Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Joetta sent out the e-mail set out below, cancelling tonight's club session at the new location, VFW Post 680 on Leestown Road. Our first session there will instead be on Monday, February 2.
Subject: 1/26/09 -- meeting cancelled tonight
Date: 1/26/2009 11:35:48 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
The first Monday night Scrabble meeting is cancelled for tonight due to the possibility of bad weather conditions. I hate to do this, but I would also hate to be stranded at the VFW tonight.
We still plan to meet next Monday, February 2, 2009 from 6 - 9 p.m.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 12:04 AM
We have been talking about meeting frequently for a long time. The large turnout at Good Foods is evident that a lot of people like to play Scrabble.
Albeit with short notice, I would like to announce the beginning of Monday night Scrabble.
A location has become available for us to meet EVERY Monday evening from 6 to 9. I have booked the room for the next two weeks with a long term option.
Our Monday night Scrabble will be held at the VFW Bluegrass Post 680. The post is at 1494 Leestown Road in Lexington. This is in the Meadowthorpe area just inside New Circle Road. I don't know how to link to mapquest for directions to send you, so just call me if you have a problem 859-321-3060,
We will be meeting in the post meeting room just beyond the canteen. After you enter the front door, press the buzzer to the right of the next door and that door will be opened so you can come in. Turn left and go into the first door on the left. Signs will be placed on all doors.
We have lots of table space already set up and lots of space in general along with close restrooms and a limited concession from the canteen. They offer the best chili dogs I have eaten anywhere. Due to the small cost of renting the room, I highly recommend you try the chili dogs and some soft drinks. Even though alcohol is served in the canteen, children are allowed in the meeting room.
I am really looking forward to see you there on Monday nights!
Many thanks to Joetta for finding this additional meeting location for our club!!!
(If you did not receive Joetta's e-mail directly and want to be included in the Lexington Scrabble Club's e-mail distribution list, please send an e-mail to let Cheryl know at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friday, January 16, 2009
Goodness, the perks Capitol One is offering me for my "small business!" With one of their credit cards, I can even get frequent flier miles. I'm going to send them a not-nice letter telling them that my "business" has no credit rating, much less income, and they can take their offer and ...well, I might be nicer about that.
Monday, January 12, 2009
This entry provides a list of links to the blog entries for each club session held during calendar year 2009.
To find cumulative statistics for the year 2009 to date, check the blog entry for the most recent club session.
Lexington Scrabble Club
2009-13 -- Monday, April 6 --
2009-12 -- Monday, March 30 -- 6 players
2009-11 -- Monday, March 23 -- 8 players
2009-10 -- Monday, March 16 -- 6 players
2009-09 -- Monday, March 9 -- 7 players
2009-08 -- Sunday, March 8 -- 2 players
2009-07 -- Monday, March 2 -- 7 players
2009-06 -- Monday, February 23 -- 9 players
2009-05 -- Monday, February 16 -- 7 players
2009-04 -- Monday, February 9 -- 9 players
2009-03 -- Sunday, February 8 -- 13 players
2009-02 -- Monday, February 2 -- 9 players
2009-01 -- Sunday, January 11 -- 15 players
15 players playing 40 games
Steve -- 3-0, +417
Amanda -- 2-0, +339
Ruby -- 2-1, +174
John -- 2-1, +139* (initally posted as +67)
David -- 2-1, +132* (initially posted as +130)
Betty -- 2-1, +64
Tyler -- 2-1, +24* (initially posted as +44)
Nick -- 1-1, +84
Janet -- 1-1, +23
Will -- 1-2, -16
Joetta -- 1-1, -111
Patsy -- 1-1, -120
Cheryl -- 0-3, -314
Donna -- 0-3, -339* (initially posted as -307)
Tameko -- 0-3, -496
[Cumulative spread totals marked with asterisks were revised on February 14, 2009 to reflect corrections for arithmetical mistakes discovered subsequent to this blog entry's original posting.]
