Tuesday, May 04, 2004

My 1st Lipa Scrabble Open Game Summary

20 Scrabble players showed up in the 1st lipa Scrabble Open organized by Col. Andy Aquino and Mr. Rey Toledo. Mr Jodi Gonzalez was tapped as the Tournament Director (TD). The tournament ran smoothly using a Software Program for pairings and ratings system.

Prior to the start of the tournament, lower rated players requested to the organizers if they could possibly divide the players into two divisions. Since it was previously agreed upon during the Shangrila meeting between SCAPI and NASCAP last April 2004, that it would only divide into two divisions provided that there are above 50 registered players in the actual tourney, the request was discussed with the Board Members. Later, it was decided between two Board Members each of the SCAPI and NASCAP to split into two divisions, 10 for Masters and 10 for Intermediate.

TD announced the format as King-of-the-Hill (KOTH) with repeats. 22 minutes alloted time for each player with 20 pt. penalty for every minute overtime or fraction thereof. 11 rounds will be played over a period of two days, 6 rounds on the first day and 5 rounds on the last day.

I posted this blog to share my views on the results of my games as it progressed. Board positions including current scores and racks were shown to feel the intensity of our games particularly endgame situations. You would notice some questions, e.g. (1?) which are marked for you to analyze the best possible move.

Actual plays were included to compare with the Answers as well as my suggested ideal move.

Day 1, May 01, 2004

Round 1 (Ver Morales)

Going into the endgame, Ver played ED m13 14 pts. and emptied the bag. The board position looked like this:

Ronald: DEEEHJO 401
Ver   : EFLOSTU 376

I played a two-move finish to win this game (1?).

Round 2 (Leo Capuno)

Leo led all the way after his 3 bingos (ANERGIC, CATTIEST, DETRITaL). I managed to trim down the lead with my last play of MOTIVEs at a14.

Leo    : AEIOPSW 389
Ronald : EINORSS 337

At this point, Leo was still checking his tracking list. Fearing that I might hit a nine-timer, he played OWES 15a 46 pts. to lead 435-337. Leo held his breath as I laid down a bingo (2?). He heaved a sigh of relief after computing our final score wherein he won by small margin.

Round 3 (Andy Aquino)

Andy's last play was INITIAtE d7 66 pts. to take the lead, 356-403 and drew the remaining tiles in the bag.

Ronald: ADDEPRS 356
Andy  : GIORU   403

I think this was my most memorable winning move (3?).

Round 4 (Leo Capuno)

A return bout with my vengeance! Leo slightly led, 317-344 going to this board position:

Ronald: ABEFILR 317
Leo   :    -    344

My bingo play (4?) proved to be the turning point of the game which eventually won me the game, 446-375.

Round 5 (Jodi Gonzalez)

My 3 bingos (FEATURED, MONTEITh, EsCALIER) helped me win a huge spread of +200 pts. Final Score: 316-516.

Round 6 (Jodi Gonzalez)

This time, our game was a close one whoever get a good rack in the endgame would win it. The luck of the draw swang my way as I prevailed, 433-450 for a 5-1 win-loss record after day 1.

Day 2, May 02, 2004

Round 7 (Francis Dizon)

Francis laid down 3 bingos (ELICITS, BANQUEtS and FRESHET) and never looked back. He won, 442-390.

Round 8 (Francis Dizon)

Prior to this game, both of us had a 5-2 win-loss card.  Going into the endgame, both of us also were in time trouble. Francis already overstepped the time limit by more than a minute when he played NuTSIER n4 66 pts. to lead, 242-344 going to this board position:

Ronald : ?AINOST 247
Francis: EEIPQ   344

With less than a minute on my time clock, I missed the best bingo move (5?) though settled for a simple ENATIOnS 14h 68 pts. -> 315 catching him with 32 pts (EEIPQ) for a total of 347 to win. Francis' score was adjusted to 304 (344 less 40 pts. OT penalty). Our final score: 347-304.

Round 9 (Leo Capuno)

Leo won at board 2, so he was my next opponent. Luck of the draw went my way as I nailed down 3 bingos (SALTIER, LEaRNING, rEDSKIN) to boost my chances of winning this tournament, 471-388.

Round 10 (Francis Dizon)

Our third meeting was only decided in the endgame. I was leading, 278-320 after Francis' play of ALIVE 15d.

Ronald : CINRSTU 320
Francis:    -    278

My INCRUST was blocked by his last play. Looking at unseen tiles, I immediately thought the possibility of an opponent's ESCORTS bingo at 14h. I was also worried of the OX-OXO hook for a possible -OR ending bingo. Initially, I planned to play SCUTE at h11 to block all possible forthcoming comebacks. Since no possible bingo for OX-OXO spot, my mind wandered at blocking the 14th row by playing a word starting at 14h.

Our actual moves were:

Ronald: RUNIC 14d 11 -> 331
(This move could be a blunder if Francis had the right combination of tiles. What was the ideal blocking play (6?) regardless of what tile was in the bag?)

Francis rack: CEORSST

Francis: CROCS d11 13 -> 298 (missed the winning move (7?)

Ronald: DOTS 13k 13 -> 344 + 6 (EST) = 350

Final Score:
Francis: 298 - 20 pt. OT penalty = 278
Ronald : 350

Round 11, last round (Francis Dizon)

I held on to my slim lead as we reached the following board position:

Ronald : ?EIIRTT 306
Francis:    -    281

Actual moves were:

Ronald: InTITLE m7 16 ->; 322
(Missed a bingo and probably the winning move (8?) regardless of opponent's good rack combination (9?) based on unseen tiles.)

Francis rack: CINNSTU

Francis: CIST n1 24 -> 305

Ronald : GRACE k1 27 -> 349 + 6 (AUN) = 355

Final Score: 355-305

Why was InTITLE an inferior move? (10?)

Answers and Tourney Results in the next post. ;-)

Till then,


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