Thursday, July 6, 2017

Knoxville June, 2017
What a treat to carpool with clubmates Steve Bush and Will Scott. Together, we comprised half of Division One.  The field is highlighted by David, the reigning national champion. I am seeded a distant third.

Rd. 1 vs. Winter
Winter got TOTTLEd* by me with TOILETTE and STILETTO available.  My ADILNORT (1) netted a challenge. I missed the playable seven in ACEEHRT (2), plus the eight to a D (3).  I also hickened out on one of the eights through an I and missed the other entirely (4).  Challenging off his R-hook to OBLIQUE wasn't nearly enough.
323 – 428       0-1     (105)                                                        my power tiles: SS

Rd. 2 vs. Steve Bush
EEILSST (5), though missed better through an E (6).  REINFUSE and OUTDONE were easily enough for him to outpace my attempts to plow through bad racks, like HOOVER (U leave), VODOUN and BOTCHER double-double non-bingo.  We both missed front extensions for FOILS.
320 – 467       0-2     (252)                                                        mine: SSSQ

Rd 3 vs. Cynthia Seales
One of the two in ?ELLNOP (7) to open for me, followed by AEGORTUU (8).  She landed MANAGERS, but I also for BDEIILRT (9).
443 – 401       1-2     (210)                                                        mine: ?SJXZ

Rd 4 vs. David Gibson
TURNIPS midgame, INSNARE and OVERPAST back to back late for David.  I can't complain about my blank being the last tile in the bag if I'm going to try phonies like CHIVED*.
318 – 438       1-3     (330)                                                        mine: ?SJQ

Rd 5 vs. Will Scott
EINNRSS (10) early,  AEELPRS (11) and ABCDEOR (12) for me late back-to-back.  Extending TINE with EEMNR (13) would've been fun.
430 – 300       2-3     (200)                                                        mine: ??SSSJQ

Rd 6 vs. Winter
Winter isn't afraid to phony or challenge, a refreshing style of play.  CHURNIER* seemed plausible to me and stood, plus he had ENTOILED and the double-blank DOORCASE.  This last move was interesting to sim individually (see the annotated game for notes).  I replied with DEOPRST (14) for 101.  The difference might've been his unsuccessful challenge of MAUD.
427 – 407       3-3     (180)                                                        mine: SJQXZ

Rd 7 vs. Steve Bush
REEVOLVE* for Steve, but I used it to get out of a bad rack, hooking ERUVS late.  I got ADENOOST (15) in a tight spot late.
370 – 361       4-3     (171)                                                        mine: ?SSSSQX

Rd. 8 vs. Cynthia Seales
Cynthia got PLATTEAU* past me, and scored Q(u)INO(L) for 68 later.  In between, I earned a challenge with AEELNRST (16) and landed AEEILNRT (17).

This game got nutty late.  Down what I thought was 22 and with six consonants and a blank in hand, I played T(ABO)R(I)C for 24.  We both laughed, knowing it wasn't good.  I was desperately hoping she might let it stand instead of even the slightest risk of a challenge, that I might get close enough for a recount.  And so it was.

Had she next blocked an S-hook spot with one of three plays available to her, she wins.  And this is despite her having overscored her bingo by 11 and I having underscored one by 3.  And so the 14 recount-points I netted ended up being enough to turn a seeming seven point loss around.
395 – 387       5-3     (163)                                                       mine: ?SSSZ

Rd. 9 vs. David Gibson
DEEMOST (18) merely caught me up, and he replied with ROARING.  I managed to fish for EINPRTTU (19) for an out-play to save a little face.
404 – 441       5-4     (203)                                                      mine: ?S

Rd. 10 vs. Will Scott
IMAGINED for him, CEEINRT (20) for me.  Maybe I win this one if early I'd gotten DEIILNXY (21).
335 – 361       5-5     (229)                                                      mine: ?Z

Rd 11 vs. Winter
ACEELNRP (22) midgame for me, but he went back-to-back with AIRIEST and GLORIOUS late while I couldn't get a vowel.
333 – 396       5-6     (292)                                                      mine: ?SSJX

Rd 12 vs. Steve Bush
ACEEIRSU (23) for me early, plus phony GOOPED*. AIRINGS and GRANDEST for Steve.  I also played IWAT*, accidentally grabbing an I instead of another of my three T's.
331 – 460       5-7     (421)                                                     mine: ?SZ

Rd. 13 Cynthia Seales
Cynthia opened with INEDITA. I got away with TOPPABLE* as a non-bingo, yet missed the double-double AABELLPY (24) through AY lane over.  I also missed CEELRSSU (25) before landing AELRSST (26).

