Anita Kassel is a living legend in South African Scrabble. At age 78 she is still winning tournaments including a recent unbeaten 8/8 in a strong field. She must be the oldest, although there is nothing old about her, competitive player who continues to compete at the highest level. She is a true champion and living proof that age is no barrier to achievement!
Here is a timeline of all her achievements.
January 1981 – I started the Thornton Scrabble Club, and it is still going strong
1982 – I organized the 1st Scrabble Charity Day in W.P. at the Sea Point Synagogue Recreational Centre
1987 – asked by Gwen Heiman to be Chairperson of W.P. and organize Tourneys
1987 – first Scrabble weekend away to Swaziland attended by 36 scrabblers from S.A. organized by Gwen Heiman
October 1987 – I organized 1st W.P. Championship held at Liesbeeck Park with 36 Scrabblers
Nov 1987 – Gwen organized 1st S.A. Nationals in Transvaal which I attended – 38 players in all
1988 – I won the 2nd W.P. Open – again at Liesbeeck Park – which I organized
1989 – Came 5th in S.A. Nationals
1991 – Came 4th in S.A. Nationals
May 1991 – Won W.P. Open
1994/1995 – Chairperson and Treasurer of SANSPA until 2000 then resigned as Chairperson and carried on as Treasurer until 2011
Feb 1994 – Together with 8 other S.A. scrabblers played in 1st Pan African Scrabble Tournament in Kenya
1995 – Won the Inter-Provincial – now known as S.A. Open
1995 – Edited and distributed Sanspa Scrabble Magazine until September 2000 at no expense to Sanspa (3 magazines per annum)
August 1995 – Won the first ever W.P. Masters – top 20 W.P. players
March 1996 – Helped organize and raise R42000 for Red Nose Day at the Waterfront. Played scrabble against our Celebrity guest, Evita Bezuidenhout!Have a photo of this memorable event.
October 1996 – Runner-up to Dylan Early in S.A. Nationals
1997 – Won W.P. Round Robin
August 1997 – Won Retreat Charity Day – Undefeated – 9 Games
Nov 1997 -Helped organize and raise R41500 for Physically Disabled at the Waterfront
1998 – Acting President of Panasa – helped organize 3rd Panasa Games here in S.A. then resigned as President after being voted in!
1998 – Won W.P. Masters
2001 – Runner-up to Trevor Hovelmeier in S.A. Nationals – both won 13 out of 16 games.
2001 – Reached my highest rating potential after the Nationals, 1766 and was 5th in the country
2001 – Came 2nd in the Chambers Cup
2002 – Won W.P. Masters
2002 – Won Lansdowne Tourney
June 2003 – Won Charity Day Tourney
July 2003 – Won Winter Tourney
Oct 2003 – Won Spring Tourney – undefeated – 8 games
2004 – Olympic Torch Bearer – a most memorable day for me
2004 – Won Charity Day Tourney
2005 – Won Charity Day Tourney
2006 – Runner-up in Collins Cup
2006 – Won W.P. GrandMasters
2007 – Won W.P. Open
2008 – Won W.P. Masters
2009 – Won Winter Tourney undefeated – 8 games
2011 – Won Autumn Tourney undefeated – 8 games
Due to chronic vertigo, she will not be participating in any more Tournaments, but will still carry on with her Club. They now meet every Wednesday Night at the Pinelands Bowling Club, behind Central Square Shopping Centre.