Scrabble Sabbatical & Scrabble

Following this paragraph is a post about Scrabble, though less than half of you (actually half, maybe I have 2 readers for this blog) would know about it. Who cares about readership anyway. This blog isn’t here to make people happy, I post about my feelings and emotions. I find blogs which only portray someone’s ficticious facade (perhaps meant to entertain or gain popularity) very useless. If so, they should rename blog “glob”, it has no real purpose in my opinion (and extremely humble =D).

Within the past two days, the changes have been vast. Ms. Kala actually asked them to memorise the 2 letter words within 1 day (and I think their self esteem was pretty low after we bombarded them with uncommon words), and I can safely say the results aren’t showing. Actually I would rather assume that many didn’t do so. Almost all the “newbie” players are reliant on the word lists, upon removing the privilege phonies like “TV”, “CMON”, even stuff like “ZITTING” and “QTIS” (wth?!) appeared.

At least, many of them show interest. While some of the Secondary 2 students clearly show a lacklustre attitude, even sitting in front and not paying attention (and it shows through the strategies that they use, they rarely go above 20 points), most of the Secondary 2-4s are rather engaged and listen attentively (although they might not be able to utilise these strategies at the start). Some of them appear stuck when playing moves, many take too long to think of possible bingos (and neglect the fact that bingos happen and are not forced out). Challenges become irritating and you see people challenging words like GANET (?!), yet leaving ZITTING on the board.

The iSpark Sec 3s appear to be the most committed. Yesterday, three of them slept at around 1 because they were on a game of online Scrabble. Even I don’t spend so much time on Scrabble (ironic statement because I’ve just spent around 8 hours on it). I really hope I can train them in strategy, but firstly I do not see myself as fit to teach them (as I am only a recreational player) and secondly it is difficult to develop prodigies unless you spend a lot of time and effort, like Ben did to train all of us.

I believe the sustainable interest is of paramount importance; I’ve been in and out of Scrabble for the past 2 years, especially after competitions I don’t play for a long while (before I suddenly realise there’s another one coming up). This time, I think I should be able to sustain this passion for a little longer.

I’ve been playing rather finely in real life and online Scrabble today. Been able to spot bingos within seconds and score pretty well with them, as well as find other words which can score. Yet I admit my word knowledge is not as extensive or developed as Guan Hui, Joshua, Ben, maybe Wei Min and Jin Yang; I am unable to find strange words like SHEBEAN and BEENAHS (but I can find BANSHEE). Thus I conclude I have been really lucky to get words like IDEATES, VARIOLES (I’m still gloating over the 140 points) and RAVIOLI (with double blank), especially in spotting them. Stuff like GOMERaL seem apparent rather than words like MOnGREL. If Lady Luck can actually perservere, I will too in the game. Right now, what I should focus on is not bingos (they mean little to me, and I can average a good 30 every move in luckier games) but the 3 letter words. There are no word lists for you to refer to during the real life competitions; I have to learn them slowly… and the sad thing is that I keep forgetting them (like LUR which I have checked the ISC word lists for every game that I use it in)

Right now, I am puzzled as to why I can actually win Ming Wei. His bingo knowledge seems rather wide (through memorising), probably knows more 3 letter words than me, plus his strategy is so-so, it seems strange why I have more wins than losses than him. Furthermore, he plays rather unabashedly (and yet has that touch of cautiousness), unlike me who is either too conservative or too rash in making decisions.

I certainly hope tomorrow will be a more fruitful day, and that those who get prepared can actually do very well. Though I know who will win the competition (duh isn’t it obvious he’s playing on ISC now) but there will be people who will do very well tomorrow too. To me, if they want to do well in the competition, all they need to know are the 2 letter words, the strategy, some 3 letter words and hooks here and there, plus the algorithm to find bingos. Seems unlikely now.

And I see many people are anticipating good results tomorrow. I think I shall follow Zhang and angst for 1000 words if I beat someone (actually on second thoughts I might as well play 2-3 games of Scrabble though I think I AM REALLY FREAKING BORED AND SHOULD GET OUT OF HERE)

Oh screw I am so tired and should get some rest. Overload of mental activity? (ooh LOADENS)

One for all. All for one. Venturez ’06

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