One of the few things I got right was non-bingo AKIRTUZ (27) for 60+ points.  I only knew it because one of the Reinke's nearly playing it on me a tournament ago.  Cynthia outplayed me easily this game.
395 – 355       6-7     (381)                                                      mine: ?SSSJQXZ

Rd. 14 vs. David Gibson
Missed ACDEHIRV (28) while David landed INTAKES to open, plus PEARLING and LENITIES.
327 – 424       6-8     (478)                                                     mine: SX

Rd 15 vs. Will Scott
First two turns, missed BDEOORY (29) and ADEMORTW (30).  DEMNORT (31) and IIGLNTT (32) back-to-back later though.  I landed (33) AALNNOST with a blank and earned a challenge, though Quackle liked many non-bingos better.  I hadn't known CERSSUUX (34).
418 – 340       7-8     (400)                                                     mine: ??SSSX

Despite the losing record, I actually ended up in 3rd place and lost only five rating points.  I was a whopping -five- games out of first and second place.  Congrats to David on his division title and to Winter,who ended up being the only person in the division to actually gain in rating.  And thank you to directors Trish and Vicki on a fabulous event as always!

Stat me, baybeeee –
Blanks:     13/30
Esses:       29/60
JQXZ:      25/60
                       TOTAL:    67/150      44%

Avg. Score:  371 – 397

Games in which I had:
2 blanks:    2-0
1 blank:      4-5
0 blanks:    1-3

Quiz Answers
2)   RECHEAT – hunting call, made on valveless metal horn
                                                                          (also HECTARE, TEACHER, CHEATER, RETEACH)
3)   RACHTED                                                                              (also DETACHER)
4)   HETAERIC – concubine, esp. highly-cultured one in ancient Greece
                                                                          (also AETHERIC)
5)   TIELESS                                                                                  (also TELESIS, LISTEES)
6)   STEELIES – steel marble
7)   POLLENS                                                                                (also PLEONAL)
9)   [skipped a number, whoops]
11)  PLEASER                                                  (also RELAPSE, REPEALS, PRESALE)
13)  NEMERTINE – from the phylum comprising ribbon worms
14)  SPORTED                                                                               (also DEPORTS, REDTOPS)
15)  ODONATES – order of predatory aquatic insects like damsel- and dragonflies
16)  ETERNALS                                                                            (also TELERANS)
17)  ELATERIN – a chemical used as a purgative                         (also ENTAILER, TREENAIL)
20)  ENTERIC – pertaining to the G.I. Tract                                 (also ENTICER)
21)  XYLIDINE – chemical used mainly in dye manufacture
23)  CAUSERIE – an informal chat, conversation
25)  RECLUSES                                                                             (also CURELESS)
26)  SALTERS                                                   (also ARTLESS, LASTERS, SLATERS)
27)  ZIKARUT – variant of ZIGGURAT, a pyramidal temple tower, prob. like Tower of Babel
29)  OREBODY – mass of ore-bearing rock
30)  DAMEWORT – herbaceous plant of the mustard family
31) MORDENT – musical ornament indicating a note is to be played in rapid alternation with the one                                   next to it
32) TILTING                                                                                   (also TITLING)
33) SONANTAL – pertaining to a syllabic sound

34) EXCURSUS – detailed discussion of some point in a book, esp. in an appendix

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Arden Cup 2017

Memorial Day weekend in Chicago, a special event for me.   My now wife and I started seeing each other there, and we got engaged there.  She and our daughter, Abby, came for the Marty Gabriel finely-directed annual event.  Wendy would not be playing this year, but took Abby to the Pier and spent lots of time in the hotel pool together.

I came in seeded 6th of ten.  My good friend and clubmate Ken ended up playing up into Division One with me, even though he had been originally seed towards the bottom of Two.  Another good friend, Avery arrived seeded in 4th.  And one of North America's top ten ranked players, Mack Mellar, was also in.

Rd. 1 vs. Jonathan Lindh
TENDONS and LIGATES for him,  EFLNORTT (1) for me.
313 – 441        (128)       0-1                                      me: SSS

Rd. 2 vs. Charles Reinke
CREASES for Charles.  I nearly tried MUFFiNS/(GADJO)S* (plural is GADJE), but instead played MUFFS played for 50+.   I got one of the two in ?AABNNO (2) to an S, but that gave Charles DICTATE as an underlap.
Check out the annotated game for interesting late game decision on HUE.
354 – 396       (170)       0-2                                       me: ??SSJX

Rd. 3 vs. Ken Dutch
Early I missed ?AALLNOV (3).  My tws AEINNOTV (5) gave him a corner tws non-bingo reply of 60. Late FINORST (6) for me.  My AMA gave him an out-bingo lane, as I'd fallen asleep on G hook, but had he seen it his score would've been just short.
466 – 379         (83)       1-2                                       me: ?SX

Rd 4 vs. Avery Mojica
RETILED for Avery early, me right back with AEGLNORY (7).  He aggressively slotted an E in a  tws lane, on which I blocked trip-trip.  Avery still hit CRISPENED!  PASTILLE for Avery. My ADEIORS (8) gave him TIX on a tls-tls.
He let me get away with MINGE* at the end since he could only lose risking an unsuccessful challenge. I'll never chase that phony out of my head thanks to a certain South Park episode.
417 – 432        (98)        1-3                                       me: SJQZ

Rd. 5 vs. Mack Meller
ADEEILRT (9) midgame for me,  AEGIORSV (10) later.  My last play was AEIMRSTU (11), but he found TENOURS- one of only two winning out-bingos possible, which hooked five different places.
408 – 415       (105)       1-4                                       me: SS

