City of Sydney Masters - 24th & 25th Jan 1998


The 1998 City of Sydney Masters kicked off on schedule, with all players managing to successfully negotiate the sleazy Kings Cross district to find their way into the comfort and safety of the four star Gazebo Hotel. One of the last to arrive was our international visitor, and winner of the Premier event in the Philippines last year, Sam Kantimathi. Sam had gone awol, and had only confirmed his entry on Friday, thus causing general concern all round.

The venue at the Gazebo Hotel was spacious and comfortable, and set up befitting a major event by hotel staff. There was plenty of room to move between large tables, constantly stocked with water and mints. The players did pay for this luxury with the $50 entry fee, but most agreed that it was a worthwhile outlay, considering the guarenteed $500 first prize, and the stated intention of making this an international event. Quite a few players stayed one or more nights at the hotel, as did my wife Liz and myself. Our room was huge, with views over Sydney Harbour, and at $115 per night I reckon this was good value. In fact the hotel in their generosity donated one nights accommodation for two as a prize.

Day one was quite a heavy schedule with four games in the morning and six in the afternoon. Esther Perrins, fresh from her WSC experience, burst out of the blocks to an early lead, but was overtaken by Joan Rosenthal, who led at the lunch break. Joan conceded her lead to myself for a couple of rounds mid-afternoon, but regained it towards the end to lead at the end of Day one. Alistair Kane and Paul Cleary were on equal wins (8) behind Joan, with a cluster on 7 wins just behind, including myself, Sam, Lois Binnie from Victoria, and Peter Shaw. John Holgate and Esther were just behind this group.

Sam suffered a minor aberration in his losing game against Peter Tobler, the reigning NSW Champion. Sam played KEV, which is allowable in the USA up to March 1st. Sam genuinely thought that KEV was still allowable in Australia too, but unfortunately his late arrival did not give him enough time to clarify the tournament lexicon, which was the Redwood International Word List - that superior publication desired by all SOWPODS players, now under threat of extinction due to legal action instigated by Chambers. Peter was given the option of letting Sam retract his move, as a sporting gesture, or enforcing the Single Challenge rule of making Sam miss a move. Peter chose the latter option!

Day 2 kicked off a little late due to trains running late. Joan surrendered her overnight lead to myself during the morning session, but at the lunch break it was John Holgate who had forced his way to the lead with his great spread. The whole afternoon session was King of the Hill, making for an interesting tussle between the leading players. John accounted for Paul in the first game after lunch, while I tipped out Joan thanks to an outplay of ENTROLD. Sam, Alistair and Lois were still thereabouts going into game 2 of KOH. John beat me to keep the lead, while Paul put Lois out of contention for the lead. Alistair accounted for Joan and Sam won his game, leaving John and Paul on 12 wins, and myself, Alistair, Lois and Sam on 11 wins.

Paul played and beat John in game 17, leaving the same two to fight out the tournament in the final game. A win for John would have got him home by spread. A win to Paul would leave him as the only player on 14 wins. And that is what happened, in a nail-biting finish befitting these two top-finishing Australian representatives at Washington. Paul's outplay was BREGMA, slotting the A between a V and the word TIC, giving him the game by only 4 points, and the tournament. John stayed on 12 wins, and was relegated to third with Sam pushing up to 13 wins with his win over Alistair. I beat Peter Shaw to finish fourth, while Alistair had sufficient wins for fifth, making him the top-finishing interstate player.

Trevor Halsall, fresh from his Alice Springs exploits, made the highest scoring play of the tournament with COALISED for 140, thus winning himself and his girlfriend Francis the night at the Gazebo.

Derek McKenzie, a last minute inclusion and up and coming player gained 108 ratings points to win the ratings prize. Most of the lower rated players taking part were rewarded with rating gains, thus making this tournament an enjoyable and fruitful one for most.

The results:

Results after game 18
1998 CITY OF SYDNEY MASTERS

Rank Player            Wins  Mar
--------------------------------
  1 Paul Cleary         14   903
  2 Sam Kantimathi      13   541
  3 John Holgate        12  1334
  4 Bob Jackman         12   940
  5 Alistair Kane       12   457
  6 Joan Rosenthal      11   702
  7 Graeme Lock Lee     11   532
  8 Peter Tobler        11   208
  9 Peter Shaw          11   135
 10 Lois Binnie         11    69
 11 Esther Perrins      10   388
 12 Dianne Davis        10   260
 13 Sal Costanzo        10   190
 14 Carmel Dodd         10   117
 15 Betty Foreman       10    59
 16 Kris Logan          10  -352
 17 Jean Mcgiffen        9 -220
 18 Rod Talbot           9   304
 19 Joanne Craig         9   131
 20 Sue Kyatt            9    69
 21 John Barker          9   -81
 22 Anne Drew            9  -154
 23 Gloria Gallagher     9  -284
 24 Rene Chelton         9  -443
 25 Ian Close            8  107
 26 Trevor Halsall       8    99
 27 Sam Greenberg        8    75
 28 Marie Knight         8    15
 29 Dulcie Lyall         8  -319
 30 Audrey Newman        8  -420
 31 Derek Mckenzie       8  -449
 32 Judy Hay             8  -536
 33 Ros Gibbons          8  -617
 34 Jeff Chelton         7  -153
 35 Jean Noonan          7  -185
 36 Ethel Collins        7  -207
 37 Alison Rae           6  -274
 38 Louise Kobler        6  -416
 39 Jan Serisier         6  -467
 40 Jeff Spring          6  -499
 41 Hanne Marks          5  -701
 42 Ivor Zetler          5  -858
HIGH GAME: John Holgate      573
HIGH WORD: Trevor Halsall    140
            "COALISED"

