Thursday, June 28, 2007

King's cup report -final part

The final day of the King's Cup 07 is finally here. After a quick breakfast, we make for the venue which is again extremely crowded.

At 9.15 am, the games start and I am paired against Leonora Labog, a middle-aged top Phillipino lady who has a rather defensive style. Another player not to be underestimated. I start with AHIOTT? and play THO(12), missing no bingo. She plays AY(17) atop. I hold ABDIIT? and play ADhIBIT(75) with hesitation, as it left the I below the TWS for a potential comeback. Fortunately she has jsut AGATE(35). I play JOT(26), DANCE(36) and reply her C(A)VILLER (80) with ENVISaGE(86) to lead 235-144. 2 turns later, she bingoes again with SOURNESS(68), but again I reply with PEREIRA(72), maintaining a healthy lead. Strong scoring at the end, AX(52), ZAG(26), DEFRAY(43) to her small plays give me a good win. W 534-355

This win now earns me a matchup with the extremely fast Alastair Richards whom I haven't played before. I open with DEFT/KNG (16) while he changes 5. I have no vowels next and have to change also, only to see him put down QUO(T)IENt (70), followed by OVINE(42). But I have drawn GISTYZ? and play ZYG(O)SITy (98) to catch up, the nicest word all tournament. Alastair keeps up the scoring with GAZER(48), BROMINE(44) and VUM(24), while I play AIDE(7), EMBAIL(39) and TROPE(36) Nearing the endgame, I eschew playing a 63- point bingo, preferring DUNCH(33). I am rewarded with CUESTAS/BROMINES (86) next turn to lead by 47. I empty the bag drawing AFSTX while he has AEILOPN and win narrowly. W 432-403

After 2 straight wins, I am up against Chaiwat, whom I beat by 130 in the first game. Again, having a shortage of vowels, I start with GJU(22)/CHNT. Chaiwat plays HOE(14) and EPEE(28) followed by ROSEOLA(73) to which I reply with RAINB(O)WS (64). The score is close until the end, until he plays pAWNING(67) to open the board, but I play RELEaRNT (64) and TEAROOM(85) in succession to take the game. W 497-353. This win brings my spread above 1000 for the first time, an important milestone indeed.

Tony is next. I open with VAIRE/AO (24) to his FRONTAL(20). My rack matures into PAN(N)AGES (69) on turn 3, followed by some vowel-heavy racks. I get down VErITIES (74) a few turns later to lead by 70. However his REdUCING (89) soon gives him the lead. At the end, he sets up a AD-Z with QI/ID/AD which I couldn't block, without any vowels. Instead I play PHT(36) only to see him lay down ADZ/ZORRO for 71, sealing the game. L 380-417
Time for a lunch break- a satisfying lunch of fish noodles is what I have. The soup is extremely tasty and flavourful.

I am quite pleased to be in 9th, with a 15-8 +1031 record. After lunch, I face Apirat, another Thai who has good bingo knowledge whom I have played several times in Bangkok before with mixed results. Apirat starts with HILI(14), while I hold AIIMPZ? and play ZIP/PH (27). The last chance to play PH!! I am rewarded with AtOMI(Z)ES (86) next turn. His OUTEARN(69) on Turn 3 followed by ORGANIST (68) 2 turns later keep the scores close. later, I unfortunately phony with SETTED*, while I could have played SETTER for less. With the blank unseen, this could have cost me the game. But fortunately I get down RADULATE(74) later , which he regretted not blocking. I draw AEEEOS? to his CINNRV and win narrowly again. W 454-429

Now with 16 wins, I have to win at least 1 of the next 2 to make the top 10.......

For the next game, I play Cheah/ I dump FENT/BBN at the start , not sure whether to change, followed by QAT(32) and EBB(13). The scores are close until I play SERENITY(86) to the triple to go ahead. I reply his NEURINES(60) with RETURNED(72), followed by JUDS(60) to lead by 120. Cheah tries desperately to open lines, which I block with COZ(45) and KI(22). I have a late CONGaING(76) to increase the lead. Eventually he gets down ERECtION(76) but the game is lost. W 523-373

The last round is KOTH and I am indeed thrilled to be playing Panupol at table 1, a formidable player indeed. I was fairly confident at the start having beaten him 2 years ago in the King's Cup too. At this point, the crowds are gathering around table 1. Nigel and Jakkrit, both on 18 wins, are playing each other for a berth in the finals while I stand a chance of bettering by 5th position so far.

