A very good writeup from bricap’s livejournal here. I’m not on CGP so I’m pretty sure I’ve missing out on quite a lot from this debate – but I think Brian’s views as a top-level TWL/ CSW player carry much weight.
Read the comment from wallydraigle (Kenji, another top-level TWL player) too – I’m not entirely sure if Collins does make Scrabble a better game (there are pros and cons), but based on my (limited) knowledge of the NSA, I do think that some unification with the rest of the world will make the game better for everyone. Am not qualified to discuss whether certain words should be included into the dictionary, but from a long-term perspective I suppose the TWL dictionary will eventually include more words that will dilute its strategically demanding game. (Not to say Collins is not demanding in terms of strategy – see Eldar’s comments)
Anyway, I did enjoy my time in Manila watching the young’uns from all over the world jostle for victory as I did 3-4 years ago. Congratulations once again to Jen Ho and commiserations to the rest who were aiming for better. The Singaporean contingent did not fare very well – not entirely too sure why, but I think they could have had a bit more practice in Manila which might have given them the strategic boost they needed. Or maybe it was the lack of close-game experiences (which made them prone to pre-endgame and endgame errors).
The side tourney was a different experience altogether, and it was an honour to meet and play in an international field with very high standards. Most of my game errors (so far) were completely missing bingos and being unsure of words, but I think I learnt a little from Causeway, and did not make that many endgame errors this time… (maybe more analysis to come later for this and Causeway)
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the company of my Scrabble friends, and will travel more next year to more tournaments as I transit out of the army!