11 of 15 players playing 22 bingos in 19 of 40 games played
14 seven-letter bingos, 8 eight-letter bingos
no phony bingos successfully played
Amanda -- LITTERER 66
Betty -- RELIANT 58
Cheryl -- OUTREAD 75
David -- DANCERS 74, OUTLAYS 72
Joetta -- SNEAKED 81
John -- CASINO(S) 78, UNKN(O)WNS 106 [a double-double]
Nick -- GREEDILY 67, RETITLES 85
Ruby -- ELOPERS [points scored not given], REDIALS 90
Steve -- MARINER 69, TURRETS 71, WANTERS 78
Tyler -- INTENS(E) 72, HETAIRAI 61, CODEINES 65, SALTEST 71, OUTPLANS 65, TINNERS [points scored not given]
Will -- INGESTED 61, QUAINTER 84
Attendance at Club Session -- 15 players
Highest Win -- David, winning over Tyler in Round 2, 454-417 (+37)
Lowest Win -- Patsy, winning over Donna in Round 1, 234-208 (+16)
Highest Loss -- Tyler, losing to David in Round 2, 417-454 (-37)
Closest Game -- Betty against Cheryl in Round 3, 342-331, an 11 point spread
Most Points Scored with a Bingo -- 106 points by John against Cheryl in Round 2, for UNKN(O)WNS, a double-double
Most Bingos Played in a Game -- 4 bingos by Tyler against David in Round 2: HETAIRAI 61, CODEINES 65, SALTEST 71, OUTPLANS 65
These statistics are based on three rounds of play. Several players stayed on to play an additional game or two; those games are not included as club games. Session results are listed first by total wins, then by spreads.
It was great to see so many people enjoying an afternoon of Scrabble. Let's see if we can break the record that we have just set for number of attendees!
Our next club session is on Sunday, February 8. [This changed after this post was made. Our next club session is on Monday, January 26. See blog entry about new location for our club on Mondays each week of the month. JMS 1/22/2009]
Friday, January 9, 2009
Last Updated January 9, 2009
A remark in Tyler's entry "Fenton, Day 2" prompts me to make this post. In commenting on his second game on Day 2 at Fenton, Tyler noted, "I had messed up on my tracking (like always), but had about 12 minutes left so I retracked the entire game, and with superior endgame tiles I pulled out the win."
What I would like to do through this post is to open up the subject of TRACKING for comments from any blog team member and others (whether LSC members or just readers of this blog) about whether they track, how they track and with what level of accuracy, if they have found it useful, and any other aspects of this subject. Leave your responses as a comment to this post, and I will shift them into the body of the post as they are received.
I think that this open-discussion type of post should be useful not only for new players who have never tracked but also for more seasoned ones who track or have tried to track and can benefit from learning how other players are doing it.
So, I'll start things off, but please do join in!
THOSE RESPONDING WHO TRACK = 5
THOSE RESPONDING WHO DO NOT TRACK = 0
When I first starting playing at club, there were too many other things going on (new rules to learn, clocks to deal with, etc.) to worry about tracking, but I soon saw others doing it and benefiting from their efforts. I started trying to track but found it frustrating and time-consuming at first, and I was rarely accurate in my results. Even now, while I usually start off tracking, I often don't continue with it throughout a game, particularly when my opponent makes plays very rapidly or when I have bad racks and spend more time than usual in trying to find plays.Tyler, from Winchester, KY, 1/9/2009
One thing that really helped me in tracking was coming to the understanding that I did not have to track each play as I made it. If you put some kind of indicator by each play after you track it (I use a small check mark), you can delay tracking and catch up while your opponent's clock is running instead of using your own time to do it.
