Friday, December 28, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Causeway travellers..

10 teams at Causeway next year.

(Shortest) Travel times to JB are shown.

US- Boston- London (6hr 25 min) London- Singapore (13 hr 20 min) S'pore - JB 1.5 hr
Total- 21 hr 15 min

Dallas-Tokyo (13 hr 30 min) Tokyo-Singapore (7hr 25min) S'pore - JB 1.5hr
Total- 22hr 25 min

New York-Hong Kong (16 hr) Hong Kong - S'pore (3hr 50 min) S'pore- JB 1.5 hr
Total time: 21 hr 20min

Canada- Montreal-London (6hr 25 mins) London-S'pore (12 hr 40min) S"pore-JB 1.5 hr
Total time: 20 hr 35min

Toronto-London (7 hr 15 min) London-S'pore (12 hr 40min) S"pore-JB 1.5 hr

Total Time: 21 hr 25 min

UK- London- Singapore (12 hr 40 min) S'pore-JB 1.5hr
Total time: 14 hr 10 min

NZ- Auckland-Singapore (10 hr 30 min) S'pore- JB 1.5 hr
Total time: 12 hr

Thailand- BKK- S'pore (2 hr 30min) S'pore-JB 1.5 hr
Total time: 4 hr

Philippines- Manila- S"pore (3 hr 40 min) S'pore- JB 1.5 hr
Total time: 5 hr 10mins

Nigeria- Lagos- Nairobi (5hr) Nairobi-Mumbai (6hr) Mumbai- Singapore (5hr) Singapore-JB 1.5hr

Total time: 17.5 hr

Friday, December 14, 2007

WSC finals game 3 analysis

An important game. Nigel needs 1 more game to win. Win% and equity will be shown..

Note that although there's a championship player report on the site, the report is done with relatively few iterations and isn't very accurate.

See the game here

>Nigel: BCEOPSZ H7 BEZ +28 28

Best. Playing POZ(28), leaving BCES isn't best as the COPS combo is better. An interesting situation where keeping the E isn't the best move.

Move Score Win% Equity
8G BEZ 28 59.28% 41.2
8G POZ 28 57.52% 37
8G ZEP 28 57.49% 36.9
8G COZ 28 55.85% 33.0
8G BOP 14 54.51% 29.8

>Ganesh: CGIKNRT 8F TRECKING +66 66

Best. This rack combines with every vowel so he is virtually assured of a bingo.

TRECKING 66 59.7% 69.3

>Nigel: CEEOPRS K3 RECOP.ES +74 102

Best. Nigel plays the only playable bingo.

Move Score Win% Equity

RECOPIES 74 57.7% 73.5

>Ganesh: AABGNNN 4J BEGAN +16 82

Ganesh's choice isn't the best here- I8 CANN/ZA, undoubling the Ns is 6.5 pts better. It also makes for a more open board which is favourable as he is trailing. Also superior are CAN and CANG in the same position. Keeping 2 Ns is unproductive.

Move Score Win% Equity

I8 CANN 19 33.27% 19.5
I8 CAN 18 30.34% 12.5
I8 CANG 20 30.32% 13.2
6J GONNA 12 30.19% 13.0
4J BEGAN 16 30.16% 13.0
J2 BAN 15 30.13% 12.5

>Nigel: DFIJOWX 3M JOW +46 148

A very obvious choice. Nigel surges ahead quickly with his pickup of several power tiles

Move Score Win% Equity

3M JOW 46 72.0% 44.2
3M FIX 38 69.32% 39.1

>Ganesh: AADINNO F4 ADNATION +63 145

Best. Despite having 2 bingos to 1, Ganesh is down by only 3 points and is back in the game

Move Score Win% Equity
F4 ADNATION 63 39.29% 64.9

>Nigel: AADFIUX J6 DUKA +26 174

After 10000 iterations, Nigel's choice is the best. DUKA scores decently and keeps a flexible AFIX for a potential high-scoring move later. Other choices like FAUX and CAUF are close, but DUKA is definitely superior in that it keeps the X. If Ganesh opens the board, Nigel will have no trouble capitalizing on it with a good play. Also, DUKA keeps the board tight- aver opp score is 5 pts lower after DUKA than FAUX.

Move Score Win% Equity

J6 DUKA 26 56.14% 27.1
G10 FAUX 29 56.13% 27.1
I8 CAUF 22 55.37% 25.6
G10 FAIX 29 55.32 % 25.6
11E UNFIX 30 54.93% 24.9
E5 AUF 25 54.8% 24.6
G1 FAUX 24 50.97% 17.7

>Ganesh: EFMNOST E4 FOEN +29 174

FEW (27) is marginally better here while FOEN is quite close. Also of consideration is FON(12), which combines with quite a lot of tiles but the board is not very conducive to bingoes. Also, Nigel is very unlikely to open the board at this point. FEW's advantage is that it keeps 1 vowel. MNOST could also become quite bingo prone if 2 vowels are picked up. However it doesn't open the board much.

Move Score Win% Equity

O1 FEW 27 46.85% 42.2
e4 FOEN 29 45.93% 40.8
N2 FON 12 45.5% 39.7
4D FOAM 18 43.54% 36.6

>Nigel: AFGIUXY 11E UNFIX +30 204

Nigel's play of UNFIX is almost best. N2 GONIF, keeping the X, is slightly better. Despite opening a TWS line, it outscores UNFIX and keeps the X for a potential 11D YUNX next turn. Also playable is the new word 11C GUANXI(28), which is not a bad play either. Other plays do poorly as they open too many hotspots.

Move Score Win% Equity

N2 GONIF 34 56.11% 29.2
11E UNFIX 30 55.98% 29.1
11D GUANXI 28 55.46% 28.3
E10 YUGA 25 54.97% 27.4
11B FAXING 34 53.62% 25.3
G10 FAUX 29 51.12% 21.2

>Ganesh: EEHMMST L10 HMM +25 199

Quite a mediocre play from Ganesh here. HMM doesn't score much and instead creates an even more blocked board. Superior are N2 MONTH for 36 pts or even O1 MEW for 24.

N2 MONTH 36 48.61% 46.7
O1 MEW 24 47.8% 45.6
D5 HMM 27 43.97% 39.3
J11 THEME 32 43.88% 37.5
N2 MONEME 32 43.81% 39.1
5M MEM 22 42.17% 36.4

>Nigel: ADGNOOY 2N YO +27 231

Interesting array of moves available here. Nigel's move is 3rd best, after 5K COGON for 25 and O1 YOW(27). COGON keeps the board tight while scoring, despite keeping the Y.

Move Score Win% Equity

5K COGON 60.55% 30.3
O1 YOW 27 59.24% 29.0
M11 YOGA 27 59.02% 28.9
5K COY 24 57.63% 26.2

>Ganesh: ?EEHSTW O1 W.. +27 226

Best. Nigel's play allow's Ganesh an easy dump of the W in WOW.Other options include J11 THEW/UNFIXT (34) which is slightly risky as there is a blank and 2 Ss unseen. Other plays don't come close.

Move Score Win% Equity

O1 WOW 27 66.85% 77.2
J11 THEW 34 65.02% 73.4
O1 HOW 27 63.42% 71.4
G3 WHEE 30 61.74 67.8

>Nigel: ADEGNOV 5K .OG +20 251

The scores are extremely close now and Nigel makes the best move which doesn't open any bingo lanes. Other moves like 12A VEGAN(28) AND G4 VADE do poorly as they open the board up.

Move Score Win% Equity
5K COG 20 57.63% 26.0
12A VEGAN 28 57.03% 24.1
G3 VADE 26 55.65% 23.4
3I VOR 14 53.12% 19.2

>Ganesh: ?EEHIST M10 HE +18 244

Ganesh misses a difficult bingo, mETH(OD)ISE for 63 pts but surprisingly this isn't the best move, as it opens a few lines for an opponent comeback. M10 HIE for 23 pts, while keeping the blank, is better though taking the bingo may be better as the board is not conducive for bingoes. Bingoing first also increases the chance of picking the last blank.

Move Score Win% Equity

M10 HIE 23 67.37% 69.0
M10 HIES 31 66.1% 66.5
M10 HEIST 33 64.59% 64.7
M10 HE 18 63.67% 63.8
5A METHODISE 62 60.78% 59.8

>Nigel: ?ADEINV H11 IVIED +39 290

Best. Opening up the board now is fine as the play scores well and keeps the blank.

Move Score Win% Equity
H11 IVIED 39 85.39% 69.1
m10 HEAVED 30 79.6% 57.8

>Ganesh: ?EIISTT 15H DIrTIEST +77 321

One of the best plays. Ganesh chooses not to stick the S in the TWS lane with plays like DIETISTs for an easy comeback.

Move Score Win% Equity
DIThEIST 77 57.93% 76.2
DIrTIEST 77 57.69% 75.8
DIETIsTS 77 54.43% 72.0

>Nigel: ?AEINQS 13C EQuIN.AS +86 376

Ganesh's small advantage is rapidly vanquished by Nigel's bingo.

Move Score Win% Equity
13C EQUINIAS 86 81.8% 88.7

>Ganesh: AELRUUY D7 AYU +13 334

Ganesh is trailing by 55 points on a fairly closed board. The sims aren't very accurate here as quackle doesn't always block the right spots. He chooses to play AYU(13), which could set up RANA, TANA or even NANA. However this might not be necessary. 6M AYU(26) only puts him down by 29, within striking range. It is worth noting that there is already 1 bingo line along column C

6M AYU 26 7.75% 16.5
14M YU 19 7.69% 14.6
D7 AYU 13 5.88% 7.2

>Nigel: AEOPRTV C1 OVERAPT +81 457

Ganesh's play instead provides a place for Nigel's bingo to fit. If he had played 6M AYU, Nigel would have no bingo.

Move Score Win% Equity
C1 OVERAPT 81 97.33% 77.7

>Ganesh: EEELLRU 12A LEE +6 340

With 6 tiles remaining in the bag now and also trailing by 123, Ganesh has no choice but to open a triple-triple lane. With 2 triple-triple lanes open, he has a small chance of catching up.

Full game sims-

2A LEVEL 16 2.11% 1.1
12A LEE 6 1.64% -8.3
14L LEU 0.64% 6.8
N11 LURES 15 0.52 -1.5

>Nigel: AILORRT 6M AR +16 473

By leaving 1 tile in the bag, Nigel nearly guarantees the win, by going ahead by 135. This play also sets up another bingo line possibly allowing him to bingo out. However a comeback IDOLATER (140) could still be possible.

