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
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