21 April 2019 at 07:34 in the bloody morning
ME, THE NATIONALS AND THE LETTER J.
Did you know there are more 7 letters words containing J in CSW15 than 8 letter words containing J? This is a freaky property that only the letter J has. This is not true for the other 25 letters of the English alphabet.
Game 1 was against Susan Rayner who had a shoulder operation recently. Her one arm was in a sling, but that didn’t stop her from drawing first blood with her bingo CANIEST 72. I only got ABOMASI 75. The scores towards the end was very close, so I emptied the bag hoping to pick up the letter J. Unfortunately the tile gods decided it was not my destiny and Susan got the J and played JEE for 37. So I started the day with a loss, me 408 vs Susan Rayner 425.
Game 2 was against Frank Chitambala. He got the J and played JELLS 29. No bingos occured in this game. After a 32 marathon round with scores ranging from 0 to 36 I came out the victor in this cat-and-mouse game, me 339 vs Frank Chitambala 325.
Game 3 was against lawyer Andrew Goldberg. Andrew got PARENTS 68 and JUBA 5. I got NORTENA 67, VINDALOO 66, HAIRILY 90 and EMCEEING 70. These four bingoes gave me victory, Andrew Goldberg 357 vs 494 me.
Game 4 was against Llewellin RG Jegels got the J and played JOG for 35. HIs LONGERS 68 wasn’t enough for my NOVELTY 70, PEATMAN 90 and ORBLESS 76. The final result was Llewelyn Jegels 347 vs me 491.
Game 5 was against geophysicist Solomon Lephoto. Again, I didn’t see the J, but Solomon got JIN for 40. He got no bingo, but I was fortunate with RELINKED 73, LAWSUIT 73 (ironically not against a lawyer) and URAEMIA 71. This ensured another win for me 441 vs Solomon Lephoto 283.
Game 6 was against member of parliament Mwenya Munkonge. Mwenya got the J and played HADJI 40 and TRIPLES 70, but I got GALTONIA 70, REGIONS 79. Another win for me, Mwenya Munkonge 441 vs me 522.
Game 7 was against Paul Kalumba. Being excited having a J in my opening rack I played JEDIS for 42 out of sheer excitment. Paul only got AUTHORS 74 to my LAXITIES 95, NEGATON 76, GLORIAS 73 and I won 473 to his 397.
Game 8 was against Jeyad Page. I got AGOUTIES 70, SOMEDEAL 77 and he got HEAVILY 76, NONRATED 60, JOY 26 and CONSIDER 68 and Jay Page won 475 to my 432.
This was the end of Day 1. Had to endure the long journey back to Pretoria with my friend, Raquel Lightley, get some sleep and be ready for another day of word-battles.
Game 9 was against Dr. Thov Trevor. My BEEPERS 83, ADOPTEE 74 wasn’t enough for his LINGELS 73, EXISTED 84, JARK 30 and ENDBRAIN 65. Trevor Hovelmeier won 437 to my 339.
Game 10 was against Denise Le bron. I got ERRATIC 76. Poor Denise got no good tiles except JA 29 and SEZ 47. I won 388 to Denise le Bron’s 369 after another 32 round marathon.
Game 11 was against mighty Steven Gruzd. He got GLOZE 101 (what the heck!!!), TAILING 72, but i got BONIEST 79, ENCLAVE 80, ROSETING 80, JUDGER 45, THANAGE 68, SMUDGES 79. Steven Gruzd lost 361 to my 553.
Game 12 was against Di Mason. My only bingo was RIVALISE 95, but Di aka Cersei Lannister released her wildfire (GOT S06E10) and destroyed me with TASKING 78, JEEPS 60 and VARIETY 73. Di won 462 to my 325.
Game 13 was the against Gwen Rea. I got JOR for 22 and Gwen got DETAILS 70 and REGAINED 66, but I still won 426 to 348 with lots of good intermediate scores.
I think I was in position three, with 3 more games to go. It was now time for KOTH or as Zubeida Bray says’ queen of the hip.
Game 14 was the first KOTH. I had to battle Mwenya Munkonge again. He got ITEMIZE for 90 and QUOITERS for 71. I was super lucky with BANYANS 83, GOUJONS 86, TORTURE 71 and THRIVED 85. I got 545 to Mwenya’s 380.
Game 15 was the second KOTH. This time against Jeyad Page. Jay got ISSUANT 61, EATERIE 82, FLAWED 62, JA 20 but I outpipped him with TADPOLE 64, HONGIED 69, REPLIES 69, MANGLERS 68. I got 540 to Jay’s 367.
Game 16 was the third and last KOTH. I had to play Jeyad Page again He got the first bingo MANUALS 69. He also had EXO 51, but I had BILGIER 75, JUG 23, QATS 50 and it sealed the title for me. The final scores was Jay 400 to my 421.
So out of 16 games, I won 12. Jay Page also won 12, but my spread was better and this clinched me the title of the SA Nationals for the first time.
I am so humbled winning this title and want to thank everybody for all the games played in the past decade. Each losing game taught me something.
Nostrovia! Looking forward to more scrabble games.