A close game ensues. Panupol opens with AWE(12). I hold AADLLNR but there is no I for my bingo.. So I play LAND(18). I draw the blank next turn but with unfavourable tiles. Meanwhile, he plays (R)OADSTER (62) to which I have the easy ZA/ZO (65), scoring more than his bingo!
A few turns later, the scores are still close until Panupol opens up a TWS with uNCINUS (67). I hold ALOORT? and immediately play ALumROOT (113), much to his dismay. The scores are now 309-290 in my favor.Vowel- heavy racks see me play AUTO(20), BOP(29) and INTI(12), to block a potential QUICHE 62, while he has XI (38), GIF(26) and YENTE(16). At the end, I play the correct endgame sequence to out in 2 and win narrowly by 14, from behind. W 418-404

The winning board

I quickly check on Jakkrit's game- if he loses by more than 20, then I am third. Sure enough, he loses and Nigel makes the finals with Komol.
At 4.30, the 2 finalists begin playing on the stage to a large audience.Komol wins the first game 459-345. In the second, the score is close till the end. Komol missed a winning endgame move (AXLED) and lost by 5.. In the last game Nigel won big, despite the 109 pt deficit and won the tournament. The finals was generally well-played, although I didn't agree on some of the moves - in the first game, Nigel was turning over too many tiles for too few points, even blocking his bingo on one occasion. Also prefered FUERO/EW instead of FEWER/OU for Nigel's opening move, game 3

So I finished 3rd overall, by virtue of spread. Overall my opponents weren't that tough, as it was fortunate to not meet Nigel. The S'porean contingent had its best finish overall, with 3 in the top 10 for the first time, and Gan and Michael finished well in 18th and 23th respectively. Pakorn surprisingly had a bad day, dropping all the way from 2nd to 11th.
Congrats to Komol and Nigel who has defended his title numerous times. Before the prize presentation, Nigel was joking to me that I would win it next year- sure, man. So I won 40000 baht (US$1100), a hamper of chicken essence and a nice unique trophy. Anyway I hope to return next year and improve on the 3rd placing. The King's Cup is truly an event that one should not miss- the excitement, pomp and chance to play opponents from different countries.

S'pore's top 10 finishers -

King's cup- stats and bingos

Record: 18-9 +1189
Ave. scores: 444 -400
Bingos: 62-44 (2.30-1.63)
High word: ALumROOT (113) vs Panupol
High game: 534 vs Leonora Labog
High non bingo: ZA (65)



Managed to play bingos of all letters except starting with J, K, M, Q,W, X and Y

Bingos for: (62, 40 8s, 22 7s )


Bingos against: (44, 24 8s, 20 7s )


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

King's Cup report- part 3

Day 3- We were to be playing at the Siam Paragon for the first time, a 5-minute walk from the previous day's venue. This was a very good thing as the plethora of shops and restaurants meant no shortage of things to do after the games ended. The tournament was in a huge ballroom on the fifth floor, with a high ceiling and spotlights. A special area in the center of the ballroom, a elevated platform, was reserved for the King's Cup participants. The rest of the room was full of other children playing sudoku and other games.

There was also a grand opening ceremony to be held, which the princess was to be attending. So we had to be there at 9am for the parade rehearsals. It was to be my first time attending the parade in 4 years. I arrived at 9, attired in a striped long-sleeved shirt and tie, and finally got through the crowds to the ballroom. After a short rehearsal, we begun playing the 14th game while waiting for the actual ceremony to start at 11. I was matched up with Thavachai, not a very strong player. I surge ahead with NUMErAL(66), TOeRAGS(73) and OXY(54) , while he racks up only 104 points in 5 moves. Later, to my surprise, he phonies FI*, which quickly comes off while I start fishing. I eventually get down A(I)RDATES (87) to lead by 220. He has no reply. I play the fourth bingo, UN(P)ITIED (63) on the 2nd last turn to seal a huge win, 524-235.

