793) who was, himself, two games in front of
Colin Nicol (14½-9½, +572) The ratings prize in division B
was won by Janet Adams (12-12, +175) with a performance 12 points above
her initial rating.
Division C was also clinched before the final round, with the victory
going Margaret Pritchett (18-6, +827) just ahead of Paul Habershon (17-7,
+1141) and Paul Cartman (15-9, +1090) The division C ratings prize was
won by Lisa Atkins (11-13, +397) with a tournament performance rating
26 points higher than her rating.
Last updated: 29 August 2023
David Eldar wins the 2023 WESPA Championship
David Eldar has defeated Harshan Lamabadusuriya 4-3 in the finals of
the WESPA Championship to become world champion for the second time in
a thrilling match that was in the balance until the end of the deciding
The two finalists shared the first two games, with Harshan winning
a close first game after challenging off David's play of FARRINER. After opening game 2 with an exchange, David
continued with an impressive sequence of high-scoring bonus
plays as well as LUZ for over 60. Game 3
was a tight affair with a tense end-game as, with Harshan leading by
around 25 with just 3 tiles left in the bag, David found a low-scoring
play of TAN needing to draw A,E from the bag
for a guaranteed win, but drew A,O allowing Harshan to out run the
come back and take a narrow victory.
After the lunch break, in game 4, David had another barnstorming game
LOITERING to win by over 100 despite Harshan's double-double of
EQUATING for 122.
Game 5 was a closer game again, with David's early SOSATIE opening up a lead early on before
Harshan hit back with VERMINED
TEUCHEST and the out-play of RESEMBLE to win by 90 and put him one win away from
Game 6 started with many high-scoring plays with David's
opening PROTEGE giving Harshan EPITAXES and David responding with SNIFTER. As the game neared the end game, Harshan
played ENTASIA opening up a second triple-triple
lane and although David played in both places, it wasn't with a bonus
and Harshan continued with TENIOID but David made
a key play of CUT setting himself up to level the
match at 3-3 and send it to a decider.
Harshan had the advantage of going first in the deciding game, courtesy
of finishing the preliminaries with the best record and he opened with
ECHOIER using the first blank, following with
PEPONIDA. David immediately came back with
ZEP for 67 and after struggling with vowel-light
racks, used the second blank for VERSING.
Unfortunately, faced with clunky vowel-heavy racks, Harshan played the
phoney LUE which gave David the momentum and
a late 30 point lead.
As the end-game arrived with 8 tiles in the bag and a 10-point lead,
David bonused with DAUNTERS and despite
an excellent rack of AEILMRS and plenty of
floaters, no bonuses would play and David outlasted Harshan, who played
out with RAMILIES, but it wasn't enough and
so David won the final game narrowly
to win the tournament and to be crowned a 2-time world champion.
David and Harshan
contested the best-of-7 final after finishing
in the top two places
after playing 32 preliminary games over the previous 4 days. The field
was one of the strongest in a world championship event in recent times,
with over a dozen players rated above 2000 in an overall field of 134
Four players were in with a shot of qualifying for the final contention
going into the last round of the preliminaries, although none of them
were guaranteed a spot. David and Harshan defeated two former world champions,
Wellington Jighere and Adam Logan, respectively in win-and-you're-in matches.
Lewis Mackay finished top of the other home nations players, and
indeed all the other players in the field, as he finished in 3rd place
overall after winning his final 9 games to finish 22-10, +1763 in front
of Wellington and Andrew Fisher, with Adam Logan's loss in the final
round dropping him to 6th.
Neil Scott (19-13) was the highest-placed Scot in 24th place, one game
ahead of Paul Allan (18-14) in 40th and Stu Harkness (14-18) in 114th.
Northern Ireland's sole representative, Rik Kennedy, finished in 84th
place at 15-17. Team England had Jason Carney, Natalie Zolty, Jack Moran
and Elie Dangoor finish with 17-15 records, Bob Violett with 16½,
Fidelis Olutu with 15½ then 4 more on 15-17 (Femi Awowade, Wayne
Kelly, Donna Stanton and Jared Robinson) with John Ashmore, winner of
the warm up event, and Stewart Houten one game further back.
Apart from John's victory in the Hearts event, James Wilkie and Ruth
MacInerney finished 6th and 7th in the 24-game Diamonds event, with
Sumbul Siddiqui just behind in 10th before going on to finish 6-2 in
3rd place in the Clubs challenge event.
Last updated: 27 July 2023
WESPA Championship gets underway in Las Vegas
WESPA Championship is getting underway today in Las Vegas, Nevada
There are 32 games in the Main Event over 4 days, with a best of 7
playoff for the top 2 at the end to decide the champion.
During the event, live stream on Twitch is available.
Alongside the championship event, a series of 4 side events is running,
which are named after the suits in a deck of playing cards. Many players
chose to play the Hearts event yesterday as a warm-up for the main event,
and the event was won by England's John Ashmore. Hopefully this bodes
well for a successful championship run in the coming days.
Good luck to all the UK players taking part this week!
The list of players representing the home nations in the main event is:
- Harshan Lamabadusuriya
- Lewis Mackay
- Jason Carney
- John Ashmore
- Natalie Zolty
- Wayne Kelly
- Femi Awowade
- Stewart Houten
- Jared Jonathon Robinson
- Bob Violett
- Donna Stanton
- Jack Moran
- Elie Dangoor
- Fidelis Olotu
- Paul Allan
- Stu Harkness
- Neil Scott
Also going along for the side events are James Wilkie, Sumbul Siddiqui,
Ruth MacInerney and Sanmi Odelana. James and Ruth played in the Last
Chance Qualifier for the main event on Friday, but just missed out on
winning a place.
Last updated: 22 July 2023