Nationals

8/16 wins, not many blanks, not as many bingos as I hoped for (but not that bad anyway), losing almost every game where I started second and winning almost every game where I started first – I played the worst I ever did in the past 2 years, missing more bingos on Day 2 than usual, and fumbling one or two moves most games in a WYSC-winning manner. Maybe I’ll talk about the games when the bingo list is out – there will be quite a bit to look at this time.

Despite all that, I still qualified for the WSC with an unexpected twist of events (4 spots, Michael not being eligible for Singapore), but it remains to be seen if I can be present. I’m not that desperate to go for it though – I’ve visited the playing venue before, and I might qualify for the WSC in the future if time permits.

To the younger generation: I don’t mean to be offensive in any way, but you should only talk about luck in a game if you have reached a minimum playing standard. There’s no point mentioning again and again that you have drawn very few blanks if you did not consciously try to turn tiles over to draw the blanks, or if you did not play very well at all. I do not feel I was exceedingly unlucky for the Nationals, although there were a few games in the first day that were probably not mine to begin with. Generally, the player who plays more tiles will get an advantage.

What you all need (to perform better) is more real-life practice, strategical discussions and word study, not discussions about luck. I’m hoping to see more of you guys at tournaments and practices even with important exams looming for some of you – some time management can fix that. ISC practice will only work if you review your games online and observe the good players for strategical tips.

Meanwhile, National Service has been a little weird for me – I reach home every week wanting to blog about my life in the army, but I fail to write something out every time (I do journal daily throughout my course though). Perhaps this is symptomatic of the hectic schedule in the army thus far (and maybe to come) – too many things to do, too little time to think.

And something to chew on:

Full employment, well-fed digestive tracks, clean streets, and decent homes are not the be-all and end-all of good government. They are only a necessary beginning – an essential foundation from which to aspire to greater human ends. Like people elsewhere, Singaporeans also have keen nonmaterial appetites, the satisfaction of which will not brook permanent denial. For these are fundamental urges which return after every banishment.

– C.V. Devan Nair, Foreword to To Catch A Tartar, Francis Seow, Published 1994

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