The National Scrabble Catastrophe, Day 2

Sunday, 27 July 2008 — 4:39pm | Adventures, Scrabble, Tournament logs

3-11 (-307), and one of those “wins” was a bye. I’ve gone from last to second-last. This tournament is going so poorly, it’s looping around from tragedy to comedy. Dear Tile Gods: did I not sacrifice enough virgins or something? Love, Nicholas.

Yesterday, I had a lot more to blame than luck. Today was mostly bad luck. I drew 2 out of 12 blanks over six rounds (Rounds 13 and 14, to be precise), and I am at least relieved that I fired them off on bingos as soon as I picked them up. The blank in Round 13 was very nearly useless, too, coming as it did in my last draw from the bag.

That isn’t to say I haven’t been making bad decisions—missing bingos (like seeing RETILES and LEISTER, but giving up on the rack when a tiny bit more searching would have revealed STERILE), forgetting common stems (I knew there was something in BEIORST but tried SORBITE* instead of ORBIEST), and losing boneheaded challenges (LAYED looked funny at the time, and I let my opponent get away with PLIAR* instead of PILAR)—but they weren’t any worse than yesterday’s unmitigated silliness.

Time management is going better: I had over a minute left at the end of every game, leaving me time to find bingos on tight boards in the last turn or two. I benefited from not having to play against any speed demons, for the most part, so I didn’t get killed on the clock like I did on Day 1. Defensive play could still use some work: in Round 12, I missed a crucial bingo lane when I had almost tied the game (243-245), letting my opponent run away with it.

All in all, my play has gone from atrocious to average. It would be nice if the tile bag started cooperating. Then again, I suspect that I’m drawing at a disadvantage because I’m playing too many short words when I’m in a tight spot; I need to turn over more tiles.

(Day 2 bingos: LEANEST, TRAINER, ETESIAN, COUTURES, STANDERS, SPRINTER, CONFRONt, ERECTOr, SPITTLES.)

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