Tournament Reports

Autumn Tourney Gauteng 10 April 2011

There does not seem to be as much of a tradition of winner’s reports in SA as there are in other countries. As this is my first (and probably last) win here, I have decided to give one.

Had a fantastic day at a very well run tournament – Thanks Gary and Kathy. Format was round robins with a KOTH in the top group which was smaller than the others. I was rated second lowest in my group so was hopeful of at least gaining some ratings points. Picked great tiles most of the day and was very pleasantly surprised to walk away the winner.

Game 1 vs Rajen Pillay Won 470 – 350
Played 3 three easy bingoes CRENATE 74 +5 GREISEN 78 FLANGES 69 and scored easily with a few biggies to cruise to a comfortable victory. Challenged off Rajen’s attempted RINGIER.

Game 2 vs Ros Finn lost 422 – 441
Had a torrid game with a stupid transposition error for my second turn HWEY instead of WHEY for 37 and then some rotten picking for a while. Managed to stay in the game by challenging off two of Ros’s phonies (forgot the words) and playing FRONTER for 72. Almost caught up with (W)EIGELaS from a W on O8 for 91. Too little too late though and got beaten by 19 points.

Game 3 vs Gary Birch won 455 – 260
Felt a bit sorry for Gary as he sat and watched me get all the biggies and score nicely with them. Only had two very basic bingoes with SIERRAN 68 and ATONERS 76. Gary spent the whole game dumping dreck on the board with his highest score 39.

Game 4 Lynn Roff won 441 -395
Lynn is a bit of a nemesis so I always approach games with her with caution. Proved to be a very scrappy game with few openings. Luckily I got an early lead with REDEALS as a four timer for 94 and solidified that with DARTLES for 75 about half way through.

Game 5 Brian Hossy won 498 – 315
The scores say it all here Brian picked rubbish and the only seven he tried was TULLAGE* which was challenged off. I got CERATINS 86 plus 5 followed immediately by HYGIENE for 92. later I got SERIATE for 88 which put the final nail in Brian’s coffin.

Game 6 Di Mason won 442 – 302
This was a crucial game as Di had won all her games so far. A win would put me in the lead with my great spread so far. Her third turn she played QAID on N6 creating an opening for my otherwise unplayable BeRLINS onto the triple for 96. no more bingoes but kept the lead with some nice scoring with the consonants. Was now in the lead with a spread of 665 to Di’s 189 both of us on 5 wins.

Game 7 Arlene Fine won 377 – 356
A ding dong battle with leader changing every few turns. Only one bingo played by either of us in the whole game – my LINTIES for 74. Scraped a lead with my second and third best scores in the game 34 and 33 in my last two turns. Di had also just beaten Gary so we remained tie on games going into the KOTH.

Game 8 Di Mason won
Di started extremely well and was ahead by 246 – 114 after 4 turns. Half way through the game I had battled to a 273 – 164 deficit. Things changed drastically when I played ENTRUST (luckily I chose this over NUTTERS as I was able to pluralise it the very next turn) Di immediately played REALTO(R)S 68 across my R missing the more obvious and better scoring OESTRAL or OLESTRA. I followed that with PIGGERS* for 88 which Di accepted. For the first time I was in the lead in the game and could smell victory in the tournament. Picked up what looked like rubbish but then spotted OXY and (BE)Y on the triple for 63. In three short turns things had changed and the game was won. Definitely a lesson in never giving up and a lesson for Di to challenge any word that you haven’t seen before. If PIGGERS* had been challenged I would have lost by miles.

I ended up gaining 70 ratings points and making it into the top 20 in SA.

What a great way to end my Scrabble playing in SA. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well
in my travels and new life in Australia. I am sure I will be back for holidays and family visits and will always try to plan to fit a tournament in when I do so.

May the Q be with U

Garth