Paul Gallen wins ABSP Masters
Congratulations to Paul Gallen who has become 2019 Masters champion
with another dominant display that mirrored his efforts at the Festival
of Scrabble against arguably much tougher opposition.
In a field packed with experts and grandmasters, including a
string of former champions, Paul secured victory with a round to spare
finishing 13-3, +1005. It’s his 3rd Masters title following back to
back victories in 2013 and 2014, and the 10th Major of his career -
his 2nd in successive weekends. Now rated 199, only Nigel Richards (204)
ranks ahead of him in current UK ratings lists. Paul dedicated his latest
win to his recently deceased grandfather who had always been proud of
his Scrabble achievements.
David Webb was Masters Champion way back in 2006, and last won a Major
(BEST) in 2009, but he rolled back the years this weekend pushing Paul
much of the way to finish a very creditable 2nd on 11-5, +918. A strong
Sunday in which he won six of his last seven games was enough to elevate
Lewis Mackay into 3rd place on 10-6, +477.
Finishing 5th it was also a good weekend for Natalie Zolty, who is
now the highest female on the ratings list. In a little over a month,
performances of 201, 211, 197 and 191 have seen her advance 10 points
to a new ratings peak of 180.
For many players, qualifying for the Masters is a major achievement in
itself, so kudos to all who took part. Here's a picture of the contenders
for the 2019 Masters. Could you be there in 2020?
Back row: Rafal, Lewis, Elie, Paul A
Middle row: Vince, Neil, David, Colin, Chris
Front row: Wayne, Harshan, Natalie, Bob, Rik, Paul G, Diane
Last updated: 22 July 2019