New Year's Honours List
Happy New Year! Despite a strange and difficult year, with few
tournaments taking place before everything had to be shut down, some
players achieved a lot in a little time. Wayne Kelly
rounds up the award winners for 2020 and a few other statistics too.
As stated in earlier in the year, we decided against awarding the Most
Improved Player and Highest Rated Player as these are competitive prizes
which would be hard to award given the very short space in which they
would have been competed over. The MIP performance so far will be carried
over to the end of 2021.
Titles are individual achievements though so we did not think it would
be fair to impede players progress.
There was only one potential new titleholder for 2020 and I am pleased
to say that Craig Solomons has achieved his Expert
status with 5 170 flat ratings in a row. Craig actually managed 175
games in the year so it definitely would have been a crime to discount
the whole year.
ratings data on the ABSP database website has been updated, however
where the 2020 data would have spoiled a player's run, a > symbol
indicates the years data has not been entered. Other data lower than
170 has been included for those who were not currently part-way into
achieving a title.
The only new 170+ performers this year were Moses Peter (182) and Ying
Ming Poh (175).
Next year does not seem to be able to yield any new titles, except with
some big performances above current averages.
If anyone has any query regarding their individual performance then
please get in touch - though I only have data for those who played 30
games or more and had a flat rating of over 150.
Happy New Year!
Last updated: 1 January 2021
2020 has been a strange year for all of us, but it has certainly had
major effects on the game we all love.
Earlier in the year, there were some committee changes that went
unannounced due to COVID-19 and all that went with it, and there are
also some further changes as we enter 2021.
Firstly, we had a change of Youth Officer, earlier in the year as James
Burley left the committee due to work commitments. We would like to
thanks him for his efforts on the committee and his work at filling the
void with online events.
Sumbul Siddiqui took over the Youth role in May, but with the current
situation it has been difficult to make much progress. We welcome Sumbul
and once we are back out in the open, her enthusiasm will help immensely
in making progress in this area.
The big changes, however, are with the officers.
Mike Whiteoak will be stepping down as Chairman at the end of
the year, and back into his role as Ratings Officer and Tournament
Co-ordinator. Mike only ever intended to be a short-term chairman, and
he has helped keep the ABSP moving during some difficult times. We are
glad we are not losing his expertise from the committee and he agreed
to stay on in his important role.
Wayne Kelly will be taking over as Chairman from January, and we are glad
to say Ross Mackenzie will be rejoining the committee as Treasurer. Ross
was an excellent Treasurer and Chairman during his time on the ABSP
committee previously and can only be an asset to all of us going forward.
We'd also like take this opportunity to thank you for your support
in this difficult year and remind all those that have not yet renewed
that 2021 subs
are a minimum of £6 for 2021 only. Thanks also to those who have
renewed and further donated already.
2021 is still very much up in the air for everything but we hope we can
start to return to normal when it is safe to do so.
In order to keep access to the members-only
ABSP Discussion Facebook group, the ABSP Online League
and the ABSP database, please make payment on the ABSP
website by PayPal, bank transfer or cheque to Nuala O'Rourke. There is also an option to make an extra donation as you see fit.
Many thanks & Happy New Year
Last updated: 31 December 2020
Update on in-person rated tournament play
The ABSP committee met at the end of July to discuss a number of current
issues, and you can see a summary of decisions taken in the next
OnBoard. You will have also already seen some action as a result of the
meeting such as our polling on the slurs debate.
It has been some time now since we reviewed our position on face-to-face
events. Getting people back to playing over a board rather than a
computer screen is something we all want but government guidelines
have made it very difficult to allow tournaments as they used to be.
However, with some of the lockdown restrictions now eased and more things
opening back up, the ABSP have decided that small invitational events
for groups of 6 people or fewer, and 1-1 league matches that mostly take
place inside homes, will be allowed to be rated from Saturday 1st August.
Larger events in community centres, hotels, or other such buildings
will still not be sanctioned for rating until further restrictions
are lifted and these events can operate safely. Everyone can, and
must, make their own decision, whether the time is
right to get back to live play and we recommend players look at their
own individual circumstances and consider what precautions may be
necessary. We ask members to make the right choice for them, but also
respect other people's choices. We encourage all players to assess their
own risk levels, as they would other aspects of their daily lives. Any
players with underlying health conditions or in a high risk category are
advised to be extra cautious. If you choose to play any form of rated
Scrabble from 1st August, it will be at your own risk.
The ABSP's COVID-19 statement
has been updated in line with the above.
It is impractical for the 2020 AGM to be held face to face. However,
the ABSP need to hold an AGM no later than 15 months after the last one
to be within the rules of the association. We have therefore taken
the decision that this will be held online on the Zoom platform. The
date will be the afternoon of Sunday 1st November, and we are asking
for motions to be submitted by Monday 31st August to give us time to
prepare the agenda and get the pack to members. There'll be further
details on how to do this in OnBoard.
Whilst it may still be some time before we can
all meet again in person, don't forget there are regular events on ISC and
the ABSP Online
league to help you with your Scrabble fix, and to stay in touch with
the wider community.
Last updated: 16 August 2020
Mind Sports Olympiad 2020 Scrabble Results
Congratulations to Olaiya Kabir for winning the gold medal for the Mind
Sports Olympiad 2020 Scrabble main event, finishing with an unbeaten
12-0 (+1445) record in a field with over 70 players, featuring many strong
players from around the world.
Although Olaiya had been Gibsonised, there were 9 other players sitting on
8 or 8½ wins going into a tense final round. Adegboyega Akintokun
(9-3, +847) took the silver medal and Samuel Onifade (9-3, +728) the
bronze, with Austin Shin (9-3, +612) and Olumide Oyejide (9-3, +425)
just missing out on spread.
Over 50 players took part in the Speed Scrabble event the previous
evening. There were three players level on wins after the 10 preliminary
rounds were completed: Adegboyega Akintokun (8-2, +920), Olaiya Kabir
(8-2, +894) and Waseem Khatri (8-2, +538) This tournament used a
play-off to determine the medallists, where Adegboyega defeated both
Olaiya and Waseem to take the gold medal, with Olaiya beating Waseem to
secure the silver.
The two events were organised in partnership by ABSP and Mind Sports Olympiad. Chris Harrison
and Wayne Kelly ran the tournament, with assistance from Natalie Zolty.
Many games were streamed live on Facebook and/or Twitch:
Will Anderson and Sumbul Siddiqui: Main Event, rounds 9-12
and also Speed Scrabble (FB);
Craig Beevers: Main event and also
Speed Scrabble, his own games (Twitch)
Ben Schoenbrun: Main event, rounds 6-12, his own games (Twitch)
Note that streams on Twitch may expire after a few weeks
Main Event |
Speed Scrabble |
Speed Scrabble Play-offs (PDF)
Last updated: 10 August 2020
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