Friday, August 31, 2007

Puzzle

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)?

Anyone?Andy?

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.


Stats

Record:12-8 +626
Ave. score: 445-414
J:12/20
Q:12/20
X:12/20
Z:11/20

S:37/80
Blanks:16/40

Bingos:43-39
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
J:5/10
Q:4/10
X:9/10 (2 unplayed)
Z:5/10

S: 19/40
blanks: 10/20

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penang open - part 2


Friday



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
J:2/4
Q:3/4
X:0/4
Z:3/4
S:7/16
Blanks:3/8




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

Update

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

Endgame

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

J:5/8
Q:2/8
X:5/8
Z:4/8

S:19/32
blanks:8/16


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 .