At 11.30am, the grand opening ceremony finally gets underway. The players are grouped by their countries and begin a grand parade, marching past the observing princess and other important dignitaries present. A nice ceremony indeed. After a short display of fireworks and confetti, the ceremony ends and it is finally time for a lunch break.

After a hurried lunch at the basement food court, I face Odette next, another fairly consistent player. She opens quite harmlessly with TWO for 12 points while I hold DEEGMNT and play DEEM(20) undernath. 3 turns later, I play the first bingo, URANISMs (76) to lead 138-49 and follow it up with ZOA(39). She quickly comes back with AVENTRES(76), but I reply with DISdAIN (77) for a comfortable lead. At the end, she plays PRALINE(64) instead of the superior PEARLIN (70) while I stay ahead with FLEXED(48) to her YEAH(51) to win a close endgame. W 416-382

Again, 2 good wins have vaulted me back to the top 10 and I face Thacha for the 2nd time. Nothing much I could do this time either, as he stays ahead with short plays EYOT(45), DOUX(38), MEAD(41) and QUOTA(45). I set up an opening for rELATES(67) but it is a bit too late.. At the end, I inappropriately open another line with HELVE(45), only to see him bingo out with JANGLERs(69).

Gerry Carter is next up. He opens with the fishy OH(10) while I start with the improbable-looking GSTVWXZ and change keeping SZ. Sure enough, he has DENTINE(70) next, but giving me ZEE/AEGS(38) He scores well with EX(38) and RAVED(36) while I play LI(N)AGES(32)/ I and the nice THY(R)OxIN for a measly 63 points, which is quickly challenged again..Later he gets an easy ORGAnIC(80) and NOVENAS (87) while I set up a bingo to the TWS, ORBIEST for 92 to narrow the gap. I still lose by 130.

Marlon P is next. Another exciting game. Marlon opens with MUSTIER(74), to which I reply with YArDAGES(71) and DODGIER(80). He gerts ANOINTED(80), RAWN(34), KINGLY(38) to my MOOLI (36) and TARTANED(61). I get down my 4th bingo, FLAVOuR(85), but he stays close with CUZ/ZA(67). After 6 turns each, the scores are 357-315 in my favour.. Marlon plays JETE(38), but I counter with JILTER (39) to the triple and WEX(31). Later I block the wrong opening, giving Marlon MESQUITE(90) (missing EQUITES 124). I am trailing 447-471 and hold DGIFOSV to his AEO, which outs in only 1 place. I promptly block the spot with GIF(27), followed by SOV(22) but still lose 499-500. A further recount shows no mistakes.

For the last 2 games, I play the other 2 players at the table, Weera and Thavachai. Against Weera, I hold ACEEOUU to open and dump EUOUAE(14). Amusingly, he replies with MIAOU (7). On the fourth turn, I get down DISHPAN/JOULES(111) and never look back. I also manage several high-scoring plays - DISHPANS(42), XI(51) and a late FENNElS(63) to secure the win. His ORIENTED(76) is insufficient to close the gap. W 473-360.

Against Thavachai, he opens with NONE, strangely exposing both the O and E beside the DWS.. I phony with CUNEI% which comes off, but play HUIC(19) next. I get down consecutive bingos of EXSECANT (88) and SOAPLIKE (65) followed by FIQUE(44) to lead. Later he gets BINARIES(74), but I reply with GROANinG(74). Again, he phonies with IA*, losing a turn. But he soon gains ground and bingoes out with ROUTERS(72) to lose by 15.

So, after a 4-3 +120 record today, I am now 12-8 +679, in 14th place and ready to stage a comeback tomorrow. Out of the 20 games, so far, I have played participants from only 3 nationalities- 16 Thais, 2 Philippinos and 2 Singaporeans..

Top 10 after day 3-

1 NIGEL RICHARDS (NZ) 15 - 5 1282
2 PAKORN N. 14 – 6 1430
3 KOMOL P. 14 – 6 1133
4 JAKKRIT K. 14 – 6 872
5 THACHA K. 14 – 6 721
6 GERRY C. 14 – 6 708
7 NAWAPADOL S. 13 – 7 1193
8 TONY SIM (SING) 13 – 7 738
9 PANUPOL S. 13 – 7 666
10 CHEAH SH (SING) 13 – 7 656

King's Cup day 1-2 pictures

In order: Opposite the MBK shopping complex,

Opposite the MBK shopping complex

Cascading waterfall at Siam Paragon's entrance

Siam Paragon basement

Thai dancers at the opening ceremony

The playing area. The youngster is Chaiwat.

