CSC2008 coverage

November 30, 2008 by

It’s the time of the year again, when I wake up to blogging. I am guessing some people may accidentally wind up here looking for coverage of Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2008, since as of just now, googling “causeway scrabble” brings this up as the first hit.

This year, Michael Tang has got himself the web domain and an official website for CSC. Browse over to instead, if you arrived here with the intention of looking for the latest updates on the 2008 edition of the event.

This year I shall be playing in the Open Division instead of helping running the event. Hence I may not get to provide running commentary as I did last year. However Michael is looking into ways to get people on the ground to be able to contribute commentaries which the organizers may post up, so you may still get colour coverage yet, beside the stats and annotated games that are sure to be available. (FYI Michael is looking to put as many annotated games from Masters up for move-by-move viewing, so everyone should be in for a treat.)

If opportunity (and mood ; I foresee lots of downcast moments…) permits, I shall contribute at the official site. And there are a few other people who I know have in the past helped give instant news from tourneys they attend, people like Albert Hahn and Sam K, so there should be things to read besides stats.

I may still post the occasional comments in this blog, primarily on my own games. Not sure if anyone will read it anyway, so it shall be a bit lower on my priority list.

Now to revise my 3s. Sigh. Looking forward to Thursday when I won’t even bother thinking about revising and just enjoy playing.


Closing post

December 2, 2007 by

I am now back in Singapore, dashing off to bid the jam of migrant workers crossing over from Malaysia to Singapore every Sunday evening. Three more annotated games have been completed and put up. Unfortunately I had lost the annotation sheet of Round 25, so, there will be no games for that round.

All in all, I felt it was a good and enjoyable tourney. The race was much closer, with individual and team winners in premier not decided until the last round; unlike last year where Ganesh and team Australia ran away well ahead of the rest. This year the excitement lasted till the very last round. The margin too was the closest yet in all 7 years of CSC, with first- to third-placed team separated by a mere 1.5 points.

We will need to do something about the Open division though 😉

At the end of the tourney fun prizes was given. As with the tradition started two years ago, three lucky draw prizes were given: air tickets to one of the following tourneys: CSC 2008, Penang Open 2008 (Malaysia) or King’s Cup 2008 (Thailand). The lucky winners were Rosario Lambino (PHI), Purinth Vuttich (THA) , and James Gunner (AUS). There were also prizes for 3 best juniors outside top 10 (Ramaraj Sundraraj (MAL), Toh Wei Bin (SIN), and Alastair Richards (AUS)), 3 best seniors (i.e. above 50) outside top 10 (Rosario Lambino (PHI), Chim Wai Main (MAL), Yeap Gim Sai (MAL)).

Michael has also announced the dates for CSC2008: 3-7 Dec 2008. It is 5 days, because Michael has announced that Premier division is going to be a 45-game affair among 10 teams: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, Canada, Nigeria, and team International. To sweeten things, he announced a first prize of USD10,000.
Open division is also set to be boosted to become a 36-game tourney over 4 days, with enlarged prize kitty too.

I will end this with a few pictures taken during the tourney. It has been for me, I think it has been for the players, I hope it has been fun also for people following the blog.

The Grand Ballroom of Hotel Zon Regency, where CSC 2007 was held

The Grand Ballroom of Hotel Zon Regency, the venue for CSC 2007

The first 10-letter played, Henry Yeo (MAL) vs Bob Jackman (AUS)

The first 10-letter word in the tourney, Henry Yeo (MAL) vs Bob Jackman (AUS)

Oldest player (Albert Hahn, INT) vs youngest player (Ong Suanne, MAL)

Oldest player (Albert Hahn, INT) vs youngest player (Ong Suanne, MAL)

Eight-bingo game between Albert Hahn (INT) and Hubert Wee (SIN)

Eight-bingo game between Albert Hahn (INT) and Hubert Wee (SIN)

Eight-bingo game between Ong Suanne (MAL) vs Goh Jiang Pern (SIN)

Eight-bingo game between Ong Suanne (MAL) and Goh Jiang Pern (SIN) 

Liew Kian Boon (SIN) vs Henry Yeo (MAL), featuring 10-letter word and 7-tile overlap

Liew Kian Boon (SIN) vs Henry Yeo (MAL), featuring a 10-letter word and a 7-tile overlap

Final result

December 2, 2007 by

And it’s over. We are in the midst of prizegiving ceremony (Tim Michaels just stepped forward to receive his prize).

