It has been quite a while that organizers of the Guyana Association of Scrabble Players (GASP) have staged a tournament due to internal issues still being addressed. In the meantime, several members have been keeping the sport alive by organizing small competitions among themselves.
Carlton and Yvonne Murray were among those that are dedicated to the sport and are battling assiduously to keep it alive. The former player has had a tournament dedicated in this honour under the GASP umbrella while the latter is currently engaged in discussions with teachers of several secondary schools to have the game comprise a part of the school sports curriculum. Already, she has held discussions at the Caramel School, Charlestown, where several teachers were briefed of strategies and later will be trained towards the effective promotion of the sport, culminating in an Inter-Schools Scrabble Tournament.
The Murrays are also expecting several games, dictionaries and other paraphernalia from England which they plan to distribute to the schools to allow the children to hone their skills in the finer arts of the game. Amidst it all, the Murrays are also retaining some activity and have been organizing a tournament, staged at their Nandy Park residence, on alternative Sundays for a trophy that will eventually be owned by the player winning three successive tournaments.
To date, several of the players have won the trophy but so far none have earned the right to keep it. Last Sunday, Ulric Harris was the defending champion and was highly tipped to cart off the spoils after winning the last two tournaments. His hopes were, however, shattered after defeating all of his other opponents, when he suffered a shock defeat to Yvonne Murray (182), who eventually defeated four other players to win the trophy for the first time since the inauguration of the tournament.
Ms Murray was at her raging best from the onset when she dismissed Maurice Munru by a large spread of 125. Harris’ defeat followed before Ruby Cummings showed some resistance to lose by a close spread of 15 in the pre-lunch game. Carlton Murray was next and he suffered a 152 spread loss before the female Murray disposed of Michael Benjamin by a humiliating spread of 215 to lay hands on the trophy for the first time.
After she had received the trophy, a beaming Murray said that she has been practicing diligently with several online games. She attributed her victory to these sessions and opined that with practice the other players will also be able to improve on their game strategies.
She said that she is moving rapidly ahead with the inter-school initiative and is now putting the modalities in place for the transition. She is very optimistic that all systems will be in place in the very near future. (Michael Benjamin)
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