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


jkqxz said...

Pretty interesting account!

Looking forward to playing Scrabble in exotic places organised by Michael!

Maybe the Scrabble Nationals can be held in the IR once it opens!

Anonymous said...

Do continue :)

syenite said...

You must continue with Part 3! :P

Merlion said...

Alchemist and myself braved the heat and humidity, aw, comm'on it's the same as SGP, and had penang char kway teow AND hei peya for a grand total of RM18!!

Hubert wee said...

jkqz: So am I, hope to be playing in the Caribbean one day.

syenite: Will continue when I feel like it after I have gone through the games

merlion: Penang is more humid and much less shady than S'pore- only that u don't realize it!