Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holiday games?

I don't have any plans for July 4 yet but I usually spend a couple of hours in downtown Lex. I was wondering if anyone wants to meet up somewhere for a few extra Scrabble games? Doesn't have to be downtown, we can go anywhere. Or even play at my place. I'll give you a guided tour.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Club Sunday 26June

Several of our members went to Knoxville last weekend, with mixed results. This Sunday will be a chance for them to either gloat over their success, or lick their wounds and take their frustrations out on those of us who couldn't make it there.

I'm a maybe at this point, but should be able to say for sure by Saturday evening.

Friday, June 17, 2011

On to Knoxville

Six members of the Lexington Scrabble Club will compete this weekend at the 15-game Knoxville tournament. That might be our largest representation at any tournament outside of Lexington. In addition, David Meredith and Patt Hudson of Bowling Green, and Mark Owens of Eastern Kentucky (Pikeville, I think) are entered, making nine Kentuckians of the 42 entrants. That matches the number of entrants from Tennessee. Good luck to all of us!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Club Results Sunday, June 12

We had a nice crowd today, 9 folks made it out. Below are the results, listing name, record, spread, and known bingos. Blanks are lower-case, tiles already on board are in parentheses.

Betty, 4-0, +501, LEADErS 63, DEvOTEE(S) 76, SENORAS 67, S(N)OTTIER, SQuIRES 86, REtINED*

Steve, 3-0, +218, M(I)NGLERS 63, SEARING 88, rOSEATE 72

David, 3-1, +258, (I)NCENsED 66, FALT(E)RED 61, HALITES 88, DELOUSE 75, REWRItE(S) 66, LEpTONS, AR(R)OgANT 122


Victoria, 2-2, -103, AUGITES 64

Andrea, 1-2, -23, NO(V)ELIST 72, K(E)RNELED 70, (N)OTARIeS 61, TISSUeS

Jan, 1-3, -239, ToADIeS

Cheryl, 0-3, -462

Will, 0-4, -87, ROUsING 73, LAITIES 66, ROSULATe 66, AROUSeD 69, CEDULAs 70, (T)OwERING 77

Callouts to Andrea for a 3-bingo game (all three of them eights!), on consecutive turns(!), and David for high play, AR(R)OgANT, a triple-triple for 122 points! The tough luck prize goes to Will, for going 0-4 in spite of 6 bingoes...ouch!

We also have a nice contingent going to Knoxville next weekend. Good luck to Will, Margaret, Betty, Victoria, Jan, and Cheryl. Bring back the ratings!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Club Sunday, June 12

I'll be there...who else?

I may be a bit late depending on when our houseguests leave. :)

Victoria's Arden Cup roundup

I am very grateful to John and Steve for the local club
tournaments. They gave me the confidence to sign up for a 20-game, 3-
day tournament. The other club members also gave me the
encouragement and support I needed.

I decided before I went that I would have a positive attitude and
have a good time no matter how I did. My results were 9-11, +224. I
had a total of 22 bingoes--two of them phoneys.

I was a little nervous when we first started, and I lost round 1 by
50 points (bingo: ABOULIA). I lost round 2 by only 13 points
(KNEELING). I started to relax and my confidence went up. I won
round 3 by 106 points (TREASURE, REALIST).

I started round 4 with SANTERO. My opponent wanted to challenge but
did not. However, when I played YOUS adding an S to SANTERO, she
challenged both words. I won round 4 by 85 points.

In round 5 I was challenged on GENITOR and won by 132 points.

Even with two bingoes I lost round 6 by 72 points (LENDERS, AUXINES*)

Usually by rounds 7 and 8 I'm tired, and I do poorly. Not this
time. I won round 7 by 92 points with 2 bingoes (MUSTANG, DISHERS*).
The 8th and last round on Saturday I won by 32 points, thanks to my
opponent, who challenged NAGGIEST.

On Sunday morning I was feeling quite confident until my opponent's
first play was PREREAD. Then I stumbled to lose by 144 points.