As I mentioned before, Malaysia needed to beat Singapore 4-1. Halfway through, Malaysia already won 3 boards (Nigel, Ganesh, and Suanne). Liew Kian Boon (SIN) beat Henry Yeo (MAL) in a board with many fun plays, and Andy Kurnia (SIN) saved the day by beating Vannitha (MAL), allowing Singapore to emerge winners of the team tournament at 69.5 points. Malaysia is one behind at 68.5, and Thailand failed to overtake Malaysia, ending at 68 after beating Australia 3-2.

In the individual section, Ganesh has secured his title (for the 4th year in a row) by beating Hubert Wee (SIN) in the final round. At least Chris May (AUS) didn’t need to feel to dismayed with his loss to Komol (THA).

In my anxiety for the team result, I didn’t get to check out other boards. However the SIN-MAL matchup produced many beautiful plays. Ong Suanne (MAL) vs Goh Jiang Pern (SIN) at table 3 produced 8 bingos: her 5 were SEDARIM, SELVAGE, INVOLUTE, SHORTIA, and ROOTAGES; while his 3 were DERISION, CZARINA, and ALLOYING. 571-454 to Suanne.

At table 2 between Nigel and Cheah, the first (and only) 11-letter word in the tournament was spotted, MISBEGOtTEN. Nigel reported Cheah’s dismay on being beaten to extending the MISBEGOt bingo to the DWS.

Table 1 between Ganesh and Hubert resulted in 7 bingos, which would have been good in most games, but eclipsed by Table 3. AIRSTOP, WOMERAS, GLORIAS, DELUGING, and HERNIAE for Ganesh, VITIATES, and TEMPTING for Hubert. 543-457, Ganesh.

The most beautiful board though was table 4. PEASECoDS was on the board, but there was also a 10-letter word, VALORIZING from the TWS, Kian Boon’s extension of ZING. But Kian Boon had yet another beautiful play: after Henry Yeo played ISONOME, Kian Boon played a 7-letter overlap of TOPSMEN, forming LIT, ISO, BOP, KINS, OM, ME, and EN.

In the open division, Tony Sim beat Pui Cheng Wui (MAL) at the top table. One may expect that he would be third while the winner in table 2 stepped up to be second. But as luck would have it, we had a TIE in table 2 between Chaiwat (THA) and Dielle Saldanha (CAN), and both of them overtook Pui. To make things worse, Shim Yen Nee (SIN) at table 3 won by enough to overtake Pui by spread to end up 4th.

It’s a bit busy here, I will put up some more annotated games and summarise later, but for now, full results for both Premier and Open are accessible from the link.

Round 24 / 21 results

December 2, 2007 by

It is getting exciting as news of Chris May (AUS)’s defeat in the hand of Odette Rio (PHI) filtered through. Ganesh (MAL) beat Komol (THA) to tie Chris on wins. Ganesh played the natural HYOSCINE in the win.

Ganesh’s victory also helped Malaysia to a 4-1 win over Thailand. Singapore beat team International 3-2 to now be 2.5 points ahead of Thailand. Andy Kurnia (SIN) nine-timed Albert Hahn (INT) with E(s)TRIDGE (140)

In fact, Malaysia just overtook Thailand as the second-placed team. Singapore is 2 ahead of Malaysia, so a 4-1 result in Malaysia’s favour will see them win the tournament.

There will be a couple of intriguing game coming up: Ganesh (MAL) vs Hubert (SIN), Nigel (MAL) vs Cheah (SIN), Chris (AUS) vs Komol (THA).

Cheah Siu Hean (SIN) was bemoaning the fact that he was holding AEMRUU?, was presented an X on the board with which he saw the only playable bingo to the X [1], and chickened out of it. He squandered the chance and lost the game.