King's Cup report- part 2

Note: see new pictures here

NOTE: Anonymous comments will not be entertained. Leave your name if you wish to comment.

Day 2 soon came, and it was to be another long day. 8 games were to be played, starting from 11, in sets of 2, 3 and 3 games. After a breakfast of toast and scrambled eggs, we depart for the venue at 10.30. The players start to come in and the games get under way quickly. For the sixth game, I am matched against Amnuay, who is also busy helping to run the tourney. Amnuay opens with CURIA(20), while I hold EEIPTU? and play PREUnITE(64), missing a superior bingo to the C. He quickly replies with FADER/PREUNITED (50) which I challenge to be sure. The next few moves are quite uneventful and the score is 260-208 to me after the ninth turn. On the tenth I get Se(T)TLORS (66) to strengthen the lead. I end up winning by 109.

After defeating Amnuay, I earn a match with Thitipol, another relatively new Thai player. He starts with the fishy LI for 4 points, while I quickly play VANiTAS(65), which was quickly challenged. He replies with MEANIES(20) while I play CORM(30), (IN)TWINED (39) and OXO(26) to maintain a lead. Later I get down SpOILING(68) to seal the game. He failed to draw the last tile in the bag, which I quickly pointed out to him so I could go out first.. I win 437-298.

After these 2 good wins, I am quite pleased to be ranked 4th overall, with a record of 6-1 +656. Komol is still topping the leaderboard, with 6 wins and a higher spread.

The players are paired again and now I get Tony, Komol and Thacha at table 1. I am indeed pleased to be playing at Table 1 for the first time so far. Against IKomol, the eventual finalist, I start with IIINNNY and change IINNY, missing a slightly better NINNY. He opens with DOURAH(28). I have AEEIINQ and play EQUINE(26), which sims best. Komol races ahead with THROB(44) while I plonk down the first bingo, OARIEST/DOURAHS(79), to which he plays RAJA(37). I have AKNNTTU and am pleased to play the double-double NUN(A)TAK (44) which scores well. Sure enough he challenges. A few turns later, he bingoes with DECRyING(86) to lead 260-237. But I have AACEOS? and reply with ARACEOuS(72) to lead by 40. After a few turns, this is the position:

I play LOD d6 (20), setting up ALOD, but unfortunately he comes back with (D)ERIVING (92). On hindsight, I probably should have blocked the TWS with OD a2 (15) or similar. He empties the bag, and I hold AILSSTW with no playable bingo. I end up losing a close game 413-450.

I play Tony next and open strongly with ZONER(48). He replies with DJIN(26) followed by CLIVERs(77) to take the lead. He phonies with PRUHA, missing its anagram and the scores are very close after. Later I get down REENLIST (77) while he tries to create openings on a blocked board. At the end, I wrongly play DENOTE(12) to empty the bag in an attempt to block the bingo lines, only to see him go out with DeNARII (85) with 5 overlaps. Lose 411-430.

Next up is Thacha, the WYSC 2006 rep who seems to get everything at the right time. He opens with ECU(10) but , fplays TASTERS(70) next, folowed by GLOVER(24) and KAZOO(44). I play BROOD(24), intending to partially block the S hook of KAZOO, but ironically giving him EVANIsH(101), which wouldn't play otherwise. I reply with GUNTERS(73), still 110 down. He plays FAYED(36), PEONY(48), PRISM(24) and AX(56) while I get down ABOITEAU to the U for 74, only for him to play QUILT(78). I draw the last blank and play it off in HERaLDIC(74), blocking his SEROTINE, but still lose 407-519.

At this point I am 6-4 +488 and there are still 3 games to go. We then have a much needed coffee break, with drinks and tuna/ ham and cheese sandwiches provided.

After the break, I play Charae, another young Thai. An exciiting game follows. I change on the first rack but play 3 bingos in succession after. I end up playing 4 bingoes to his 3. The score is close until the end, but my flexible last rack of DENOOR gives me the advantage to win. He has ABBCGVX and can't do very much. I win 507-470.

