Posts Tagged ‘Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program (PBMT)’

Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2018

February 4, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 4, 2018

My third-round victory in the late-bird tournament left multiple players with two wins and one loss. Due to the spread tie-breaker, K— remained atop the table at plus-263; I was second at plus-22; the tournament organizer, my friend D—, was third at minus-18; and C— was fourth at minus-142.

Game 4 saw me face AZ, the Canadian player whom I’d beaten twice in the main event. She was in fifth place in the six-player division, having just defeated J— in round 3 to go to 1-2. (Poor J— fell to 0-3.)

AZ, playing second, took a 93-23 lead in turn 2 on the strength of a fantastic bingo, UNTINTED. This formation used an N from my opening move to swing a rare double-double. Because the play used two double-word-score bonuses at once, the total base value of the tiles (nine points) was multiplied by four instead of two — hence, 9 points × 4 = 36, which when combined with the 50-point bingo bonus yields a handsome sum of 86 points.

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Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2018

February 3, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 3, 2018

After finishing third in the two-day main event, I played in the five-game “late bird” event that closed out the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament.

My first opponent was C—, a young man whom I’d defeated in both of our previous meetings. Entering turn 3, I held AEEIISU and trailed, 46-24; I traded out everything but the S, but instead of getting a balanced rack, I wound up with one that contained no vowels: DFNSTTV.

I was able to begin creeping back into contention with my sixth move, BEAST/FINDS 35, which left me trailing, 93-83. But I fell even further behind when C— responded to my ONO 9 with EX/NE/OX 38. The score was 150-92 at that point.

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Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 4, Jan. 14, 2018

January 22, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 22, 2018

I started the second and final afternoon session of the Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament with a chance to hand a loss to C—, the division’s top seed and leader.

C— and I swapped leads through the first five turns of the 13th game, with the biggest play being my second move, HuRT/EDH 41. I hadn’t wanted to use the blank for a relatively modest play, but I was desperate to prevent C— from hooking an -S onto ED and exploiting the available triple-word-score bonus spot near there. I was on top, 139-115, entering turn 6.

That’s when C— sprang what would turn out to be the biggest play of the game: LUNARIA*/FA, a 64-point bingo. I considered challenging, and in fact C— later confessed that he was unsure if the word was valid; unfortunately for me, I didn’t, and it isn’t. That left my opponent with a 179-139 lead.

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Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 3, Jan. 14, 2018

January 21, 2018

By Maajthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 21, 2018

I finished Saturday, the first day of the Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament main event, with a six-game winning streak. I even got a good night’s sleep that evening! So I felt fairly optimistic as I sat down to open the event’s second and final day of play with a rematch against TS.

The tournament’s ninth game got interesting in turn 5 when, playing second, I played ZAG/GLUTE, a 39-pointer that put me ahead, 92-91. TS parried with ToNNeRS/SI, a 64-point bingo that pushed him out to a 155-92 lead. This play wasn’t quite as bad for me as it might have seemed: It came relatively early in the game, it didn’t score a ton and it required my opponent to use both blanks and an S.

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Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 2, Jan. 13, 2018

January 20, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 20, 2018

I ran a bunch of errands over the lunch break before returning for the second session of the annual Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament.

I felt like I’d had a respectable morning overall. Yes, my two losses had been annoying, but to be fair to myself, I’d drawn badly at times: namely, OOQ in my opening contest against J— and OOQX in the second game against TS. (It wouldn’t be until the following week that I’d realize my ZOEAE/ZOEAS miscue in the latter encounter.)

At any rate, the fifth game saw me playing B—, a sharp elementary school student. I felt some pressure to beat B—, and moreover to beat him by a sound margin. That was because I knew B— had lost his first-round game to the top seed in the division by 300 points, and a player who kicks off a competition with such a big spread has a huge advantage over the rest of the field.