FUNGIC and FUNGAL were both played this round. Spores in the air?

In the Open division, Pui Cheng Wui found the nice BEDWARD. News just filtered through: Tony Sim (SIN) has beaten Dielle Saldanha (CAN) and won the Open Division.

Round 23 / 19 Results

December 2, 2007 by

We’re back, and the games are underway. Results for both sections are uploaded, but annotation will have to wait. Last two rounds will see more of the top guns playing each other, as intended by the pairings. A lot of the top 10 or top 10 contenders are playing each other now. Nigel vs Panupol, Ganesh vs Komol, Chris vs Odette, Hubert vs Gerry.

The previous round, Goh Jiang Pern (SIN) pulled out the crucial win in Singapore’s 3-2 win against Panupol Sujjayakorn (THA). Panupol played a nine-timer, FIELDING (167), but still lost in a massive game, 527-540. I hope I can scrounge together the racks later for posting.

I walked past Trevor Halsall (AUS) vs Dean Saldanha (INT) just as they went for self-adjudication. Two 8-letter words on the board: UNHOSTED and DEADE?ES. It turned out to be UNHOSTED which was challenged, and it’s not good. DEADEyES was a nice find though.

Tony Sim (SIN) has returned the favour to Pui Cheng Wui (MAL), by playing a nine-timer of his own, VENTAILE (158) against Pui. This leaves Dielle Saldanha (CAN) as the only one who can prevent Tony from winning the tournament. Dielle is on a 7-game winning streak and is one win behind Tony. Another North American Tim Michaels (USA) is also staging a late rally, winning 3 in a row with total spread of +539 to muscle his way into the top 10.

Lunch break

December 2, 2007 by

It’s lunch now and we were hustled out of the playing area before we can complete updates or results. Just key results that matter: Chris won, Ganesh won, team Singapore beat Thailand 3-2 (yay).

Games resume at 1:45 pm.

Round 22 / 19

December 2, 2007 by

Hubert Wee (SIN) had a big win over Michael Hornung (AUS), 635-374 with the help of the ninetimer EVACUATE (176) through the C.

Some nice six-letter words in the board between Cheah Siu Hean (SIN) vs Trevor Halsall (AUS): DESOXY and ZAIKAI. Cheah showed me his rack MUMBAI+T, and complained that there was no place for the bingo [1] by that time. Trevor’s game, and Australia’s win 3-2.

Australia’s win should have brought joy to the Thai team. Except for the fact that the Philippines are really playing the kingmaker now. Having beaten Singapore 4-1 the previous round, they repeated their feat against mighty Thailand, 4-1. Apirat Choomai (THA) contributed the Thai’s sole point against Tony Malonzo. I spotted the pretty AQUAVITS on this board. Marlon Prudencio, Oscar Rivera, and Robbie Onate beat Panupol, Komol, and Jakkrit respectively to help Singapore pull back to within 1 point behind. Let’s see if the Philippines can keep up their fire to the end of the round.

Next round Team Singapore is playing team Thailand, and with 0.5 points separateing the two teams, it’s everybody’s game. The two team “managers”, Michael Tang and Amnuay Ploysangngam are going round giving the team members pep talk and incentive to win the round. I’m sure there is more than pride going here 🙂

With Singapore and Thailand faltering, Australia has slowly inched its way back to contention. It will need fantastic result from Australia and Singapore and Thailand stopping each other, but it’s doable. Team Malaysia on the other hand is just one behind Australia and trying hard to overhaul them, with 3 rounds to go.

Pui Cheng Wui (MAL) has beaten Tony Sim (SIN) in Open Division table 1 with the help of the nine-timer GRIPPLEs. This means the two of them will face-off again in the next round. Waiting in the wings at table 2 next round are Chaiwat (THA) and Dielle Saldanha (CAN) who is on a 6-win run.


Round 21 / 18 results

December 2, 2007 by

I’ve confirmed with Chris: he played ALIKELY* instead of LEAKILY. It was his first move replying to Panupol, so he had a choice of both words. But in Chris’s word: If Panupol doesn’t challenge, why should he care? Chris got two more blanks for OBTUNDs and ROTUNDeR, so it did work out well for him.

