Singapore Open 2010

Am not writing this from my home computer, so I have limited access to things –

This is a really interesting position which I got from my last game on day 1 against Quek, even with the seemingly boring rack. What’s special about this is that my move this turn is a response to his phony bingo last turn, 6H BUTOLIn.

Displayed is the result of my many-ply simulation on Quackle, with the inference of his full rack. This is what Quackle thinks:

1) He will play (H)OLIBUTs 15H next move, as it is his highest scoring bingo.

2) Since he will make such a high scoring play, I should perhaps choose not to bingo and build up for a counter.

3) PE(W) and PA(W), both 12L, are very strong choices because HOLIBUTS will open the O column which will allow my reply down to the S. The leave is rather appetising too.

4) PADRoNE N4 is also strong because his move of HOLIBUTS is assumed, as it still scores 1 more point than BOTULIn/(o)B/(N)O/(E)T O8. That would give me a free TWS at O8 next move. In comparison, uNDRAPE in the same spot is probably not so strong because it opens two hotspots, and after his HOLIBUTS it is likely that I can only take one while he is given free rein over the other.

5) PA(W)N 12L sets up for an S hook which is probably not that important if he plays HOLIBUTS.

However, with the inference of his move, and some common sense, I can say this:

1) He misspelt BOTULIN, so he might get it right the next turn. If he does play it, an S hook might be useful.

2) He missed HOLIBUTS, so he probably will not find it the next move unless I am very unlucky.

3) There is a good chance he will not attempt another bingo. If I were to play PADRoNE or uNDRAPE, I would open unnecessary scoring opportunities for him, netting him 30-40 points and allowing him to keep the blank.

4) Since there isn’t a high chance of him playing HOLIBUTS, he will probably not open the O column for me. That means I will not have a free bingo line next turn – playing PEW and PAW is probably not so advantageous then, since I might be restricting myself to poorer bingo options next move.

5) He cannot bingo with the blank as an S with his current rack, so PAWN gives me some advantage as I have a decent chance of using the blank as an S next move, or if not playing the bingo from the H.

6) One possible caveat of playing PA(W)N is that it opens two danger lines, one from the H and the S hook. If I take one without blocking the other the next move, he might bingo from the other one. That situation could be advantageous to me if I draw crap and he bingos first, though.

7) The other thing about PAWN is that BOTULIN, if played, would restrict the S possibilities of both words. Not that it is very likely…

In the actual game, I did not see the possibility of HOLIBUTS, so I decided to play PAWN (which I feel is the best move in this scenario). I then made a mistake in the next move by bingo-ing too early and allowing him to bingo out and catch me on 7 tiles (my losing-est move of the whole game).

Anyway the tournament for me was cursed with rather unbalanced racks (mostly consonant-heavy), and Qs at the wrong time. I did however make about 4 errors that might have been game-changing, two of which were bingo misses (of which one that I didn’t know), and one of them just described above. Have not had the time to analyse the games from the second day but I played quite decently on day 1. Bah – I need to work for Causeway.

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