See below for full event report.
|Round||Game||Players||Play Through||.gcg file download|
|1||1||Steve Perry||Mike Whiteoak||Play Through||Download|
|2||1||Sandie Simonis||Ed Martin||Play Through||Download|
|3||1||Steve Perry||Terry Kirk||Play Through||Download|
|6||1||Ed Martin||Mike Whiteoak||Play Through||Download|
|8||1||Chris May||Terry Kirk||Play Through||Download|
|8||2||Ed Martin||Steve Perry||Play Through||Download|
|9||1||Ed Martin||Chris May||Play Through||Download|
|10||1||Chris May||Ed Martin||Play Through||Download|
The second of Amy Byrne's tournaments with De Vere Venues took place on 14th-15th July at Gorse Hill, an elegant mansion set in the Surrey countryside a few miles outside Woking. 30 players were divided into three groups of 10 to play 13 games.
Visting Australian WSC team member Chris May had made his UK debut at the NSC regional the previous weekend and obtained an impressive provisional rating of 196. Terry Kirk, Ed Martin, Mike Whiteoak and Steve Perry provided the main opposition. Steve took an early lead, averaging 472pts per game over the first five rounds, but at the end of the first day Chris remained unbeaten on 7-0 overnight. His play of REAEDIFY against Cecil Muscat proved his worth; hooking it in the corner with REAEDIFYE/EXTINE for 90 next turn was definitely the piece de resistance.
The next morning the field was thrown open as Chris lost to Ed and Terry; Mike Whiteoak was briefly in second place while Steve started to fall behind and David Shenkin was consistently held outside the top three. However, David compensated for this with an outstanding play of BIOGRAPHIZED (around GRAPH), a move which will hold a place in Scrabble folklore for years to come. Regrettably neither player recorded their racks to enable the game to appear here.
In the end Chris proved unstoppable and was Gibsonized for the final round, finishing in style with a 200pt win against Mike to claim the division and raise his provisional rating to a mighty 203.
Ruth MacInerney was the highest-rated player in the group and held the lead from the very first round. Two wins by a total of 600pts against her main opposition cemented her dominance and the other players soon realised they were fighting for second place. Mary Siggers and Wanda de Poitiers were strong contenders but in the end Graham Bonham snatched runner up spot. Annie Hawes was the lowest rated player in the division but performed well against a tough field, capping her performance with a play of SATIRICAL (from AIIRST? onto AL) against Ruth in the final round... not bad going for a sixteen year old provisionally rated 119 at the time.
Marjorie Smith had won Div C at Cheadle only two weeks earlier and looked set to do the same here, but Philippa Morris had other ideas and held a steady lead for most of the event. Adrian Noller got off to a strong start (6-1 overnight) but fell away on the second day. In the end Philippa held strong and won with a round to spare, while Margaret Seabrook took second place.
It is interesting to note that the top-rated player won each group, in each case with one round to spare. Maybe those ratings do mean something after all!
David Shenkin's BIOGRAPHIZED was the talk of the weekend and with standings and match reports going live onto uk-scrabble it was soon known across the land. Other interesting words played included THEELIN, SCOOBY, COLONUS, TANAISTE, MISPLACING (onto ACING), STAGERY, COCOTTES, TATTOOER, MIHI, PROVAND, REMUDAS, PORTIERE, SOUPCON, ADDAX, ELECTRO (twice), FISHNET and ANTICKE.