Welcome to my daily / weekly blog.

So Today is 16 May 2020

Welcome to my blog! I am Andrew Goldberg SA Scrabble President.


17 May 2020


So we played SA v Kenya Live on 12 boards and won !!!!

– this great event was organised by Llew Jegels the Master organiser !!!

The players will play 12 live games on ISC.ro between 11h30 and 18h00

Coronavirus: Scrabble community takes tournaments online

Time of article published

By Chelsea Ntuli  Apr 14, 2020Pretoria – The national lockdown has forced the South African scrabble community to take its tournaments online for the first time.

President and chairperson of South African Scrabble Association, Andrew Goldberg, said the next tournament would take place next month, and everyone was welcome to participate.

Goldberg said since everybody was home and bored with nothing to do, scrabble was a great way to keep brains healthy and active.

He hoped by the end of the lockdown every participant would have improved and be confident enough for face-to-face tournaments.

“When it is online you can play with anyone anywhere around the world. Some of the competitions are very exclusive and you have to be invited to play.

“So we decided to have our own South African tournaments where we can play with anyone, and people are always ready to join online,” he said.

The brains behind the online tournaments is Llewellin Jegels, an academic from Unisa and one of the top five players in the South African Scrabble Association.

The association has held three online tournaments – Lockdown 1, Lockdown 2 and Lockdown 3.

The winner’s prize ranges from R500 to R1000.

Raquel Lightley, who has been playing for years, said the online tournaments were doing very well, although she missed the human interaction.

She encouraged children to participate, because it was both fun and educational, which was what they needed to keep them learning while away from school.

Lightley said when invitations were sent to WhatsApp groups, she was relieved. “It was not without its glitches, with disconnections through poor internet connectivity and incorrect player matching variables.

“However, by the time the second one rolled around, barely a day after completion of the first, many more players joined and the process was more streamlined,” she said.

She added that it was maths whizz Dr Harry Wiggins, who used his spreadsheet programming skills to streamline the process. To participate, visit www.zascrabble.com.* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL’s #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za


We just held our Gauteng Summer Tournament at Voodoo Lily in Birdhaven. We had 47 players. WOW WOW WOW. Six sections. The weather was hot and the play was even hotter. The A section was won by “the Professor” Harry Wiggins who won 8 of his 9 games. Second was Steven Gruzd and third was Llewellin Jegels. In section B it was a close call between
Roshelle Pillay and Stephen Peter with Roshelle coming up first. In Section C Sue Grinker (she won all her 8 games and went up 68 rating points) took the honours and in Section D we had newbies Justin Rule in first place (he won all 8 games and starts off with a rating of 1311) and Debbie Dooley (who won 7 games and starts off with a rating of 1071) in second. These two newbies have started off amazingly and we hope to see them winning at other tournaments and their ratings climbing to 1600 and above!

We had 2 junior sections – the senior junior was taken by Tanaka with Solros coming second and the junior junior was taken by Sophia Hodes who won all her 4 games!

The food was simply brilliant and the venue the talk of the town. Thanks Voodoo Lily for hosting us – we will be back


I know it is a bit confusing but we have 2 Facebook Scrabble groups. Please join them as it’s a great way to post photos and convey info. The first one is Facebook.com/Scrabble SA/

The second one is Facebook.com/groups/109968329077753/

It is 2020 a new decade! Happy belated New Year and may the tile fairies shine upon you this year.

Okay so we have a few tournaments coming up in Cape Town, Botswana and Melrose in Johannesburg (15 February 2020) and even Uganda (ECASA)

Next Scrabble Gauteng tournament – 15 February at Voodoo Lily in Melrose

The next Gauteng Scrabble tournament will take place on 15 February 2020 from 08:00 for 08:30 at Voodoo Lily in Melrose opposite Wanderers Planet Fitness. There will be hopefully be a Junior (below 21) and senior section (over 21). The juniors will play just 4 games … no lunch, cost R100 and R1000 in prize money. The senior section will be R260/person, with lunch and 3 drinks included!! Newer players welcome. We are looking for at least 26 seniors and 8-10 juniors!! Please RSVP to Andrew Goldberg andrew@goldbergs.co.za (083) 260-7530

Here’s this fabulous venue https://www.facebook.com/voodoolilycafe/

The Melrose tournament will be held at a new Venue: Voodoo Lily and will be hosted by myself and the staff of Voodoo Lily. There is a Facebook page and entry, there is also a WhatsApp group, To join please contact me Andrew on 0832607530.

So below is the Cape Town Calendar for 2020.


Saturday 15 February 2019, 08:00 for 08:30, Voodoo Lily Cafe Birdhaven Jhb. R260 including lunch. 4 games for juniors R100, no lunch. RSVP Andrew Goldberg 0832607530 andrew@goldbergs.co.za

This is the Invite to ECASA. As it sets out there is space for 15 slots from South Africa. Please advise me Andrew 0832607530 as I am sure sponsorship can be organised!

Below are some of the great tournaments we had last year but this year will be even better!!

Benoni Scrabble Club competition – 7 December 2019

Published: Thursday, November 21, 2019Community LifestyleGames

Consider yourself a word fundi?  Need to test your Scrabble skills against new people?  The Benoni Scrabble Club competition to be held on 07 December 2019 at the All Souls Anglican Church Hall may be for you.  There will be a social competition for all new players and beginners.

Press Release Feature Image

Players will play eight games and the competition begins at 8h00. Each game is approximately 50 minutes, with each player allocated 25 minutes.  Games are timed using chess clocks. There is an entry fee of R150 per person and this includes refreshments throughout the day. Please contact the chairperson of the Benoni Scrabble Club to book your place:  Kathy Cameron, Kathy@hotmail.co.za or call 082 938 8744.

