Association of British Scrabble Players

Phil Robertshaw is the 2016 National Scrabble Champion - October 11th

Phil Robertshaw winning the 2016 NSCLast weekend Phil Robertshaw (38) of Nailsea (originally from Ellesmere Port) finally reaped reward for his dedication to years of serious Scrabble word study and practice when he won the final critical game in round 17 at this year’s ABSP National Scrabble Championship (NSC) in Milton Keynes against Lewis Mackay (Cambridge) to take the title.

52 players from around the UK took part, each having qualified through regional events earlier in the year. With the field including two past world champions and several previous NSC winners, Robertshaw had to be at the peak of his game to win 14 of the games.

The games are played with clocks so each player has 25 minutes each to play all their moves in, which also demands clear and calm thinking if a game comes down to the wire with scores close and just minutes left. Four of Robertshaw’s wins were by fewer than 20 points, his narrowest win being a nail-biting 4 points.

Phil Robertshaw winning the 2016 NSCRobertshaw didn’t let the nerves get to him when it mattered in game 17, finding delightful words such as UPVALUED (78 points) from an otherwise awful rack of ADLPUUV, slotting a neat HAIKU for 62 points, and managing to pluralise Mackay’s NANOWIRE to score a tripleword with ZINCS (68 points) before fending off endgames threats.

His average game score over the 17 games was 470 and his highest game score was 604.

Some of the great bonus-scoring words that he played in this year’s event:

DAVIDIA A Chinese shrub
DETRAQUE a deranged person (from French)
KEROGEN the organic matter in oil-shale that yields oil
NIHONGA a Japanese style of painting using bright colours
WHIMBREL a small European curlew with a striped head

Full statistics of the event can be found here:

Allan Simmons - ABSP Development Manager
First image courtesy of © Mauro Pratesi