Finished 3rd after 6 tiring games today after a rough start...Ball took the easy route to the top by avoiding several top players, and his drawing was noticeably above average again. Anyway, we'll see how he fares in the upcoming mini, he still has yet to play in div 1 in a JG mini. It's frigging about time.
I won my last 3 games to narrowly clinch my 2nd GM star......now the 1900 plussers are virtually a plateau above the rest, I'm not sure whether that's really a good thing.
Also I managed to play a number of recently mugged words..at least it paid off to some extent.
Finish:3rd out of 14
Bingos: 11 - 9 (1.83-1.5)
Reached the venue just after 9 with Tony and was greeted with the familiar sight of players milling around. Was pleasantly surprised to discover that LiWei had backed out due to other commitments-good, I don't mind 1 less competitor.
Game 1 vs Karthik
A slow game for both players- after 6 turns, the score is 137-138. After 10, 256-251. He has TRAInERS and SALTIER.. Miss a few bingos at the end and lose by 2.
Game 2 vs Tony.
I lost the first game narrowly, and am not pleased to meet Tony, who has also lost the first game. He opens with REND(10), I play YAY(29). Then SLOW(30) from him and I try OUTPRUNE*-dang those OUT-words-if OUTPREEN is good, why not! I get down JUNTA(40) and MUDDIER(30) and he loses a turn with METISES* Then I play 2 straight naturals- ABINORR to E (89) and AAEILLT to P (74), bringing me to a 313-189 lead. He gets DEWiEST(88) late but still loses 392-444.
Game 3 vs Victor
I start of strongly with TALAQ(48), only to see him come back with DIPOLES(92). I reply with AEELMNTV(92+5). I get GAPO(34) and ARnATTO(65+5) to his SANDiER(76) and STAIRED(84). Mediocre endgame tiles see me lose by 16.
Game 4 vs Kang Ng
I haven't played her in some time, so I knew it would be interesting. So she starts with ROAStED(70), but I have AAGLLTU and immediately see the bingo. She challenges but it's good. I have QUOLL(48), ZOS(48) and a desperate phony SCUB*. Her RESHiNE(88) is not enough to bridge the widening gap. I win comfortably by 72.
We break for a quick lunch of fried noodles and sandwiches. I have to win my remaining 2 games to stay in the running.
Game 5 vs Andy
He opens with JADE(24). I reply with BESTIrS(79) missing yet another 4 timer. A series of high scores - YEA(42), MINED(38), PHAT(37), VAUNTIE(84) and TERF(33) to his StOVAINE(70) and WANE(37) put me well ahead. At the end my tracking comes in handy-he has AEHILOR and 1 obvious spot which I block. However, he didn't see the bingo but it's better to play safe . Win by 86.
Game 6 vs Jessie
Anything less than a win will see me dropping out of nineteen hundred. So here it goes..I have GIIRSTU to start, play GUT-there are few options.. She replies with MIG(14). I shoot back with CEIIMRS(79). Later I have some nice scores, LITHS(44), ZAP(45), WOX(47) and OtArINE(69). She has no reply. I bingo out with CENTERED(66) and catch her with Q.
At 3.15 pm, the tourney is finally over and I collect my prize. I am very relieved later to see that my rating was maintained. I look on as Tony and Andy play 2 matches, evenly split. I end up playing with Jessie and have 4 bingos- LOUrIER(68), LANTERNS(77), WRITABLE(72) and out with JIGGLIEr(75) winning 471-380.