I have decided to do an analysis of the final games, using Quackle, also because the Championship player reports are not fully accurate. Sims will be 2 to 4 ply with enough iterations.
See the game here.
Nigel starts game 1.
>Nigel: AAGOTVZ H6 GAVOT +18 18
Nigel makes quite an unconventional start, playing GAVOT in the middle of the board for 18 points instead of 22. He aims to double the Z on the next move right beside the A or O he has opened. Also this is rather defensive as it doesn't directly open any double-double lines (except for a bingo hooking GAVOT).
After 6000 iterations, 8d GAVOT is about even with nigel's choice, surprisingly. Other choices like ZAG don't do well as they use the Z for too few points. Ave. opp score is 37.6 after H6 GAVOT compared to 39.8 for the more open H4 play.
>Ganesh: AEEFGOU I9 FEAGUE +26 26
Best, although it is extremely open. Other choices like FEU or FOU don't do very well due to the vowel-heavy leave.
>Nigel: AAERXYZ H13 YEX +46 64
Also best. The best score available, while finishing off the TWS.
>Ganesh: CDNOPTT 11I ADOPT +16 42
Inferior by 3 pts to j7 POTT. The disadvantage is that POTT leads to very closed boards, and Ganesh is already trailing.
>Nigel: AAARTUZ L9 ZUPA +30 94
Best. Other choices are 6H GAZAR (35) and L9 ZUPATA (34) which are both inferior by 2 pts. Keeping the U is quite unproductive..
>Ganesh: BCDNNRT -CNDBN +0 42
Exchanging isn't best here. Ganesh is already trailing by 50 points and 7g BAND(11), 7f BRAND or even 14F BREED(18) would be slightly better. Simulation backs this up.
>Nigel: AAHRRST G5 RAH +22 116
2nd best. M8 HART(22) is slightly better. Other good choices include M8 TARTAR(30) and M11 THAR.
>Ganesh: IILNRTT 13K INTIL +26 68
Best. Trailing by 64, Ganesh opens a triple-triple line..
>Nigel: ADLORST I5 LOD +19 135
3rd best. 14l SOD and F4 LOD(19) are very slightly better.. F4 LOD results in a slightly higher score next turn, as any bingo hooking LOD could fit easily.
>Ganesh: ACORTUW O8 COTWAL +36 104
A bad miss. OUTCRAWL would have brought Ganesh ahead by 34 pts and given him an advantage. COTWAL is some 67 pts down.
>Nigel: ?AIRSTV 4H VARSITy +81 216
Best, also VASTIeR in the same place.
>Ganesh: ?BBFRRU 3L BUB +25 129
Best. Other options include 9e RUBOFF for 17 pts which is 5 pts back as it opens an easy TWS line.
>Nigel: DDMNOPR M7 DROPT +25 241
Best also, in score.
>Ganesh: ?AEFGRR O1 FRA +26 155
Inferior by 2 pts to J4 RAGER, but this is quite overrated as it doesn't open the board and Nigel is quite unlikely to open it now that he has a good lead. H1 GRAV for 24 pts is better as it opens the board a little and keeps ?FER
>Nigel: DIJMNSU 14L SIN +29 270
A very strange move by Nigel to say the least. 8 pts inferior to JUD. F4 JUD(30) would have effectively closed the board down and prevented any possible comeback. If Nigel had played JUD, Ganesh would have to play dENIGRATE (63) which opens the board quite a bit
>Ganesh: ?AEGINR F7 sERINGA +66 221
>Nigel: DHIJMNU 8A INHUME +36 306
Best. INHUME scores well and keeps the J for a decent score later. Also worth considering is k7 JUD which scores 24 and keeps the board closed. There are quite a lot of Es left- 8/29 tiles.
>Ganesh: EEIKMOS F2 MOKE +18 239
An attempt by Ganesh to set up SMOKE, even if there is still 1 more S out there. However it is inferior to E8 MOKE(32) by 16 pts, keeping a better leave of EIMS.
>Nigel: ACDIJLY A8 .CILY +14 320
Another strange move from Nigel. ICILY doesn't score well or block effectively. Much better is 7b ICY 28. It blocks a few lines and also threatens JA atop for 59. There are many other better plays too- 2M JAR (38) and G1 JAY (30).
>Ganesh: EEEEISS E8 .ESE +20 259
>Nigel: ADEJNRW K4 SWEARD +33 353
Ganesh blocked Nigel's UNDERJAW for 96 ! G1 JEW(30) and 2M JAR (38) are much better- keeping the J at this stage isn't very good.
>Ganesh: EEEEIOS 1F SEE +20 279
Ganesh picks up too many Es and has to play some of them. As there is only 1 tile in the bag, fishing for a bingo now is quite pointless.
>Nigel: IJLNOQT N6 QI +34 387
>Ganesh: EEINO J3 IRON +20 299
>Nigel: JLNOT G14 JO +28 415
>Ganesh: EE 4D EE. +14 313
>Ganesh: (NLT) +6 319
Overall I felt that Ganesh played fairly well overall despite his miss of OUTCRAWL, but really one mistake is enough to decide the game sometimes. Nigel, despite making some strange plays, played quite consistently throughout the game to win.
Equity loss- Nigel 31 Ganesh 94