Game 9 vs Marcus
Pretty straightforward game. Start with ?EEGILO of which I pick ObLIGEE instead of ELOGIEs in hope of drawing the nickel. Too bad I don’t get it – and he changes all his tiles. Am lucky to draw BEHNOST immediately which scores 84+5. From then on I dominate – once getting a double double PEATIER (36), then following it up 2 turns later with SAUTOIR (85). He bites back with DONsIER (73) but I’m about 170 ahead on a blocked board – no chance for him. Waste a lot of time on one move (for no reason) and have no time to think through my endgame.
Best moves 7/14, excluding endgame 7/11
Game 10 vs Joshua
Another game which is one-sided – but surprisingly there’s a lot to say about this game. Start correctly with AGLOW, but chicken out of ELNNORS two turns later. Even with the mistake, I get to play SANTERO% the next turn (87), and follow it up with JUCO% (42) – 2 Collins words in 2 turns! He quite obviously does not have good tiles – throwing off 2 Us in 2 turns and changing 4 after that. Play off ALE correctly from AAEELNT and draw ?BR, leading to aNTBEAR (76) the next turn. Am lucky to draw ?EIMMUZ but miss a bingo through the I, playing MAIZE (36) instead (second best). He counters with INTO (36) and I phony with UPMOvED* (81) which thankfully isn’t challenged. At this point of time I’m 200 ahead. I draw QUARTER two turns later with no spot to play it – but I try WEEKE(R) just for fun, and it is hastily challenged off. Then Joshua makes a mistake of playing DONSIER (83) giving me the spot for it! Down it goes for 77, and I hit 500.
Best moves 8/13
Game 11 vs Cheah
Probably my best game of the tourney but I realise the best moves are easy to find. He opens with ILEAL (missing REALLIE, which is the main cause of his grumbling later) and I immediately find and play V(A)NITORY (78). I’m quite tensed up during the whole game because I know he’s a good player, but that makes me even more determined to win. 3 turns later he gets down CHiDERS (79), placing him slightly in front. Fish a little bit with GIRL (6) and REF (30), while he scores with MOUP (45) and FA (29). Miss the bingo in ACEGORST, confusing it with TRUCAGE (you can guess the phony) and then I think I’m doomed – he blocks it with WILI (22). Make a desperation opening (I’m behind by about 60 on a closed board and a good rack) of VAG (11), which weirdly enough isn’t blocked as he changes 7 (maybe he didn’t have the tiles to block the spot). Down goes HOOTERS (82), to which he replies with ADZ (56). From there I make a wonder draw of ?BEIIRT, leading to RaBIETI(C) (76) which basically wins me the game. Quick and simple plays of NIX (61), KEDS (47) and JO (40) lead to a 113 point lead. Win this game without much hassle.
Best moves 11/15
Game 12 vs Jiang Pern
Am on a roll at this point of time, and this game will determine if I have a chance at winning – however I am disappointed with DGJNRRT on my first rack. Upon changing 6 I draw MLNNORW – little improvement. He scores well with HEATH (31), CAPA (32) BANG (30), YOK (34) and finally QUINTES (112), while I curse at my mistake of playing too much turnover with AEFRSTT (and drawing BINPV). When I draw the blank it is with rubbish – ?BNSTXW and ?BMRSTW while he gets down sOLERET (64). I finally get to play LECTuR(E)R, the only playable but I am about 170 behind. He seals this easily.
Best moves 6/12
It’s lunchtime and I’m on 7 wins – JP seems to be running away with the title at this point of time, but he has to meet Cheah so not everything is settled yet.
Game 13 vs Andy Kurnia
A stupid mistake costs me this game (if I were to value it based on equity loss I’d think it costs 100, but thankfully I didn’t include it). Not really worth talking about the game… except that I should have blocked his out bingo by re-noticing the front hook of CID. Irritating.
I guess the only consolation is finding and playing ABEEHNTT!
Best moves 8/13
Game 14 vs Dorai
This game isn’t a tough one for me either. He changes first, leaving me to start with TRISULA (66+5). Take a 150 point lead soon enough though he quickly cuts it down with FRIANDE (70). A turn later I get TAINTED (74) and the lead keeps extending to 151 after turn 12, though he gets (E)NLArGeS for 71. Conclude it with a nice find of PICK(AXE)S (though PICKAXED was better, wasn’t 100% sure of it) for 48+5, and that leads to a nice spread.
Best moves 8/14
Game 15 vs Kian Boon
Have not beaten Kian Boon in the last 3 encounters (be it ISC or real life) so I’m particularly wary. Start correctly with FIFE and get rewarded with AEGIORT (kick yourself if you miss this) for 77. Thankfully he counters with ADOZE (77) so I don’t get weighed down by my conscience. However, I get HAJ for 46! :). Two turns later he finds SCRIpT(E)D (65) to catch up, and for the next few turns the game is very close. I get ARENOSE (74) soon and block his possible bingo spots (still one blank available) and that wins me the game.
Best moves 8/16
Game 16 vs Andy
Another game thrown away. Won’t talk much about it but may post the position up for people to comment.
Best moves 5/13
In general good play didn’t equate wins – especially when I screwed up big moves on games 13 and 16.
One for all, All for one, Venturez’ 06