All quiet before the Nationals [2012-08-02]

I was fortunate to be in Mississauga this week and decided to join the club.

Game #1 vs. Shauna Petrie
Shauna is a good player. Give her some good tiles and she’s very dangerous. She started off quickly with GLOaTERS and AERIALS back to back and had me on the defensive early on. I did my part to try and keep the board open for a come-back, but high-scoring plays of AZOTE (72) and POKES (47) pretty much did me in. I struggled with rack balance so I wasn’t able to keep up. Nothing against Shauna as she played a very good game. Hopefully she’ll be in good position to win at the Nationals next week.

Final score: 477 – 296 (loss)
Bingos: Me – SNEEREd; Shauna – GLOaTER, AERIALS

Game #2 vs. Gene Tyska
Similar to last week, Gene wasn’t able to respond to my relatively conservative play. However, I did take some offence to his assertion that I was actively shutting the board down and that he was the only person trying to keep the board open. It’s not my fault if he doesn’t open up the board very well or that he isn’t aware of front/back hooks to words – I thought the board was wide open for most of the game. I only started shutting the board down at turn 10 when I knew he had the last blank and I was getting all vowels. Oh well, that’s just part of the game.

Final score: 331 – 313 (win)
Bingos: Me – SOOThER; Gene – none

Game #3 vs. Steve Ozorio
It’s funny, but I think I lost this game pretty early on. Steve played WICANS* and I held it and reluctantly accepted it. I recognized WICCANS but wasn’t sure if Steve knew an alternate form of the word. After that play, I felt like I was a turn behind the rest of the game. Steve made a good play of setting himself up with a bingo along the TWS lane. I didn’t realize there is a front hook to LATCH other than K and he punished me with a bingo plus the challenge. Still, the game was closer than I expected.

Final score: 403 – 306 (loss)
Bingos: Me – none; Steve – sILTIER, UpDATES

I’m back to the regular travel schedule for work so my ability to attend the club is greatly decreased. Good luck to everyone who is attending this year’s National Championships in Orlando, FL. I wonder if Nigel Richards will further cement his status as the world’s best Scrabble player by winning yet another championship. Hope everyone has a great time playing.

Unfortunately I can’t attend as I used up all my vacation earlier this year exploring the Rockies, Hawaii, and Vancouver. I’ve heard that next year’s Nationals will be in Las Vegas – I’m definitely planning to attend.

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