I did not let myself get discouraged, and I won round 10 by 90
points (FITTINGS).

In round 11 my opponent and I both had one bingo each (mine:
TINKLER, his: STOGIES), but I still lost by 68 points.

I played BELLIES in round 12, but my favorite nonbingo play was
JAVELINA (only 34 pts) using the V and the L on the board. When I
played FIZ my opponent challenged. Then on his next turn, he played FIZ.

In round 13 I challenged FET and lost by 34 points even with ORDAINS.

Next I had my high game of the tournament--473 points. My opponent
challenged SPINATE. My other bingo was RANDIES, and I won by 192 points.

In round 15 I added an S to CAME to play LADDIES. I knew they were
good, and I was glad when my opponent challenged both. Later I played
ATONIES, but I still lost by 9 points. He asked if I wanted a
recount, and I said no. I heard another player say that she always
asks for a recount if the difference is 10 or fewer. I did not think
a recount was worthwhile.

My opponent for the last round on Sunday was Greg, who would end up
winning first place in our division. I exchanged tiles twice and with
no bingoes, I lost by 29 points.

Monday morning I must have been tired. I lost the first 3 rounds and
came up with only one bingo, IODATES.

Then came the 20th and final round. I was determined that I would
not lose this one. I even played a phoney (RAB*) hoping my opponent
would not notice. He didn't. I was very happy to see my first bingo
(POODLES), and even happier when my opponent challenged my second
bingo (DAMNERS). We each had 5 of the power tiles, so if he had been
alert, he could have beaten me. I won by 36 points--a good ending.

I noticed that players left the challenge slips by the computers. I
took some of them home just to see what kind of words were being
challenged. I wish I had done that all three days in all divisions.

The director and his assistant did an excellent job of running this
tournament. They were well organized, helpful, friendly, even funny.
The trophies certainly were an incentive, even the smallest one. I
could not help but stare at some of the Scrabble celebrities that
were in attendance.

The Oakton Community Center is a beautiful facility with programs
for children, teens,and seniors. It has a huge 2-story indoor
playground similar to those at McDonald's restaurants. It has a large
parking lot, and shops are within walking distance. Unfortunately,
due to a rent increase, the director will have to find another site
for next year. I prefer to have less prize money and stay in the same
location. I certainly would like to participate again next year.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Steve's Arden Cup (Chicago) Experience

Well I finally got some time to put down some of my thoughts on my Arden Cup tourney performance in Chicago. My last several tourneys had been the relatively small venues of Knoxville and Indianapolis, and while I love those, I had been hoping to play a "mid major" tourney for some time, and Arden was one such tourney that I'd had in my sights.

It was probably my most "successful" tournament, definitely money-wise ($500 winnings), but also in that I finished with a new high NASPA rating (1530). Even beyond that, though, overall I felt mentally sharp and lucid almost the whole time.

It seems there's a growing trend for more and more people to play up to higher divisions, and this tourney was no exception. I played in Division C; the upper cutoff was 1550, and even though my rating was 1463 I was still the #1 seed. There were 6 folks in the low 1500s (and a 1362 and 1450) that played up to Division B, and when I got there, I was actually asked by the director if I wanted to do the same. I briefly considered it, but decided to stick where I was. My general policy with ratings and division placement is to "play it where it lies", and in hindsight I'm glad I did so. :)

Some stats:
-15 wins, 5 losses. I played a total of 33 bingoes to my opponents' 28. Not a huge difference, considering my overall record. I had one game with 4 (which I won) and 2 with none (1-1).

-My results at the challenge table were overall positive (7 "wins" vs 4 "losses"), but there's room for improvement:

2 phoneys by me, allowed (RO*, overlooked by opp, PURAN*, deliberate, second game w/ same opp)
0 phoneys by me, challenged off (yay!)
1 valid by me, challenged (STALKIER)

3 phoneys by opp, allowed (2 inconsequential, OUTAIMS*, UNFACE*, one significant, EMBUE, probably cost game)
4 phoneys by opp, challenged off (ANESTRIS*, UREDIAN*, PAEGANT*, OUTNAG*)
1 valid by opp, challenged (ADIPOSES)

Games of note:
Game 2, vs. Susan Hoehn: It was a wild one; I opened with INDIGOS 72, then fell way behind when she played EMBUE* for 38. I still had some opening jitters, otherwise I like to think I would have challened this obvious phoney. As it were, I let it stand, and in spite of a valiant comeback ended up losing 406-409.