On my scoresheet, I have grouped tiles into three areas for tracking -- at the top, a line of individual boxes for the high-point letters (J, K, Q, X, Z) and the two blanks, with a separate row of boxes above them to indicate if I had the particular tile (by a check mark) or if my opponent had it (by an X); then vowels in alphabetical order, with each letter given as many times as there are tiles for it; then consonants in the same manner. As I track, I draw a diagonal line through each vowel or consonant; if I mistrack, I mark -1 to the side on the letter's line and cross that out when the next one of that letter is played. Because I found that I was making mistakes in tracking, I modified the vowel and consonant areas on the scoresheet to add a small box at the beginning of the line for each letter. When I have marked off all of a particular letter, I doublecheck by recounting them on the board, and if all have in fact been played, then I put a check mark in that box. As the end of the game approaches, I circle letters in the grid for the tiles still on my rack; the ones not circled or stricken through I list at the bottom of the page -- if I have tracked correctly, these are the ones that my opponent has on his or her rack or are left in the bag to draw, until it is empty.
It is really useful to know at the end of the game what tiles your opponent has. By playing using this knowledge, it is possible to limit him or her from making high point plays by where you play or do not play your tiles, and in tight games this can make a big difference and in all games it can affect the spread. So tracking accurately can pay off and is worth doing.
When I find that tracking in a game is taking me too much time, then I just limit myself to tracking the big tiles and the vowels. Even this more limited knowledge is very useful.
Tracking is extremely useful when done correctly. I agree with the system where you put a check next to each box after you track, as that seems to be my problem. I will start tracking, get caught up in a few plays and forget where I left off. But when done successfully it can help not only endgame but pre endgame, especially when trying to set up plays for big points (i.e. playing ova to line before tws line, knowing you hold the only l, etc..).
Also when determining your leave (which is a topic we should have a new post on sometime, leave/rack management), knowing the amount of vowels vs. the amount of consonants left can really make a difference. If I notice a vowel heavy pull Im opt to leave more consonants then typical, and vice versa. The same goes for certain vowels, if its mid game and I have a choice between leaving A or I for example, I'll almost always check the pool first before I decide. Even though I have trouble remembering to track, it is definitely something worth the time investment.Will, from Versailles, Ky, 1/9/2009
I track in every game I play. My accuracy is well below 100 percent, but I view it as brain training, just like studying word lists. I have a long ways to go to make good use of it, but tracking already has helped me win a handful of tight games. By knowing what opponent held, I could assess the board and either block opponent's game-winner or make a play that gave me enough of a lead to survive opponent's best play. I also track -- or try to track -- every one of my racks. At this point, it's only for simple analysis, to see what bingoes or other plays I might have missed. I'm not yet up to speed on Quackle, but again, I think of it as training: eventually tracking tiles and racks will be second nature, and I'll be able to do it more efficiently.
Which brings me to a caution to those who are just starting to track: It takes time, and until you can find a rhythm for it, it might push you dangerously close to your time limit. I've lost two tourney games just by going over on time, and it's likely that if I hadn't tracked, or had tracked more efficiently, I'd have two more games in my win column.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I was a little intimidated going into day 2, since I had the potential to play a lot of really good players and pick up good rating points. I was just hoping it would not start out like the day before.
Game 1 - George Viebranz (1602) - Score: 322-434 (Win)
My first tournament game against an actual expert. I was pretty nervous, but that turned out to be short lived as I drew the bag for a double-blank bingo tEGMINa for 74, QUAD for 44, LEAK for 57, while George suffered through some ugly racks, finally getting down MURINES, but too late. He did try to sneak ricy past me, however, which I challenged off (icy has no front hooks).
Game 2 - Carol Ravichandran (1534) - Score: 387-361 (Win)
Before the game she said I was the one person she didn't want to play, since I was low rated and could still hold my own. Later I found out her and her ex-husband were responsible for Lexpert (word study program), I wish I had known because I almost solely use Lexpert for my studies and have found it to be the best program for me. The game was fairly even as I bingoed early with OUTRIDe then hit JALOP for 60 while she scored well with the Z, Q, and X. I bingoed late in the game with INVERTS, which she followed with BARNIEsT, coming within 10 points. I had messed up on my tracking (like always), but had about 12 minutes left so I retracked the entire game, and with superior endgame tiles I pulled out the win.