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Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 1, Jan. 13, 2018

January 19, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 17, 2018

I arranged the evening of Friday, Jan. 12, so as to get home and go to bed at a decent hour — and the plan worked out. Unfortunately, my brain and body didn’t cooperate, and it wasn’t until sometime around 5 a.m. that I finally fell asleep. This, alas, was prior to an event for which I needed to get out of bed around 8 a.m.

Despite this, I felt surprisingly normal as I showered, dressed and prepared to head out to the Duke medical facility that serves as the venue for the annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament.

I was playing in the lower of two divisions. Our group featured eight players, each of whom would play eight games on Saturday and eight more games on Sunday. Because of the size of the field, we were scheduled to play all seven of our opponents twice — a double round robin format — before games 15 and 16 determined the final standings — a king-of-the-hill format.

The opening contest of the tournament matched me with a very familiar foe: J—, a local resident whom I encounter several times a year in Sunday-afternoon club play. Over the course of 14 official meetings between us, he had an outstanding record of nine victories against five losses, including a six-game winning streak. His rating at the start of the weekend was 1051, markedly higher than my 932.

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Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2017

February 18, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 18, 2017

The fourth game of the 2017 Duke PBMT late-bird tournament turned out to be much more exciting than the third. My foe was TS, whom I’d beaten in the 2016 Duke PBMT late bird tournament and in the April 2016 mall tournament.

We saw a lot of early scoring: In turn 1, TS hooked an S onto my INIA to make a 66-point bingo, ROUTERs/INIAs*. In turn 3, I put the X on a double-word-score bonus for MIX/OX, a 42-point play. And in turn 4, LOOSING/DAG scored me 65 points. (Dag means a hanging end or shred or matted or manure-coated wool.) But TS’s response, VIEW/LI/OE/OW, scored 31 points and left him with a modest 137-135 lead.

Here I ran into a spot of trouble. My rack entering turn 5 was AEGHINS, which can’t be arranged into a seven-letter word. Since AEGINS is a great Scrabble “stem,” I played the H on a triple-letter-score space to make HOW 17, only to be rewarded by drawing…the second H. This time, I played AH/AT/HE for 19 points.

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Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2017

February 17, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 17, 2017

After finishing third in the two-day main event, I played in the five-game “late bird” event that closed out the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament.

My first opponent was very familiar: J—, whom I’d played three times on Sunday, losing twice, including a remarkable game that he’d opened with four bingos in his first five turns.

Playing second, I took a 100-50 lead after three turns thanks to an 89-point bingo, PATTIES/NUT, which touched on two double-word-score bonuses at once. J— soon got the lead back by playing TWEEN 36 and WARN/WO/AG 31 in turns 4 and 5. Then he claimed a 201-146 lead midway through turn 7 by playing FOILERS*/SEATING, a phony 70-point bingo.

(That rack, EFILORS, doesn’t make any seven-letter bingos, but it can be combined with a blank to make six valid eight-letter ones: FLOSSIER, FOLKSIER, FORESAIL, FRIJOLES, PROFILES and TREFOILS.)

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Games 13 through 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2017

February 16, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 16, 2017

When Sunday’s late session got under way, with game 13, I faced EM for the third time in the tournament and the second time in three games. I took an early lead in turn 2 with SHITTY/WAIFS 46 but fell behind two turns later when I failed to challenge my opponent’s phony 26-point play, FARGO*.

EM also had a nice fifth move, JOY/OAT/YA 37. But I reclaimed the lead that turn, 123-114, with ZIGS, exploiting a double-letter-score/double-word-score combo to generate 48 points.

Then we went into a mutual power outage. From turns 6 through 11, neither of us had a play worth more than 29 points. (That was my HUED/HE.) The score was 229-206 in my favor at that moment.

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Games 9 through 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2017

February 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 15, 2017

I began Sunday as the leader in the lower division, but I was annoyed. My failure to spot the word DIAPERS on my rack of ADEIPRS in Saturday’s final game ate at me.

Still, there was nothing to be done about it. So I geared up for my ninth-round game against J—, the excellent local player whom I’d beaten three times in five tournament meetings.

