Lewis Mackay wins BMSC

A UK Major Report

The BMSC is rightly recognized as one of the UK’s Majors when it comes to Scrabble events, and is considered the flagship event of the ABSP, according to its website. Results for this event go back over 30 years

Last year’s event was historic for, on its 30th Anniversary, the 2017 Champion was the first International to emerge victorious. In 2018, David Koenig vowed to return to defend his title.

For those who follow Scrabble events on social media, this news was very welcome for both he, and Austin Shin, are noted for how well they keep their followers informed on their social media channels.

Together with the final day streaming from Jessica Pratesi’s Twitch channel and the traditional posting of results on Centrestar, this meant fans could keep up to date in many ways with proceedings.

The numbers read as follows: 25 games. 3 Days. 3 Divisions. A total of 80 players.

The C Division was won by Geoff Cooper with 16.5 wins and had to win the last game against the eventual runner-up Peter Ashurst to ensure overall victory. Esther Kasket finished 3rd. Geoff’s 542 the High Game for this Division.

The B Division was won by Gerard Fox quite convincingly on the numbers. Winning 20 of his 25 games, he had a three win difference to runner-up Chris Harrison. Suzanne Dundas finished 3rd. Chris Harrison’s 558 the High Game for the Division.

BMSC 2018 Winner Lewis Mackay

Winner in B: Gerard Fox

In the A Division, it was a tighter affair. Lewis Mackay took an early lead and remained undefeated until a Round 9 loss to 5th Seed Harshan Lamabadusuriya 385-528. This loss gave Phil Robertshaw the overall lead and as late into the Event as Round 18, his lead was two games over Mackay.

A close 496-480 loss to Lewis Mackay brought him closer to the field (at this stage, 3rd through 5th was split solely on spread of 57 – Harshan 13-6 +877, Paul Allan 13-6 +833 and Austin Shin 13-6 +820).

Austin Shin would defeat Phil Robertshaw in Game 21 and a win to Lewis over Harshan meant it was equal on games at the top, with spread of 269 the difference.

Losses by Phil against Rafal Dominiczak and Lewis against Austin saw a three way tie at the top the very next game!

A win to Mackay in Game 24 gave him a 18-6 to 17-7 lead over Robertshaw with one to play.

It came down to the last game and only a win to Robertshaw would do it to ensure victory. You can view the game here – and it saw Lewis secure his second ever BMSC title! Robertshaw would finish a worthy runner-up, followed (in order) by Harshan Lamabadusuriya in 3rd, Austin Shin 4th and Chris Vicary in 5th. Defending Champion, David Koenig finished in 15th, going 13-12. Wayne Kelly’s 621 in the final game was High Game and Austin Shin’s 547-469 win over Ed Martin in Rd 19 pipped the Round 20 511-504 game between Fidelis Odowu and John Ashmore for High Combined Score.

For Lewis Mackay, that last game featured the great find from AEOOTT? through a floating I and would join other plays like AQUEDUCT, LEWISSON, ACHARNE, LOBEFIN, ANTITYPE, HOWDIED, WOOABLE, SHEARMAN, and MUSTEEs as notable bonuses in his games.

Looking back at the event, Lewis focused on four other key plays: finding C(HI)NDIT for 32 out of a rack of CDDINTV , ONYX during the first game on the final day against Phil and a play of TEN(OR) to block the best bonus lane against Rafal after he (Rafal) had phoneyed.

He went on to add “(I) also had a pleasing endgame against Elie where I played EU(G)E for 7 from a rack of ADEEEUZ when the bag was empty to be 17 behind. [Elie] couldn't block all my outplays without giving me another one”, going on to win that game.

As to his victory, Lewis noted “I'm delighted to have won it for the second time, particularly after the agonising near miss in last year's event.

The victory stands me in good stead going into this year's NSC, and also the Alchemist Cup in December”

Winner in C: Geoff Cooper

BMSC Trophies

Additional text with thanks to Lewis Mackay. Photographs first appeared on the British Scrabble Facebook page - originally published by Mauro Pratesi.