Game 3 - Steve Knapp (1529) - Score: 431-378 (Win)
I was definitely worried about this game, as while I was playing Carol, Steve was next to us playing Chuck Armstrong (1800ish) and played some very nice words to eventually win the game. I led the game early on after I bingoed with ELATERI(N) and plays with the Q and Z. But he came back with GODETIa with the G sitting right above the triple at G1. I made a terrible play here that should have cost me the game, playing OX to the tws for 45 and setting up his VIM for 44 to tie the game. I had AX for 50 but had wanted to block the triple-triple lane. I drew the second blank and got hECKLES for 82 to win the game.
We broke for lunch after game 3 and I went with Tina, Pete Zeigler, Steve Grob, and George Viebranz to a good little Mexican place about 10 minutes away. Steve ordered a "Giant Burrito", which was no joke, it was as big as a football at least, and he had to take most of it home in a to go box. It felt much better going to lunch being 3-0 as opposed to the day before's 0-3. We got back a little late but Miki was just doing some announcements.
Game 4 - Jeff Clark (1668) - Score: 399-401 (Loss)
I had been looking forward to playing Jeff and he didn't disappoint. A very tense game where my bingo early on of TIDIERs, left me slightly behind since he had scored big with a lot of shorter plays. With the game tied at about 200 apiece he played SANTERO for 63, and I followed it with WAITRONS for 82. (If he had played notaries for 5 more he would blocked my play, he said he had considered it but didn't like putting the n in the 3x3 column). He scored heavy for the rest of the game with PLOWED 36, CWMS 33, and JEsT 49 while I hung in there with EYRA 32, and MAVIN 20. I spent a very long time on this end game. I held AEENORS (no place for the bingo) versus his AABGLSZ and I was down by 22. I played NEGS 32, he played GLAZE 30, and I went out with O(C)REA to lose by 2. We analyzed the endgame for a while after that and weren't able to come up with a winning sequence for me.
Game 5 - Steve Grob (1652) - Score: 262-409 (Loss)
I had already had my bagging versus George in game 1, so it was only fair that I have one happen to me. He bingoed with FLOWER(E)R and the double blank AdVERTs and I wasn't able to string much of anything together.
Game 6 - Terry Aitken (985) - Score: 358-327 (Win)
I was hoping to have an easy game since he was rated one of the lowest of the tourney, but a stupid challenge on my part (EXILER) and generally clunky racks put me down 327-267 with 2 tiles in the bag. Holding ACEELU? I was able to find the only bingo ACULE(A)tE to gain a small lead. He felt he had to challenge to win (which wasn't true) and I pulled out a close one (thanks to 5 vowel 8 study).
Game 7 - Chuck Armstrong (1805) - Score: 287-459 (Loss)
I went into this game knowing I was going to lose and I was glad that it was one of my worse drawing games. Not to say that Chuck didn't play like an expert. He bingoed early with SARCOID, then bingo bangoed with R(E)pLEVIN, AND (M)EGAPODe.
I was very happy finishing 4-3 with the field I had played in. Even more so when I won the Class prize (highest finish in comparison to seeding) for 40 bucks.
It was almost 6:30 by the time all the awards were given out and since the roads had gotten bad outside Linda convinced me not to drive home, and set me up with Steve Grob who lives about 15 minutes away from the hotel. I helped him with some of his computer problems, showed him a few Lexpert tricks, and then we played a few games. In the first of which I made my best Scrabble find to date, a natural disconnected 9. He uploaded the game to Cross-Tables and here's the link http://cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=2808#0, it happened on turn 20. He said it was the best play he'd seen all weekend, which I took as quite a compliment since he'd played in both events. We played another game in which he thumped me and then I got some rest.
I was very happy with my rather late decision to attend this tourney. I made quite a few friends, picked up 200 rating points, won my entry fee back, and definitely improved my Scrabble play. I look forward to my next MI tourney and urge others to make the short drive up there (only about 6 hours).