Move Score Win% Equity

6M AR 16 99.22% -15.4
M10 HEIL 18 94.63%

>Ganesh: AEILRTU A8 TAILLEUR +122 462

Ganesh plays the bingo but it is way too late.

>Nigel: DILORST 1B T.ROIDS +27 500

Best. Nigel seals it.

>Ganesh: L 11L ..L +5 467

>Ganesh: (L) +2 469

Equity loss- Nigel 2 Ganesh 30

Ave loss: Nigel 15 Ganesh 48

Nigel wins the game and is the champion.

Overall both players played quite well. Nigel had the better tiles overall and easier rack choices.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

WSC finals game 2 analysis

Nigel now leads 1-0 and plays Ganesh again. This game is definitely more interesting than the previous one..

>Ganesh: AEEOSUY 8G YOU +12 12

Best here is h8 YOUSE(24) by about 6 pts, althought I doubt most players would play off their S for a mere 24 pts at the beginning. Even so, h8 UEY is about 2.5 pts better- AEOS is better than AEES.

>Nigel: ACIIJNP 9F CAIN +19 19

Nigel seems to have had a penchant for keeping the J and this is what he does yet again. F7 JAI is about 1 pt superior, as it dumps the J, but CAIN also sets up the J in the form of JUN. CAIN is a rather defensive move with an average opp score of just 29.

>Ganesh: AEEHRST J3 AETHERS +82 94


>Nigel: BIJKLLP 3I PALKI +28 47

Another interesting choice. Again, Nigel holds back playing off the J. Slightly surprisingly, it sims best, superior to 4I KELP or 7I JELL (37). PALKI scores while keeping the J for JUN next, which was exactly what happened.

>Ganesh: EEGIIIU -IIEGU +0 94

Ganesh changes all but IE. Keeping just E is 1.5 pts better though.

>Nigel: BIIJLOR 7I J.RBIL +42 89

Best by far.

>Ganesh: EEFIOTW L1 WO.E +30 124

Also best.

>Nigel: GGIMORS O3 OGRISM +49 138

Best, finally using the S for a good score.

>Ganesh: EFGISTV 1L .EFT +30 154


>Nigel: ?BCEGOO N6 B.OG +27 165

Best also.

>Ganesh: GINRSVZ 5H RI.Z +26 180

After a 4-ply sim, 7J TING (22) superior to RITZ by 3 pts. VIGS/BLOGS is also not too bad

>Nigel: ?ACEOWY 6F WYE +19 184


>Ganesh: DGMNQSV -GVNQDM +0 180

Best. Ganesh has no choice but to change.

>Nigel: ?ACNNOR M9 ACORN +20 204

ANCON in the exact same position, keeping ?R, is better by 6 pts.

>Ganesh: AAEENST 5E EA +9 189

Best for it creates 2 openings for a bingo later.

>Nigel: ?ADENOO 4A ODONAtE +73 277

Best score although it is slightly risky. 12H wANDEROO(68) would have been slightly safer.

>Ganesh: AEINSTT D3 A.TIENTS +62 251

Best. With such a nice rack, the only bingo is through the N.

>Nigel: AGHNOQU 11I QUOH.G +38 315

Also best.

>Ganesh: DEEILRU A4 .URIE +15 266

HUE(18) is about 8 pts better here. Better score and leave, while leaving the TWS open for a possible comeback.

>Nigel: AAFNNTX 3A TAN. +21 336

Yet another unexpected move from Nigel. Playing B8 FAX(28) to block the main bingo line would be better.

>Ganesh: ?DDELPU B8 DUPLiED +85 351

Ganesh plays the bingo to lead by 15.

>Nigel: AFIINVX A13 FAX +47 383

Nigel leads by 32 now and there 9 tiles unseen- ADEEMLSTV. From the pool Ganesh could have MALTEDS, DELATES or even VELETAS to bingo out.. As he is trailing now, blocking is not the right thing to do. FAX here is best as it doesn't allow a parallel play hooking AD. FAX wins 58% of games, while FIX wins just 40%.

>Ganesh: ADELMTV K10 M.VED +11 362

Best, blocking VISIER for 50 pts.

>Nigel: EIINSV E10 IVIES +18 401

Best also.

>Ganesh: ALT N13 ALT +8 370

LEAT is 3 pts better not that it matters now

>Ganesh: (N) +2 372

Equity loss Nigel 11 Ganesh 22

Quite a well-played game for both sides. Nigel played the endgame well to win. No bingoes were missed.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

WSC finals game 1 analysis

I have decided to do an analysis of the final games, using Quackle, also because the Championship player reports are not fully accurate. Sims will be 2 to 4 ply with enough iterations.

See the game here.

Nigel starts game 1.

>Nigel: AAGOTVZ H6 GAVOT +18 18

Nigel makes quite an unconventional start, playing GAVOT in the middle of the board for 18 points instead of 22. He aims to double the Z on the next move right beside the A or O he has opened. Also this is rather defensive as it doesn't directly open any double-double lines (except for a bingo hooking GAVOT).

After 6000 iterations, 8d GAVOT is about even with nigel's choice, surprisingly. Other choices like ZAG don't do well as they use the Z for too few points. Ave. opp score is 37.6 after H6 GAVOT compared to 39.8 for the more open H4 play.

>Ganesh: AEEFGOU I9 FEAGUE +26 26

Best, although it is extremely open. Other choices like FEU or FOU don't do very well due to the vowel-heavy leave.

>Nigel: AAERXYZ H13 YEX +46 64

Also best. The best score available, while finishing off the TWS.

>Ganesh: CDNOPTT 11I ADOPT +16 42

Inferior by 3 pts to j7 POTT. The disadvantage is that POTT leads to very closed boards, and Ganesh is already trailing.

>Nigel: AAARTUZ L9 ZUPA +30 94

Best. Other choices are 6H GAZAR (35) and L9 ZUPATA (34) which are both inferior by 2 pts. Keeping the U is quite unproductive..

>Ganesh: BCDNNRT -CNDBN +0 42

Exchanging isn't best here. Ganesh is already trailing by 50 points and 7g BAND(11), 7f BRAND or even 14F BREED(18) would be slightly better. Simulation backs this up.

>Nigel: AAHRRST G5 RAH +22 116

2nd best. M8 HART(22) is slightly better. Other good choices include M8 TARTAR(30) and M11 THAR.

>Ganesh: IILNRTT 13K INTIL +26 68

Best. Trailing by 64, Ganesh opens a triple-triple line..

>Nigel: ADLORST I5 LOD +19 135

3rd best. 14l SOD and F4 LOD(19) are very slightly better.. F4 LOD results in a slightly higher score next turn, as any bingo hooking LOD could fit easily.

>Ganesh: ACORTUW O8 COTWAL +36 104

A bad miss. OUTCRAWL would have brought Ganesh ahead by 34 pts and given him an advantage. COTWAL is some 67 pts down.

>Nigel: ?AIRSTV 4H VARSITy +81 216

Best, also VASTIeR in the same place.

>Ganesh: ?BBFRRU 3L BUB +25 129

Best. Other options include 9e RUBOFF for 17 pts which is 5 pts back as it opens an easy TWS line.

>Nigel: DDMNOPR M7 DROPT +25 241

Best also, in score.

>Ganesh: ?AEFGRR O1 FRA +26 155

Inferior by 2 pts to J4 RAGER, but this is quite overrated as it doesn't open the board and Nigel is quite unlikely to open it now that he has a good lead. H1 GRAV for 24 pts is better as it opens the board a little and keeps ?FER

>Nigel: DIJMNSU 14L SIN +29 270

A very strange move by Nigel to say the least. 8 pts inferior to JUD. F4 JUD(30) would have effectively closed the board down and prevented any possible comeback. If Nigel had played JUD, Ganesh would have to play dENIGRATE (63) which opens the board quite a bit

>Ganesh: ?AEGINR F7 sERINGA +66 221


>Nigel: DHIJMNU 8A INHUME +36 306

Best. INHUME scores well and keeps the J for a decent score later. Also worth considering is k7 JUD which scores 24 and keeps the board closed. There are quite a lot of Es left- 8/29 tiles.

>Ganesh: EEIKMOS F2 MOKE +18 239

An attempt by Ganesh to set up SMOKE, even if there is still 1 more S out there. However it is inferior to E8 MOKE(32) by 16 pts, keeping a better leave of EIMS.

>Nigel: ACDIJLY A8 .CILY +14 320

Another strange move from Nigel. ICILY doesn't score well or block effectively. Much better is 7b ICY 28. It blocks a few lines and also threatens JA atop for 59. There are many other better plays too- 2M JAR (38) and G1 JAY (30).

>Ganesh: EEEEISS E8 .ESE +20 259


>Nigel: ADEJNRW K4 SWEARD +33 353

Ganesh blocked Nigel's UNDERJAW for 96 ! G1 JEW(30) and 2M JAR (38) are much better- keeping the J at this stage isn't very good.

>Ganesh: EEEEIOS 1F SEE +20 279

Ganesh picks up too many Es and has to play some of them. As there is only 1 tile in the bag, fishing for a bingo now is quite pointless.

>Nigel: IJLNOQT N6 QI +34 387


>Ganesh: EEINO J3 IRON +20 299

Best too.

>Nigel: JLNOT G14 JO +28 415


>Ganesh: EE 4D EE. +14 313

>Ganesh: (NLT) +6 319

Overall I felt that Ganesh played fairly well overall despite his miss of OUTCRAWL, but really one mistake is enough to decide the game sometimes. Nigel, despite making some strange plays, played quite consistently throughout the game to win.

Equity loss- Nigel 31 Ganesh 94

Monday, November 19, 2007

WSC day 3 and 4

With 11 wins so far, I needed 7 wins to make the finals..

I was due to face Suanne first, who has been doing quite well this tournament.

Game 17 vs Suanne- Suanne starts slow with AHI(12). I play BIO(18) below while she plays PERIA*(22). I neglect to challenge it as I can get down DERAIL(E)R(61). The score is close until I bingo again with FATIGuE(84), while she replies with MISDIET(91). TUNY(46) and REZ(32) for me give me an advantage while she struggles with few vowels. At the end she is unable to play off her J and Q, having no vowels, giving me the spread I need.

