Friday, January 31, 2014

I'll be in retreat for the next week so I won't be at club this weekend.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Steve's Akron Experience

Since I spent well over 30 hours last weekend playing Scrabble last weekend (at the Scrabble Marathon in Akron, OH) I thought it would be worthwhile to post a few thoughts.

Overall, it was a very well-run tournament, and as it appears the director plans to make this an annual event, I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to get a bunch of games under their belt in a short time.  Consider that Nationals is the same number of games, spread over 5 games.  Although I wasn't sure how I'd hold up myself under the intense format (Main Event consisting of 13 games each on Saturday and Sunday, plus a 5-game Late Bird on Monday), at the end of it all I was quite pleased, both with my results and the fact that I still had enough energy to make the 5-hour drive home Monday afternoon.

As for the tourney itself, I made a deliberate change in my strategic plan, to play more conservatively than I have in the past.  This was after Knoxville a month ago, in which I averaged well into the 400s but still only won about half my games.  From analyzing those games, and then studying annotated expert games on cross-tables, I began to realize that I don't play defense, or at least play with a board-control mindset, nearly as much as I should.  So I decided to make some adjustments, and so far at least, they appear to be paying off.

Here are some stats and random thoughts:

1) Main Event: 15 wins, 11 losses, spread of +410, 5th place overall.  I narrowly missed 3rd place thanks in large part to an overdraw in the last game, in which the penalty left me stuck with an unplayable Q in the endgame.  Even so, considering that this was Division A and that I was 9th seed, I was very happy with the overall result.  My rating jumped from 1605 to 1695.

2) In hindsight, I should have quit after the Main Event, but I had to go back for more.  Unfortunately, fatigue began to catch up with me, and I managed only 1 win and 1 tie against 3 losses in the Late Bird the next morning.   I blew an endgame and had noticeable difficulty finding even pedestrian plays.  Even so, with a final rating of 1680, not bad.

3) Back to the Main Event, then.  :)  The first day was by far the best...9-4 record, 2nd place at that point if I remember correctly.  I had very good stretch of games with good draws that day too, which certainly helped.  Even the second day, 6-7, was better than my (statistical) expected wins, especially considering that I ended up playing the #1 seed (Brian Bowman) 5 of those games.

4) I was especially pleased with how I did against the top seeds: 13-8 against players rated higher than me, including 4-2 against #1 Brian Bowman, 2-1 against #2 Chris Cree. 

5) I found 48 bingos to my opponents' 43.  Some of my favorites included HABITATS for 102, REINJURE for 116, and RIGATONI for 77.

6) I also did well in the realm of challenges and phonies.  To wit:

Plays by me:
Unchallenged phonies: FEUDIC 39, UNSNARE 80 (wasn't sure about either, but felt fairly confident I could get away with them.)
Challenged phones: WIREABLE 92 (I knew it was phoney; BEWAILER wouldn't fit.)
Valid, but challenged: TITTLES 70

Plays by opponent:
Unchallenged phonies: TEATOTUM 61
Challenged phonies: LOR, CLEAVINGS 56, BANTIED 84, ANICE 16, IRONLESS 82
Valid, but challenged: None (yeah!)

So, this adds up to 8 in my favor, 2 against.  I'll take that any day, especially against this field.

Not sure when my next tourney will be, but looking forward to it, regardless!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Next Club Meeting

Will Scott and I will be travelling opposite directions for 3-day tournaments this weekend.  He will be going to New Orleans and I'll be going to Akron.  Wish us both good fortune on bringing some rating points back home!

So, who will that leave for this Sunday at club?  Some potential out-of-town visitors have told me they may attend we have at least a few others show up, so please post a comment if you're planning to attend.

Friday, January 10, 2014

January Official Meeting

Our next club meeting (Jan. 12) is our Second Sunday official meeting, usual time/place, 2-6pm at Bob Evans on Richmond Road in Lexington.

I won't be able to be there, but our newly-christened Club/Tourney Director, Thom Hehl, has agreed to step in for me.  I hope you can make it there.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Results for Jan. 5, 2014

We knocked off a bit early due to the weather change headed our way... and as I type this it's -3 F outside.

W - L

3 - 0
  SCOOTER 67       SQUINTY 112
        RETAILS 75      
2 - 1
  HARDIEST 86       ENAcTORS 62
        LACIEST 93       (S)tONIER 80
        PIGHEAD 99      
1 - 2
  AINSELLS 60       RATTENS 63
        DENTILS 63       AGREEING 70
        TRUANTS 75      
1 - 2
  AVOWING 77      
1 - 2
  TOILET(S) 72      
1 - 2