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Report from Karen Richards:

Before WYSC, NASCAP (the Scrabble Association of the Philippines) organised a free tour for some participants, travelling by JEEPNEY. After this, we ran the traditional Trivia plus Team Scrabble event (6 rounds of trivia, with three team games of Scrabble, KOH), to encourage players to mix - each team had to include players from three different countries, although one of these was allowed to be an adult. Fourteen teams competed, and included some top players like Howard Warner, Cheah, and Nathan Benedict. Prizes of t-shirts were awarded to the three top teams:
1. SAM GUN: Kim Rubina (Phil), Arvinran Rajendran (Mal), Shahvoz Zamir (Pak)
2. TABLE 8: Pranav Kaarthik (Qat), Lim Moa Fong (Mal), Phillip Hamilton (Aust)
3. MASAQA: Joe Leqoalane (Sth Afr), Benjamin Choo (Mal), Sreevatsan B (Qat)

This is the first WYSC to be held outside the recognised major Scrabble countries (we have run one in Australia, and three in Malaysia). It was a learning exercise for both WESPA and NASCAP personnel. However, nothing major went wrong, except for the delay in publishing results of the final two rounds. Many things went very right, with the Filipinos showing the world how things should be done, in regards a Gala evening for all players and accompanying adults. The food was wonderful, particularly the *butchi – unfortunately not a Scrabble word, but it is a tasty little hot roll filled with something which tasted like black sesame. We were entertained by children from “The Learning Tree”, playing local instruments and demonstrating dancing between moving bamboo sticks. Some young players tried this, causing much laughter. Marvi Delfin sang, then Joe and Faraad demonstrated South African “house” dancing. After this, everyone crowded the small dance floor, and some true camaraderie and congo lines ensued.

Another thing NASCAP did better than anyone else has ever done was the WYSC t-shirt. Kim Rubina designed it, and I expect to be the envy of Scrabble Players all over the world when I wear it – the back reads “BORN TO PLAY SCRABBLE”!

They were also more successful in the area of media – including having a short feature on TV. Huge banners 3 metres high blazoned “Scrabble” across the façade of the Great Eastern Hotel.

Eighty-two young players (plus 40 adult players) played 24 and 25 games respectively. We have removed the final playoff for WYSC, and structured the format such that players will match each other a maximum of 3 times, over 24 games. The night before WYSC, we expected to be starting without Ker Jen Ho, Cheong Yi Wei, and Cheong Yi Hua, after their Malaysian Airlines flight was cancelled. Ker Ken Wa spent eventually found a Cebu flight travelling through the night. After 2 hours sleep, the three late-arrivals fronted up, and proceeded to play extremely well.

The lead changed many times throughout the tournament – at any time, it could have been Oluwafemi Akinlosotu (Nig), Preedee Khongthanarat (Thai), or one of the Malaysians (William Kang or Ker Jen Ho) who would win the coveted spot in World Scrabble Championship 2011. Oluwafemi won his first twelve games, then struck the most promising female player ever to come from Thailand - Sirinapa Srinornil. Other ladies to work their way up to play at table 1 included Natasha, Kitty-Jean and Jessica. Twelve-year old Cheong Yi Hua missed out on selection for team Malaysia, but her parents paid the entry fee for her to compete as a “non-qualifying” player. She justified her parents’ faith in her, by finishing nineteenth and winning the Encouragement Award (for the youngest player in the top 25). Another player who chose, a few days before WYSC, to compete as a non-qualifying player, was Irwin Goh. Irwin was the recipient of the Paulette Yeoh Memorial Award, for someone who helped enhance the image of Scrabble. Before and during WYSC, if anyone needed something done, there was Irwin, ready and willing to help with a smile. We need more “Irwins” in this Scrabble World, and more Martin Teos, Senaka Jayasinghes, and Cheahs. Without this group of hardy helpers, WYSC 2010 would not have been a success. An additional award was made, which should have been presented last year - the Roy Kietzmann Memorial “Spirit of Scrabble” award, for someone who is giving much to others in the Scrabble community. The recipient, Jacob Sunny, was unable to attend this year, but his fellow Qatar players proudly accepted on his behalf. Jacob has recruited and trained many new young players.

We had a problem with the High Word, as the only trophy had to be shared between Jessica Pratesi (UK) and Pranav Kaarthik (Qat). After Pranav had submitted his results, he recalculated the score for his word, and told Cheah that it needed to be adjusted from 160 down to 158. We were all impressed with his integrity.

It was great to see the host country fielding a top ten player for the first time this year, Mohd Bin Abdul Suma (You were right, Odette!)

