Keeping It Simple
In recent years, Amy Byrne has usually put on the Spring Matchplay event
over May Day Bank Holiday. For 2019, she teamed up with Nicky Huitson
and Peter Thorpe to keep things SIMPLE, hosting Scottish International
Matchplay Live in Edinburgh, at a once familiar location that had played
host to many ABSP rated events in years gone by. The triumvirate hoped
to attract a strong international field, and substantial sponsorship,
delivering on both counts as well as attracting universal positive
comments from those who took part.
In total 64 entrants contested the 2 divisions, with a third of all
players taking home a cash prize. In addition, there were a number of
special prizes available to be won, and all entrants received a Passport
with discounts on local activities, food and drink and attractions. NSC
2018 champion Ed Martin led the early charge averaging 500+ to top the
standings on day 1, but most of day 2 was dominated by close friends
and rivals Brett Smitheram and Dave Koenig. Brett would hold a two game
cushion overnight, with Craig Beevers moving up to third.
I don't know if Brett was "wild and wired" on day 3, and he was probably
speaking more than the "language of love" but some other lyrics of his
entrance song "The Best" by Tina Turner did prove prophetic as his lead
was soon enough unassailable and his 9th Major was secured. Dave Koenig
held on for 2nd place with a rallying Ed recovering from any day 2 blip
to finish 3rd. Special mention must also go to Ahmed Khan who finished
4th despite being ranked only 17th and Steve Perry who denied his D
classification (ranked 26th) to finish 10th.
In the Rated division, there was a similar story. Tom Wilson led the early
pace, despite being ranked only 12th, but ultimately was overhauled by
Hong Kong's Jason Tsang Wai Yin, now studying in Brighton. In the end,
it was an equally dominant display by the youngster, only losing 3 of
his 22 games on the route to victory, and recording a 171 tournament
rating. Terry Kang Rau finished in 2nd place with Caroline McLaughlin
3rd. Tom was the top B class player in 5th place, with other impressive
showings above rating from Margaret Harkness, Caroline Foy and Maria
Marczak. Both division winners are pictured here.
There are many individual reports to be found on social media and Lewis
Mackay will also be uploading some annotated games onto Cross-Tables. A
fuller report from Nicky Huitson will also appear in the next edition
of Onboard. It's not clear yet when SIMPLE will return to the tournament
calendar, but it's sure to be a popular addition when it does.
Reflecting on the 2019 event, Brett said "SIMPLE was the kind of
tournament that brought me to love Scrabble - fun, well-run, friendly
and in surroundings that you could enjoy outside of the hard work
of actual playing! My opponents were of top quality and the play was
outstanding. I'll be back, as I'm sure everyone else will."
Last updated: 7 May 2019