rousson and Delicata set for final showdown
With just four weeks to go to its conclusion, the Malta National Scrabble Championship has rarely been as hard to predict in terms of who will lift the coveted shield of Malta Champion as it has been this year in its 35th edition.
Malta's two most accomplished players, ten-time National Champion Theresa Brousson and six-time national title holder David Delicata are set apart by a meagre two points at the very top of the league table, with former champions Charles Micallef and Mario Sablia a distant third and fourth respectively.
The four contenders will now face off in a single round-robin of 3-game matches. Apart from the direct encounter between the two frontrunners, the final outcome will largely depend on how each contender in this tense duel will fare against Micallef and Saliba, who on their part will be vying for a prize-winning third place.
The relative positions from which the contestants will run the crucial final lap of this exciting race were shaped also by the other six participants in Division I, who will now be facing off against one another for the honours in Division IB. Moira Fenech, who narrowly missed out on a place in the upper echelon of the division, is set to cruise to victory. The battle is on for second and third place where Frans Farrugia enjoys but a small edge over former champion Sammy Mangion and Josephine Mayo.
The top of the league table is a lot more crowded in Division II, where Dominic Borg, Albert Zammit, Anna Borg and Kevin Pirotta are running within just four points of each other. A finer balance prevails in the Partial Championship table of this division where 3 players, namely Bryan Priest, Reno Zammit and Marlene Calleja, are level on points.
With players wearied by almost three months of weekly competition, it is sheer nerve and stamina that will tip the balance to one side or another.
(penned & published by Nicky Vella Laurenti)