W 443-364

Game 18 vs John Olaughlin.

I start off strongly with CORNETs(72) and PERTHITE(72) to his BIJOU(28). John finally bingoes with ERINItE(61) while I maintain my lead with STERVES(78) and other high-scoring plays. John gets down SALINAS(66) later, but I have the tiles to win easily.

W 460-378

Game 19 vs Panupol

Panupol opens with a blank bingo- AgISTED(68). I havfe BEJOOSU and play JOBED(30). We both exchange tiles at the same time but after that I reply strongly with LAVeERS(98) and HERDER(42) to counter his STARRIER(60). AMNIOTE(82) for me followed by a nice ZOEAL(91) with 5 overlaps 2 turns later give me a good lead. At the end Panupol gets OX(51) but I out with TISANE(13) to win.

W 463-436

Game 20 vs Tim
Excellent tiles this game- My first few moves are PRAISED(76), FISSULAR which was challenged, FISTULAS(61), ENAMOUR(91), CERATOID(63) and LACKEY(54). Tim has ENROOTED(68) and JOINtERY(101) which I only discovered was phony after the game.. A late SaLIGOT(84) for me extends the spread.

W 589-384

At this point I have 15 wins and have a chance at making the finals, if I win 3 of the remaining 4 games..

Game 21 vs Charnwit- Charnwit is a rather defensive player. He opens with JEE to which I play JUCO(14) and his PENMEN(14) blocks my ACIERAGE(92). The rest of the game was unfruitful- KNIVED(51) and TINNY(49) to minimize the spread of his DEVIANTS(64) and ReALIsT(70)

L 340-372

Game 22 vs Jighere

A crucial game. However it was not to be. This is one of the most closed games I have played.
Jighere gets 2 easy bingos with the blanks later to win while I can't do very much.

L 283-438

Game 23 vs Nigel- Another important game which would definitely have some consequences on Nigel's chances of making the finals....He started with FIREDOG(77) but EXO(58), HITCHER(97) and JEW(49) gave me the advantage. See the board below

Game 24 vs Akshay- Not much chance this game either. Akshay gest 3 bingoes straight- VISITEE, MeTICAL and vELIGER. I have ZOOEA(42), CURDIEST(76) to narrow the spread.

L 370-443

Fairly satisfied with my 7th place finish, especially as it was my first WSC...The finals were well played overall and Ganesh' miss of OUTCRAWL was a waste.

Congratulations to Nigel.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WSC- day 2

Day 2 dawned, and I was to play with Dean Saldanha, not an easy opponent.

Game 9 vs Dean who finished 47th

I start with WOW(18), keeping 2 Ss. Dean replies with JEW(14) followed by an exchange of tiles. I continue scoring well with OHS(34), CIG(23) and AYES(40) atop his nice RELIEVO(68).. Dean changes yet again later while I rush ahead with OSTIATE(75) which Dean held briefly. But Dean bingoes with MATIlDA(74) while I DEEITTQ and put down TIED(27). I hold on to the Q for a few turns, and finally get rid of it in SQUAIL(35). Close to the end I hold EGIPOV? and play TAV, leaving 1 in the bag. I pick an R and bingo out with PiEROGI(81).

W 482-328

Game 10 vs Patrick (Kenya) who finished 6th

Patrick opens with the unassuming AVA(12). I have AAGENKU and play KAGU(21). Patrick fishes off the Y for 10 points and bingoes next with SODAINE(78), missing a better bingo. REEARNED(63) followed by ROSINATE(69) get me back into the thick of things. A series of high-scoring plays from me- FIX(58), CHARD(40) and ZEA(40) increase my lead to 80. Patrick then gets a double-blank bingo- lITERaL(75) but I have the tiles at the end to win narrowly.

W 435-419

Game 11 vs adam Philpotts who finished 51

Open with FOXY(34) while Adam overlaps BIMA(30) atop. I take the lead with TENPINS(73) next. Adam has ADMOTT? and phonies with STOMATeD. I choose to block MATTOiDS to play safe while Adam has to play TOM(25). I phony with CARAPE* next while Adam narrows the gap with IKAT(42). But later I get SCAURIES(83+5) and FRESHETS(92+5), as well as ELOINEd(79) to win easily. Adam only has PRELOADs(72).

W 500-349

Game 12 vs Nigel who finished 1st

My win against Adam has brought me to 4th and I face nigel next on table 1 to be annotated for the first time ever. I have STAGIEsT(82), AIRBOAT(74), AWN(45) and JEU(47) to his HEROISE(85) and ANOTHER(75) to win narrowly.

W 432-408

Game 13 vs Joel Wapnick who finished 4th

Open with JEW(26) and rush ahead with FREITIER(94) next turn. Joel has ENORmOUs(70) and ERMINES(76), but I have LEAPT(30), REALISTS(70), EH(36) and even ZOOT(48+5). Surprised to see Joel challenge ZOOT. It seems that many of the american players aren't that good on the Collins words- even Tim challenged NAS. However my ZOOT gives him an easy ZEBU(45). He has a late SCANTIER but I have good enough tiles to win. This is my 9th straight win in a row.

W 500-473

Game 14 vs Jighere who finished 3rd

Open with LAW/AERT. Jighere bingos with OLIVInES(63). Jighere is also one of the most defensive players I have played. He plays to close the board down, and will slowly block every opening if he is leading. Another extremely blocked game. I made several openings only to see them being blocked quickly.

L 340-369

Game 15 vs Ganesh who finished 2nd

I start with UPLAY(28) while Ganesh plays GUM(17) and CREEPERS(64). 2 turns later, I get ROTENONE(64) only to see him play BAKERIES atop for 124. I attempt to narrow the gap with WIZ(44), BAIRDS(26) and VULN(34) but it is quite futile as he plays CHOOSES(68) and REcITINg(74) later for a large win. Not much chance here.

L 357-551

Game 16 vs Edward who finished 13th

Edward is one of the fastest opponents in the room. I score consistently again with HUB(21), WOO(31), GAZAL(35) and BoYSIER(79) to his GOATIEr(68). ANTACID(70) from me, followed by OX(48) several turns later make for an easy win.

W 421-339

Pleased to finish the day joint 6th. We venture down to the Indian restaurant again for some more delicious food After that I meet up with Adrian for 2 games of scrabble. I won the first one handily but lose the next one.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photos up

Finally managed to get some of the photos up to facebook.

View them here. You don't need to be a member to see them. More to come soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WSC report- Day 1

I reached the Taj President early at 7.40 on Friday morning for the first day of WSC. We were staying at the Ascot Hotel, a well-furnished hotel not far from the venue. Other players- Tim Adamson, Jim Kramer and a few Brits were also staying there.

The pairings were already out and I was matched with Gerry Carter.Having played with him many times before, I knew that he was not one to be underestimated

Game 1 vs Gerry (Thailand) who finished 38th

Start with the unpalatable AIIIMTV after his opening YAULD(26). I decide to play ATIMY for a handful of points while Gerry bingoes with TORSADES(86). I have AIIIOVZ and play AZO(48). More mediocre racks of several Is follow. He blocks my SINICISE on move 5, while I get down INCENSE(82) to trail by 50. A late HASTIER(86) narrows the gap by much. The scores are 392-388 to Gerry but he holds EFIRM?? to my AADFWR to win rather easily.

L 422-436 Current position: 59th

With that loss I am paired with Greger from Sweden who is a rather nice guy.

Game 2 vs Greger Nassen(Sweden) who finished 103rd

I begin with AEGINRU which has no 7s so I change the U. Greger plays GLARY(26) and I play REARNING(86)* which I now realise is phony. It stays though and he plays QI(31). 2 turns later, I get down BlOVIATE(76) folowed by FrONTAGE(74). Greger plays a late LANDERS(74) but I play FAIRIES(74) to further extend my lead. A comfortable win.

W 526-361 Current position:33rd

Game 3 vs Michael Gongolo(Ken) who finished 30th

Michael changes 3 tiles while I hold EEMRSUU and play UMU. I bingo with TUYERES(65+5) next followed by RADIX(47). He quickly plays AERATING(70). Scores are close till the end when Michael plays COZ/OB/ZA for 69 points, effectively finishing the game. My last rack of DMGNS?? is not useful.

L 375-434 Current position-72nd

Game 4 vs Wajid Iqbal(PAK) who finished 58th

I have BDJIMRU to open and play JUD(22). Wajid plays WOP and I play IMBRUE(25), keeping another I..Later I get TAILBONE(74) and STIRRES(88) to surger ahead while he has ANOTHER(77). I play FIND(35), BENTY(34) and VLY(22) to lead narrowly. At the end, he has SEDATiNG(72) to draw close. I set up a TWS score with ZEE which he blocks with AA(8). I play SAiGH(69) which I am surprised to find invalid while he outs with AURIC to win by 60. A waste indeed.

L379-415 Current position -76th

Lunch break- The buffet spread is pretty good, much better than the typical Indian food you would get in Singapore. Dhal curries, chicken masala, mutton curry, salads and even some sinful deserts like rasmalai and kulfi

Game 5 vs Mohan Chunkath(IND) who finished 80th

I begin with FOREL/EH(24), while Mohan plays LOZEN(28) to which I reply with HEFTY(45). Later I get down BITTERER to the R for 72, and follow up with EXORDIAL(67) and DUSTINGS(64) to take the lead. But Mohan attempts a comeback with mAIDANS(70), picking the last blank. On a closed board, I have HINNOLU to his AADIPO?. Fortunately there is no bingo for him and I win easily

W 413-359 Current position- 57th

Game 6 vs Sam (US) who finished 29th

A cracking game. I reply with KAIE(22) to Sam's opening OX(18), while he plays LINDIES(72) which I reply with a double-double DENOTING(90). Sam takes the triple with HOUSED(32) while I play COVERING(78) to his ROQUE(45). Then I get down another bingo-INLAYER(72) which Sam replies with JOHN and TENURIAL(72). After the 6 turns, I lead 356-284. A series of high-scoring moves continue-GET(45), FADS(57) and ZEsT(77). Fortunately I manage to bingo on the 2nd last turn with PROGrA(M)S for 69 and out with QUEP next.

W 565-434 Current position- 42nd

Game 7 vs Chris Ntege (UGA) who finished 100th.