J—, playing first, took a lead going out of the gate, and I never caught up. Over the first nine turns, J— had a pair of 30-pointers (JOE/ER 32 and YEW/ITCHY 30) and a bingo, CUrATES/CAT 65. My highest-scoring word over that span was PRIDE 27 in turn 9; I trailed, 255-172, following that play.

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Games 5 through 8, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 14, 2017

February 14, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 14, 2017

Following Saturday’s lunch break, my fifth game matched me against R—, the fellow who had handed me my only defeat in the tournament that I’d won the previous spring.

I took a 68-29 lead after three turns, largely thanks to WROTE/EVENT 32, which used the triple-word-score bonus at top row–center column. R— would tie the score, 89-89, with ZIG/ADZ 52, but that wouldn’t last.

In turn 6, playing second, I converted AABHRS? into BAsHARS*/BI/AN, an 82-point bingo. I was hoping, incorrectly, that bashar was some kind of title of a ruler; since R— did not challenge, the play stood, giving me a 179-97 advantage.

That rack makes three valid words, all plurals and all unknown to me: BHARALS (a goatlike mammal), BRAHMAS (the Hindu god of creation, or the foundation for all being in Hinduism) and SAMBHARS (a type of deer).

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Games 1 through 4, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 14, 2017

February 13, 2017

By Miotthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 13, 2017

My opening game in the main event of the seventh annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was against BC, a clever local youngster who had never before participated in an official tournament. In turn 2, playing first, BC jumped out to an 86-25 lead by putting down ZEE/ZA/EL/EF, a 70-point move thanks to his placement of the Z on a triple-letter-score spot. I closed the gap a bit with my second move, LONER/YE/AR 14, but that still left me trailing, 86-39.

I started the game with a blank and drew an X after my first move, but wasn’t able to outpoint my first play (HALF/HM 25) until the sixth turn. That was when I played DRIP/PLUCK for 42 points, a prime example of a triple-word-score plus double-letter-score bonus combination. I drew DRST after that play, which left me with a rack of EORSTX? entering turn 7.

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Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 18, 2016

February 14, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 14, 2016

After the first three games of the late-bird event Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I had a 2-1 record and a positive spread. I wanted to keep the momentum going with a win in game four against TS, a student who was participating in only his third official tournament.

Beating TS proved to be no easy feat. I had a 59-34 lead midway through the third turn when my foe played TENTIES*/FUNDS. I retained the lead by challenging this 75-point fake bingo.

Unfortunately for TS, and fortunately for me, I entered turn four with the über-rack: AEINST?. (As I wrote last year, AEINST, or TISANE, is the best bingo stem.) I played TEASING/BOOTHS for 78 points to go up, 137-34.

TS had a bingo of his own, and this time, it was valid. Using the N that I had just played, he put out SENTIENT 62, narrowing my advantage to 137-96. Game on!

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Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 18, 2016

February 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 13, 2016

After acquitting myself fairly well in the 2016 Duke PBMT tournament, I decided to take one last bite at the Scrabble apple. I drove back to Duke on Monday morning, Jan. 18, to participate in a five-gave “late bird” side tournament.

I opened play against KE, the older woman whom I’d lost to by 24 points on Saturday but beaten by 76 points on Sunday afternoon. Playing second, she took an early 106-55 lead on the strength of her first two plays, MEZE 35 and UNMERGE* 71. (That bingo turned out to be phony, as I learned after the game.)

In turn four, KE put down REqUEUE/MOPER, a 66-point bingo. It came off the board after I challenged both words; as I later learned, MOPER is good but REQUEUE is not. (To prevent a player from gaining a competitive advantage, when multiple words are challenged during a tournament game, the computer simply states whether or not the play as a whole is good without specifying the invalid word or words.) Despite my successful challenge, KE led, 142-108, going into the fifth turn.

Things turned with my sixth move, SHIVERy/MOORS 74. KE responded with a 30-point play, YEH, but even so, I completed the turn with a 194-182 advantage. As it turned out, KE would not score more than 29 points in any single move the rest of the game.

