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

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