“Scrabble South Africa is trying to expand the number of players and Clubs in South Africa.  The best way to find out about a Scrabble competition is to play in one and the Benoni Scrabble competition will be a good entry point for new players or those interested in finding out more about it.   The competitions are aligned to the World English Language Scrabble® Players Association (WESPA), which was formed in 2003.  Scrabble South Africa is a non-profit organisation and is run by scrabble enthusiasts,” says Andrew Goldberg, chairperson of Scrabble South Africa. 

Our representatives are back from the World champs. Nigel Won – yes the GOAT and he won the Mattel World champs in Torquay. Nigel Nigel Nigel.

Our players did well – Howard Rayner came 112th Harry Wiggins 72nd and Jarod Page (JJ) qualified and came 92nd (i think)

The Gauteng Open was a great event with three Zambians making the trip to play. Trevor Hovelmeier came out of his winter hibernation to play and gave the field a good hiding. He won with a game to spare over Harry Wiggins. Gwen had a good tournament and is now the highest locally rated female South African player. Welcome to Gauteng Gwen. Your loss Kaapstad.

The Gauteng Pretoria East Rotary Event went off well without little fuss as did the Capetown Retreat Tournament

So we have had the Cape Town tournaments. Wow! What well run events!

First, there was the Woman’s Day Tournament which had an attractive field! The best dressed was Ms Niel dressed to the nines with his high heels.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, there was the Collins Tournament which was a closely fought tournament. In the last round, there were four players on 11 wins being Jarrod Page, myself (Andrew), Solomon and Llew. All of us in with a chance. I missed challenging Qebec* as I was so engrossed in my own play! In fact, I had told Jarrod about the word QUEBEC two days prior, it is the only word that takes a Z, a QU and an X to make ZEBEC, QUEBEC, and XEBEC. So Jay played out with three 7’s and won the tournament! Second was Solomon, Third was me and fourth was Llew. A worthy winner! Great prizes too! Well done Cape Town.

Here is the interesting combination of CDEENUR? which goes with the alphagram* K, I, O, P, S, V, W or “WOK SPIV” making the words



‘*’ = not a word

The NEW WORD LIST (2019) is now out and we have ordered only 40 of them so to secure your copy for only R300 !!!!

contact Andrew Goldberg 0832607530

or email agoldberga@gmail.com

So the Gauteng Champs was held in Fourways Johannesburg and the Pearl Seitz Memorial Tournament in Pinelands, Western Cape. The Gauteng Champs was held at Howard’s place where Harry (Scrabbleboy 2) carried on his winning ways, but he was gloating so much that he had beaten his mother (haha private joke) until he ran into me, Goldybox. So Harry (Scrabbleboy 2) won 19 games in a row at competitions, he lost to me now and 19 games ago, shame, TWINNED by losses and birthdays (Harry and I are both born on 06 January). OK onto the results in the first place we had Harry with 14 games, second was Solomon (welcome back to the scene), next was Howard who had a bit of home advantage and in fourth place was myself. I had a good tournament, after a bad start with only 3 wins on Saturday I won 7 on Sunday including beating the top five players and playing BLOODIER for 149! Other great comebacks were Gary Birch who won 6 on Sunday and Debbe Hossy who came 5th.

In the Pearl Seitz Tournament, top honours were taken by Jarrod Page with his mom Pam Page coming second and Joy Palm third, who climbed 69 rating points! It was as Neil says a bit Nepotistic, (only yoking).

Anyway enough of the chitter chat this week’s words are HACK, HECK, HICK, HOCK, HUCK and the very similar SHMECK SHMICK SCHMOCK SCHMUCK enjoy.

Safe travels everyone going to play in the Cape and I hope we come back to Joes with the trophies.

Last but not least there is the talk of the comeback of Yusuf Lanre Oyenkule the “assassin” is making a comeback! Wow Wow Wow! More will have to be posted on this when I find out the details.

At the Winter Tournament on 07 June 2019 held at Huddle Park we used the new 2019 list of scrabble words. So not one player at the Tournament played any of the new 7 letter or 8 letter or even 9 letter words. So it was left to Anastasia Demertzis ( O’ what a name for a scrabble player – the am(o)rtized assailant) – to win the 1 copy of the New Dictionary with a score of 72 for ZE.

The tournament was a great success with over 30 players, we had wanted 40 but only got 33 after there were some last-minute pull-outs (all men, no only joking). There were 3 sections – A, B, C. After 7 of the 8 games all the sections were close and it was left to the KING OF THE HILL match to decide the men from the boys! or the Queens from the grrls (as my son says it).

In division A we had the double matches of Harry Wiggins v Steven Gruzd and Andrew Goldberg v Gary Birch. But in the end, there could be only one winner Harry Wiggins who after winning 7 of his 8 games, and 7 in a row pulled the hat out from the bag!

By winning this tournament Harry Wiggins gained 31 rating points and is now rated at 1863 whereas Steven Gruzd by coming second lost 14 rating points and now is rated at 1851. So now Harry Wiggins is rated 2nd in the country !!! And with the World Champs happening soon in Goa (India) this is a great return to form for the PROFESSOR / SURVIVOR, who will join the DOCTOR in travelling to Goa to represent South Africa at scrabble.

Past words to learn this week are SATINIER, SKODIER and the word played by Nigel Richards in his killer game v Jesse Day RATTAIL. Enjoy!