Eark horses win in broad daylight

Under a bright blue afternoon sky in the midst of a breezy sometimes gusty wind and the occasional curious passer-by, a group of people sit snugly in their chairs playing Scrabble as part of two parallel Summer Leagues organised by the Malta Scrabble Club. Two players shine out from the cool shade that envelopes the group.

Mario Camilleri (seen left in photo) and Kevin Pirotta had started out in the shadows of their higher-rated opponents. But by the end of summer, both players had overshadowed many a fellow competitor.

Mario Camilleri, the lowest rated player in Summer League 1 Section A, finished top of the section’s Group Beta, ahead of three players, including the runner-up former National Champion Sammy Mangion. Camilleri shone also in Summer League 2 where he finished one position better than his initial ranking to place third, behind runner-up Mario Saliba and overall winner Theresa Brousson.

In Summer League 1 Section B, it was only thanks to a much better overall spread that veteran player Frans Farrugia denied Kevin Pirotta his first ever league title, with the second seed Paul Mifsud placing a distant third, and Albert Zammit taking the Ratings Prize.

In Section A Group Alpha, Theresa Brousson’s brilliance was unfaded as she claimed her second league title of the year, ahead of David Delicata in second and Mario Saliba in third.

Both Camilleri and Pirotta gave added sheen to their respective player rating, with the former rising three places to tenth and the latter moving up two places to nineteenth on the National Player Rating List.

Though missing out on a prize-winning position, high-flyer Moira Fenech is now cruising at an altitude of +1600 rating points. For those who play Scrabble outdoors, the sky’s the limit.

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