An International Festival of Scrabble in Christchurch NZ
The WESPA 5th World Senior Scrabble Championship
The WESPA 5th World Senior Scrabble Championship was held in Christchurch NZ on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd November 2017. The only qualification required for entry was to be 55 or over. There were prizes for the first ten placings. The prize for the top player being $1,000. There was also a prize for the top player in each age group. Present were 86 players from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Wales, and USA,
Before play on Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, the overseas players were given a Maori welcome (a powhiri) commencing with a call to the guests (manuhiri). The ceremony was concluded by the hongi and shaking of hands by the welcoming party and guests.
The format was a swiss draw where, for the first game, the higher ranked players are drawn to play with the higher ranked players in the lower half of the field. And so on down to the lower ranked players in the top half playing the lower ranked players in the lower half. In subsequent games players are drawn to play with those who are close to them in game wins. This, as opposed to what happens in a graded round robin, means that players may be put with opponents from a great range of rankings.
Twenty-four games were played in all. Nine games were played on each of the first two days and six games on day three.
The tournament was won by Joanne Craig, Australia & NZ, with 19 wins and a spread of 1790. Second was Howard Warner, NZ, with 19 wins and a spread of 1475.
TV3 were present on the first day of play and TV1 on the third and last day of play. The Christchurch Press and the N Z Herald were also present.
The WESPA Early Bird Warmup Tournament
On 18th and 19th November, just before the main event, the WESPA Early Bird Warmup Tournament was held. This was open to players of any age. The format for this tournament was also a swiss draw with a field of 66 players. Fourteen games were played in all. Seven played each day.
This tournament was won by Howard Warner with 12 wins and a spread on 1511. Second was Patrick Carter with 11.5 wins and a spread of 668.
Report on The Battle of the Gorge September 2017
Rotorua and Tauranga have battled again at the Gorge Challenge. Held at Diamond Sands, Papamoa on 29/09/2017, the two teams of seven players each had a fun, friendly time playing in earnest to win this challenge.
The day ended with an original and stirring poem written and read by Rotorua’s President, Joanne, in which she likened her teammates to medieval warriors.
Tauranga Scrabble Club, as hosts, provided big and varied morning and afternoon teas, although Heather forgot to bring the crackers to go with the yummy cheeses!
A number of players from each team enjoyed their first experience of playing scrabble outside of their own clubs and the margin was close. Tauranga managed to take the trophy with 27 wins against Rotorua’s 22 wins.
Rotorua, as last years winners, presented the trophy (The Rock) with all due pomp and ceremony to Tauranga Club and we all look forward to next years challenge which will be hosted by Rotorua.
The Tauranga Scrabble Cub held its annual tournament on 26th & 27th August 2017.
72 players attended including those who had come from as far away as Christchurch and Whangarei.
A Memorable Game at the 2017 Tauranga Tournament
260 Was her score.
Using an F on the board, he put down his second bonus word of the game, INFLATES and scored 62 points.
390 was now his score. He is now ahead by 130 points.
As she was starting to place tiles on the board he gleefully told her that here were now no tiles left in the bag.
Using a D on the board, she put down her second bonus word of the game, WHISTLED and scored 95 points.
355 was now her score. 35 less than his and the game is now over.
Too little too late she thinks. But no!
He turns his rack around to show the tiles he has been left with: Q H P I S O O. Double the value of these tiles, 42, was added to her score.
397 is now her score. A win to her with a spread of 7.
There may be a moral to this story!
Report on The Bridge Challenge 2017 by Margaret B
The annual ‘Bridge Challenge’ between Tauranga and Papamoa/Mt Maunganui scrabblers was held on Thursday 18 May 2017, with 14 players participating.
The challenge is hosted alternately, and this year it was Tauranga’s turn. We were fortunate to have the use of Heather’s home, with its magnificent view across the harbour to our iconic Mauao.