The final position:

(click to enlarge)

Taewan S is next. I open woith VROUW(30), keeping SZ, while he plays QUEEN(28) I draw EITOP and play POETIZ(E)S (91) next. Later I get IMBRAsT(86), SEXY(44) and a satisfying VILIFIES(65) to lead by 180. However he plays TRIpEDAL(74) , blocking my bingo with AEGNORT from the T. I mistrack at the end, allowing him to bingo out, but still win by 50.

For the last game, I play Charnwit, who is ranked 3rd in Thailand at the moment. However, I still have yet to find his play impressive. I open with TWIRLY/R(32). With a surfeit of vowels, I play LIE(12) and RUDIE(16) while he bingoes first with ASSERTED(68). Later I get down a nice bingo of BACkLIFT through the L for 90 points, but he counters with DEPiCTS(67) followoed by AXITE(60). I have MOZE(57) but am still trailing. At the end, I hold EHJMPTV to his AGILNU and lose narrowly. The J is playable for only 10 points.

So, for day 2- I have a disappointing 4-4 +162 record, despite playing 17 bingoes to 10, dropping to 18th place, but on the bright side it means easier matchups on the next day.

At the end of the 2nd day, I have already played 11 thais in 13 games ! Definitely not as international as I expected. It is already 8 pm by the time the games end and we adjourn to the food court in the next building- again, rather mediocre food- the duck rice was cold and rather unappetizing, as was several other dishes.

Check this out- Panupol, Nawadapol, Atitrtuh, Thacha and several other Thais are playing in the player's championships in Ohio in August.

Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

King's cup report- part 1

It was to be my fourth consecutive year attending the King's cup, and I had decided to go again to better my previously mediocre finishes. What's more this year's competition would be held in the city central, in a new shopping mall so it was all the more reason to go. I was to leave at noon on Wednesday, just 1 day before the tourney. It was to be an interesting tourney with the new lexicon. After an early lunch at the Budget terminal, I was rather surprised to bump into Cheah who happened to be taking the same flight too. More conversation about previous King's Cups. The Singaporean contingent appeared to be scattered around thee venue, unlike previous years.
The flight got off smoothly and we reached Bangkok at 3 pm Bangkok time. After getting out of the airport, Cheah left with Han Ei to the Pathuwan Princess and we took a 45-minute cab ride to the Reno.

The Reno was a modest establishment, less than 10 minutes walk from the venue, equipped with a cafe and swimming pool but rather old. I also find out that Ricky, Tony, Henry, the Richards and some other Australians are staying at the same hotel. After a short rest, we ventured out to the nearby shopping centres- Siam Discovery center, the tournament venue which was mostly filled with upmarket fashion shops. Then we crossed over to Siam center, which was slightly larger, but still filled with trendy shops and nice cafes. Eventually we walked over to Siam Paragon which is a fantastic mall full of nice aesthetics. It boasts bookshops, a cineplex, numerous fashion shops, numerous restaurants and ice cream parlours, a huge improvement from the tournament venues of other years. Around dinner time, we bump into Nigel, Jocelyn, Dianne Ward and Henry in the Paragon basement who are also going for dinner. Eventually we don't join them and go to a Japanese restaurant where I have a tasty salmon fillet set for 235 Baht (S$11). I enjoy a stroll back to the hotel to retire for the night.

Thursday: We go over to the venue at 10.30 after a western breakfast. Soon the players start turning up, but we skip half of the opening ceremony for an early lunch as there was no lunch break later. Pairing style is Swiss for first 2 games followed by a RR for the last 3. I am matched against Chaiwat in the first round, with Ganapathy and a Thai also at the same table. I start with a shortage of vowels, TAX(20)/DNGS while he scores mediocrely. On turn 3 I get down OREIDES(82) to take the lead and follow up with QAID(34) and PENTIsE(75). He has DISPUTE(76) but steady scoring followed by a late bingo of GaRRONS(79) seals the game. An easy win by 130. I play Ganapathy next who has also won his first game. We start slow but he opens a B for BANDORES(74) and I get RETAILs(70) later to seal the game. He has no reply Another comfortable win by 109.