Rd. 6 vs. Steve Hartsman
Steve was my first mentor in the game and I love seeing him.  Playing him hurts my brain though!
MALTEDS for him, me right back with ADEINRTU (12) and DEILFORU (13) for a double-double.  He took lead with TROPICAL and INCITING.  Not sure where I picked up AENNRSWY (14).
512 – 461        (54)        2-4                                       me: ?SSJQZ

Rd 7. vs. Thomas Reinke
AAEINORX (15) early for me with blank, but missed far better AAEIMOTX (16) and AAEIMNOX (17).  He landed INDULGE and then later blocked my EHILORPS (18).  I had the blinders on, missing AEILOPRS (18) to blow this one.  He went out with OUTLIER on the tws lane.
336 – 446       (164)       2-5                                      me: ??SSSJ

Rd. 8 vs. Nedd Kareiva
AEGILNR (19), DEELNORT (20), and ADEINOTV (21) for me.  We were both surprised to learn later his REDEVOTES* wasn't valid.
455 – 325       (34)        3-5                                       me: ?QJX

Rd. 9 vs. Doug Lundquist
NAPULII for his start, but I came back right DEEMORV (22) with a blank, though missing DEIMOPRV (23).
409 – 364      +11          4-5                                      me: ??XJ

Rd. 10 vs. Jonathan Lindh
CDEEITX (24) with a blank for me early, but missed DEEISTX (25) for dws-dws  He came right back with PENSILE for said dws-dws.  I countered on the other open dws-dws with AEILMORT (26).  I caught him on VIBER* and REVUEING*, hitting DDGILNOO (27) in between.
498 – 357    +152         5-5                                      me: ?SSSQXZ

Rd. 11 vs. Charles Reinke
I missed ?AIOSUY (28) to open, but managed AAEIRST (29) later.  He hit WISENTS late, but had exchanged three times.
398 – 296    +254         6-5                                     me: ??SSJXZ

Rd 12 vs. Ken Dutch
I missed AEKMNRSU (30).   DDEEHNRTU (31) for me, but he landed VARSITY.  I got away with NONNY* and then hit BEIRSTU (32).  At the end, I blocked the only of three open lanes he could -not- have bingo'ed on with the eight tiles unseen to me, and so was lucky to win.
420 – 357    +317         7-5                                      me: ??SSQX

Rd. 13 vs. Avery Mojica
AEENRSTU (33) for me with a blank, but missed ACENRTUY (34) from a tws.  We traded my BDEHIRT (35) to his CANFIELD.  ADEINSST (36) salted this one away, but he did get 60 for hooking XED/(WEAL)D.  I'd forgotten the five entirely.
450 – 364    +403        8-5                                      me: ?SSQ

Rd 14 vs. Mack Mellar
SACHETED for him for nearly 100 early, but I came right back with ADEIRTY (37).  He challenged my OORARIS* off.  Something like 14 variants of CURARE, but this is only similar to valid ones.   Then I missed AEIKNNRS (38).  I did manage AEGNNRSU (39).  I didn't see AGEFLSTU (40), but luckily landed a better-simming non-bingo.
Mack saw my winning outplay out-bingo from ?DEESTW through an AR (41) (SMARTWEED was possible, but didn't fit).  I even had a winning non-bingo of ADEEMSWY (42) through AY. Instead, I tried FEETWARDS*.
362 – 420    +345       8-6                                     me: ?SSSJX

Rd. 15 vs. Steve Hartsman
AACLPTTU (43) with a blank for my first move, but hadn't known AADPSTTU (44) for more.   PANDOURS and REZ for 51for him, AGEORRT (45) with the other blank for me.  In a messy end game, I'd lost track of an S and Steve hadn't marked off one of the blanks.  The game would've hinged on an interesting pickle he'd put me in with the world WEIGH midgame.
398 – 371    +372      9-6                                     me: ??SSJX

Rd. 16 vs. Thomas Reinke
Nothing like missing a bingo right out of the gate – EFISTTY (46).  He answered my ADIMNST (47) with STALLED, CREATES and PLATONIC.  My BDENORW (48) only served to save spread.
397 – 456     +313      9-7                                    me: ?SJZ

Game 17 vs. Nedd Kareiva
AEILMORT (49) for me early with a blank, though missed better BEEIMORT (50).  He came right back with DISHFUL.  I hit CDEEGIOS (51), but a magnificent ten was available through LO_A (52).  BEELINES for him, ACELORSS (53)for me, though ACELORS (54) would've served better had I known #51 took an S-hook. The other blank gave me AAELRNTT (55), but I missed AAEINRTT for a tws (56).
479 – 420      +372       10-7                               me: ??SSZ

Game 18 vs. Doug Lundquist
AEILNRTV (57) for me.  Quirky: the next three tiles I turned over were U's, and the last was the Q.
He replied with double-double LINEAGES.  After I chickened put on blocking play of FARCI, he got trip-trip PALINODE.  Even had I blocked, he'd seen PALINODES through AL elsewhere.
He slotted an X in another trip-trip lane with XENIA for 42 that was fateful.  I thought I'd mucked up  a little with an E over the X, but he landed the non-bingo trip-trip REEXPOSE!
It was his first ever game with two 3x3's.   Sometimes all one can do is sit back, admire and smile.
354 – 597      +129       10-8                              me: QZ