Chris opens with THUD(16) while I have an easy FEERINS(79). I play GOLI(AR)D for 36 next, followed by QI(35) and ECTOzOA(70) to his STONIER(69) and ZOEAE(48) More consistent scoring-XU(40), VODOU(26) and NEW(40) further extend my lead. A late ARSENAL(79) brings my score above 500..

W 529-367 Current position- 28th

Game 8 vs Ralph Lobo who finished 41st

Lat game of the day. I had played with his brother, Douglas several times before but it was my first matchup with Ralph. I hold ABEENIW and play WEB(16), missing a few superior plays. Ralph dumps both Vs with VIVE(18) The game is close until I bingo first with SCRUPLeR(2), immediately drawing a challenge. I have a surfeit of As later- AAAAILZ, AAALSZ?. At the end, Ralph is stuck with the Q, which is a boost to my spread.

W401-324 Current positon -22nd

Pleased to have won all of the afternoon's games to finish 22nd for day 1, despite a rather shaky start. After the games we venture down to Konkan Cafe, an Indian restaurant in the Taj which serves very good Indian cuisine. The steamed pomfret fillet with spices is absolutely delicious. Very good service too.

After the first day, Paul Allan from Scotland leads the field for now, followed by Nigel and Charnwit

Comments welcome.

PS: I'm on facebook.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Leaving for Mumbai now. Hope to finish in top 20. WSC here I come !

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

WSC looms.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Leaving for India on Thursday. Hope to do well and finish in top third.

Monday, October 29, 2007

JG mini- again

Finished 3rd with a record of 5-3+565, one of my highest spreads at minis ever.. Fairly balanced racks this time, and more than a few opponent phonies..Good practice for the WSC indeed

Ave score: 475-404
Q: 3/8

Total moves:101-102
Ave. moves per game: 12.63-12.75
Score per move: 37.6-31.7

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

There are 4 types of pple. Those who don't blog and don't read blogs, those who don't blog but read blogs, those who blog occsaionally( 1-2 wks) for the sake of posting and the enthusiastic ones who post every few days.

BTW, the answer to the previous puzzle is SIC(KNURS)INGS.

For those who don't know, I do have a food blog here. Do check it out..

Monday, October 22, 2007

High game

Had a high-scoring game against Dorai with 5 bingos without any blanks. 648-339

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New food blog ( u guessed it)

On my birthday, it is an appropriate time to set up a new food blog:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I love cheesecake.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Another disappointing finish, somewhat due to some strange racks and a shortage of power tiles (not blanks). 0/8 Xs, 3/8 Z and also 14/32 S. Lost the last game by 2 pts, and might have a better chance if I had challenged off ESPIEGLES*/SUB, but I had a good place to play the J so I didn't bother. Ended up losing just 36.8 equity pts that game, in several small plays. Played some nice words like DIGERATI and UPTOWNER, not gonna talk much about the games.I did manage to extend a play of VANQUISHING from VANQUISH against Cheah though. KB won the divison, surprisingly despite a slow start.

Too many strange racks-

After it all ended, me, GH and WB followed Cheah for dinner aat the Guild house at Bukit Timah. Pretty decent food.

This was soon followed by ice-cream nearby.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sunday- again

Lunch at Macau express in Expo. This eatery serves chinese food with portugese influence, like baked rice, portugese egg tarts, tea and other stuff

Some noodle soup with prawns-

Chicken chop baked rice ($7.90). Not bad, with many ingredients. The sauce was quite tasty. Fairly good value. 7.5/10

Baked rice with pork chop- another tasty dish, but the chicken baked rice is still tastier.


Just got my new white-covered dell Laptop today. Excellent delivery- less than 4 days. Just installed Zyzzyva, Lexpert, Quackle and several other programs. Finally back to Windows, at least for now.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is in response to Henry's tag.

1 .5 Things In Our Bag
-Water bottle

5 Things In Our Wallet:
-transit card
-library card

5 Thing We Like Most In Our Room:
-Air con
-Apple computer
-high-decked office chair
-another chair

5 Things We'd Like To Try:
-travelling to france
-travelling to italy
-travelling to japan
-travelling to new york
-travelling to Bangalore

5 Things We're Doing Now:

-Posting to the blog
-surfing net
-sitting down
-drinking soup



Chee Meng
Yi En

WSC goal

WSC primary goal- To get at least 1 of my games annotated at the top table.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Lunch at expo's food court:
Beef fried rice ($4) with carrot, lettuce, egg and black beans. Rice is soft and fluffy and quite tasty. 7/10

After that, I headed for Orchard and by my powers of persuasion managed to convince Cheah to come over. We went to a cafe just outside Takashimaya for a drink. I had a mango lassi ($5) which is an interesting concoction of mango, yoghurt, milk and honey. It is very thick but not as sweet as it seems. 6.5/10 Cheah talks about WYSC issues and tiramisu recipes.

Alas, my powers of persuasion weren't great enough, and Cheah left early at 6 to go back to nap, due to lack of coffee. And when I asked him why he didn't have coffee, he said it would be too strong for him.

Dinner at Wisma's food court: Spaghetti with cream sauce and grilled fish ($5.80). This one was quite delicious. The sauce is tasty and goes well with the fish and spaghetti. Fish was rather well done too, quite good value indeed. 8/10

Cream puff for $2 from Beard papa in the basement. The cream puff craze started here some time agao but has since died down. It is still extremely popular in Japan though. It is still a very tasty snack- the pastry is crispy, while the vanilla filling is very good.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sowpods in 2021

Disclaimer: The story below is purely a work of fiction and is not to be taken seriously at all.

- - - - - -

It is June, 2021. Since 2017, the world has been united under a single dictionary( yes, it did take the Yanks that long to switch) From the last dictionary vote, pro-sowpods players outnumbered pro-TWL players by 50.5% to 49.5%. The committee pounced on this and initiated the switch. But lo and behold, the pro-TWL players revolted, immediately deciding to boycott all tournaments for a year, citing the presence of strange words which had absolutely zero relation to North American scrabble, like KAMOKAMO and MINIMOTO. But it was not to last as the players soon trickled back within months.

Even China and Hong Kong had recently joined the new world scrabble scene recently. Their top player, Mao Gong Fu, was even seen playing a rapid game of scrabble at a Starbucks outlet.

The technology of the era had been advancing rapidly too. Boards were now well-fitted with microchips and motion sensors. Every tile was ingrained with microchips storing the value of the tile. When placed on the board, the board would read the value of the tiles and score it accordingly, but the scores would not be revealed till the end. If a player announced his score wrongly, a computerized voice would immediately voice and correct the error. However, it was still mandatory for players to announce their scores. If a player took too long to draw his tiles, a voice would quickly remind the player to hurry up.

Timers soon became obsolete as they became integrated with the board. Gone were the days of carrying around bulky timers- a small digital timer at the edge of the board was more than sufficient to keep track of time. The boards were made of lightweight plastic and weighed only 500 grams each.

In 2018, A new world scrabble body was formed, headed by Albert Hahn, who was unanimously voted by players from 10 other countries. At long last the WSC could return to America again.

But, it was not to be.

To be continued....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Australia's CSC team this year is significantly weaker than last year's. The team is Edward, Chris, Michael hornung, Bob Jackman and Trevor Halsall. Details are here. Missing are David eldar, Naween and Andrew Fisher. Just the break I need.


Created a new poll at the side. Please vote.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random stuff

Another busy day today. My camera ran out of batteries half-way, so no photos except a new one for the wsc. . Also went to Tekka mall to have lunch and collect the visas which were pretty overpriced as usual at $90 each.

My 10 first and last racks at last wk's mini:

Game 5: AEEOQRU (QUARE, 48), RSTZ ZOS 24

Fairly decent racks to start with, but more mediocre at the end.

Monday, September 17, 2007


7 Oct 2007 -The Serangoon mini tournament
28 Oct 2007 -Jurong Green CC mini tournament
* 8-12 Nov 2007 -World Scrabble Championships 2007, Taj President Hotel, Mumbai, India

11 Nov 2007? -Thomson Sin Ming Court mini tournament
25 Nov 2007 -Yew Tee Scrabble Open Championship 2007
* 30 Nov-2 Dec 2007 -6th Causeway Challenge, Zon Regency Hotel JB
* 4-6 Dec 2007 -2007 World Youth Scrabble Championship, Zon Regency Hotel JB
16 Dec 2007 -Jurong Green CC mini tournament

Just finished quackling my games. Missed 3 bingoes in 2 games, 2 of which were in the first game against Ben. Apart from that mainly non-bingo misses here and there. EQ loss around 50 a game.

G8 mini

Didn't win it this year, due to mediocre tiles among other things. Interestingly, the blanks were split in only 1 game. Too many consonant-heavy endgame racks resulting in some close losses.

Some interesting happenings:

Quek opened with a bingo, WRONGER, but it below the opening star. He was surprised to see Victor challenge it.

Andy drew 10 tiles to start against Yen Nee, who had to open 4 tiles to choose from..

Record:4-4 +179

Ave scores: 419-397
Bingos: 13-16


Thursday, September 13, 2007


Who will qualify?

The players in contention for the 3 spots are:

JP 1860
Tony 1859
Andy 1846
Yen Nee 1834
Weibin 1814

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Quackle game

4 bingos to 2. Quackle even leaves me a 60- point outplay.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Started off the day with breakfast at Bedok Market- I had wanton mee from this recently opened stall- it was fairly tasty with the chili. The noodles were soft and full of flavour but the roast pork was just so-so. Service however was slow- waited over 10 mins even though there just a few pple in front. 7/10

We then headed over to the Botanic gardens for a walk:

Before stopping at the food court there for lunch. The picture doesn't look too appetizing, but it's actually more tasty than it appears. The beancurd is very soft and melts in your mouth, while the egplant and sweet and sour pork and well-seasoned and tasty. Very reasonably priced at $3.

Then I drop by at Borders where I read up on French cuisine and other stuff ( France has more cheeses than days in the year and there are over 35000 bakeries in Paris.)

After that, I head over to Venezia at Takashimaya's basement for ice-cream- 2 scoops of hazelnut and dark chocolate icecream for $4.20- which is fairly reasonable compared to $7.90 at haagen Dasz for similar quantity. The dark chocolate is quite rich and the hazelnut generally quite nice with bits of hazelnuts, but lacking the extra kick. Should have opted for a more interesting combination, like lemon and mint chocolate. 7.5/10

Monday, September 10, 2007

Can't wait for G8 mini next week..

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Tony has a rather nice rack...

But plays FEISTY, missing many bingoes. Best is dESYATIn for 86.

Finally after several cheap plays, it comes..

Monday, September 03, 2007

WSC qualifiers

Malaysia's WSC qualification has just ended and Ganesh and Suanne will be representing Malaysia. Congrats to Suanne. From M'sia and S'pore, 3 of the 5 WSC reps are playing for the first time.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Taken from an NSA blog:

A round-robin tournament is being held; in every match, each player has a 50% chance of winning.

a. (Warmup). If there are three players, what's the probability that each ends up with a 1-1 record?
b. (Not too bad). If there are five players, what's the probability that each ends up with a 2-2 record?
c. (Harder). If there are seven players, what's the probability that each ends up with a 3-3 record? Can you come up with a general formula for n players (n odd)?


Penang final report

The last day of the tourney. 6 KOTH rounds were to be played today. Ganesh was still 3 wins clear of the field, followed by Nigel and vannitha with 11 wins each. It was crucial that I beat vannitha as she was already 2 wins ahead. After a quick breakfast we head up to the playing room.

Game 15 vs Vannitha. I open with DIETED/I. She replies with QUERN(36), which I reply with JIVED(32) and CIG(25). Again she bingoes first with EVASIOn(83), but I have ROPIER(33) and SERAFILE(82) 2 turns later to naroow the gap. She scores well wtih RIZ(33), TIMED(39). PYX(41) and TORCH(35) and later I reach the following position :

The bag is empty. I spend quite some time on this move and fashion an easy out in 2 to win. But I missed the superior MENTO/GO which limits her scoring and leaves an easier out. I could have lost if vannitha had at least 1 vowel. I note that Vannitha's endgame is weak as later she missed an easy out-in 2 win against Tony.

W 407-395 Equity loss:56 Best moves:5/13

Game 16 vs Vannitha. Vannitha again as she is still leading. Ganesh has just lost to Nigel, surprisingly. She opens with another blank bingo- LOADINg(66), not going for maximum points. I have CEFMNPY and play COMFY(30), best but draw 3 Es and play EPEE(24). The unhandy Q comes along which I play off in QI(11). Later I get down SNORTED(65) but the board is getting more and more blocked while she still keeps a steady lead. At the end, I attempt to open the board up but she cleverly closes it. I settle for a late EXtANT(43) and lose narrowly..

L 380-391 Equity loss:22 best moves:10/15

Game 17 vs Cheah- Open with QI/BEEIV. Cheah plays the extremely defensive IF below. I change and play DELATES/QIS (74) to his NAIF. Then Cheah bingoes with COmPLINE(74), but missing many superior bingos through the T which would have blocked by APHOLA(T)E (102+5). Steady scoring from me- JUVE(48), NIM(31), XI(40) give me a comfortable lead. Then I try KIROROS*( chee meng's ISC username) I am surprised to see that it is invalid. Dang.. Cheah gets REMASTER(80) to pull close but I run away with TROWS(31), ZEIN(45) and GLUNCHES(32). At the end he bingoes with ABORiGINE(61) giving me a place for SNORTED(94) (played SNORTED earlier too!!) when he could have just played BRAVOING.

W 550-407 Equity loss:45 best moves:8/13

Game 18 vs John- A great game, the coffe I had earlier also helped. I have MOrTICER(86), XU(38), FENURON(75+5), ACIDOSES(76), LOZEN(34) to his ANTIDORA(65) and REELiNG(73). At the end I phony with QIVUIT- he doesn't challenge and adds an S to it. But I still win big anyway.

W526-390 Equity loss:49 Best moves:6/13

Game 19 vs Tony- Ranked 4th now with a 12-6 record. and I am matched with Tony next. He opens with ZIP(28) and a really blocked board develops which I can't do much about. I get a late EARLIES(85) only to see him bingo out with YEARNERs(72)..

L 371-508 Equity loss:49 Best moves:6/14

Game 20 vs Cheah- Another important game- Cheah opens with GAUGE(16) while I have the lousy DFKLRTW to reply. I settle on TURF(15) while Cheah plays LOGGiEST(72), missing a better bingo to the TWS. The scores are really close till the end- my WOLFED(37), DATA(34), VEX(26) , STATUES(73), HENCE(39) and HAO(45) to his UNIQUER(209), MY(28), ZINC(30) etc. At the end, with 1 S among 11 unseen tiles, I choose not to block the bingo line for a miserable 3 points only to see him bingo out. I actually missed a clever 6-letter setup which would have had very good chances. Sigh.

L 374-414 Equity loss:23 Best moves:8/11

So the tourney has ended and Ganesh has won it again, with 18 wins. I drop to 7th, winning RM300. The Singapore contingent didn't do too badly with 3 of its 5 players in the top 10. I hope to finish in the top 3 next year.

That night, we venture to an Italian rstaurant down the road with Henry, Dianne, Cheah and yen nee for the set dinner (RM30++). I had a starter of scallop salad, soup, main course of salmon and dessert which was a long tray of tiramisu, fruit salad and ice cream. I found the
salmon too soupy- the chicken would have been a much better choice. And after dinner we went back to the same place as the previous night- I had a strawberry milkshake(RM8.80) which was really large and creamy.

Later we find out that Tony missed several bingoes against Ganesh- ?AAELMNV and DIIIFNV? which could have altered things.


Record:12-8 +626
Ave. score: 445-414


Ave. EQ loss: 48 pts

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Penang open- part 3

This is the 3rd instalment of the Penang trip, comments welcome.

Saturday quickly dawned and I was to be playing with Nigel first. And I hadn't defeated him since the LBH 2004.. But first we went down for breakfast at around 7.20am, which was really mediocre. If it was a 4-star hotel, the spread on weekends certainly didn't match up.

The range was just lousy and the choices unappealing- coconut rice with hardly any coconut, faded hash browns, canned baked beans, yam cake, toast and fruit. Only the omelettes were worth trying . Quite a far cry from the buffet spread at the Novotel Bangna bangkok where I stayed in 2005 which also claims to be a 4-star hotel..The variety was fantastic there with all sorts of dishes including noodle soup, cereal, fresh juices, fried rice, cookies.

So after breakfast we went up to the playing area, which was well-air conditioned but the area outside was really stuffy. At 8 I begin my game with Nigel who opens with MACED(26) I hold ADELORR and play RELOADER(63) (best). Nigel dumps with OUIJA(30) while I surge ahead with INTERMAT% (72). Unfortunately I don't block the floater for his B(E)AUTIES (72) which he quickly plays. Then I hold DEFLMOO and settle on MOFO%(40), after deciding not to block the L in TWS lane for fewer points. Sure enough he comes back with SI(L)ICULE(80) which wouldn't have happened had I played there. After bingoing he changes 6, followed by ZOCAlO(72) which I counter with ROOTIEST(82) to lead 323-307. His moves of AVOW(32) PHONE(41), KY(36) give him the lead while my I play WYNN(30), HOGG(34) and BANG(21). My last rack is DNQTX to his EGIPVR?. Yikes.

L 419-473 Me: QSSX Nigel: JSSZ?? Equity loss:35 Best plays: 6/12

Game 6 vs yi En, another Malaysian teen who I haven't met. I open with BIVIA(26) while he plays BOXIER(30) creating a nice open board for my HEXAGOnS(80) to go down, followed by BRU%(20), giving him UPGIRT to the triple. Fortunately I get FU(E)LLING (64) to lead, which is quickly replied by his AiLETTE. Then I play DIARY (34) atop AILETTE, but he overlaps with DOZE/ZIT (51)! Should have played DAIRY instead..goes to show how the small things add up. I maintain the lead until the end, when his opening of OD(10) gives me KNITTED(85). He replies with ORIOLES(73) but it is not enough. Yi En sure seems to be the strongest of the Malaysian teens (not counting Suanne)

W 457-403 Me:SS? Yi en: JQXZSS? Equity loss:88 best moves: 7/14

Game 7 vs Aaron- Aaron opens with WUS and I have only 1 place for EDACITY! He replies with OUTSEEN(68), while I reply with VI(S)IEINg(72+5), missing a better play in that spot. Aaron takes the TWS with FOE(40) while I have drawn BEGJRQ?- not good, despite the blank. I unload QI(22) and JUGA(24) when he bingoes back with ELONgATE(70). I chicken out of the bingo in ?DEGRRT and play DREG(24) instead. Aaron covers the other TWS with HOP(45) (what is it with these high-scoring short words!) I have a large shortage of vowels- ?BBERRT which comes back again at the end. Aaron dumps OBIA(12) and DWINE(18) while I play OAK(19) followed by the only bingo INcLINE(61). I have AHLMRST after the bingo, Aaron plays DEV and the unseen is AEGIPRRS. I lead 397-395. There is a spot above OAK for his bingo, but another hotspot below DEV. So if I block the bingo line, Aaron would take the hotspot with a 30+ play, going out next turn and I would still lose. So the only way was to play HARM(47) and hope he didn't have SOAK/SPAIRGE. Sadly he did. pfft.

L 444-481 Me: JQXZSS?? Aaron: SS Equity loss: 73 Best plays: 3/12

Game 8- Kong Chock heng. Haven't played him prior to this. At one point I hold ACFORT? but take the points with COFT(43) first before bingoing jAUNSED(82+5) to take the lead. He exchanges 6, then comes back with VALETEs(73). The scores are very close until the end, and so is the board. At the end, I hold EEEJSWX with AAEINNRST unseen. The only decent play is JEWEL, but that opens a floater. But he has AEINRST and takes 5 minutes to see the bingo, ARSENITE to bingo out.

L 356-445 Me:SSXZ? Kong chock heng: JQSS? Equity loss: 94 Best plays:3/12

A much needed lunch break at last. Mediocre plays, partially due to the lack of fresh air, see me win only 1 of 4 games all morning. I venture down to the Japanese restaurant Waka (waka is good too) with Cheah and Yen nee. I have the cod fish set (RM25++) while Yen Nee and Cheah have the Cod and chicken set (RM45++). It comes with rice, soup, fruits and a concoction of tofu with prawns and cubes of chicken inside. Pretty decent, but preferred the Japenese food in Siam paragon bangkok- salmon steak set for a cheaper price. As usual the food takes forever to arrive.

Game 9 vs Suanne- I have DEGFNVS to start. is exchange FGV even worth considering? I doubt so. I play VEND(16) and have just 1 vowel a rack for the next 4 turns. Suanne has PENNIES(77), ZOO(32), HOURS(30) to lead 185-114. But then I bingo back with GENITURE(70), followed by DEALATEd(70+5). She draws close with FENITARS(65) but I pull away with ETOURdIE(61) to win.

W448-356 Me:JSX?? Suanne: QSSSZ Equity loss:14 Best plays: 7/12

At this point in time I am 4-0 against M'sian kids and 0-3 against M'sian adults.

Game 10 vs Tengku- Coincidentally, we were to celebrate his birthday the next day. I was feeling pretty confident going into this round, especially with Tengku. However I have IIIIQUW to start- the first reaction was to change, but decide on IWI(12) with a reasonable leave. But he replies with TaTTLER(65), followed by ZATI(45) and FOY(41) while I have lousy racks (IIIPQUX, EEGIIUX, EGGIIIU). I change and draw the blank and use it in FArDENS(79), but still trailing by 49. With ABEIOLU I play ABOULIA(24). A lucky break comes when Tengku plays CEIL/ABOULIAE* (37). Very funny. I paly GOPAK(32) in the same spot, followed by BRAILLES and HOVED(25) I maintain the lead till the end. Tengku captured 5 of 6 TWS this game..

W 438-367 Me: JSX? Tengku Asri: QSSSZ? Equity loss:26 Best plays:10/14

Game 11 vs Jin Chor. Jin Chor opens with OLIVE 8h, instead of the superior VOILE, allowing my IONOGEN(63) to play. Next he plays VIVO, blocking my LEAVENED(94) throught the V. He bingoes next with dRAGOON(75), while I keep pace with ZA(46) and TEMPERA(77). My WEX(44) is quickly countered by his QIS(44). Jin Chor later holds DENORS?, missing the 96 point 4-timer through EN, hooking HAW. CAN YOU SPOT IT? He plays DONSiER instead, followed by ENACTS(33) and JUTTED(37). But I have a timely HOKUMS(60) to cruise to a narrow win.

W 436-414 Me: SSXZ Jin Chor: JQSS?? Equity loss: 33 Best plays: 6/12

Game 12-vs vannitha- After my GYBE(20) and JAUNCE(21) to begin, she plays SOIlAGE(84) followed by OCReATE(63) 2 turns later. I have ZOL(39), FRY(32), NEXT(41) and YOMP(22) to trail narrowly. Just when I am about to catch up, she bingoes with ATHEISE(71). I make the worst blunder of the tourney with UNWeARS, missing UNSWeAR(105) in the same spot. Sigh. It's UNWARES that was good. She plays HOOD(49) in the same spot and the game is lost. My late SUNNIeR(69) only narrows the spread.

L 382-471 Me:SSXZ? Vannitha: JQSS? Equity loss:119 Best plays:4/13

Last game of the day. The schedule has been revised so we would be playing 6 games the next day.

Game 14 vs Jocelyn. I open with WOOFY/AI (36). Jocelyn plays YONT(29), I am aware that it doesn't take S. 2 turns later I get down ETATISTE(62) while she replies with GOrSIER(80) 2 turns later. I draw the clunky HKLUUVW after the bingo and play HULK(27), followed by WIVED(18). I am fortunate to get DENORRUU(74) next turn- to regain the lead. Later, Jocelyn bingoes PLENISH/ROTI(82) to take the lead but I have AIM(37) and LOX(41) to get it back At the end, Jocelyn is under some time pressure and misses the bingo in AEGIINS?, otherwise I would have lost, reminiscient of the game where she stuck herself with the Q against Cheah. But she won away. This win completes my 8 game winning streak against Jocelyn.

W 422-382 Me: SXZ Jocelyn: JQSSS?? Equity loss:44 Best plays:6/13

It is already 8pm and we venture out for dinner. Halfway Henry and Tony wander of to eat nasi biryani while we settle for a chinese restaurant. We order sizzling beef, sizzling black pepper chicken, prawns with cashew nuts and vegetables. The food is pretty tasty. The bill for 4 comes up to RM85. After dinner we descend on a cafe near the hotel for coffee with Cheah, Dianne and Yen nee. I opt for the hot chocolate(RM8.80) which was extremely rich and delicious. After the enjoyable evening we head back to the hotel to rest.

Day 2 summary:
Record:6-4 +85
Ave. eq loss: 55
Ave. score: 429- 420
X:9/10 (2 unplayed)

S: 19/40
blanks: 10/20

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penang open - part 2


Hurriedly left the house at 6.15 am to meet at Tony's house at 6.30. When I reached there Tony was still nowhere to be seen! We soon left and reached the causeway in an hour. Then we went for breakfast in a Malaysian coffeeshop where I had my pork buns. Michael was busy talking about his grand plans for scrabble tourneys- holding them in disneyland and various exotic places etc. We then left for Senai airport, reaching at about 9 am with some time to spare, since the flight was 10.30. We descended on a deserted food station and started playing anagrams. I had some nice steals, including EFIJLOT and ABEETXY while Yen nee took CEIIKQU.
Eventually we left for Penang and reached at 11.30 am after a short 1 hour flight. We quickly made for City Bayview and arrived at around noon. The check-in procedure went quickly and we went for lunch after.It turned out that Jocelyn was the first Malaysian player to be spotted. I reckoned it was too balmy to go out so me and Yen Nee settled for an easy lunch at the hotel coffeehouse.

Yen Nee ordered the Penang Char koay teow(RM19 ++) while I had Chicken rice (RM19++) which was their signature dish. The rice actually turned out to be coconut rice- the dish was tasty overall with all the sauces and spices, but not considerably better than what I would get in S'pore for a mere fraction of the price. Yen Nee said hers was fairly good too. At least we saved the trouble of walking out in the humidity.

After lunch we returned to our rooms for a short rest before going to the playing area to register.
The playing area was a nice carpeted ballroom on the sixteenth floor which was the same as last year..We collected our name tags, a free penang T-shirt and began to settle in. Soon the players started trickling in. Curiously enough Ganesh was one of the last few players to enter the room, and to most people's surprise, he was bald.

Soon the games started and I was paired against Leroy ong, a Malaysian teen who I hadn't played before. Leroy opens with CAVE at 8g which was surprisingly precarious considering it's numerous hooks- D,L,R,S. I hold ADEEIOO and decide to change, as quackle agrees. He replies with GOAS(20). I immediately reply with DELI(C)ATE (63) followed by PENANCED(65) 2 turns later. 2 turns later, he bingoes with RESToRE(75), quite surprisingly not playing TEaRERS/WINGS(81). It gives me a niner- LAMITE(R)S (149) and he challenges to be sure. This brings my score to 337 to his 161. He gets down QUOTA(46) and RIZ(41) while I have NIFTY(61) and a string of good scores to win comfortably. He gives me 10 pts of overtime penalties.

W 543-341 Me: JSS? Leroy: QXZSS? Equity loss: 36 Best moves: 9/11

Game 2- Not surprsingly, I am paired against Ganesh. Yen Nee and cheah are paired, much to Yen nee's distress.I begin with CEEETTZ and play ZEE(24). He quickly replies with KIAUGHS/ZEES(83).. I manage to sneak past a 5-letter phony- CABOT past him- probably confused with CAGOT which is good.But his ECLOGUES(94) followed by VATS(40) and JIRRE(40) give him a big lead..Later I hold AEINRTT but the board is too closed for any bingoes. Later I have AAAINPU with an open F in the triple, but APIFAUNA doesn't play! I get AMNIOTES(68) and QI(64) just to narrow the spread of his LONGERs(63) and DANDIES(67)

L 383-582 Me:QZ Ganesh: JXSSSS?? Equity loss: 7 Best moves: 10/12

Game 3 - After losing most of my spread, I drop to the middle of the division and play Sue Ann next. Sue Ann opens with CUN* which I quickly challenge off. I hold DEEINTT and play DINETTE(70), followed by QADI and ZO(46) while Sue Ann plays VIE(14) and VAU(6). 2 turns later, I play OLIPHAN(T) (98), and would have had APH(E)LION as a niner had she not played over there. 2 turns later, she bingoes witrh SLANTER%(73) but I reply with ORARIONs(64) and follow up with BAETYL(39) and SYRAH(53). After 10 turns, I am leading by 270. 2 turns later, I get AWNINGED (80) and pick up EIFPRUU. The bag is empty and she has EGSSTX? and plays TEX%(40) next. I go out in 2 to score 609, which was coincidentally the high score of the tourney. Surprisingly she didn't challenge any of my words at all.

W 609-307 Me: JQSZ? Sue Ann: XSSS? Equity loss: 32 Best moves: 11/14

Last game of the day, and we decide to play it before dinner so the night would remain free. For game 4 I am matched against Tony. Begin with DIFNRR? and play FIND(16). He replies with JADE(28) while I bingo with SNaRRED(75) immediately followed by LAETA(R)ES (68). Tony later gets WARTiEST(78) to close the gap while I reply with MYC%(30) and REV(18). A lucky break comes when I play CIRROSE(76) in the last bingo line, effectively sealing the game.

W 466-332 Me:QSSSSZ? Tony: JX? Equity loss: 99 Best moves: 4/12

Day 1's games are over and we wait for the VIP to arrive who appears late at 7.30pm. After his long speech we go to the coffeehouse for the buffet dinner. The spread is fairly decent- I find the fried fish the most tasty.

After dinner we go to Henry's room- see Yen nee's blog for the details.

Not a bad day considering below average power tiles.

Day 1 summary:
Record: 3-1 +451
Ave. score:503-391
Ave. EQ loss: 43.5

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Penang report -part 1

So it was another fun tourney, won by Ganesh yet again. Ganesh started the tourney with 14 straight wins and only dropped 2 games to Nigel in the KOTH rounds. He was drawing extremely well again like in Causeway- quoting from Andrew's blog here "Ganesh snared both blanks and four S’s in our game, and although he didn’t quite get this game his tile-picking spree continued throughout the event – he had eight blanks out of ten against Australia by the end of play, and an amazing 100% of the S’s, and it was a similar story against the rest of the field."

