E multi-strand experience called MISO

Understanding MISO


MISO (acronym for Malta International Scrabble Open) is a classic on the international Scrabble calendar, a unique point of convergence for scores of Scrabble players from all over the world. For all these players, MISO is not just something they do but something they live. For them, MISO is not just an event but an experience.


The thrill of the MISO Experience stems from its four S’s, i.e. its four Strands.


The Sporting Strand of MISO traces an experience of the highest playing intensity. Participants face off in fifty games spread over six days and three tourneys, at the end of which they come together in celebrating the victors as they are presented with sundry prizes and prize-monies. All along, this strand is masterfully directed and beautifully streamed live online by John Chew,


Running through the MISO Experience is the Social Strand. The weeklong MISO is designed to enable participants and their guests to mingle, exchange memories, experiences and ideas of all sorts, and ultimately to forge lasting and meaningful relationships and friendships. Many of these encounters are adorned by a culinary context that features cupfuls of tea and coffee, glassfuls of wine and platefuls of exquisite food.


The third strand that wraps the MISO Experience is the Scenic Strand. Set in the balmy Mediterranean ambience of the Maltese archipelago, all those living the MISO Experience are immersed in the warmth of Malta’s climate and people, in the mystery of its history and heritage, in the quaintness of its traditions, and in the idyll of its encircling blue sea and sky.


Such an intense experience needs a fourth strand, the Soothing Strand. The MISO Experience allows those who live it to dissolve the joys and fatigue of hours of playing, mingling and exploring in a lie-in on a beach or by a pool, in a stroll along a promenade, in a nap inside a comfy hotel room. 


But the beauty of the MISO Experience cannot be fully grasped without considering how densely interwoven these four strands are. Living the MISO Experience means lifting your head from your game to briefly rest your eyes on the view of the sky and sea outside. It means discovering the treasures of the Maltese Islands in the merry company of your fellow participants and their guests. It means unwinding at a nearby kiosk over a friendly game of Scrabble and a beer.


Revisiting MISO11


The concept that lies at the heart of MISO was not born in 2008 with the maiden edition of the Malta Open but has evolved over more than a decade of MISO. Hence, no edition of MISO embodies the concept that MISO has become an expression of better than MISO 11, the latest edition, held in the spring of 2018 (see scene from MISO 11 in photo).


To appreciate this, it is worth revisiting the MISO 11 Experience, shared by almost a hundred players and guests from nineteen countries, through the pen of those who have lived it or followed it. ‘Five Moments from Malta’, authored by Nick Ivanovski on behalf of WESPA, provides interesting insight. An insider’s view of MISO 11 is available through the chronicles of two participants, Richard Birch and Caroline McLaughlin. The most complete testimony of the MISO 11 Experience is to be found in the dedicated websites by MISO Director John Chew.


Awaiting MISO12


After this quick tour of what MISO is and has been recently, you, dear international readers, can look forward to the future in the assurance that MISO12 will be your ultimate and complete Scrabble experience.


MISO12 is on 26 April - 2 May, 2019. More info will be out soon. 


(penned & published by Nicky Vella Laurenti, photo credit John Chew)