harles Micallef scores a hat-trick
3 leagues, 3 titles.
This terse phrase sums up what has been a very positive playing season for Charles Micallef (shown in photo), the newly crowned Autumn League 1 Champion. After having to withdraw from the National Championship for personal reasons, Micallef took all the remaining league titles for which he was in contention.
His latest success came after an unsmooth and erratic passage to the final and at the end of a best-of-seven final encounter in which he won the last two games after being two apiece against a revitalised Mario Saliba.
In the B Section, it was only the aggregate games scores difference (aka spread) that separated Mario Camilleri, in first, and Josephine Mayo, who was nevertheless the league's best net ratings points gainer, climbing well into the top ten of the National Player Ratings List. Albert Zammit placed third.
In the C Section, Marlene Calleja was the clear winner, with Maria Scicluna coming in second.
While waiting for the new season to start, Charles Micallef can bask in the knowledge that he is one of the most improved players in 2017, with his rating now stably in the 1700 points range on the National Player Ratings List, where, despite losing rating points, he now lies above the six-time National Champion and recently feted Malta WESPAC representative, David Delicata.
Micallef's ascent up the Ratings List is destined to continue, but whether this rise will suffice for him to close the gap with the Scrabble Queen of Malta, Theresa Brousson, remains to be seen.
(text by Nicky Vella Laurenti, photo production by John Chew, photo selection & formatting by Bryan Priest)