I made my much awaited comeback to competition Scrabble at the Noturno tournament at the Prince Patrick last night. Didn't do too well with one win and four losses. Some say I may have been rusty after the long break but I put my losses down to laziness and good competition.
Game 1 vs Gillian Kinder
I was thrashed 260-472. Just like Collingwood against Freo last weekend, I was killed as soon as the ball was bounced. The 112 ranked in Australia, Kinder (I'm ranked 814!), started with MEDIATE for 74. I returned serve with PITS for 8 probably to show where the game was already heading. Late in the game she made her own comment on the game, playing SWINDLE for 110 bloody points. This loss put me at the very bottom of the tournament ladder.
Game 2 vs Cheryl Jearam
Another schmozzle, 278-395. At 99 all, I picked up this beautiful rack. RRLUIII. Exchanged 4 tiles and Jearam (ranked 107) NEVER (27 points) looked back. Oh, except when she SLAPPED me for 65 points. I BEAT her for 31 but then her game became NICE (20) and SAUCY (26). Not even a NICER (7) JAB (20) could save me in this game.
Game 3 vs Mohammed Hegazi
My only win, 447-271. Heading into this game Mohammed (ranked 612) was in worse shape than I was. His head was in his hands because he had just been beaten by over 300 points. The guy who beat him got something like 630 points, a schlacking which may go down as one of the year's record scores. Ouch. If there's one thing I've learnt from my Scrabs mentors, Geoff Wright and Andrew Fisher is its okay to kick a bloke when he's down in Scrabble. One night I won an internet game 621-280. One word I played that game was DEGLAZES for 271 points. I came into Scrabble club the following night glowing. Then I played Andrew. He beat me 670-260. Against Mohammed I felt like I could do no wrong. There's nothing WIMPIER (I played for 82 points) than going easy on a bloke.
Game 4 vs Dorothy Barraclough
Dorothy's ranked 403 so I thought this could be a close one. It was for most of the game but she ended up beating me 359-296. Her win came when she played TESTING for 76 points.
Game 5 vs Carol Masciti
I lost 323-342. I should have won this against the 689 ranked lovely lady. In my last go I needed 12 to win the game. I played a speculative EDE for 16. Carol challenged and went out with LION to win the game. As soon as she put her final tiles on the board I saw what I missed. The nearest word to my eyes was ROPE. If I put the D on ROPE instead of playing the phony, EDE, I would have won the game. For the rest of the night I felt like two of the words I played in this game- a GIT (25) and a GOOF (12).
The winner of the tournament was indeed, Andrew Fisher who is later this year representing Australia and of course our great Melbourne Scrabble Club in the 2005 World Championships. Andrew's one of the world's top professional players and for last night's win he earned himself a whopping $20! See, there's money in this game.
For Victorian Scrabble news, competitions, ratings and membership, visit Scrabble Victoria's website.