(Posted from Will's e-mailed document by John)
GAME 1 against Steve Bush
BGILNOS (spoiler below)
I exchanged four to open, Steve played ZOMBIE, I played FLATtOP, hooking the E to make EF. Steve held but didn't challenge, then he played TYPY through the P on the triple.
So then I drew the above rack. I wrestled with ING words for a while, then looked for possible eights on a wide-open board. I didn't find one, although so far I've learned that there was one through a T -- BILTONGS. New one for me.
I couldn't find a legitimate bingo, so of course I decided to make one up: SLOBBING*. Steve challenged it off the board and gradually built up a lead, then went way ahead with MANROPE. I didn't like it, but I didn't challenge because if I lost, that would be the game. (It's good. Glad I didn't challenge.) Somehow I started to close the gap, then I got a late bingo, STINGER, hooking NAIL with the S to make SNAIL. So I won a game that I really shouldn't have. Final score: 397-367.
On the way home, Steve and I were discussing that game, and the SLOBBING play, and I suddenly realized there was a bingo in it.
"GOBLINS!" I said. I almost drove off the road. Then Steve thought of the only other one: GLOBINS. I could have hooked either of them on EF to make EFS.
GAME 2 against Rob Kearn
Despite challenging two phony bingoes off the board, I managed to lose this one by 2 points. My most obvious undoing was challenging Rob’s OVERSAD for 76 on turn 4. I should have let it go, because I had the Q, and now I had to wait a turn to play QAT for 12. On turn 7, Rob played RIOTING for 80. I answered with my coolest play of the game, playing XI for 46, hooking MI to make MIX and MARTIN to make MARTINI, but I was still 106 points down. On turn 9, Rob tried COENTER*. I challenged it off and played BUCKLER for 78. I then challenged CORENTED* and played SPA for 26 to get within 24, 275-299. I gained on him but never caught him. The game ended with Rob up by 3. I asked for a recount and gained a single point, losing 360-362.
We split the blanks and the esses, but I drew the Q, X, Z and K.
(Inspired by Steve Bush’s post about using Quackle to analyze games, I decided to try to Quackle this game. I failed spectacularly – again – to even get the board to configure correctly. All I got was a blank board: no premium squares, and no instructions. After an hour of screaming, hair-pulling, foot-stomping frustration, I gave up. Maybe some day I’ll master what others seem able to do in their sleep.)
GAME 3 against Frank Lee
This was my second tournament game against Frank, one of the nicest players I’ve met. He built a lead against me early, going up by 60 points on turn 4 after challenging a stupid phony NOILE*. I made up a little ground, then went ahead with RESTIVE for 79. Late in the game I played BEANS, making the parallel plays OWE, PIA, ERN and IS, for 36 points. Then I went out with a 14-point play and took 12 off his rack, winning 345-284.
GAME 4 against Paul Seet
Paul built a 35-point lead until I played LOANERS for 72 on turn 6. On turn 8, he played STIFFED/TITS for 67, to cut my lead to 8 points. I played ZED for 39, then he played JIAO for 22. Then I played WEANLING for 83, and he lost a challenge. After I played REIGN for 27, Paul tried to play ROADIES, front-hooking TITS to make STITS*. I challenged it off, and that was the game. I won 427-331.
GAME 5 against Wilma Pitzer
Wilma opened strongly with ZAIRE for 48, but I played QUODS for 61 on my second turn to take a slight lead. I managed to stay with her until she played DITCHES for 70 on turn 8. I struggled mightily with my racks, then Wilma played REMORSE, hooking the S to make JAPES, for 88. I played AX/DEX for 42 to cut her lead to 80, but that was my last gasp. Wilma won handily, 445-326.
GAME 6 against Wilma
We were tied at 34 when I tried BACONY*. She challenged it off, then tried FOCHE*. I challenged it off, but I couldn’t clean up my rack. (I had the J for six turns. Never a good thing.) I had just caught up to her when she played GENTLIER* for 59 on turn 10. I held, but then I convinced myself that I’d seen the word somewhere, and I let it go. Big mistake. After I played UGLY for 30 on turn 11, she played OUTAGES/GLAZES for 78. And that was the game. Wilma wins again, 414-314.
Final record: 3-3, minus-34. So aside from going 0-2, minus-219 against Wilma, I had a decent tournament.