Game 19 vs. Thomas Reinke
I started with ADEINNOV (58), but he got INTERTIE and MOISTEN back to back.  I hope it was just fatigue when missing ACEEOST (59).  Feel less badly about not getting AESSTUY (60). Thomas had PANFIsH for an out-play for 116, but wasn't quite 100% sure, and FisH alone was easily enough for the win.
PANFISH is a verb. I want it to mean something akin to fly-fishing, standing in the river in waders with a frying pan whacking at jumping salmon or some such. But it does not.
323 – 413      +39        10-9                              me: SSSXZ

Round 20 – bye
A player had earlier left the tournament unexpectedly, and so my gaming was done.

And so I finished where I was seeded - 6th – with a small gain in rating.  Getting to spend time with my former clubmates from Des Moines, Dan Heck and Rich Banker, was pure joy.   May we forever be weirded out by the sports bar and restaurant at which we all dined that was so clearly a former gentleman's club...

Stat me, baybeee –

Blanks:     15/38
Esses:       34/76
Heavies:   34/76
                    TOTAL:     83/190     43%

Avg. score: 408 - 406

Games in which I had –
2 blanks:     5-2
1 blank:      5-2
0 blanks:     0-5

1)   FRONTLET – a decorative band worn across the forehead
3)   FLAVANOL – organic compound in red wine, said to protect against heart disease
4)   Whoops. Skipped a number.
5)   INNOVATE                                                                 (also VENATION)
6)   FORINTS – Hungarian standard unit of currency; conversion to the euro not likely 'til 2020's
8)   ROADIES                                                                   (also RADIOES)
9)   RETAILED                                                                 (also DETAILER, ELATERIN)
10)  VIRAGOES – noisy, domineering woman; archaic: manlike maiden, amazon, brave and strong
11)  MURIATES – any chloride used as a fertilizer
12)  INDURATE – to harden, as stone
14)  SWANNERY – place where swans are raised
16)  TOXAEMIA – condition of having toxins in the blood
17)  ANOXEMIA – lack of oxygen in the arterial blood
aaaand used the same number twice
18)  POLARISE                                                                (also PELORIAS)
19)  REGINAL                                                    (also ALIGNER, REALIGN, NARGILE, ENGRAIL)
20)  RONDELET – rondeau (poem) of five or seven lines            (also REDOLENT)
21)  DONATIVE – a donation
26)  AMITROLE – non-cropland herbicide                       (also ROLAMITE)
28)  OUGIYAS – currency of Mauritania, one of just two in world not decimally based
29)  ARISTAE – bristle-like appendage or structure          (also ATRESIA, ASTERIA)
32)  RUBIEST                                                                     (also BUSTIER)
33)  SAUTERNE – a French sweet wine, using grapes raisined by noble rot fungus (botyrized)
34)  CENTAURY – a medicinal herb
36)  DESTAINS                                                                  (also SANDIEST)
39)  GUNNERAS – a plant with enormous leaves, up to just over 6.5 feet long
40)  STAGEFUL – as much or many as a stage can hold
42)  MAYWEEDS – stinky plant
44)  DUPATTAS – a shawl-like scarf of south Asia
45)  GARROTE – among related def.s, a method of capital punishment of Spanish origin with which an iron collar is tightened around someone's neck until he is strangulated or killed by injury to the spinal column at the base of the brain.  You're welcome.
47)  MANTIDS – mantis
49)  ROLAMITE – ball bearing mechanism with incredibly low friction                 (also AMITROLE)
50)  BIOMETER – device for measuring CO2 given off by living matter
51)  GEODESIC – pertaining to curved plane-geometry
52)  LOGAOEDICS – poetry composed of a variety of feet so as to suggest a prosaic rhythm
53)  ESCOLARS – a food fish, from Spanish for “scholar” due to spectacle-like rings around the eyes
                                                                                           (also LACROSSE, SOLACERS)
55)  TARLETAN – an open-weaved cotton fabric used for stiffening garments
                                                                                           (also ALTERANT)
56)  REATTAIN                                                                 (also ATTAINER)
58)  DEVONIAN – the part of the paleozoic era in which amphibians appeared
59)  ACETOSE – tasting like vinegar

60)  EUSTASY – a worldwide change in sea level

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Des Moines Scrabble Tournament February 2017
I came in as the #1 seed, ranked about 100 in NASPA.   But there sat Avery Mojica, somehow just below me in rating when we know he's light years more skilled.  Still, can't fear anyone when you sit down.
This is my favorite tournament of the year.   Wendy and I lived in the Des Moines area for a few years not long back.  Any excuse to visit them all is taken, and Scrabble the most fun of all.

Answers to the numbered alphagrams are at very end.