Two things allowed me to pad my lead. One of these was VENT, my 33-point play in the seventh turn, which utilized one of those combos that tend to be high-scoring: The V was on a double-letter-score spot and the T was on a triple-word-score space. I was up, 227-198, following the turn.

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Games 13 through 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 17, 2016

February 9, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 9, 2016

My 13th-round game in the 2016 Duke PBMT tournament was against C—, who had beaten me by 26 points en route to a perfect 8-0 showing on Saturday. He still led our division, but he had just sustained his first defeat in the 12th round, a 48-point loss.

C—’s 11-1 record was still impressive, but I tried to take inspiration from that blemish on his record. And I was able to take a solid lead midway through the game by putting out TINNERS/HES, a 65-point bingo. C— challenged the play, but both words were valid. That left me with a 170-132 lead through seven turns.

My opponent was able to cut into my margin significantly with his eighth move, BASED 33. He trailed, 188-165, after that.

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Games 9 through 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 17, 2016

February 7, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 7, 2016

Of all the Scrabble players I’ve officially faced (51) in all the official Scrabble tournaments I’ve officially played (10), there is one person I’ve faced more than any other. X— is a local kid who might be a high school freshman or sophomore now. In 11 games, I had beaten him five times and lost six times. Our most recent meeting, in the 2015 Duke PBMT tournament, had resulted in a discouraging 366-263 loss for me, largely thanks to a nightmarish six-turn stretch over which I contended with such unpromising racks as NOOSSU?, IOOSSU? and OSSUVY?.

I entered day two of the 2016 Duke PBMT event with mixed feelings. I’d beaten four players by respectable margins and lost four games, with three of those defeats being close. On Sunday morning, I tried to view the glass as being half-full. I would build on the positive things and forget about the negative things.

My ninth game of the tournament, and my first game on Sunday, was against X—. I was anxious at first, especially after I used a bonus spot to play HEX for 36 points, only for my opponent to respond immediately by playing BOXES for 34 points, which put him ahead, 67-62, after three turns.

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Games 5 through 8, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2016

February 6, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 6, 2016

My opponent in game 5 of the sixth annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was J—, a local player whom I had faced, and lost to, in a June 2015 tournament. He opened turn 5 with NUrTUrE/TOr/FINE 66, which put him up, 137-99.

I was behind, 221-172, in the eighth turn when I was able to play a bingo of my own: RECALLS/ROM 68. That put me ahead, 240-221.

I nurtured (get it? Get it?!) a slender lead for the next few moves. In turn 12, I found myself with a lousy rack: DIIORRS, which meshed poorly with the words that had already been put down on the board. I decided to swap everything except for the S. My draw wasn’t great — AAABDG — but it worked with the closed-in board much better than the letters I’d had. I held a 308-298 edge after the swap.

“You dirty dog,” J— muttered archly when he realized why I’d traded in tiles.

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Games 1 through 4, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2016

February 6, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 6, 2016

My first game in the main event of the sixth annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament  was against P—, a local player whom I’d officially played twice before, in the 2014 and 2015 PBMT tournament main events — both losses. This time around, I held a modest 221-195 lead until the 14th turn, when P— played FONdeST, a 70-point bingo.

(A few quick Scrabble reminders: A bingo is a play that uses all seven of the tiles on a player’s rack; it’s worth a 50-point bonus on top of normal scoring. Also, a blank is indicated before use as a question mark; after use, as a lowercase letter. P— used two of them for her bingo.) I was unable to come back, and lost, 335-288.

Game 2 was against an older woman whom I had not previously faced. I’ll refer to her as KE. I trailed slightly, 125-111, after five moves. In the sixth turn, I played METTLEs 81 to go ahead.

KE responded with IXIA/MI/EX/TI/TA for 48 points.

