Game 17: Wellington Jighere - Nig
I had made it to table 1, not from my own performance but as I was drawn to play Wellington. This meant the extra pressure of having the game annotated and on the WSC website for all to see, so I won't go into great detail here.
I missed a bonus (WEALSMAN) when Wellington blocked (S)ALESMAN. I also completely overlooked hooking BOT with the A when I played CRAP. I was very pleased to see the blank go down when Wellington bonused with (R)EFINErY as I was holding the other one and felt I still had a good chance in the game. (I)ODAtING two moves later to retake a 46 point lead was enough to get me across the line.
Game 18: Nigel Richards - NZ
My reward for winning was to stay on table one to play Nigel. This game is also annotated on the WSC website. I had a dream start when Nigel gave me an E for FaVORIT(E). I again missed a bonus, MU(S)CADEL, playing MU(S)CLED instead. A couple of other sub-optimum moves, but I still felt I had a chance until Nigel bonused with AgATIZE...
Game 19: Tim Adamson - USA
Tim bonused on his first move with A(R)UGULAS and I exchanged 6 tiles, catching him back up the following move with S(U)NSHAdE. The game was pretty close until Tim bonused again on move 9 with COvETIN(G). I was forced to make a low scoring opening. Tim only part blocked it, but DONSIER was not enough for me to win.
Game 20: Patrick Litunya - Ken
I was really struggling at the start of this game with an excess of vowels, playing off AGA, FIE and DAE. Patrick bonused on move 3 with SODAINE followed by ZO two moves later for 63. I got back on move 7 with tENEBRI(O), and took the lead the following move with OXEN, keeping it for the next three turns. Then Patrick bonused with MALTASE - game over.
Game 21; David Eldar - Aus
As much as I was liking the Canadians in this tournament I was beginning to hate the Australians. I was never in this game. David got a hat-trick against me on moves 3,4 and 5. I tried a hook I was fairly sure was not allowed as I needed the points - David held for a while before challenging. Off it came. I then opted to play the bonus to open up a 9-x, and David had choices holding both the blanks...
Game 22: Wajid Iqbal - Pak
I was never under any pressure in this game. I was starting and changed tiles. I bonused on move 4 with MEANeST, and changed five tiles again on move 5. This policy seemed to be working - (N)EMPT balanced a consonant heavy rack. Wajid opened the triple with JA(T)O, I opened another with KiNGLES on move 7. Wajid played a phony (CRA(K)Y) that I challenged off. An easy 51 with the X for me. Wajid took the J triple, and I took the K triple. I was 150 up and kept the margin through to the end.
Game 23: Siu Hean Cheah - Sgp
Cheah appeared to be vowel heavy, opening with UNAI. I had the opposite problem and dumped W(I)Z. OXO from Cheah, and FRUG from me. I bonused on move 3 with UNDRAPE. Cheah hit straight back with OVENBiR(D) to retake the lead, but I had picked sHETL(A)ND from the bag. I took a while looking for the 9-x - having checked the only other bonus is HUNTEDLY which I didn't know and it didn't fit anyway. Cheah bonused again on move 7 with NITRIDE but was still behind, and I scored well on the triple with ARTSY. Cheah took the other one with KAYO. I dumped EUOI and had a kind pickup for TANGIES the following move. I now just had to not do anything stupid to win.
Game 24: Howard Warner - NZ
Howard started with BOWER, and my opening rack of NETLIKE was playable. Howard levelled the scores at 144 each on move 5 with the great spot of (DI)SSIpATE on a tight board. AX from me. Howard then tried to block any high scoring plays from me hooking AX onto the double with FOOD, which set up YUCH from a grotty rack for 64! (T)UNNAGES on move 9 from me sealed the game, and playing out with RObINIA just rubbed salt into the wounds.
After the first game of the day my hopes were high, but after losing the next 4 I suppose I have to be happy to have stopped the rot and finished the day all square. 14.5-9.5 for the tourney and 15th place.
I went over to congratulate Suanne Ong as being the top female finisher, on 15 wins. She very sweetly said that I was still the top woman, she was the top girl :)
Nigel and Ganesh had made it through to the final the following day.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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