Stats for Tournament : 1998 CITY OF SYDNEY MASTERS
+-------------------------+-----------+---------+-----------+----------------+
| state     Name          | National  | State   |   Wins    | Rating Points  |
|                         | Old  New  | Old New | Exp  Act  | Old Change New |
+-------------------------+-----------+---------+-----------+----------------+
+Section: *MASTERS                    +         +           +                +
+-------------------------------------+---------+-----------+----------------+
| NSW Paul Cleary          |    7    3 |   5   2 | 10.8 14.0 | 1877 +50 1927 |
|*NSW Sam Kantimathi       |    0    7 |   0   5 | 13.0 13.0 | 1908  +0 1908 |
| NSW John Holgate         |    3    2 |   2   1 | 12.9 12.0 | 1964 -14 1949 |
| VIC Alistair Kane        |   14   10 |   6   3 | 10.7 12.0 | 1835 +21 1856 |
| NSW Bob Jackman          |    4    4 |   3   3 | 11.6 12.0 | 1911  +7 1918 |
| NSW Graeme Lock Lee      |   50   41 |  18  12 |  9.2 11.0 | 1676 +36 1712 |
| NSW Joan Rosenthal       |    5    8 |   4   6 | 11.7 11.0 | 1911 -11 1899 |
| VIC Lois Binnie          |   59   33 |  32  19 |  7.1 11.0 | 1654 +79 1733 |
| NSW Peter Shaw           |   27   24 |  10  10 | 10.1 11.0 | 1769 +18 1787 |
| NSW Peter Tobler :act    |   11   16 |   6   7 | 12.4 11.0 | 1845 -21 1823 |
| NSW Esther Perrins       |    2    5 |   1   4 | 14.0 10.0 | 1976 -63 1912 |
| NSW Betty Foreman        |  102   81 |  28  23 |  6.7 10.0 | 1544 +67 1611 |
| SA  Carmel Dodd          |   23   30 |   1   2 | 12.1 10.0 | 1795 -42 1752 |
| VIC Sal Costanzo         |   66   66 |  37  36 |  9.9 10.0 | 1636  +2 1638 |
| VIC Dianne Davis         |   31   46 |  17  27 | 13.3 10.0 | 1757 -66 1690 |
| NSW Kris Logan           |  120   90 |  35  25 |  5.6 10.0 | 1503 +88 1591 |
| NSW Jean McGiffen        |   45   43 |  14  14 |  9.0  9.5 | 1694 +10 1704 |
| NSW John Barker          |   42   51 |  13  16 | 11.0  9.0 | 1707 -39 1667 |
| NSW Joanne Craig         |   84   75 |  24  22 |  7.6  9.0 | 1596 +28 1624 |
| NSW Rod Talbot           |   47   42 |  16  13 |  7.7  9.0 | 1685 +25 1710 |
| QLD Anne Drew            |   93   53 |   3   1 |  8.1  9.0 | 1644 +18 1662 |
| VIC Sue Kyatt            |   19   32 |  10  18 | 13.5  9.0 | 1809 -71 1737 |
| NSW Gloria Gallagher     |  115   98 |  32  28 |  6.1  9.0 | 1510 +58 1568 |
| NSW Rene Chelton         |   97  105 |  27  30 | 10.3  9.0 | 1565 -23 1541 |
| NSW Ian Close            |  119  127 |  34  37 |  9.1  8.5 | 1503 -12 1490 |
| NSW Trevor Halsall       |   25   52 |   9  17 | 13.6  8.0 | 1779 -111
1667 |
| NSW Dulcie Lyall         |  104  102 |  29  29 |  7.5  8.0 | 1539 +10 1549 |
| NSW Marie Knight         |   33   58 |  11  19 | 12.7  8.0 | 1751 -93 1657 |
| NSW Audrey Newman        |  107  108 |  30  31 |  8.1  8.0 | 1538  +0 1538 |
| NSW Derek McKenzie       |  218  170 |  53  49 |  2.9  8.0 | 1307 +108
1415 |
| NSW Sam Greenberg        |  127  115 |  37  33 |  6.2  8.0 | 1490 +35 1525 |
| NSW Judy Hay             |  196  155 |  50  42 |  4.1  8.0 | 1365 +78 1443 |
| NSW Ros Gibbons          |  221  187 |  54  51 |  3.6  8.0 | 1303 +88 1391 |
| NSW Jeff Chelton         |  174  161 |  45  46 |  5.5  7.0 | 1401 +30 1431 |
| NSW Ethel Collins        |  192  159 |  47  45 |  4.1  7.0 | 1377 +57 1434 |
| NSW Jean Noonan          |  121  116 |  36  34 |  5.7  7.0 | 1495 +27 1522 |
| NSW Alison Rae :act      |  117  148 |  33  41 |  8.1  6.0 | 1506 -42 1463 |
| NSW Louise Kobler        |   74  112 |  22  32 | 10.8  6.0 | 1626 -96 1529 |
| NSW Jeff Spring          |  155  163 |  42  47 |  6.6  6.0 | 1440 -11 1428 |
| NSW Jan Serisier         |  209  200 |  51  54 |  4.5  6.0 | 1342 +30 1372 |
| NSW Ivor Zetler          |   48  117 |  17  35 | 13.2  5.0 | 1683 -164
1518 |
| NSW Hanne Marks          |  144  166 |  41  48 |  7.1  5.0 | 1468 -42 1425 |
+-------------------------------------+---------+-----------+----------------+