Game 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 26, 2015

My opponent in my 12th game of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was a young fellow I’ll call X. It was not a surprise to see him: In recent years, I’ve played several tournament games against X., a local kid who’s probably in middle school now. He’s won more games against me than I’ve won against him.

I got a small break when X., who moved first, used his first turn to exchange four letters. Thanks mainly to my third play, CRIB/CUKE 26, I had a 75-31 lead when X. put down CID/LI/NOD as his fourth move. I wasn’t familiar with CID, and although I’m not very well versed in the three-letter words, I decided to challenge.

That was a smart decision. CID is a phony, so I voided a 20-point play by my foe.

The tide started to shift in the seven turn, in which X. put out WINCE/EF 25. With INSSVVZ on my rack, I decided to trade in the dual Vs. That yielded an A and a T, for a rack of AINSSTZ — better. Score: 106-72, with me in the lead.

X. responded, alas, with SNaRLED/WEEDS, an 83-point bingo. Even after I played NAZI/NE/AD 38, I trailed, 155-144.

Turns 9 through 15 were a nightmare for me. X. steadily built his lead, beginning with FORGE/IF 35 and ending with VISIT/SLAP 30. His only score lower than 21 points in this stretch was RAY/RIF 18.

Meanwhile, I was saddled with unbalanced racks that seemed devoid of bingos — NOOSSU?, IOOSSU?, OSSUVY? During this period, my only score bigger than 17 points was NAH/AT/HONE 23.

By the end of this sequence of play, X. had an insurmountable 344-219 lead.

I did close out on a miniature rally: DYE 15 and sUSS 15. The latter was an out play, garnering me 14 points from the unused letter on X.’s rack.

Final score: 366-263, a discouraging 103-point loss.

Tournament record: 5-7. Cumulative scoring margin: minus-280 points.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: