Finished with 9 wins and a healthy spread. Didn't start off well but warmed up quickly, winning 4 straight at the end. Slightly disappointing considering I had the 2nd highest average of 438 pts, only 11 pts behind Nigel, but with too many high losses and difficult games. The blanks also appeared very late, and in 12 of the games I didn't see them until the last quarter (after move 9). Though it is worth noting that I achieved a high 3-game running average of 1606 pts against Marlon, Cheah and Ricky, getting down 11 bingos and chalking up 603 points against Ricky. I also managed to play (T)EAHOuS(E)S against Yen Nee, my first disconnected 9 and the sole bingo on a tight board. It was amusing to see Nigel phony with OYA* against Victor, and such a shame to see Marcus not play his 9-timer against Nigel. Nevertheless he still bingoed out with both blanks to win..
Also it was one of the more exciting tournaments in a long while, unlike LBH 06 where Nigel was the runaway player. Nigel and Marcus lost a couple of games on Sunday morning to keep the situation tight, and the title was not decided until the last round. On another note, this year's event has been really low-key, surprisingly....a room on the 3rd floor, compared to the hall for last year, and just medals instead of trophies. Quite the opposite of the King's Cup, which is just 3 weeks away now.
A brief account of my games-
Game 1 vs Yen Nee- I start with AENOTXY- nearly ANOREXY, play ONYX(28). She dumps the Q in QI(13). I get down OVULATE(72), placing the E precariously beside the TWS. She has DIORTY? and plays aDROITLY(80). There was no niner, quite fortunately. I play BAGEL(33), ZA(37) while she keeps up the scoring with COOK(30) and FAT(30). I decide not to play UNMESHED while bingos back with REAMIEST(72). I play BOA(R)DERS (80), wasting the D hook but no sevens there anyway. Later, with a few tiles remaining, I spot T(E)AHOuS(E)S (71) to go ahead by 30 pts and win a close endgame
W 423-393 Bingos: 3-2 Me: JXZSSS? Yen Nee: Q?
Game 2 vvs Victor- He starts strongly with YACHT(34). I have the unpromising AGGLNNR and play GRANNY(20). He changes 5 but I mistakenly phony PEG/PH which quickly goes off, sigh.. He gets RITEnUTO (58), missing several higher-scoring bingos to the TWS.. I have EILMOST and play MESOLITE(70), but Victor immediately responds with LIVERIEs(74) to which I reply with HOWF/OQW(55) . He plays ZONED(46) while I stay close with QAT(40) and JUD(29) I play SKETS% (49+5) at the end but still lose narrowly.
L 396-398 Bingos: 1-2 Me:JQSSS Victor: SXZ??
Game 3 vs Suhaimi- Suhaimi, who I haven't played before, is up next. I have AHLRTUV to start and plonk down VAULT. He plays YOURT(18) and I hold HHILRRT with very few options available. I play TRITH*(16) which goes unchallenged while he plays JIGS(33) and ZHO(30). I have GHKLPRS and play KOPH(26), following it up with LARGEST/TRITHS*(91), unchallenged yet again. Sure enough I draw AAEEETU after the bingo and slowly dump the vowels for measly points. Meanwhile, he has INDEX(44) and CRAB(21) to go ahead 196-191. My rack matures into ABEIOST, giving me ICEBOATS(70+5) while he gets REINSERT(70), opening up the board even more. 2 turns later, I get DEsINING(72+5) to seal the game despite his QuAD(47)
W 453-387 Bingos: 3-1 Me: SS? Suhaimi: JQXZSS?
Game 4 vs Marcus- Not a good game. I start with FAMOUSLY (71) and it goes downhill from there. He replies with OUTSWORE(74) while I have to change with ELNNNQT and 2 more times later in the game. The board gets very blocked up and I fail to get the blank at the end.
L 347-393 Bingos: 1-2 Me: ZSS Marcus: JQXSS??
Game 5 vs Ricky- He opens with AIRTH(24) while I hold another 1-vowel rack, but with much more scoring potential. ACNSTZY, playing CRAZY(39) I go for score and turnover with TAXONS/T (36) while he scores with HELMED/ZOL% (48) to narrow the gap. I get MIB(36), WIPE(38) and COG(23) to his FLED38) and ARIA(17). He bingoes to the triple with RENVOIS(90), so I have to settle for the lower-scoring LATINOS(61) to trail by 10 pts. Later I get HAJ/JA for 50 pts. At the end, I have DEGINT? with another blank unseen, quite similar to the LBH game I had against Ricky. I play off 1 tile and bingo out with IDENTiFy(80) to win comfortably.
W 467-357 Bingos: 2-1 Me: JSSSXZ?? Ricky: QSS
Game 6 vs Andy- Open with DEX keeping DATE. He gets NOONTIME(72+5) while I have CRINGES(82). Later he plays HAH(25) giving me URALITE/HAHA(78), but bingos RESINEd(98) underneath with 7 overlaps followed by LINEATE(66) to put winning out of the question. I get down a late RAtIONS(73) to narrow the spread some.
L 430-463 Bingos 3-3 Me: SSX? Andy: JQZSS?
Game 7 vs Liwei- Liwei opens with ROILY(24), giving me a good counterscore of POZ(50), keeping ADES. I draw the J and play it off for 29 pts, followed by DESOLATE(70). He replies with the double-double PHOLADE(52), which is actually phony (it needs the S). Dang.. Later he plays INBIRTHS(92) which I neglect to challenge, seeing that it looked good( it isn't) I get INTItLED(77) and set up an unblockable out-bingo of URINoSE(74) to win.
W 460-449 Bingos: 3-1 Me: JSSZ?? Liwei:QSSX
Game 8 vs Nigel- last game of the day, and I still can't escape playing Nigel..So here it goes- another unreal game. I get TOSTADA(78), RONNIeS(67), my first Collins bingo, AXON(40) and UNERASED(63), while he has ThEMATA(72), ZED/ZA(70) and OPHIOLI(TE) (68). Also he plays QUBIT% (32) and AVEL% (31), making it the most Collins words in one game. I lose narrowly by only 26.
L 442-468 Bingos: 3-2 Me: JSSSSX? Nigel: QZ?
Game 9 vs Cheah- I open with MOTTE/IN while Cheah plays GAJO(24) giving me DUX(55). He bingoes with SPOILER(68) but I have HENT(44). 2 turns later I get BIOCIDES(71) and OUTEARNS(68) to lead by over 100. I follow it up with steady scoring0 DRIP(42) , VEINY(38) and GOODY(10) just to block. My last rack is AAEHU?? but there is no place for any bingo, so I just play ARUHE(26+5) to win.
W 444-336 Bingos: 2-1 Me: QSSX?? Cheah:JZSS
Game 10 vs Tony- Another high-scoring game for both sides. Tony starts with JIGOT(42), but I reply with JIGOTS/ELYSIAN(79). He plays FIXED(54) and MURAENID(74) to my JOCKO(36) and HAVENS(55) to lead. Later, he gets FIACRES(79), but I stay close with BEZ(35), AZIDE(34) and WAD(25). But he gets a late EQuIP(75) followed by a natural INTONERS(70) which denied any chance of a comeback. I bingo out with OUTEARn(78) to narrow the spread.
L 441-520 Bingos: 1-2 Me: SSZ? Tony: JQXSS?
Game 11 vs Quek- One of the tougher games, Quek starts with an easy SEAMIER(70) while I play AYU(23) and score just 180 pts in the first 8 turns to his 262. He has iNANEST(82), QIS(33), ZEA(44) and other small plays to win on a tight board. Nothing much I could do about this game.
L 315-421 Bingos: 0-2 Me: JS Quek: QXZSSS??
Game 12 vs JoBeth- Last round before the KOTH pairings and I am pleased to draw JoBeth. I open with PUTZ/ODE (30), she replies with HEAR(27). I get down GOATEED/HEARD (79) and draw ADEEMOS but there isn't any place for the bingpo thanks to UH. A really tight board develops, until I get down ANTLERS(71), but JoBeth replies with UrEDINES(63), still trailing by 67.
Steady scoring till the end secures me the win.
W 463-359 Bingos: 2-1 Me:SZ? Jobeth: JQXSSS?
Game 13 vs Marlon- Starting first, I plonk down NEEDING(72), but Marlon counters with CYAN(I)DES(102). I draw ENRRRU? and reply with REtURNER for a mreager 58 points. A few turns later, Marlon takes the lead with LEGATION(72) but I stay close.
Later I get down PRECISE (78) while he plays WARLIN(E)S which I immediately challenge off, quickly putting down SAGINAT(E) in the exact spot. Sweet. Later I manage to score and block at the same time with OMOV%. He tries to set up a bingo line with DALT but I leave it open anyway as there is only 1 vowel unseen and bingoing there would stick him with the Q. I play ZOAEA% (37) at the end and it is just enough to break 500.
W 501-412 Bingos: 4-2 Me:SSZ? Marlon:JQXSS?
Game 14 vs Cheah- Flowing tiles. I rack up 271 points in the first 4 turns in the form of TROLL(I)NG(68), YEN(40), FORGIVER(101+5) and WEXE(57) but Cheah isn't far behind with FIACRE(30), ZING(34), KILTED(32) and NOYADES(79). I top it off with GADJE(42) and SNARReD(68) at the end to win.
W 502-404 Bingos: 3-1 Me: QSX? Cheah:JSSSZ?
Game 15 vs Ricky- An excellent game. I start with 3 straight naturals- BOTHOLE(80+5), FORESEES(65) and PINECONE(67+5) while Ricky racks up 179 pts in 6 turns. On the 7th turn, I play GRAVIDaE(98) to lead 403-199 and follow up with ZETA/JA (60). Ricky has NEXT(42), QUYTE(51) and OWL(29) but cannot catch up. I barely make 600 at the end. Incidentally, this was also my second 600+ game against Ricky.
W 603-365 BIngos: 4-0 Me: QSSSSZ?? Ricky:JX
Game 16 vs Tony- Last game, and even if I win this the highest I can get is 4th. I bingo first with EROTICAL(72) and it goes downhill again as he gets easy bingos SEATING(81), BOZO(45), SANDLoTS(68) and even QuARTERN(101). Very little I could do about this match.
L 317-528 Bingos: 1-3 Me: - Tony: JQSSSSXZ??
Record: 9-7 +352
Ave. score: 438-415
Bingos: 37-26 (2.31-1.63)
J: 6/16 ( 28/56 50% )
Q: 4/16 (22/56 39.3% )
X:6/16 (26/56 46.4%)
Z:8/16 (27/56 48.2%)
S: 33/64 (130/224 58.0%)
Blanks: 15/32 (56/112 50%)