Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scrabble Nationals 2009 (Day One)

This year's Nationals is held at Bishan CC which is a new venue for me! Took a bus to Toa Payoh where I visited the National Day roadshow at HDB Hub and had a quick lunch before travelling to Bishan by MRT and walking the rest of the way to reach my destination!

Three players from the Temasek Polytechnic Scrabble team and two from the Ngee Ann Poly Scrabble team were taking part in division B. Think they are really training hard for this year's PSTAR games!

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

Game 1: vs Ganapathy

At one time, I was holding a AEIORS? rack with a floating T on the right center of the board and tried hard to think of a bingo that either started or ended with a T. Chickened out of TOASTIER and put OARIESt at a very bad position instead. My opponent immediately replied with JANE(57)! Realized that there were 2 front hooks for OARIEST after the game.[1] Had an EEMNRT? rack a few turns later with a floating E on the bottom center of the board and played cEMENTER(67) earning a challenge. Can you think of a bingo that starts with E with an EEEMNRT? rack?[2]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: OARIESt (71), cEMENTER(67) Opp Bingos: RANTING(76)
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: BAW*, BRAIT*
My High Moves: HEAD(32), SCORN(39) Opp High Moves: BOATER(34), QAT(30), JANE(57), FY(35)
L 377-420, -43. 0W 1L (Accum spread -43).

Game 2: vs Chua Geok Kian

Think my problem is that I tend to fish for tiles whenever I have a bingo prone rack but my vocabulary is so weak that I fail to see the valid anagram when I finally have a playable bingo! Had an CDEINRU rack and played two phoneys in succession: INCURED* and UNCRIED*, front hooking the E to an existing MO on the board. Gave up thinking of another bingo possibility the third time round as I thought that there may not be a playable bingo after all. Turned out that there is indeed a fairly common valid anagram![3]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: - Opp Bingos: REUNITe(62)
My Phoneys: JANTE*, INCURED*, UNCRIED* Opp Phoneys: -
My High Moves: VANG(36), ZA(35), JILTs(38), CURED(36) Opp High Moves: CHILD(34), FEEDS(30)
L 313-396, -83. 0W 2L (Accum spread -126).

Game 3: vs Jeffrey Seah

Sank to the second last table after two losses. Thought I could finally have an easy time but it was not to be! After playing ABO just below the triple score lane by front hooking an existing LOUSE on the board, my opponent played PIC(25) on the right side and led by 24 points. My tile was AGINOSY and I had to think of a five letter word whose last letter could front hook the A with only five minutes left on the clock. Kept thinking of words that ended with S like AYINS, AGIOS, YAGIS etc. that wouldn't work but finally saw one possibility after almost four minutes of agony! Two common words that would fit the bill, do you know what they are?[4]

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: -
My Phoneys: - Opp Phoneys: INKETH*, HOIL*
My High Moves: FIZ(34), AGONY(35) Opp High Moves: FIX(36), QUAI(33)
W 332-306, +26. 1W 2L (Accum spread -100).

Game 4: vs Cecilia Koh

My opponent requested to have a quick game as she had to go home earlier. Was a little bit stressed by this request but was able to play pretty quickly as I had very good tiles! Had 2 bingos early in the game and basically led from start to finish.

New words learnt: -
My Bingos: REAMING(85), REVERTED(78) Opp Bingos: BLISTERS(80)
My Phoneys: ASIaN* Opp Phoneys: GAILS*
My High Moves: FEZ(34), KY(62) Opp High Moves: QUAY(44)
W 457-328, +129. 2W 2L (Accum spread +29).

Finished day 1 with 2 wins, 2 losses and a +29 spread. Not too good considering I have not met the top players in the division like Winston and Victor yet. Hope I will play well enough on the second day to have the chance of playing with them!

Quiz answers (Highlight to see clearly):


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