Rd. 1 vs. Dan Heck
EINNOORT (1), AEELNSSV (2) and DEEIMSS (3) for me by turn five.  The last one made a phony -S hook on the first bingo.  Dan held, but like me he wasn't sure about it.  Dan hit ARENITE during my barrage, and then I think tricked me into opening the board while thinking I was blocking the case S he didn't have after all and landed super-sweet INTUI(T)ED.
We've sparred online and at club for years, but this was the first time we'd play in a tournament.  I was never so happy to lose, it was quite a comeback.
351 – 416 0-1 (64) me:  ??SSSQ opp:  SJXZ

Rd 2 vs. Nick Purifoy
Nick opened with INUTILE, double-doubled with DOWNRATE for 98 son after, and took an opening I desperately made for his own SCOUTING late.  Just AEIIRST (4) for me.
327 – 485     0-2 (158) (222) me:  SSSJQ opp:  ??SXZ

Rd 3 vs. Kevin Gauthier
?CEILLOZ (5) and ADEGIINT (6) for me early, GEILNRT (7) and AAECHRT (8) with blank for the C late.  Finding one of the two that started with J would've netted me more points, but I once I found something necessarily ending with A I quit looking.  I believe Kevin mentioned having quickly picked up esses to have three at once.  Not lucky.
516 – 273 1-2 +243 (+21) me:  ??XZ opp:  SSSSJQ

Rd 4 vs. George Asaka
SCORIAE and ACTIVATE early for George, plus he challenged off my SALUTORY* in between (it's SALUTARY).  I managed AEELMNS (9) with a blank, but missed the bingo that starts with A from ?AEELMNS (10).  His SPIRAEA was salt in the wound.  At some point this weekend George hit five consecutive bingos against someone.  He was en fuego.
339 – 457 1-3 (118) (97) me:  ?SSQXZ opp:  ?SSJ

Rd 5 vs. Chuck Riordan
Mid-game we got rolling – tws IGNITES for him, AEIIPRR (11) with a blank for me.  I missed ADEIIMPR (12) though.  He came right back with tws REDCOAT.  Desperate for a second lane, I threw a B out into trip-trip space, hoping maybe to catch a -BLE play or something.  He played the odds and mucked up the bingo-prone area elsewhere.  I trip-trip the out-bingo with ?EGINOR with the only play with the B in the sixth spot. (13).  More luck, he's caught with a full rack that includes JWZ.
game link
464 – 355 2-3 +109 +12 me:  ??S opp:  SSSJQXZ

Game 6 vs. Need Kareiva
AWAITERS for him, but ABEMORT (14) and OX for 55 for me.  game link
427 – 345 3-3 +82 +100 me:  ?SSJXZ opp:  ?SSQ

Game 7 vs. Avery Mojica
ASCARED for him, ADELOSTV (15) and AEEIRST (16) for me.  DREAMIER regained him the lead and I think we figured the endgame was unwinnable for me.
386 – 392 3-4 (6) +94 me:  SSSJQXZ opp:  ??S

Game 8 vs.  Dan Heck
Had all the letters for ACIPSTT (17), but could only get down 44-point non-bingo double-double version of it.  AEEGNRT (18), AEHIOPRU (19), and AEEIRSTW (20) had me in fine fetters.  REGAINED and having to eat a blank late for Dan-o.
490 – 323 4-4 +167 +261 me:  SSSXZ opp:  ??SJQ

Game 9 vs.  Nick Purifoy
AEILLRS (21) and AMORRTUY (22) for me, TERTIAN for Nick.
394 – 361 5-4 +33 +294 me:  ?SJXZ opp:  ?SSSJQ

Game 10 v. Kevin Gauthier
DDEEILST (23) and DEIRSSTU (24) back-to-back midgame for me.   I defended as best I could, but Kevin just could land THINNEST with a blank where T had to be first letter.  Worse for me, I knew he was emptying the bag to a full rack and picking up the case blank.  Quackle seems to indicate I had no winning sequence against perfect play.  All I could do was set up a high-scoring out-in-two and hope for a mistake.  He happened to miss the four playable out-bingo sevens from
?AENNOR and tried ANEURON*.   I think he was combining NEURON and ANEURIN.
399 – 338     6-4 +61 +94 me:  SSQ opp:  ??SSJXZ

Round 11 vs. Nedd Kareiva
Struggled for workable draws, but can't complain since I missed ACEEPRS (25).  I didn't think there was a lane on the board anyway since I always get confused over between YAUDS and YAULDS*.  I extended to QUAD with -RECEP to a tws, which only ended up having three problems:  it's phony because the middle vowel is I, it needs an S on the end to be valid anyway, and I underscored it by 18 points.  MORALES for him, an eaten blank for me.
290 – 404 6-5 (114)      (20) me:  ?S opp:  ?SSSJQXZ

I had a shot at money given where I was in the standings, but it was deemed that pairings which avoided repeats as best possible would be used.   No problemo!  I love playing Avery.   Sometimes it's a gritted-teeth love though, as you are about to read... :)

Round 12 vs. Avery Mojica
Avery:  Turn 1)  BEAGLES;  2)  AVULSEs;  6) NITRATE; 7) RAX – 42;  8)  BRE(A)DNUT through the A I'd just given him from AEFINORS (26) because he'd blocked better AEFNORST (27);  9)  EUrIPUS;  10)  CLOAK – 60 which I could only have blocked with a one-tile three-pointer.   One can't complain, just play one's best and admire the not-so-subtle art of a good friend creating a masterpiece of pain.
game link
352 - 602     6-6 (251) (271) me:  SQZ opp:  ??SSSJX

And so I finished in 4th place, one slot out of the prize money.  I also lost about 50 ratings points.  Can't spend those anywhere though!   We had an amazing time catching up with everyone from around the Midwest.  Thank you to Rich Banker and Pat Boddy for their directorial work and to all who made the tournament such a great success.  Congratulations to Division One champion Avery “DJ ChocoLuv” Mojica, to my wife Wendy on her 3rd place DIII finish, and to all who laid waste to those who dared go before them.  Or something like that.