It is very good once again to be a part of the NSA family during this 60th anniversary year of Scrabble.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
We weren't allowed to keep our sheet that showed who we played and in what order, but with cross-tables and my scoresheets I think I can figure out the sequence of events.
Game 1 - Kit Morehead (1423) - Score: 461-377 (Loss)
Nothing too notable about this game, she bingoed twice early with both blanks BRATTIER/*FROSTER (held on this, but she had other bingos so I let it go, might have cost me the game) while I struggled through some ugly racks, and my JOINTED/SUNNIER late in the game just wasn't enough. I also might have fished too much with the RANGES stem.
Game 2 - Rosemarie Geci (1311) - Score: 469-367 (Loss)
Once again I drew into some ugly stuff, one notable sequence was exchanging UVNAAIE and drawing into WVDUNAI, while she bingoed 3 times early in the game with HEFTIER, SLITTIER, ENTIRES to go up 343-140. I came back after her ENTIRES with the blank and INdORS(E)R on a triple-triple for 122 (turned out to win me high word of the division prize, and was also highest play of all divisions), but it was too little too late. She was a nice lady, and ended up winning the division so in retrospect I don't feel too bad about the loss. Although at the time my frustration was very high.
Game 3 - Frank Lee (1276) - Score: 370-411 (Loss)
Frank handed me a memorable loss in the Lex tourney (I messed up the endgame terribly) and was hoping to get some revenge on him here. I scored big early with QUAKED and ISOLATED and took the lead at 187-109, shortly after he bingoed twice with both blanks LINNETS and RELOANS and I was unable to score more then 25 on any turn as I was drowned in vowels the rest of the game. Not to discount Frank though, as he is definitely a good player (once an expert) and a nice guy, but I had to struggle not to show how frustrated I was getting.
At this point we took a break for lunch, and not a moment too soon. Going 0-3 out of the gate, drawing 1/6 blanks, I definitely understood how Steve Bush felt in the Lexington tourney. I had studied practically all the week preceding to the tourney and felt very well prepared, only to start like this, I was so frustrated I ducked out of the church as soon as my game was over, missing the sheet that showed nearby fast food. I drove all over the place unable to find anything and had to settle on a surprisingly good little cafe that served sandwiches. I think the drive did me some good, however, as I returned to the church calm and ready to let those games go.
Game 4 - Mark Garrod (1419) - Score: 468-400 (Win)
I drew very well early on in this game, back-hooking EROTIcA to EMYD for 73 (which drew a challenge), APHID for 42, and then double-doubling with InVO(I)CES FOR 98 to put me up 235-79. However, he gave me a little scare as he scored 50 with the z, 47 with the q, 37 with the x, and 88 for SMELTER to pull within 40. I was able to sneak out the victory, however, with GINZO for 45, and felt maybe my luck was changing since I had drawn both blanks here.
Game 5 - Connie Breitbeil (1214) - Score: 344-316 (Win)
This was my first no-bingo game of the tourney; I had a small lead early and with mostly clunky racks I managed to shut down the board pretty well. However, towards the end she got down STRAINs to take the lead. It bounced back and forth til the endgame when I found the highest simming outplay of ASDIC (which she rightfully challenged, the game was lost if it didn't come off) and squeaked out a win. She was a strict opponent, commenting a few times that I was not holding the bag high enough while drawing tiles.
Game 6 - Janet Gray (1280) - Score 391-480 (Win)
The tiles cooporated this game as I bingoed with RINGENT (challenged), (MATEY)S/SALTING (challenged mateys), and drew the last blank to bingo with RENeWED. She got down an impressive COERcIV(E) as well. She was very nice and complimentary after and during what I think was my best game of day 1.
Game 7 - Wayne Kraus (1348) - Score 478-412 (Win)
He bingoed early with SPLICES, which I followed up with the phony *INGAGED, I find that if you play the word quick enough and start tracking immediately it is easier to get away with them. He bingoed back soon after with CALDRON, then I hit right back with SALINAs (he challenged), and then he retaliated with JIBE for 63. I followed that up with ARSENAT(E) (which he challenged), and then i hit BOX for 55 and the game was won. After each challenge he was getting visibly upset, and even more so after the game where he left without collecting his high loss prize (from this game).
