Association of British Scrabble Players

New Year's Honours List 2013

Firstly, a big thank you to John Grayson for providing the ratings data and award winners information, and his tireless work throughout the year.
Contained in this report will be Titles information, Highest Rated Player, Most Improved Player and a few other stats!
So we shall start with the new title-holders!
At the start of the year I predicted 4 new GMs (Grand Masters) and 6 Experts (though I found one more as we went along!). Unfortunately they have not all been successful due to various reasons, though some are because they have just not played!
I have though all 4 GM awards to give out but just 4 Experts...

The first new GM is Kevin McMahon. Kevin needed a 190 rating to fast-track his GM status with 3 190's in a row - he sailed in with a 198 performance, which was a personal best.

The second new GM award goes to Paul Gallen - the recent NSC champion. Paul needed just 166 for his GM status but also put in a personal best of just point lower than Kevin, 187. This gave him 5 180+ unweighted ratings in a row, and also an average of 185+ over 5 years.

Martin Harrison becomes the third new GM this year putting in a performance of 187, when he needed 180. This means Martin had 5 180+ ratings in successive years.

The final GM for 2013 is Theresa Brousson, who needed a 180 unweightwed rating. She did not have much to spare but 182 was enough to give her 5 years of 180+ performances.

The Experts are actually all UK resident which is pleasing to see!
Philips Owolabi returned to the scene this year, and just missed out on a place in he NSC final. I'm glad to say he has not missed out on his Expert status after a personal best of 192 game him 3 180 performances in 5 years. He needed just 180.

Howard Wilde has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and 184 was enough to clinch his Expert status, after needing just 169. He takes this slightly more unusual route of an 5 year average of 175+.

Andrew Goodwin is the dark horse of the Experts this year, having fast-tracked his Expert status with 3 180+ ratings in a row. He needed 180 and put in 183, though one of the years he played only 1 more than the minimum number!

Neil Green completes the set of 4 new Experts, meaning I have awarded titles this year to players resident in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and abroad! Neil needed just a 170 performance but upped a gear and put in a 180 performance for 5 170+ performances in consecutive years.

Two of the potential Experts missed their target - the other did not play. The ones that just missed out still have chances for the next year.
There were, however, 13 players recording their first 170 or above unweighted rating, though quite a few are foreign players playing in ABSP tournaments for the first time, so they might not make it all the way without playing the required number of games. (I did miss out Bob Linn in this category last year so apologies to him.)

They are:-
Victor Amartey (172)
Siu Hean Cheah (191)
David Delicata (171)
Oliver Garner (183)
John Hardie (171)
Clement Ikolo (171)
Chris Lipe (180)
Esther Perrins (178)
Jessica Pratesi (172)
Kristian Saether (173)
Tony Sim (183)
Mohammad Sulaiman (171)
Ben Withers (178)

Time to get the crystal ball are the potentials for GM and Expert next year.
GM - 2 possibles

Evan Cohen - needs 190 - 3 190+ in 5 years
Alastair Richards - needs 190 - 3 190+ in 5 years (could get Expert also with 180+)

Experts - 7 possibles

James Rossiter - needs 187 - 5 year average of 175+
Wale Fashina - needs 180 - 3 180+ in 5 year period
Bob Linn - needs 180 - 3 180+ in 5 year period
Toh Weibin - needs 180 - 3 180+ in 5 year period
Jason Carney - needs 170 - 5 170+ in 5 consecutive years
Calum Edwards - needs 170 - 5 170+ in 5 consecutive years
Feargal Weatherhead - needs 170 - 5 170+ in 5 consecutive years

There may be others who have potential but I have not included anyone who needs to give a personal best to achieve their new status.
Well done to all those new incumbents and good luck to those fighting it out this year.

ABSP Highest Rated player award

Criteria: At least 30 rated games in 2012, and ABSP member

Nigel Richards (211) and Adam Logan (205) are not ABSP members so the award goes to Lewis Mackay (199).

Most improved player.


Fully rated at 31/12/2011
At least 30 games in 2012
ABSP member
End 2012 rating must be higher than any previous end-of-year full rating

ImptRtg End 2012
+40 143 Jack Durand

Nearest contenders

ImptRtg End 2012
+28 183 Oliver Garner
+24 152 Dennis Hussey

+15 158 Abiodun Adeyemi
+15 134 Dave Hoskisson
+15 193 Philips Owolabi
+15 140 Theresa Scallan

+14 156 Kim Hands
+13 151 Christine Strawbridge
+13 121 Jenny Sakamoto

Some other stats
Most games played - Geoff Cooper (572)
Most prolific GM - Wayne Kelly (409) - exactly same number as last year!
Most prolific Expert - Bob Violett (284)

Well done to all winners - Jack's meteroric rise of 40 places is the joint third highest ever, and only short of the record by 3 points! Oliver and Dennis are unlucky as 20+ is usually enough to win.

Wayne Kelly
ABSP Titles Registrar