The players are being paired again now, and I get Simon, Gerry Carter and Chollpat at my table, 3 Thais which I have to play. Against Roongroj, he opens with AGUIzED(70), but I have AFHILRS and put down FLASHIER(65). He attempts a phony with AUDOMAn, but I promptly challenge it off. I spend several minutes trying to block his bingo reply and settle on SCALY(20), but he comes back with AlLODIUM(72). I keep up the scoring with BORAX(36), VIN(26) and REPRIEFE(69) which he challenges. The score is close until the end, where I get a lucky break in the form of WAID(49). However it is still not won as he could still have DRACAEN(A).He doesn't, instead playing SCAD allowing me to go out with ANTIATOM from the A. Win 487-394.

Gerry Carter, a multiple top 10 finisher, but not a terribly strong player, is next. I open with PENNONS(74), which is immediately challenged. It is good. Gerry scores with UGGED(16) and OE(16) and SOCIABLE(65) while I race ahead with FEZ(41) and STRAY/SOCIABLES (75) which he challenges and is surprised to find it acceptable. Later I get down RAISONNE(62) and draw the last blank to win big. Position below.

With this win I am vaulted to the top 5, but have to win the last game for a shot at the 1250 baht prize. I play Chollapat, another young Thai. I open with BLAND/PR, not having much choice. He immediately replies with FLAVI(N)ES (70). I try to stay close with AXE(35) and YAWPER(28) but he gets OUTEARNs(66) , JIG(44), HABIT(49) and a late CONSIDER(62) to win. Nevertheless, I am still ranked 8th after the first day.

After the first day, the only undefeated players are Thacha, Thien and Komol. After the games, we head to the Novotel for the Hall of Fame dinner. I sit at the table which is practically occupied by the S'porean contingent. The dinner starts late 7.30 after numerous long speeches and the food left much to be desired-the quality seemed compromised- only the pan-fried snapper was good. After more prize-giving and a short anagrams session with the Thai groupies, we leave for the hotel.

What would day 2 bring? Check back to find out.

Full results here, scroll down to the link.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Finished third. Went 6-1 on the last day to jump from 14th to 3rd.. As usual, Nigel won the finals versus Komol in 3 close games. Quite pleased to get a prize of nearly 40000 baht, a hamper of Chicken of essence and a nice trophy. After it all ended we went to a Thai restaurant for a feast, followed by some dessert later.

Report later....

Friday, June 22, 2007


A temporary update from the hotel. Started off with a real bang yesterday, beating Chaiwat, Ganapathy, Roongroj and Gerry Carter by 131, 109, 93 and 181, only to lose the last game to another Thai youngster, couldn't do much in that one. Played some nice words like EEEFIPRR from the R and ENNNOPS. So should be somewhere in the top 10 for now..Singaporean contingent isn't doing particularly well, Tony has 4 wins with better spread (and easier opponents), Michael 4 and the rest below them. Thatchai and Thien on 5 wins. Nigel apparently lost a game to the thai WYSC rep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Leaving for bangkok soon..

Hope to make the top 10 this time !!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Another jumbleshot

So close...but #1 again at least.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Some comments

Surprisingly was the bingo king for the first time in a major, even beating Nigel with 37 bingos. But finish wasn't so satisfactory.. 478 bingos were played, an average of 26.6/player and the ave. bingos for the top 3 finishers was only 28.7!

The importance of bingos with collins seems to be decreasing, as more short words come into use. This is not a good thing. Also surprisingly few Collins bingos being played, only a handful while most players didn't even play any.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Marcus reads blogs. I know because he told me so. Was watching some of his games at the HDB session and noticed some bingos he missed, ADENORS+ M against me, both playable and DDEILW? + E. He seemed to be drawing quite well again..

Nothing too spectacular last night except that I found and played OrNITHINE through IN against Dorai..

Friday, June 01, 2007

S'pore open analysis (sort of)

Quackled 13 games so far. Missed 7 bingos in 5 games, most of which were in the first few games. Even missed DEIINSST, AEEGIMNR, EEHNNORT. Sigh.. Not challenging phonies ABLUTE* (16), INBIRTHS(92) and PHOLADE(52) was not good.

Ave. equity loss: 56.3 pts
Larges non-bingo loss: 28 (QI) against Marcus
Largest bingo loss: 48- UNMESHED against Yen Nee