PHEW!! After this game I was finally able to relax, I hadn't imagined I could turn it around like this and salvage day 1. I finished just out of the money, but that is fine with me since I gained about 75 points for the day.
I went to eat with Jeff Clark, Linda Hoggat, Alex Fiszbein, Jeff Fiszbein, and the tourney director Micky at a good BBQ place nearby; afterwards there was a poker tourney (Jeff Clark won) and a few games of Scrabble (where I played my first expert - Steve Grob). It was quite fun and nice to feel so welcomed going somewhere where I knew virtually no one.
I didn't realize how much I was going to write about this, and I hope I'm not the only one interested in reading these sorts of things. Day 2 is much more interesting and I'll post it soon, all of my opponents were above 1500 save one, and I played my first disconnected nine! (not in the tournament sadly).
Later (tomorrow If I can) I will post a more detailed overview, with some game by game commentary. I hope the new year started out well for everyone else.
UPDATE: According to http://www.scrabble-assoc.com/ratings/state/ky.html my new rating is listed as 1372. So I gained 194 rating points.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Here's the link --
Guess there is more going on in Colorado in the winter than just skiing! :-)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
The Lexington, Kentucky Scrabble blog is intended to be a group blog for our local Scrabble club, and all interested members of the club are encouraged to join as authors and to post entries here.
If you are a LSC member and are interested in participating as a blogger, you can (1) leave a comment on any blog entry indicating that you want to be added to the blog team, (2) e-mail me at JMSinKY@aol.com, or (3) let me know at a club meeting, and I will send you an invite that will let you register for access rights as an author.
The more of you who take part in the blog, the better it will be, as you share your experiences at Scrabble, study techniques, news about yourself or other club members, bits of humor, or whatever else you may want to post.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
This is a continuing blog entry to map and list tournaments attended by members of the Lexington Scrabble Club in 2009.
On the map given above, blue placemarks indicate locations of tournaments attended by club members with links to Cross-Tables pages for tournament results for the division in which the member played. (By clicking on the arrow at the far left of the line for the member, you can see the member's game by game data.) Red placemarks indicate locations of future tournaments for which members have registered or tentatively registered; after the tournament occurs, its placemark will be changed from red into blue (if any members did, in fact, attend the tournament) or removed (if none attended).
- John -- Twin Cities Redeye, Bloomington, MN (Jan. 17-18) -- upcoming: Plainfield, IN (Mar. 7); Elyria, OH (March 14-15); Charleston, WV EB (May 1); Charleston, WV (May 2-3); Pittsburgh, PA (June 13-14)
- Steve -- upcoming: Plainfield, IN (Mar. 7)
- Tyler -- Fenton, MI (Jan. 3); Fenton, MI LB (Jan. 4) -- upcoming: Warren, MI (Feb. 21-22); Plainfield, IN (Mar. 7)
- Will -- upcoming: Plainfield, IN (Mar. 7); Myrtle Beach, SC EB (Mar. 27); Myrtle Beach, SC (Mar. 28-29)
Thursday, January 1, 2009
HAPPY NEW YEAR
and lots of Scrabble wins in 2009!
We are still waiting to receive reactivation of our status as National Scrabble Association club no. 637. Our new club director, Joetta, requested this some time ago.
FOR LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY SCRABBLE BLOG
- March 30, 2009 -- Changed references to reflect NASPA sanctioning.
- March 12, 2009 -- Andy's first post as a team member.
- January 4, 2009 -- Cheryl and Tyler joined the team of blog contributors.
- January 3, 2009 -- What's New? entry created and backdated to precede first post; sitemeter added to blog layout.
- January 1, 2009 -- Blog created, blog layout established, and blog launched with first post.