It was the Durham Open scrabble tourney at the weekend. I was not feeling very prepared as I have spent most of the last few weeks gardening and the majority of the study I have been doing is of the new Collins words...
Game 1: Darryl Francis
Started well with three bonuses in this game. Was holding EEINRSU when Darryl very kindly provided me with a floating T. Picked AGINSVW from the bag - was not sure of WAVINGS, but it was fine. Darryl bonused back but I immediately responded with VEINIEST. Also played FALAJ for 62 and the icing on the cake.
Game 2: Mikki Nicholson
This started slowly, 102 each after 5 moves. I then played SPAWNER as a 4-x for 103 and thought life was good, but my racks deteriorated dramatically. Mikki started pegging me back and a late bonus from him put the nail in the coffin.
Game 3: Lewis Mackay
Lewis tried a phony tYPTOES on his second move against me which came off the board. With his tiles I decided my best response was to balance. He then played TEaPOYS but I slotted a bonus down the side of it to keep the lead. Another bonus from me three moves later and solid scoring meant I was never under pressure.
Game 4: Allan Simmons
We exchanged bonuses on move 3 and it was neck and neck. Allan bonused again on move 7 but I was still in touch until he bonused again on move 9. I was frustrated with BITMAPS/BAPTISM not being playable, and on my final rack of PALMIST I tried a phony hook to snatch victory but it was not to be.
Game 5: Steve Perry
Steve is a blocker so I decided to try to get the board as open as possible early on. This really paid off as the tile gods were good to me in this game. I bonused on move 3 and picked EORSSX? from the bag. I forwent the face value bonuses to play OX for 53, and picked AZ from the bag. I again spurned the bonus to play RAZES for 48, bonusing the following move with SCROTAl opening the bottom 9-x. I was on a roll and with a pick of ADGGRI? tried DARGlInG for 149 - unfortunately DARGLE does not appear to be a verb :(
Game 6: Ed Martin
Ed had won his first four games but Allan had stopped his run in the previous game. I replied on move 1 with a bonus. Ed bonused on move 3 and with AEHNSTU it looked as if I should have a bonus but could not find one - correctly dismissed UNEATHS and played of UH. On checking later there was none. I bonused again on move 4 to take a 90 point lead, following in with scores of 53, 38 and 21 before bonusing again. Ed took off the triple with sCOLD/DURUMS - I challenged DURUMS as I had been going to try it myself but was not sure of it. It was fine.
After a couple of minutes thought I spotted that my BODEGAS fitted with a 5 word overlap at the bottom of the board...
So end of day 1, 4-2 with a good spread and second place...
Game 7: Jackie McCleod
Jackie started with bonuses on moves 2 and 3 to my bonus on move 2. I was hanging in there until bonuses from her on moves 6 and 9. I made an opening of NY holding the last two Es and S, emptying the bag. Jackie could block it easily but decided to block with COPA/ANY. She looked stunned when I challenged COPA - it came off and I played out with MERCIES to reduce the spread.
Game 8: Ross McKenzie
This game was close all the way through. I was especially pleased to play a bonus from AIORRST onto an I, but Ross responded with TUN(N)ELeD to negate my score. I then went into vowelitis - EIIIOSU with four in the bag. I played off IO and picked AZ from the bag. Ross spent a while pondering and then played AHA. It could have been a lot worse if he had just played HA - his last tiles were EGLNT?
L - 21
Game 9: Amy Byrne
I started slowly, Amy bonusing on move 2. I took off on move 4 with a bonus, followed by 34 for ANODE under HUGE, and then FOID under ANODE for 43 followed by another bonus while Amy was clearly struggling and being forced to change on move 5 so when she bonused on move 6 I was still well ahead. I maintained a healthy lead for the rest of the game.
Game 10: Wayne Kelly
This was the most frustrating game. My opening rack of DDEHRT? looked full of high scoring promise but when Wayne started with KOW all I could play was DEHORTeD for 64. He bonused back immediately. On move 5 I had a choice of places to bonus and decided to keep the board open as it was so early in the game. This looked good when I picked AGENIZE from the bag - but Wayne blocked it. I then went through the rest of the game with Wayne always playing where I was going, and then his bonus fitting and mine not...
Game 11: Darryl Francis
The computer pairings decided that the last round was King of the Hill so I had Darryl again. Nothing really of note in this game other than I ended as I started.
6-5, still good spread and fifth place. Tournament rating of 180 and ABSP rating dropped another couple of points to 188.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
- ► 2012 (17)
- ► 2011 (33)
- ► 2010 (87)
- ► 2009 (110)
- ► 2008 (145)
- ▼ April (9)