The field this year mainly consisted of Singaporeans and Malaysians, and i managed to play 3 Malaysians who I hadn't played before- Leroy, Gan Yi En and Kong. I also played some fun words- MYC%, MOFO%  .. Also the 9-timer of LAMITERS for 158 against Leroy in the 1st game. But overall the tiles were below average- 16/40 blanks and 36/80 Ss, despite above average JQXZ. I actually was the leading S'porean by the end of day 2, in 4th place, but was overtaken by Tony and Cheah on the final day who had 5-1 records ( Cheah lost only to me and Tony to Ganesh). Only 3/12 blanks on the final day- but with a decent number of power tiles. Ending up 7th was fairly disappointing, considering I would have been 4th had I won the last game. Cheah wasn't playing too well either, missing CEEINQRU among other stuff. Suanne climbed up, winning 5 games too to stay in contention for the WSC.

The situation now is quite interesting- Suanne's ranked 2nd with vannitha 15 pts behind, follwed by Aaron 58 pts behind and Henry 19 pts behind Aaron. I hope Suanne goes.

The food was decent too- apart from the meals provided, we dined at the hotel's Japanese restaurant, an Italian restaurant just down the road, a Chinese restaurant and had coffee and hot chocolates after dinner.

Thanks to dianne, Yen nee, Cheah and Henry for their company and Michael for organizing the efficient transport both ways. More details on the games later.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back from penang

Just got back from 3 days of scrabble and dining. Ended up 7th overall, should have been 4th had I beaten Cheah in the final round with a clever 6-letter setup play. More later. Also had a delicious cheese baked rice on the way back. Tasty with a nice layer of melted cheese on top of a large plate of fried rice, with a thick, creamy sauce and pieces of fried fish and prawns.

See some photos of my game here..

See my facebook page here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Leaving for Penang

Leaving for Penang soon..Hope to finish in top 5!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Being a food journalist isn't easy. By the way, I have the game record of a club game between Victor and Marcus. Who wants to see it?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bread talk- reviews and analysis

Having begun to patronise Bread talk outlets recently, due to the declining standard of products in competing bakeries like Four Leaves etc( the slice of ham and cheese toast was dry and slightly hard)

What is it about Bread Talk outlets that distinguishes itself from other bakeries?

IMO Bread Talk surpasses its competition in most areas- especially in branding. The bright orange-coloured logo is attractive and seen from far. Although the quality of its products might not be significantly higher than other bakeries, Bread Talk boasts a large and interesting variety of items with unique names, like Crouching Tiger, hidden bacon, moshi mushroom and Curry Curve not to mention many more. It constantly leads the field in innovation and creativity. Its outlets are brightly lit and have the open kitchen concept, which is said to boost consumer confidence. Bread Talk's stores are also in excellent locations, often at the main entrances of shopping centres or prominent landmarks to capture as much traffic as possible. Also it has opened a new outlet at Paragon, Bread Talk silver which has more varieties of products at steeper prices.

It has 73 outlets in the asia-pacific region including places like Dubai, Phillipines, China and Hong Kong. It is also part of the same group which owns Republic food courts and Din Tai Fung. From its Annual report, it says that Bread Talk had revenue of 123 million and profit of 4.3 million for 2007, an improvement over 2006.It is also a listed company on the stock exchange.

Most of the info can be obtained from its website here.

I bought several items from Bread Talk- a bun with cranberries, sunflower seeds, raisins and some rum for $1.50. Quite tasty but slightly too sweet. The moshi mushroom which was apparently the best selling item, a puff-like pastry with a chicken filling but was too dry and had hardly any mushrooms contrary to what the name suggested. And also a Nacho cheese bun with cubes of fried potatoes. Fairly tasty, and not too dry unlike the chicken puff.

Bread Talk's prices are generally higher than the market average, and depends on turnover. Although the basic ingredients are cheap, the bulk of the operating costs go to rental, staff wages and bills.

A rough estimate of the operating costs of an average bread Talk outlet:

-Raw materials ($0.20*1000 buns/day *30 days $6000)
- Staff wages ($15000- Bread talk outlets are well-staffed, usually at least 7-8 per shop)
-bills ($1000 including aircon, lighting, etc )
-rental ($15000, assuming an average of $15 psf and shop space of 1000+sq ft, considering that bread Talk outlets are quite large and in good locations)

Expense: $37000

Assuming an average item costs $1.50, that would mean selling about 25000 items, over 800 a day just to break even.
This may seem a lot but 800 items a day actually isn't that much if you have a constant stream of customers through out the day. Bread Talk also sells cakes but the majority of its revenue comes from the run-of-the mill products.

Food for thought indeed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Added numerous links at the side, including some of S'pore's most well-known food blogs.


Resurrecting the close endgame against tony in the July mini which I scraped through by 1 pt. Play was far from perfect. In the position below the scores are tied at 381 and the bag is empty, Tony's turn to play. Can u find the winning moves?
Answers far below.

Bonus question: Spot the 2 unchallenged phonies on the board.

P.S Blog visits are at another all-time low of 15 a day. Sigh.

Tony has several winning moves here, all of which he failed to spot.

- CLERGY b3 32 413
KANEH 13e 46 427
OU 1n 8 421+ 4 425

This doesn't win, but it might as I didn't see KANEH. Tony played GIRNEL for just 8 pts to block a potential HANK(46), but overlooking the many other high-scoring plays I have -KOI m7 (35), or KHI c2 (36)

- GREY 13f 33 414

This should be the winning move - Tony can go out with LOU m6 (19) or CLOU(12) to win easily even after my 40 pt play. GIRNEL just didn't score enough.

Monday, August 06, 2007

JG winner's report

So I won again, after 3 tourneys of not winning anything.. It was really close at the top- and anything short of a substantial win over Tony would have meant that Cheah would win. I am suprised to see JP who is usually quite inactive.

Game 1 vs Cheah- Quite surprised to draw Cheah in the first round, as it usually doesn't happen. I open with PRIEF(28) keeping CW, while Cheah plays NOON(15) atop.I hold CEIIOUW, not terribly nice and play WICE/PRIEFE(23). I follow it up with QUOD(45), PIC(28) and VIOLIN(26) to his IDANT(22) and WAW(30). Then I get down IDEATES(87) followed by KARNS(58), bringing me ahead by 150. Cheah appears to have a lack of vowels, i surge ahead with ROYALETS(62) and FUGLE(22+5), not expecting the challenge. Later I play ISOHYEt(69) to lead 473-200. But Cheah has AGLRTU? and later bingoes out with GUTTUrAL (64). My biggest win against Cheah so far.

W 528-302

Game 2 vs Tony- I have EGOOPSS to open and choose GOOPS instead of POGOS, for defense. He only has IVY(15). I play COVERT(22) keeping 2 Ss, while Tony scores mediocrely. On the 4th turn, I have BFLSUU? and choose not to play BUSFULS* and get down UNLoADS(77) next turn. Tony soon comes back with RAGOUTS(73). Later I play JAG, hoping to play JAGA later. Tony has the A but doesn't spot the hook, allowing me JAGA/MATERIEl(92), giving me a decent lead. But he plays BOK(41) while I hold EIINOOT and EHINORT, just maintaining a very small lead. At the end, I have the bingo prone DEEINRT which doesn't play. I choose to play DINE(R) to go ahead by 20. I am surprised to pick QUIZ which gives me the firepower to win.

W 413-375

Game 3 vs Yen nee- Yen Nee opens with HAVEN(30), keeping the blank as she said later, while I have AAFLRUY and play FAY(28) followed by AURAL(12) and HAJ(39) to her DEPRIVe(79). I hold BEEIORU and have to play ROQUE(28), followed by VIBE(18) while she exchanges 4. Then I get down TROTLINE for a measly 62 points, still trailing 207-230, but follow up with MISLIKE(90), neutralized again by her ZEAS(54). Her late sOOTIER(79) almost seals the game. At the end I mistakenly phony SOO/OX(54) and lose by 27.

L 388-415

Game 4 vs Guo Cong- Guo Cong opens well with QOPHS(58) followed by ANGIOMAS(89), to my JIB(35), and CALL(20). I finally close the gap with the 4-timer DUSTIER/CALLS (89), but he rushes ahead with DIVOT(18) and vANTAGES(70). However I score well- ZEX(40), DAINE(28+5) after his DERATInG(62). At this point I am trailing by 100 but a series of high-scoring plays, FEW(34), ATELIER(78), WISP(51) see me win narrowly. Guo Cong would have won if he hadn't challenged my word. Phew.

W 467-464

Game 5 vs Marlon- I am more than ready to play Marlon. I open well with ZAKAT(56), while he plays CLICK(15). HOX(38) and CLY(12) give me a good lead. On turn 5, I get GEnTIER(73) to lead by 80. The game is close until he bingoes with STINGED(86), but I reply with OVERrAN(83), and follow up with EYELIAD(74) and BARNIEST(68+5) to win.

W 534-383

Game 6 vs JP- JP opens with CHORD(28). I hold DGHSUUX and play DOUX(28), which is best but miss EGHLPSU the next turn. However I play TELOSES(71+5) next to take the lead. JP gets down EQUIPEs(89), but I have FI(L)ARIAS(79+5) to lead narrowly. The endgame is close until I pick the blank. Howver the game isn't won yet as the pool is still bingo-friendly. I choose the most defensive bingo, TOLIDINE (70). he has EIMNRST but can't play any bingo. I win by 35, including the 20 pt time penalty.

W 425-390

Game 7 vs Andy- Despite drawing the blank on the first turn, it is with mediocre tiles- IKLRUV?, IITTRV? and ABITTW?. Andy scores with wINCES(50) and PENTAD(35). By the 4th turn, i am down 69-135 already. I play BLiTHEST(64) just to draw level, but he plays TORTONIS(61), missing NOTORNIS(70), while I play VID(21), GROVE(30) followed by PLEATING(67). His AMIDONES(74), IXORA(62) and JIZ(35) are more than enough

L 344-495

The situation now is quite interesting. After 7 games, 4 players are on 5 wins and could win the tourney. The spreads are all very close. So for the last game I am paired with Tony..