Realising we weren’t there to sit and gaze at the landscape, we started the first of our seven games at 9am. Of course, we stopped for teas and lunch, with plentiful and delicious morning and afternoon tea supplied by Tauranga. We hardly needed to take our own lunch!
The result – of the 49 games played, 24 were won by Papamoa/Mt Maunganui and 25 by Tauranga. We couldn’t have had a closer contest, but congratulations must go to Tauranga whose name will be engraved on the trophy.
Report on The Kaimai Challenge 2017 by Shirley M
The Kaimai Challenge was held in sunny Tauranga on 8th April with a lovely view of the harbour on one side and what once was a bowling green on the other. Thanks to the Vintage Car Club for the use of their club rooms.
This Scrabble tournament is held yearly, between Kiwi (Hamilton) and Tauranga Scrabble Club, hence called the Kaimai Challenge. Hosted by us, Tauranga, this year, we won quite handsomely by 63 games to 35. There were fourteen members in each team, in two sections.
A scrumptious morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea was enjoyed by all. We look forward to the challenge again next year on Kiwi’s territory!
Report on The Battle of the Gorge 2016
The annual Battle of the Gorge between Tauranga and Rotorua was held this year on Friday the 16th September at the home of Tim and Janny in Rotorua as it was Rotorua’s turn to host the event.A total of 14 players took part with 7 representing each club.
The day dawned wet and gloomy – perfectly suited for a day of indoor activities. The gloom was restricted to outdoors though, as the day was spent enjoying the Scrabble competition and socialising with club members from both sides of the Gorge.
Tauranga brought a strong team to the clash and hoped to take the trophy back with them, having won it on their home turf last year. Rotorua was up to the challenge though, leading 16-12 at the lunch break after four rounds and progressed through the following three rounds to take out the clash by 29-20. Kevin, of Rotorua, won all seven of his games, with Stan being the only Tauranga player to contain Kevin to a score of less than 400 for his game.
Top player on the day was Rotorua’s Kevin, winning seven games from seven, followed by Joanne with six wins. Top player for the Tauranga team was Elaine with five wins. All games were played in a great spirit and Merilyn presented the trophy, to Rotorua President Tim, and thanked the hosts for such an enjoyable day.
Much appreciation must go to Ruth for her organisation both before and during the event including input of results between games. Also to Tim and Janny for providing their home for a pleasant playing environment. Tim also manned the coffee machine (making his famous delicious coffees) and organised the morning and afternoon teas.
Report on Ruby Year events 2016 by Shirley M. (edited)
Roses are RED, so too was the Ruby Anniversary Tournament held in Tauranga, the weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August at the Tauranga Bridge Club. April heralded the Committee to brainstorm ideas for the upcoming celebration. On 31st May, a ‘Ruby’ morning tea was held for previous and present club members. Lovely to see the likes of Maurine S, who was an A grade member way back last century, who introduced Shirley B and myself to our first tournament in Hamilton! Prior to the event we gained much publicity from our local newspapers headed ‘Heady World of Competitive Scrabble’, quoting Barack Obama, Mel Gibson AND mentioning that even the Queen dabbles. An entry of 74 players, familiar and new faces alike joined in the Ruby tournament. Upon entry to the Bridge Club building which was decorated, red balloons and streamers, entrants also turned up wearing red. After Barbara welcomed everyone, there was the ‘Ruby Year Tauranga Scrabble Club Song’ presented by Heather, sister Ruth and Chris, Jo Ann’s husband, with their ukuleles, accompanied by the two ‘Shirleys’, to the tune “Ruby, don’t take your love to town”. Ruby Year Anniversary Song Morning and afternoon tea, you guessed it, red based food! Barbara our President is to be congratulated for her wonderful organisational skills. Photo boards, memorabilia going back 40 years, with input from Jeff G, John F, the making of the anniversary cake, hosting a billet, not to mention the rest of the Committee doing a wonderful job as well. Well done team!