Some things that have caught my attention + Game #5

1. This is a rather interesting study done up by Jesse Matthews, an Canadian Scrabble player about, as the title says, ACEIIRTTVY in ABBCELRS. This is something that really explains what is at work in a intermediate-expert Scrabble player’s game (not everything, but it goes far enough). Of course, it appears to be a project in its infancy, so I really hope something big or important comes out of this… (no, I don’t think any word is formed Clabbers-style from the board in the first slide) The blog post about this is here.

2. This, on the other hand, is a very disturbing story. Not that I shun Facebook for this reason, but this does serve as a solemn reminder that we need to be mildly skeptical of every new idea, thing or person that comes into our existence, no matter the circumstance. Perhaps this would be useful in helping you make Facebook safer for yourself and your family.

3. Coincidentally enough (see my previous blog post), there has been some (heated?) debate in the oz-scrabble Yahoo! groups that concern the issues I discussed, though not directly (the topic concerned is the possibility of having 3 divisions in the Australian Nationals – see the threads “Three divisions in Australian Championship” and “Elitism”). In Singapore, the case seems to be rather different – people don’t want to play high rated players, mostly because they want to win money (and maybe are afraid of losing, but let’s leave that to another post)! Is this a sign that the top rated players here are too available for games in this small island? Anyway, I’m all for the idea of increasing the number of divisions to ensure a fairer distribution of prizes to deserving winners, but I believe a system that places participants by wins and spread, while taking into consideration average rating of opponents played, would be a highly desirable solution to the problem (while being extremely difficult to craft).

4. The news about new rules in Scrabble allowing proper nouns is something that I initially dismissed as absurd, but now that reality has sunk in, there is a question I’d like to ask – come July, will the tourney Scrabble that I’ve been playing for 6-7 years be classified as “old” Scrabble? What if I decide to name my SamTimer IIIIIII and play the noun for an extra 50 points?

Footnote to point #4: funnily enough, another report from the BBC contains the exact same picture as the one mentioned. Perhaps they would like to photograph a few more angles of the board?

5. Today’s game comes from the JG Practice I had last week, and I was pretty pleased with this one against Tony!

Play the game here!

Feel free to examine and criticise!

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