Was itching for practice after watching the Singapore Open – thus I invited people to come to my house to play ~6 games (like a mini). Turned out pretty fun and “productive” (in the sense that all the 6 games were completed). Only regret is that I didn’t invite enough people (especially adults) – there were only 5 other people, and 4 of those 5 were kids =p.
Am pretty satisfied with my performance, drawing 2/12 blanks and yet winning 4/6 (2nd place). Guo Cong took the first position, albeit with the exact opposite number of blanks. I wonder if the two games I lost were winnable though – I phonied in both in those games (and they were duly challenged off). Didn’t get many bingos but was steady enough to get around 2 bingos each game (11 bingos). Bingo King was Guo Cong with 15 bingos, who capped it off in the last round with a nice (DI)vERGENT against me for 86 points. Alpha came a close second with 14 bingos.
Here’s a round-by-round short description.
Round 1 vs Guo Cong
Wasn’t exactly confident of winning considering Guo Cong’s stellar performance at LBH. He started with a very open BELOVE, and I was unable to utilise the DLS spots well having GILMOQY (and hence being forced to play QI). He later jollily tries NONTRICK* which is challenged off immediately, giving me further confidence to fish AL off. Am lucky to draw the blank and play wESANDS/AKIN (85+5). The match opens up a bit after that, with me playing PEANED, YU and STIRRED (33, 29, 83) to his TROGON, VINT and WEX (20, 21, 32), to go ahead 321 to 179. With ?AEERSW, he makes a brilliant play of WiSEA(C)RE (incidentally the best) for 84, but by then it is too late for him to catch up. A comfortable win for me.
Win 447-368 Bingos 2-1 Blanks 1-1
Round 2 vs Tony
Haven’t played Tony in quite a while (apart from ISC). The game is mostly dominated by him, with me being stuck with hard-to-play racks like AEIIONU, ABCNNPT, CNNPRRS (of which I try to sneak PRENE* through him to no avail) and ANOORRS. The board starts very closed with almost no space to bingo, and this results in (what I view) the biggest mistake of the game – playing TINTER (21) keeping ST with STINTER on my rack (and no place to play it). Attempts to open up for a bingo later lead to him bingoing with STiNTER (71) and ReVOLTS (81) to go up by 170+. Finally he leaves a spot open and I play ENRACES (74). Follow this up with WIFIE (54) later but the game is already lost.
Lose 334-436 Bingos 1-2 Blanks 0-2
Round 3 vs Li Wei
One of the games I enjoyed playing (though Li Wei is indeed pretty formidable an opponent) – he starts with COREY (28), and I quickly spot and play kARAOKE (88) on my second turn to go up by 70 points. 2 turns later he counters with ENTWINE (76), but I am still ahead. Later I am pretty happy to play NOAH% for 42. That puts me in front by 60, and the lead is widened when he (like Guo Cong) phonies JIGGA* for absolutely no reason. I get (E)VANGELS (66) and this almost seals the game with a 130 point lead. His subsequent plays of NOTICED (76) and TrOELIE (67) pull him within 90 points of my score, and he manages to trap my Q, eventually leading to a 6 point spread for me.
Win 437-431 Bingos 2-2 Blanks 1-1
Round 4 vs Kian Boon
Start with CEFILOS and play FOLIC. It’s challenged and I get 5 points (making it 33). One or two turns later he phonies TWY*/LONGY which I hold for a while (half in shock and half in self-doubt), and eventually challenge (TWYER TWYERE). The game gets quite interesting a few turns later as I play INTERNE, JETE and PHOTON (65, 57, 36) to his TAKINGs (82+5), XI (22) and PEN(H)OUSE* (0). At around move 10 he plays VAURIENS (61) (forgot what the blank was) but I counter 2 turns later with SANDIER (76), picking up a win.
Win 434-364 Bingos 2-2 Blanks 0-2
Round 5 vs Dewin
At this point of time, Guo Cong and I are leading and we have to beat our respective opponents (Tony for him, Dewin for me) to remain in the top 2 positions. This game flows pretty well for me though I think it also did for Dewin. Obtained consistent scores of 26, 35, 35, 33, 30, 80 (REWEAVES) and 45 for my first 7 turns, compared to his 17, 22, 37, 26, 72 (EERIEST), 36 and 71 (OESTriN). On the 8th turn though, I get stuck with AGIORUU and choose to risk AUGUR (8) keeping IOR. Am rewarded with ROOKIER the next turn though, and that gives me a lead which I preserve to the end.
Win 473-422 Bingos 2-2 Blanks 0-2
Round 6 vs Guo Cong
He has 8/10 blanks at this point of time and I have 2/10, so Karma should dictate that both blanks go to me =D. This is not the case though, as on the third turn (after a careless phony of CULFS* when what I should have played is CULTS) I’m hit with (DI)vERGENT (86). Get L(E)CTURNS (78) down after struggling with racks like ADFHKST and CFLSTUW. He remains in control as I draw more of these racks – AINUUVY, AINOUUV, AADIINN (meanwhile he plays aRMOIRES for 61 and VITIATED for 76). These racks (after about 7 turns of struggling) finally mature to LITANIES (68), and he phonies VIOLDS* (30) to win by a huge margin. Bah.
Lose 386-505 Bingos 2-3 Blanks 0-2
Am happy to be 2nd even though I’m low on blanks, although I admit my turnover wasn’t that impressive. I should be organising another of these gatherings 2 weeks later.
One for all, All for one, Venturez’ 06