With 11 wins so far, I needed 7 wins to make the finals..
I was due to face Suanne first, who has been doing quite well this tournament.
Game 17 vs Suanne- Suanne starts slow with AHI(12). I play BIO(18) below while she plays PERIA*(22). I neglect to challenge it as I can get down DERAIL(E)R(61). The score is close until I bingo again with FATIGuE(84), while she replies with MISDIET(91). TUNY(46) and REZ(32) for me give me an advantage while she struggles with few vowels. At the end she is unable to play off her J and Q, having no vowels, giving me the spread I need.
Game 18 vs John Olaughlin.
I start off strongly with CORNETs(72) and PERTHITE(72) to his BIJOU(28). John finally bingoes with ERINItE(61) while I maintain my lead with STERVES(78) and other high-scoring plays. John gets down SALINAS(66) later, but I have the tiles to win easily.
Game 19 vs Panupol
Panupol opens with a blank bingo- AgISTED(68). I havfe BEJOOSU and play JOBED(30). We both exchange tiles at the same time but after that I reply strongly with LAVeERS(98) and HERDER(42) to counter his STARRIER(60). AMNIOTE(82) for me followed by a nice ZOEAL(91) with 5 overlaps 2 turns later give me a good lead. At the end Panupol gets OX(51) but I out with TISANE(13) to win.
Game 20 vs Tim
Excellent tiles this game- My first few moves are PRAISED(76), FISSULAR which was challenged, FISTULAS(61), ENAMOUR(91), CERATOID(63) and LACKEY(54). Tim has ENROOTED(68) and JOINtERY(101) which I only discovered was phony after the game.. A late SaLIGOT(84) for me extends the spread.
At this point I have 15 wins and have a chance at making the finals, if I win 3 of the remaining 4 games..
Game 21 vs Charnwit- Charnwit is a rather defensive player. He opens with JEE to which I play JUCO(14) and his PENMEN(14) blocks my ACIERAGE(92). The rest of the game was unfruitful- KNIVED(51) and TINNY(49) to minimize the spread of his DEVIANTS(64) and ReALIsT(70)
Game 22 vs Jighere
A crucial game. However it was not to be. This is one of the most closed games I have played.
Jighere gets 2 easy bingos with the blanks later to win while I can't do very much.
Game 23 vs Nigel- Another important game which would definitely have some consequences on Nigel's chances of making the finals....He started with FIREDOG(77) but EXO(58), HITCHER(97) and JEW(49) gave me the advantage. See the board below
Game 24 vs Akshay- Not much chance this game either. Akshay gest 3 bingoes straight- VISITEE, MeTICAL and vELIGER. I have ZOOEA(42), CURDIEST(76) to narrow the spread.
Fairly satisfied with my 7th place finish, especially as it was my first WSC...The finals were well played overall and Ganesh' miss of OUTCRAWL was a waste.
Congratulations to Nigel.