Two annotated games to be put up this round: Odette Rio (PHI) vs Andy Kurnia and Dean Saldanha (CAN) vs Komol (THA). Singapore’s lead was short-lived with Thailand storming back to a 4-1 win against team International, and Philippines doing Thailand a favour by beating Singapore 4-1.

Robbie Onate (PHI) eked out a 6-point win against Hubert Wee (SIN). Robbie needed a bingo to catch up late in the game, and Hubert played HIN to restrict the board. Unfortunately, Robbie still managed to squeeze in ONEnESS, with -ESS overlapping HIN to make (SH)E, (TI)S, and (EN)S, AND another overlap at the top where ON- overlapped to form (I)O and (AN)N. A nice find, which left Hubert rueing his HIN play, because he could have played HON, that would block the bingo.

Bob Jackman (AUS) pulled out a win over Nigel Richards (MAL), helping Australia beat Malaysia 3-2. Checking the table next to it, Trevor Halsall (AUS) didn’t manage to pull the same feat on Ganesh Asirvatham (MAL). He pointed out two of Ganesh’s moves which scored above 100: ACTIVELY to the center star, and SQUIZ with Q on the DLS and Z the TWS. Ouch.

Tony Sim (SIN) has pulled two games clear in division 2, as both people who were trailing him, Chaiwat (THA) and early leader Jocelyn Lor (MAL) lost. Pui Cheng Wui (MAL) accounted for Jocelyn and is up next against Tony. Pui played the nice WHENUA against Jocelyn. He was disappointed that Jocelyn didn’t challenge. Another nice word spotted in Open division was DYSURIa in the game between Tan Jin Chor (MAL) and Toh Weibin (SIN).

In Premier, Chris is still continuing his fine run, and Ganesh in hot pursuit. The two next closest contenders, Nigel and Hubert, have both faltered, so it looks like all between Chris and Ganesh now.

Round 20 / 17 result

December 2, 2007 by

Two additional annotated games from earlier rounds have been put up: Chris May (AUS) vs Ganesh Asirvatham (MAL) and Ed Okulicz (AUS) vs Ganesh.

Team Singapore managed to beat team Malaysia 4-1, with upset wins against both Nigel and Ganesh by Hubert and Cheah. This incidentally, is Hubert’s 3rd win in a row against Nigel, extending his run in WSC. Coupled with team Australia’s 3-2 win against team Thailand, Singapore has vaulted into the lead now with 58.5 points to Thailand’s 57. Australia too has overtaken Malaysia and is now third with 53.5

Australia’s win and Malaysia’s loss was reflected by the fortunes of their top players: where Ganesh and Nigel stumbled, Chris May (AUS) has continued his fine run by beating Panupol Sujjayakorn (THA). He is now leading the field as the only player on 17 wins.

In the Open division, Tony Sim (SIN) won against Jocelyn Lor (MAL) and now is one clear of the field. Chaiwat (THA) and Jocelyn are one game behind and still with a shot. Four Singaporeans and four Malaysians are in the top 10, with the other two players in being Chaiwat and Dielle Saldanha (CAN) at 6th.

Some nice plays spotted: NOCTUOID (Ganesh), BIRYANIS (Goh JP), ALIKELY (Chris), SHAGREEN (Michael Hornung).

Day 3 starts

December 2, 2007 by

The final day of the tournament in has just started. And quite a number of big games scheduled. The way the Premier draw is done, every team will face different teams each round, so every five rounds they will meet the same team again. Since there are 6 rounds left to the end of the tourney, each team will be facing each other only once more after this round. Also, the pairing is such that in round 25 (last round), player 1s of the countries will play each other, player 2s play each other, etc.

Last round (and this round, since it cycles) Singapore plays Malaysia, Australia plays Thailand, Philippines play team International. Big matchups abound: like Nigel (MAL) vs Hubert (SIN), Chris (AUS) vs Panupol (THA).

A correction has been posted for the Open result that was put online yesterday; Tim Michaels’ result was found to be incorrect. The fixed result has been put up.

Six more games to go.