Game 8 vs Tony- A great start- ACIDEST(76), followed by JAY(26) and AGENETIC(72) to his HEIL(26) and DEF(24). XI(51) extends my lead. Later Tony opens up a spot for my DILATOR(71), which I follow up with HOStELS(94) 2 turns later, with 4 overlaps. This is countered by his GROUSErS(77), just to reduce the spread. At the end, tony has the Q, but sets up an outplay which I fail to block, costing me some 63 pts of spread. But he still racks up 20 pts of overtime penalties.

W 507-386

This timely win vaulted me up to first by virtue of spread. Cheah beat Yen Nee by just a bit, fortunately.

Record: 6-2 +395

Bingos: 22-12 (2.75- 1.5)
Ave. score: 451-401
Total moves: 103-103

Ave. moves per game: 12.88-12.88
Ave. score per move: 35.0- 31.1



Won the mini yesterday by a bit, thanks to JP and Tony's overtime which gave me 40 pts. Report later.

The Player's Championship is still being closely contested- Panupol is at the top after 14 games, but barely with just 11 wins. Pakorn is at 16th and could make a comeback.

1 11.0 +903 Panupol Sujjayakorn
2 11.0 +809 James Leong
3 10.0 +699 Dave Wiegand
4 10.0 +658 Nawapadol Sayavesa
5 10.0 +580 Sammy Okosagah
6 10.0 +578 Joe Edley
7 10.0 +503 Nathan Benedict
8 10.0 +366 Ron Hoekstra
9 9.0 +1008 Brian Cappelletto
10 9.0 +979 Jim Kramer

Thursday, August 02, 2007

PC 2007

The player's Championship in Ohio starts on Friday- 9pm S'pore time with a top prize of US$12000. Several Thais are going, including Pakorn, Panupol, Amnuay, Thacha and Nawapadol. It will be interesting to see how they fare, especially Thacha and Nawapadol who are playing in the US for the first time. 31 games will be played, but there are no playoffs.

Live coverage here .

Monday, July 23, 2007


So I was 5th, 5th and 6th in the last 3 nationals. Despite being 3rd after day 1 and 9-3 +889 after the first 12 games, I dropped to 5th. And if Andy hadn't beaten Weibin in the last round, I would have finished fourth with Kb just after me. Playing Ben 4 times in a row isn't too easy..

A brief overview of my games:

Game 1 vs Kb- EIIIMQW to start, but my rack quickly matures to AEGIIR? and play IRrIGATE(74) after his OVeRFAT (74) and follow up with AEROLITE(70). ANTIROLL (64) 2 turns later seals the game on a fairly blocked board.

W 463-346 Record: 1-0 +147

Game 2 vs JP- Finally I get a game with the defending champion who hasn't played a rated game in some 6 months. I get off to a roaring start with OBLIGED (83) under his QUA, but he replies with ZHO(47) to the TWS. I play DOJO for 17 followed by EXTASIES through the I for 93. He doesn't challenge, surprisingly. But he replies with OUtWAITS(74) , while I score with FANNER(20) and MENT(20) followed by TOLUOLE(77), opening another TWS spot. Sure enough he gets YETI for 47 there, nullifying my lead. I lead by just 27 now. After that, he gets INDITERS(74) to surge ahead. The last 2 tiles for me were VW, unfortunately, while he has CEILPRT to finish easily. I lose by just 11.

L 405-416 Record: 1-1 +136

Game 3 vs Cheah- Not the easiest start to the nationals.. I start with a great rack and lay down FLICKEd(90), while he dumps with VERT(11). Next I play HAJ/AVERT(37) (should have played TAJ) and he gets INTROiT/HAJI (85)to the triple- The next few turns are very close until he gets FRAILEST(86), but I reply with ALAMOD(E)S (78+5) A surfeit of vowels see me play UFOS(35), YEA(23) and CUNEI(14). End up losing a close endgame by 8.

L 429-437 Record: 1-2 + 128

Game 4- vs Weibin- Weibin is next who is also not to be underestimated, despite his lack of play in tourneys. HE opens with WITAN(24)m while I hold the unpromising ELNNQTT and have to dump QAT(23) followed by HINNY. However on the 5th turn the tiles start flowing, and I get a bingo bango bongo of TETANIES(82), PICRATED (80+5) and SERIFED(93+5), bringing me to 351 points in 7 turns. I follow up with ZO(54). Weibin tries to stage a comeback with KITH(61), EX (52) and BARNEYs(83) but my late OARAGEs(70) and FOIL(48) clinches it.

W 572-351 Record: 2-2 +349

Game 5 vs Tony- I start off great with HELIMEN(78+5) undeneath his QUA( JP also played QUA against me), followed by GNARR(20) and OFTEN(36). Tony scores with XENIA(40), JOLE(42) and CURTAILS, missing CURTAIL/ADITS which wouldn't have given me SEEDIEST(78) from the S. He immedately regretted it soon after. Later I spend some time deliberating whether to open the triple with COZIER(54) or to play safe with something else. I take the points, while he bingos with CARNIEST(83), allowing me to bingo out with OVErSO(O)N (76). He challenges in desperation but to no avail . A satsisfying win indeed.

W 477-370 Record: 3-2+ 456

Game 6 v Yen nee- Yen nee is next. I start with AEFOOOU and change 6. She opens with the low-scoring CODA(14) to which I play KIVA(18). Her WEB(31) gives me BONDAGES(89) to surge ahead. Immediately after I play QATS(23), blocking the TWS line. I maintain the lead until her JADES/SNUFF(52) gives me AUDITIOn (74), opening another 9 -timer line. Fortunatel she doesn't take it. Later she fishes for RANTERS(69) but I reply with oCEANIDS(77) to win.

W 451-365 Record 4-2 +542

Game 7 vs Benjamin- A bingo fest. His STROKED(84), VAMP(47)and ENATIONS(66) to my JaUNTIER(82) and PLAYpENS(98) start off an interesting game. 2 turns later, I get RELIANCE(64) followed by ZO/ZA (47) later. Ben gets down SWATTED(77), missing YOGIS/WADSETT for several more points. I paly a close endgame to win by just a few points.

W 459-456 Record: 5-2 +545

Game 8 vs Guan hui- 4 straight wins have boosted me to 3rd place, so I play GH next who is doing quite well. I start with ADEFMP? no bingo, so I play FAMED. But I pick up PLRRT and have to change next. He scores well, racking up 115 points in 4 turns to my 123 after my DRAGSTER. After that he gets YPSILoN(91) to take the lead. I gain ground later with my only Collins bingo this tournament : EATERIE (73), followed by TAKE(41), missing a potentially better KLUTZ(36). But I lose by 30 on a tight board later.

L 390-427 Record: 5-3 +508

Game 9 vs Marlon- Bye- Marlon would be skipping the first 2 games of Sun and asked wheteher I wanted to play on Saturday, but I declined as I wasn't feeling good about my chances. Perhaps it was better to take the free win.

Game 10 vs Gan After observing the round's games, I am charged and ready to play.Gan bingoes first with AROINTs(72), but mid-game I get 3 straight bingos of OESTRAL(59), KEYsTONE (92) (has another anagram and INNARDS(69). I win comfortably.

W 470-364 Record: 7-3 +664

Game 11 vs Han Ei- Quite decent tiles this game. I bingo first with HOSTERS*, which I thought was good, and score well with RATTED(36), RIZ(34) and OVALS(31) while Han Ei gets just 191 points in 8 turns. I get down a double-blank bingo later - VEsTIGEs (70) and follow up with JISM(60) to seal the game. His last rack of ACEINRT can't play.

W 437-293 Record: 8-3 +808

Game 12 vs Andy- I open with KNAG(18) to which Andy replies with GRANDEST through the A. I reply with ALIENEEs (78) through the E. He quickly plays TINROOFS, which I have no choice but to challenge. Fortunately it is disallowed. I hold BEDINOR but no place for the bingo so dump DOB(23). I play RETAINeD(70) next to go ahead by 100. Andy changes 7 while I have AGLOSTU- no sevens or eights, so FOUL it is. GELATOS(74) next extends my lead which I maintain till the end.

W 485-404 Record: 9-3 +889

I am quite pleased to have won all my games in the morning, but i am still 3rd !

After lunch, I play Ben who lost only 1 game that morning. Little did I know that it would be the first of 4 King of the Hill rounds against him. Much was at stake- wsc qualification and other prizes. I was behind JP by 1 win so there was still a faint chance of catching up with him.

Game 13 vs Ben- He opens with UNCIA, U on the starm while I reply with DOUCE/ES (19). He bingoes with (I)NTENSER (68). I hold BELNNOS and rplay ENNOBLES(70), missing UNNOBLES for 19 more points. I play BOGART% (33) next while BEn plays another bingo- WAGGLIER(78) which I challenge to be sure. I old EDHLRR? but HURDLER isn't playable so I have to play off EDH(35).I get WARdMOTE(74+5) 2 turns later, only to neutralize his MATY(54). But Ben gets VERIFiER(73) and I try to make a comeback with JAPE(40), NAZE/ZA(47), YEAH(30) and KUTI%/KIWI (42), but it isn't enough.

L 430-485 Record: 9-4 +844

Game 14 vs Ben- I had to play Ben again, as Cheah and JP were ahead on wins and other pple's spread were too low. Couldn't have done much. Ben gets sHATTER(75), QUARREL(52), SORDINE(86) and JAUNT(62). I have to narrow the spread with CINEOLS(72) and DEVISEd(85).

L 414-476 Record: 9-5 +782

Game 15 vs Ben An important game. If I lost this game I might not make the wsc.. But the tiles flow well and my first 2 moves are RANDIER(68) and ACIErATE(77). Later I get another 2 bingos ATHElING (83) and TROLANDS(80). Ben only has PEERING(68) and can't do much. Despite a clunky last rack, I still win.

W 546-379 Record: 10-5 +949

Game 16 vs Ben- Ben opens with QUAIR(48), but I immediately reply with ANATASE(76). AXMEN(28) and VOMER(20) give me a small lead. I chicken out of UNVESTED which would have given me a better shot at winning. Later Ben uses the first blank for BIvVY(48), he had the 2nd blank too. He gets PASTiES(80) on a blocked board to win.

L 373-405 Record: 10-6 +908

Apparently the last game didn't matter that much, as I still qualified for WSC anyway. Although I played fairly well overall, there were a few unwinnables.


Record: 9-6 +858
Ave score: 453- 396
Bingos: 40-23 (2.67- 1.53)