The first four months of Malta’s 2018 Scrabble season have been a continuous crescendo of competitive pathos and excitement. The 35th Malta National Scrabble Championship, held between early January and mid-April, was animated by a fascinating duel between defending champion and six-time titleholder David Delicata and ten-time champion Theresa Brousson. This historic sporting rivalry came to a head when the two word masters, level on points, faced off each other in the last of their three direct encounters, with Brousson emerging victorious to claim a record eleventh national title, while Charles Micallef won the battle for third place. In Division II, Dominic Borg was crowned champion ahead of Albert Zammit and Anna Borg.
But the climax of this first chunk of the season was not yet reached as the trio of tourneys making up 11th Malta International Scrabble Open, sponsored by SportMalta and Intercomp, were played out over the last few days of April and the first few days of May inside the LUZZU Conference Hall on the shore of Qawra Bay. With well over eighty participants from seventeen different nations, MISO 11 produced three champions from three continents.
In the one-day Early Bird, Elie Dangoor of England crossed the finishing line first ahead of Rafal Dominizcak of Poland in second and another Englishman, Bob Violett in third. Two Maltese players, Josephine Mayo and Mario Camilleri, won respectively the first and second Ratings Prize with Helen Jones, of Australia, winning the third.
In the three-day Main Event, the top seed Alastair Richards recovered from a slow start to dominate the tournament, with Goutham Jayaraman (India) and David Webb (England) following behind in second and third respectively. A lady from Malta, Pauline Cilia secured victory in the B Division ahead of Paul Richards, of Australia and another Maltese, Josephine Mayo.
In the final two-day Late Bird, the US player Stefan Rau completed a successful defence of his 2017 title in the same event, with Bob Violett coming in in second place and Goutham Jayaraman finishing third. In the B Division, Paul Richards topped the standings ahead of Josephine Mayo in second and UK-based Pakistani Sumbul Siddiqui, the youngest ever MISO participant and prize-winner, in third.
Extensive coverage of MISO 11, including photos and videos, can be found at http://event.poslfit.com/2018/malta/ .