Stat me, baybeeee –

Blanks: 10/24
Esses: 22/48
JQXZ: 23/48
TOTAL:       55/120      45%

Avg score:   395 - 396

Bingo count:  22 - 20

Games in which I had--
both blanks: 2-1
one blank: 2-2
no blanks: 2-3

Bingo Quiz
1)   TENORINO – a high tenor
3)   DEMISES – to bequeath
9)   MELENAS – a nasty medical condition I won't describe
10)  AMYLENES – chemical used in some gasoline-blending components
14)  BROMATE – to combine with bromine (also a chemical used in gasoline compounds)
15)  SOLVATED – to convert into a type of ion
17)  TIPCATS – old European baseball-ish game
26)  FARINOSE – resembling farina (a cereal grain)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lexington, KY 2016

Our local club's annual main tournament event. I went in rated 1755 and seeded 6th of 14 entrants in the top of three divisions. Two “grandmasters” came – reigning North American champion David Gibson of South Carolina and fellow 2000+-rated player Lloyd Mills of Ontario.

Rd 1 vs. Jeff Fiszbein       (#9 seed, rated 1644)
me: ADEEGNT (1) to open.  Missed ?ADJORR to an open S (2).
Between us we were stuck with four unplayable letters at game's end.
381 – 365      1-0      +16                                                       me: ?J

Rd. 2 vs. John Jarowski     (#7, 1748)
me: AEHIRRST (3), and AEGLNRS (4) back-to-back, and then a dream play of mine-
John won 13 of 31 games in the top division at the National Championships this past August,  He had not played an official NSA/NASPA event in 17 years.   Impressive!
458 – 349     2-0      +109      +125                                       me: ?SSJXZ

Rd. 3 vs. Eric Cahanin      (#5, 1772)
me: EEIMRRR (6)
Paul: QUAIGH to open, which I challenged unsuccessfully.  He'd had the blank to make QUAICHS, but wasn't quite certain it pluralized with S as well as -ES.   (It does.)   Also had CHARQUI there.  TUNNELS.
362 – 395      2-1      (33)       +92                                       me: ?SSJ

Rd 4 vs. Paul Epstein      (#3, 1896)
me: AILMORST (7), but missed the two sevens without the I (8), DEEIPST (9), AAEIRST (10).
Paul: Opened with IMMORAL, but having to exchange twice in second half was a lot to overcome.
452 – 373      3-1      +79      +171                                      me: ?SSSJQ

Rd 5 vs. Will Scott (#14, 1500)
me: ACDISTUV (11) for 100+.
Will: Non-bingo EROTIZE for 72, SIB/S(POOFIER)* for 50+, KELTS/(AJEE)S* for 40 or so.
I blame my errors on not knowing how to keep my focus post-lunch :)
308-404      3-2      (96)      +75                                          me: ??SJQ

Game 6 vs. John Merlau (#12, 1518)
me: AEEIRSTT (12), ACIIMNRS (13) plus unsuccessful challenge, DEIIRST (14).
456 – 333      4-2      +123      +198                                    me: ??SJQZ

Game 7 vs. Steve Krieger (#10, 1640)
Steve: STINGERS, ADVENTS, but caught him trying PHRENOID*.  His need to exchange three times signals that he got outdrawn, not outplayed here.
Right before his phony bingo attempt, he had fished and made nice open spot.  I made a play that mucked up effectively three different bingo areas in space at once that wasn't completely instinctual to me.  My fave play of the weekend perhaps.

On a side note, Steve is one of my favorite players.  He's agreed to send me a copy of a play he's written and is working to get produced in Cincinnati.  I'm sending him in access to see my rough draft hot mess of a partial movie script on my Google Drive.  It's such a work in progress, sharing it makes me more nervous than playing Gibson.
414 – 356      5-2      +58      +256                                     me: SJXZ

Rd. 8 vs. Jan Cardia (#8, 1675)
me: missed AEEEILNS (14).
338 – 417      5-3      (79)      +177                                     me: SZ

Rd 9 vs. David Gibson (#1, 2180)
me: I had fun watching him
David: opened with GIFTEES and SPAROID
292 – 412      5-4      (120)      +57                                     me: SS

Rd 10 vs. Steve Bush (#4, 1874)
The phony was intentional, desperate, as it only tied the game.   His phony was the reply, but I lucked out with the valid counter.  I missed BEKIRSTU (17).
384 – 341      6-4      +43      +100                                      me: ?SQ

