Saturday, March 01, 2014

Pakorn Salvaged a Draw against Howard Warner at Causeway 2009

There comes a time that a 5-point or 10-point penalty challenge rule becomes an escape to the jaws of defeat in an endgame battle. For instance, a player bingoed out using a plausible nonword, then the scores are tied and the situation is that the opponent has to choose between the two:

1. To challenge the word and if it is valid, then he/she loses the game due to point penalty rule; or
2. Not 100% sure about the validity of the word/s, and just let it go, but would result to a draw.

This happened to a game between Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) and Howard Warner (New Zealand) in Round 32 at the Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2009 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This used a CSW07 lexicon.

Play through by clicking Forward button or any part of the board.

Comments by Joel Wapnick: "I would have liked to see Howard's reaction after Pakorn played this phony (PROGERIAL). The play works only because it is a good gamble on Pakorn's part that Howard doesn't know the eight-to-make-nine cold; and when the dust clears, the game will result in a tie unless Howard challenges. Had this play led to a one-point win for Pakorn, the challenge would have been automatic. And if had resulted in one- to ten-point loss for Pakorn, Howard would lose nothing but some spread by not challenging. Great heads-up thinking by Pakorn! Howard chose to take the guaranteed half point. A stunning ending to an entertaining game."

Comments by David Boys: "Pakorn phonies out to tie the game! Outplays are the only time where the point-penalty challenge rule (in this event 10 points per word) is more onerous than loss of turn. Pakorn takes advantage with this perfectly plausible nonword. I can't imagine more than half a dozen players in the entire field challenging this off."

Sidenote: In Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2008, David Eldar used this desperate endgame attempt against Helen Gipson, bingoed out RETANGLES*. Helen decided not to challenge and the game ended in a draw!

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