E stander among sitters

Fitting snugly between the newly wrapped up Spring and impending Summer Leagues, the second Short Interleague Tournament, or SIT 2, was a welcome opportunity for some to slow down the unrelenting beat of competitive Scrabble without allowing themselves a complete albeit brief pause.


Not for Alfred Xuereb (seen in photo). With close to 4000 rated games under his belt, the veteran player not only was one of a handful of players who forewent the interim breather but also the only one who by the end of SIT had improved his initial standing. Starting out ranked sixth, Alfred rose to fourth position over the six rounds, beating the third, fourth and fifth-ranked players in all direct encounters, missing out on third place, which went to Albert Zammit, only due to an inferior spread, but grabbing the ratings prize.


Showing no sign of sitting on his Spring Leagues laurels, Xuereb was worsted only by the freshly crowned Spring Champion Moira Fenech and Josephine Mayo, first and second-ranked and winner and runner-up respectively of this weeklong tournament


In response to such a sterling performance, Xuereb's national player rating stands firmly upright, propping itself up for future upshoots by this tireless and unfading competitor. 


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