Rd 11 vs. Lloyd Mills (#2, 2010)
me: AEGINSTU (18), AELMRSU (19), missed ABKNPRTU (20) and EIIRRPSU (21).
Lloyd: INGRESS.  Deftly Q-stuck me, too.
419 – 409      7-4      +10      +110                                      me: ?SSJQ

Rd 12 vs. Julia Bogle (#313, 1514)
me: AEENPST (22), AEGILRS (23)
Julia: RAIMENT, INFESTED. The former was with a blank, she “missed” OYSTERMAN.
Julia's opening rack, as she told me after, was AEENRTU – no bingos.   She passed the first three turns, hoping I would play a letter through which she could make an eight.  I exchanged twice, not willing to risk such a thing unless got to bingo myself.
Eventually I had to play BEG or risk making the sixth consecutive zero-score play – ending the game – and that she might have all one-point tiles and win with a higher negative score.   My BEG opener was no help to her. She exchanged three other turns as well.
515 – 272      8-4      +243      +353                                    me: ??SSSJQXZ

Game 13 vs. David Brown (#11, 1633)
me: AENOSTU (24), EINORSW (25)
David: GENTRIES to open, OGDOAD for 13, ENTHRALL
Late in this white-knuckled affair I - for the, oh, 2000th time in my career - tried PLICE* and it nearly cost me game.  Two plays later in the end game David had exactly one winning play and didn't happen to see it.
396 – 391      9-4      +5      +248                                       me: ?SSSQ

I didn't event know I was in 2nd place going into that round.  I'd assumed Lloyd must've somehow lost a couple more games and come down the ladder to meet me.  So if I'd miraculously managed to beat him a second time for the weekend, I'd have then played him a third time for the division title.

Game 14 vs. Lloyd Mills
me: CEEINORT (26) for 149
Half of Lloyd's plays went for 51 or more.  These 2000+ rated players are -tough-.
409 - 547     9-5      (138)      +110                                    me: X

So instead of ultimately a higher finish and cash prize, what I'd earned those first 13 rounds was the chance to play the two grandmasters a second time each.  I'll take it!

Game 15 vs. David Gibson
me: BILORSST (27), AEFLRSTT (28), HYAENA – 47.  I missed BDELORTU (29).
David: VENDEES to open, DIZENING for 110, WRISTIER
388 – 501     9-6      (113)      (3)                                       me: SSSJQX

And so with that drubbing I was knocked down into a three-way tie for 4th-6th.  Steve beat me out for 4th and the last cash prize by a mountain of spread points.  But I came out with a 1791 rating and 101st-ranked in North America.

Congratulations to Lloyd on his championship, to Chris Sitler and our own club's Betty King on their Division Two and Three titles respectively!  Thank you to our club's and this tournament's lead director, Steve Bush, director Will Scott and to all the locals who helped make the event a big success.  And we all enjoyed having so many of our gaming friends from all over the continent visit us.

Stat me, baybeeee –

Blanks:      13/30
Esses:        25/60
JQXZ:       28/60
                          TOTAL: 66/150 (44%)

Avg. score: 398-391*
*This doesn't jive with most post-tournament spread counts, but is what is on the NASPA site.

Bingo count: 25 – 26

Games in which I got...
one blank      2-1
no blanks:     1-4
split blanks:   6-1

Bingo quiz
1) AGENTED – to act as a representative for
2) ADJURORS – to command solemnly
4) ANGLERS – here, fishy fishy
5) EKTEXINE – the outer part of the exine (the outermost layer of certain spores)             (also EUXENITE)
7) MORALIST – a teacher of morality
8) MORTALS, STROMAL – pertaining to the substance that makes up the structure of an organ, cell
9) DESPITE – v. to treat with contempt
10) ATRESIA – absence or closure of a natural body passage                              (also ARISTAE, ASTERIA)
12) ITERATES                                                      (also ARIETTES, TEARIEST, TREATIES, TREATISE)
14) ALIENEES – one to whom property is transferred
17) BURKITES – one that murders bu suffocation
18) SAUTEING                                                                                                             (also UNITAGES)
19) SERUMAL – pertaining to serum                                                                              (also MAULERS)
22) PENATES – the Roman gods of the household                                                            (also NEPETAS)
23) GLARIES – to coat with egg white
24) OUTANE – a cassock, a long garment worn by clergymen
26) ERECTION                                                                                                             (also NEOTERIC)
27) BRISTOLS                                                                                                              (also STROBILS)


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ASHEVILLE, NC – autumn 2016

I came in with a rating of 1721, seeded 14th of 16 players in Division One. Top contenders would be two players rated over 2000 – reigning North American champion David Gibson and Joey Krafchick.
My win expectation was 6.1, and likely ended up a little lower since I played five games against the number one and three seeds.

