It was the ABSP Summer Matchplay in Edinburgh at the weekend, 11 games being played in total. Life started well, winning 5 out of 6 on the Saturday. Rewarded myself with a large glass of red wine, relaxing in the terrace garden and chilling out with friends. Stayed up to play a friendly game of doubles and then retired at a reasonable hour for me at a tournament.
Disaster struck on the Sunday, losing the first game when I had mis-tracked and thought my opponent had AEINNRS with no place to play a bonus. I was about 60 points ahead on a relatively blocked board so concentrated on maximizing my spread with a 2 move playout. I couldn't believe it when my opponent played out with RESINATA onto an A to win by 8 points. Still kicking myself about it in the next game against Paul Allan, the next highest rated player after me there. Things looked good when he had to change when starting and I played ANNEX for 50, picking AAGILRT from the bag. Out of all the places he could have played he blocked the A, stopping my spot of ALIGARTA onto the triple for 83 points. I held it together but the momentum turned in his favour. I thought I had a chance when I slotted EINORSS around a C to make NECROSIS for 83, emptying the bag, but he immediately played ST/TALLIED for 85 and game over. I took revenge in the next game, splattering my opponent by over 200.
The pairing system then went a bit wild and we were playing a king-of-the-hill repeat draw in the penultimate round. I played Neil Scott, another of the top rated Scottish players, who I had beaten narrowly on the Saturday. This time it went in his favour. I played my best worst move in this game. Holding DHORTY? and nowhere to play a bonus (THYROID leapt out) unless it ended in an S. Neil had just played a parallel RAXED making 5 2-letter words including XI down the G column. There was then a single gap and an E. I tried THYROXIDE for 50 keeping the blank. It was the absolute perfect move other than the fact it is not in OSWI - only THYROXIN/THYROXINE. So unlucky... A couple of late bonuses from me (BEEFIEST around an E and EOBIONT) only narrowed the margin of defeat to 14 points. I won the last game by 100, but that came down to who could use a danger spot first, having to hook WE and HER for the first two tiles. Luckily for me my opponent wasn't sure of HERM, so did not play EMIGRES. Down went my DENIALS to kill the game.
Tournament rating of 187 - 1 game below my rating, and rating dropped from 199 to 196. I was dropping games at 218 hence the dramatic decrease. Still got 20 games at 200+ to drop before I then drop my BMSC disaster of 176 from last year...
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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