Saturday, September 27, 2008

ISBG Scrabble Games 2008

The ISBG Scrabble games is held every two years, for statutory boards to take part in a friendly game of Scrabble. It was held at the PUB Recreation Center on 27th September 2008 from 9am to 5pm. 15 statutory boards are divided into four groups where round robin matches are played to select the top two teams from each group. This is then followed by a series of elimination rounds to decide the top 4 positions.

Here's my match report, with quizzes marked with [number] and the answers given at the end of the report.

Our first game was against NParks.

Game 1: NParks
Had a bye for my first game so I had a good walk around to see how the other players were doing. Noticed that the IRAS team was quite bored as they were in group A where there were only 3 teams and they had a bye in the first round. HDB and CPF had excess players and they were having practice matches against themselves. I also saw Adeline's end game where she tried AZOS* and ZOAS* in succession and they were challenged off by her opponent! Do you know what is the only back hook for AZO?[1]

My team won the match 4-1!

Our second game was against LTA.

Game 2: LTA
My opponent was a jovial man with a loud voice. Saw him previously at the final game of this year's PSTAR tournament as he was sitting diagonally across me. Had ADEIMT? at one time but gave up thinking of a bingo out of it. There are 10 anagrams for it out of which two are common words![2]. I overtook him when I bingoed with RADIAnS(70) but he was not far behind as he scored steadily. Had a lot of vowels subsequently and I exchanged several times while allowing my opponent to score heavily with EX(36) and SUQ(47). Thought I had a chance when I challenged off his TEB* in the final few moves but he scored with BrUISE(28) along the TWS lane on his next move and I lost.

Lost my second game with 357 vs 378. Our team also lost the match 2-3.

Our third game was against NUS.

Game 3: NUS
Had a relatively easier time when I surged ahead after my opponent played OB just next to the TWS lane and I bingoed with TAPERED(103). I scored steadily while keeping the board close. He had a bingo later with LAYINGs(77) but it was a bit too late. Adeline did very well against Karthik who was one of the most experienced masters player from NUS! She was trailing until she bingoed with a EHIKOOS rack[3] just above the TWS lane and scored big again with MATH underneath. It was a close match and she managed to win by just a few points.

Won my third game with 454 vs 314. Our team also won the match 3-2.

It was an interesting situation after the end of all the small group matches as NUS, LTA and DSTA all have 2 wins and 1 loss. NUS beat LTA 3-2, lost to DSTA 2-3 and won NParks 5-0. LTA lost to NUS 2-3, won DSTA 3-2 and won NParks 5-0. DSTA beat NUS 3-2, lost to LTA 2-3 and won NParks 4-1.

First step to unravel the dead-knot was to look at the matches involving just the 3 teams. All 3 teams had a 1-1 match record and 5-5 games record. Next step was to look at the matches involving all 4 teams. It was here where we lost out. All 3 teams had a 2-1 match record but both NUS and LTA had a 10-5 record while DSTA only had a 9-6 record. NUS was named group champion as they beat LTA in their head-to-head match.

I wonder what would happen if we also beat NParks by 5-0. The rules did not spell out how they would differentiate the sub-group rankings in this case. Hmm, maybe it should have been more comprehensive to cover all possible scenarios.

Packet lunch in the form of seafood fried rice was provided by the organisers. It was not very good! After lunch, some of us went back home while Jiang Pern and Adeline stayed back to play a few more informal games. Learnt later that LTA won 1st place, NUS 2nd, HDB 3rd and CAAS 4th.

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):

[1] AZON

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