Rd 1 vs. Clay Daniel (#3 seed, Rating 1846)
Me: ADDERST (1) to open, BESPENT* (was thinking of BEERPNST) (2)
Clay: SECONDI and LEGATOS, both of which I held, waiting for caffeine to kick in I guess.
365 – 450       0-1         (85)                                                           me: ?SSZ

Rd 2 vs. Kate Fukwa-Connelly (#8, 1793)
Kate: FIANCEES and TEASING back to back.
She also made really sweet ANOR(A)K / O(BA) / R(EM) / K(A) for 44.
Behind with one in the bag, Kate finished for bingo, creating a second lane. I missed AILNPST (5), a top 5.000 prob bingo. She had picked up the Z, and so most -any- play I made that blocked her TRIAZO(L)E also would've won for me. Instead, I took the highest-scoring non-bingo for a soul-crushing defeat.
423 – 434       0-2         (11)       (96)                                             me: ?SSX

Rd 3. vs. Ken Kasney (#10, 1770)
me: ACELPPRS (5) with a blank, though I missed ACEELNPRS (6) through AN. ADELOTU (7) with the other blank, missing ABDDELOT (8).
Ken: EARNEST and BANTERER back-to-back, plus MOIETY for 53.
462 – 417       1-2         +45        (54)                                            me: ??SSJXZ

Rd 4 vs. Kevin Bowerman (#7, 1795)
me: EINOSTT (9), ADEHIRST (10). Missed ?ADEFMS – 2 (11)
Kevin: LEXES for 57
452 – 293       2-2         +159      +105                                          me: ??SSJQZ

Rd 5 vs. Jeff Cook
Me: RETAX for 60, GAZEBO for 84, ABEEILS (12).
Blanks or no, any game I can come back from 100+ down is a rare treat.
422 – 408       3-2         +14        +119                                          me: ??SXZ

Rd 6 vs. Randy Hersom (#4, 1845)
me: AEGNRST (13). Missed ADGOPRST (14).
418 – 291       4-2         +127       +246                                         me: ?SSSJXZ

Rd 7 vs. Aaron Finkel (#16, 1536)
me: ABDERST (15), but missed the eight with a W. Found one of the two in ?AABBCST (16)
388 – 379      5-2            +9        +255                                         me: ?SSSSQ

Rd. 8 vs. David Gibson (#1, 2143)
Me: AEIOMTZ (17) for 106 to open. Turn three missed ADGIILLO to an I (18). Turn four slipped
FIRELOGS* by with a blank, which David only let go because I'd had other options and he thought was a tiny chance it was new. AEIRSTT (19).
455 – 475      5-3           (20)      +235                                          me: ?SSJZ

Rd. 9 vs. Paul Erland (#6, 1826)
Me: AEGNORY (20) with a blank, but missed better AENOPRWY (21).
Any tie game is likely filled with lots of tough decisions, and this was no exception.
385 – 385     5-3-1           0       +235                                           me: ?SSSQX

Rd. 10 vs. Ellis Roy Reynolds (#12, 1740)
me: AEINSTZ (22), BCEIMNO (23), ADILNOOR (24)
Had Ellis found RESIDUA either turn, this would've been a very different game, as he'd have been ahead by over 100.
482 – 399     6-3-1        +83       +318                                          me: SSXZ

Rd. 11 vs. Clay Daniel
me: ADEIILR (25)
May have hinged on me missing BOUTON midgame, allowing him WENNY for 60.
388 – 404     6-4-1         (16)    +298                                           me: ?SJQZ

Rd 12 vs. David Gibson
me: ANESTRI (26)
321 – 498    6-5-1          (177)    +121                                         me: SQ

Rd. 13 vs. Aaron Finkel
me: AEFIRST (27), ACEIORT (28)
Excellent comeback from over 100 down by Aaron.
389 – 374    7-5-1           +15     +136                                         me: ?SSSZ

Rd. 14 vs. Clay Daniel
me: BEOORST (29), FGIINRTU (30), ABEEENTS (31)
The sweet-looking, plausible phony nine w both thought was likely valid aside, this came down to a 25% chance at an out-bingo draw for Clay after he'd brilliantly made himself a second lane late while also blocking a 50+ point J-play of mine.
466 – 473     7-6-1          (13)     +123                                        me: ?SSJZ

Despite seemingly blowing at least a couple very winnable games, I came away with a 28 point rating gain, putting me at 1749. I finished in 6th – one spot out of the prize money positions. I had two losses with over a 450 score, but someone else won high loss prize seeing defeat despite a 479. A deserving Aaron Finkel – seeded 16th – won the class prize by finishing one more spot of his seed than I managed. So like always, some ups and some downs, but always good times. After all – Scrabble money isn't exactly poker-sized money. There's nothing I'd rather be doing.

Kudos to Director William Snoddy and everyone from the Asheville club for putting on a fabulous event. They hold multiple tournaments a year and it is always worth the 250-mile drive and weekend stay.

Stat me, baybeeee –
Blanks: 15/28
Esses: 30/56
JQXZ: 27/56
TOTAL: 72/140

Avg. score: 415 – 406

Bingo count: 26 – 26

Quiz Answers
2) BESPRENT – sprinkled over
5) SCRAPPLE – a seasoned mixture of ground beef and cornmeal
12) BAILEES – a person to whom property is bailed
15) DABSTER – one that dabbles, involves himself in a superficial interest
18) GLADIOLI – segments of the sternum
26) ANESTRI (and eight others)