Game 7, vs. Phyllis Koselke: Phyllis opened with GARNETS and then ANATOMY, and I trailed by as much as 130 points early on, but I managed to fight back, to a 371-330 deficit, with AILORS and some other letter on my rack (note to self: write racks more legibly :). No good place to play, so I took a risk and played ORAL for 8, then UP for 4 to open the board, while she made a few 20-30 point plays. My risk paid off, as I was able to bingo outwith TREATIES for 77 to steal a 441-418 win.

Game 15, vs. Cheryl Melvin: Cheryl nearly avenged her Game 1 loss against me in this one, buildinga nice lead with DONATES for 70, then hooking an O on the front of it with ZORIS in the TWS lane, for 80 more. But again, I fought back with several high-scoring 5-letter plays (TWICE 44, SWINK 50). The key play, though, was sneaking in PURAN* for 35 on a board that was pretty closed up at the time, making the game nearly even. I then eked out a narrow 1-point win. It was a tough break for Cheryl, who is something like 1-7 against me overall.

Game 17, vs. Bill Rexhausen: Bill is one of those young players (early 20s maybe) who is steadily climbing the ranks, and whom I considered a dangerous opponent, especially since 1) it was the first of the last 4 games on the morning of Day 3 (and I don't normally play as well in the morning), and 2) he was in position to finish in the money (3rd place at the time, if I recall correctly). So the stakes were high, and he didn't disappoint. He steadily built a 72-point lead early, but I turned it around with HAZER 50,DEVOTING 63, and LEAKER 45 to take a 259-214 lead. Then 2 turns later, he laid down CUISINE for 77, to go up 312-281. At that point I had AGGLONR on my rack with maybe 12 tiles left. It was looking pretty dim, but then I made one of my 2 best plays plays of the tourney, ORGAN(A) in the DWS lane under LEAKER, for a 5-word parallel play and 31 points to tie it up. I wasn't sure it was good at the time, either (turns out it was). After that it was a tight endgame, but I was able to go out with LEM(A)N for the win.

Game 18, vs. Dan Terkell: Dan went up early with DISTEND 77, but I countered with ROOKIES 85 and never looked back. I broke the game open when I had DFIIMS?, and hooked the S onto his DISTEND, making FIDeISM 93 points. It was my other "best play" along with the ORGANA play the previous game.

Overall, I had a blast. It helped that every opponent I played was pleasant, regardless of the game's outcome. And although I had a slight advantage on the bingos, I think the main key to my success was my knowledge of short words, the 4s and 5s. They made a big difference, and time and again helped me overcome bad racks with decent points. The also lend credibility to plausible phoneys (e.g. PURAN) when the need arises. I highly recommend spending time learning them!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Knoxville tournament, June 18-19

I'll be away from club on June 19 due to the tournament; also attending are Betty and Jan. Then I have to work Sunday 6/26, so that's two weeks in a row out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Club results for June 5

Will, you better hold off on that "I beat Mike" shirt, because Mike doesn't have many more weeks to play with us.

W - L
Mike Willis
      OUTLETS 60       KATIONS 78
Will Scott
      SINKABLe 86     SEIZERS 92
Betty King
      ABIDERS 70       PERINEA 77
      (C)RUSHES 76
Jan Hatton
PUREENS 82 (phony)
      M(I)NGLES 89      SOARIN(G) 77
Janet Scheeline
Cheryl Coovert

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Club tomorrow (6/4)

Well, it looks like my return to club will have to wait one more week. I just have too many chores piled up here from last week's Chicago trip. What about the rest of you?