Two new countries entered the fray this year, and are certain to be back even stronger next year. the best of these players, Shahzaib Khatri, is related to Waseem Khatri, Pakistan’s top adult player. The fledgling South Africa youth Scrabble scene intends to produce a larger and stronger team in 2011 (Alastair and I flying to Cape Town next month to assist in training them. If any other WESPA countries need our assistance, we may be able to arrange a visit late in 2011, as Alastair will have time before starting his post-graduate studies)

The best overall team this year was Malaysia, with 4 players in the top ten. These are the average placings of each team (qualified players only, except for the inclusion of Cheong Yi Hua who finished ahead of a qualified Malaysian player)

Malaysia 11.6
Singapore 13.6
Aust 21.3
Sri Lanka 26
Thailand 27.7
Philippines 37.8
UK 40
Pakistan 43.7
Nigeria 47.3
Qatar 55
UAE 55
Sth Africa 60.7
India 62
Indonesia 73

This is the full list of prize winners:
WINNER Ker Jen Ho (Mal)
SECOND Preedee Khongthanarat (Tha)
THIRD William Kang (Mal)
FOURTH Oluwafemi Akinlosotu (Nig)
FIFTH Kitty-Jean Laginha (Aust)
SIXTH Tawan Paepolsiri (Tha)
SEVENTH Vinnith Ramamurti (Mal)
EIGHTH Mohd Bin Abdul Suma (Phi)
NINTH Jessica Pratesi (UK)
TENTH Looi Yih Feng (Mal)

HIGH GAME Shahroz Zamir Ansari (Pak) 610
HIGH WORD Pranav Kaarthik (Qat) 158 SELECTED
Jessica Pratesi (UK) 158 VEERINGS

ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD (youngest player in top 25) Cheong Yi Hua (Mal) aged 12

BEST PLAYER BORN 1/1/2001 or later Jessie Hannah David (Qat)
BEST PLAYER BORN 1/1/1999 or later Migara Jayasinghe (Sri Lanka)
BEST PLAYER BORN 1/1/1997 or later Victor Gwee (Sing)
BEST PLAYER BORN 1/1/1995 or later William Kang (Mal)

BEST NOVICE (first time competitor) Vinnith Ramamurti (Mal)


Full results are below. For a game-by-game record for each players, see the website www.youthscrabble.org

Karen Richards
Chair, Youth Committee

Rank Player Wins Mar
1 Ker Jen Ho 19 1576
2 Preedee Khongthanara 18.5 1459
3 William Kang 18 1283
4 Oluwafemi Akinlosotu 16.5 1249
5 Kitty-Jean Laginha 16 694
6 Tawan Paepolsiri 16 607
7 Vinnith Ramamurti 15 1012
8 Mohd Bin Abdul Suma 15 807
9 Jessica Pratesi 15 752
10 Looi Yih Feng 15 452
11 Ransimala Weerasoori 15 305
12 Wong Zhi Yuan 14 1724
13 Victor Gwee 14 696
14 Michael McKenna 14 679
15 Yasiru Fernando 14 617
16 Ng Li Ki 14 608
17 Jagan Narayanan 14 591
18 Sirinapa Srinornil 14 449
19 Cheong Yi Hua 14 402
20 Matthew Malitao 14 236
21 Nishan Perera 14 186
22 Jayden Kuhne 14 50
23 Pathorn Kheovichai 14 -550
24 Cheong Yi Wei 13 1126
25 Yeshan Jayasuriya 13 570
26 Natasha Podesser 13 548
27 Worawut Thamrongvara 13 257
28 Phillip Hamilton 13 194
29 Thanaphong Thiamsee 13 173
30 Jamin Dispanya 13 94
31 Shahzaib Khatri 13 73
32 Vinu Wijesekera 13 8
33 Marvi Delfin 13 -254
34 Pranav Kaarthik 13 -330
35 Migara Jayasinghe 12.5 413
36 Albert Leealcovendes 12.5 -9
37 Arvinran Rajendran 12 348
38 Kobtun Khongthanarat 12 103
39 Mae Villagonzalo 12 52
40 Traci Malitao 12 33
41 Shahroz Zamir Ansari 12 -3
42 Vladimir Bacani 12 -32
43 Joy Policher 12 -103
44 Dinuk De Silva 12 -108
45 Tim Butcher 12 -127
46 Siva Sethupathy 12 -241
47 Angelica Frogosa 12 -345
48 Joe Leqoalane 12 -560
49 Javeria Arshad Mirza 11 366
50 John Carlo Peralta 11 244
51 Balaji Sreevatsan 11 159
52 Irwin Goh 11 125
53 Khiel Acasili 11 34
54 Minhaj Uddin Ahmad 11 -125
55 Dylan D'Souza 11 -205
56 Lim Mao Fong 11 -267
57 Muhammad Jananzaib 11 -296
58 Opeuluwa Adewale 11 -384
59 Dianna Rose Serquina 11 -674
60 Umair Khalidi 11 -1212
61 Fatima Arif Pabaney 10 -166
62 Tanvi Binani 10 -205
63 Nicholas Tan 10 -278
64 Faraad Moyce 10 -340
65 Mark Hettiaratchi 10 -459
66 Jack Durand 10 -497
67 Ralph Manasala 10 -508
68 Wilson Hioe 10 -600
69 Sharsindra Pratheen 10 -780
70 Tsholofelo Modise 10 -821
71 Sasika Jayasuriya 9 -199
72 Yousuf Baqir 9 -352
73 Kim Rubina 9 -403
74 Aldrin Escalante 9 -537
75 Richmon Geminiano 9 -594
76 Natthpath Chankajorn 9 -673
77 Benjamin Choo 9 -679
78 Calvin FWiselim 9 -783
79 Meenakshi Sethupathy 8 -754
80 Timilehin Dare 8 -1144
81 Elijah Paraiso 5 -1281
82 Jessie Hannah David 0 -3476

HIGH GAME: Shahroz Zamir Ansari 610

HIGH WORD: Jessica Pratesi 158 "VEERINGS"
Pranav Kaarthik 158 "SELECTED"