Unfortunately, my draw had been horrendous: GNNSVVW. In turn 7, I traded in all of my tiles except for the S. KE played OAK for 28 points, which put her back up, 201-192.

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Spanked and spanked again: Three recent Scrabble games

February 5, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Feb. 5, 2016

Last year, I played in two Scrabble tournaments. I wound up writing more than 20 different posts about my participation in those competitions.

Recently, I played in the sixth annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament; it’s held in January on the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That went pretty well, and I meant to put up several posts about those games. In fact, I still mean to — I just haven’t gotten around to it because I fell ill and was feeling awfully low-energy for a few days after my recovery. (I think I’m back to 100 percent now, thankfully!)

At any rate, I still want to write about the Duke PBMT tournament, but before I do that, I wanted to do a quick recap of a Scrabble encounter that I had last weekend. It involved three games against someone whom I’d expected to, but did not, see at the PBMT tourney.

G— is an extremely intelligent woman; I think she works as a biological researcher of some sort. Her Scrabble tournament rating is well north of 1,000 and has been for several years. (By comparison, my rating is currently at a lifetime peak of 644.) She also lives locally, so when I didn’t spot her at the January event, I wondered if she had fallen ill or possibly moved somewhere else.

That wasn’t the case; actually, she’d just had other plans for that weekend.

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Game 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 27, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 27, 2015

And so it all came down to this: My 16th and final game of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament.

I wouldn’t be able to finish with a winning record. I almost certainly wouldn’t be able to finish with a positive cumulative scoring margin. But I could finish with a win.

My opponent was a precocious elementary school student named B. He had a distinctive high-pitched voice that rang through the room — because he may have been hard of hearing, as I surmised from our score discussions during this contest.

At any rate, I got off to a good start with JAWER. With the eight-point J on a double-letter score, and the game’s first move automatically doubled in point value, this phony (alas) gave me 46 points. B. did not challenge, thankfully for me.

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Game 15, 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

By winning my 14th game in the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I preserved my opportunity to finish 8-8.

But to do so, I’d have to win my last two games. That was no small feat, considering that for game 15, I was assigned to face L., the bright middle-schooler who had defeated me, 321-261, on day one.

I was playing from behind ever since turn 2, when L. made the first of three straight strong moves: FACE 31, FAZED 59 and TaJ 34. At the end of five turns, I trailed, 136-67.

My sixth move, QUIT, was a 39-point play that narrowed the deficit somewhat. But L. built his advantage fairly steadily. The score was 236-165 entering the 10th turn.

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Game 14, 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

In losing my 13th contest of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I reached a threshold: At 5-8, the best I could do was winning my last three games to finish 8-8.

Fortunately for me, my opponent in game 14 was J., the 20-something novice whom I’d defeated in game 10. Our rematch wouldn’t prove to be quite as dramatic, but it still had its twists and turns.

Thanks mainly to his opening 30-point play, WHERE, J. took an early lead. I found myself struggling to balance my rack: My opening draw was ANPQSW? — somewhat amazingly, the fifth time I’d drawn a blank to start the game.

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Game 13, 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

Going into game 13 of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I had my worst record of the weekend: five wins and seven losses. Unfortunately, that would continue to deteriorate.

I was facing K., a very sharp woman about my age or a little older who appears to have become a strong competitive Scrabble player in a relatively short amount of time.

The game’s key play was in the fourth turn, when K. played HEPATIc for a 71-point bingo. (I considered challenging but didn’t, which was good: That’s a valid word.) My feeble reply was ALOE, a 12-point move. Entering the fifth turn, K. held a 120-59 lead.

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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.

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Game 11, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 25, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Jan. 25, 2015

My record was all even at 5-5 when I played my third game of day two in the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament. My opponent for this contest was C., the same sharp young whippersnapper whom I’d bested, 377-342, in my very first game on Saturday.

My opening draw was CHHITT? — the fourth time in the tournament that I’d drawn a blank to start the game. I opened play with HITCH for a cool 32 points. That gave me an early lead that I would hold until the fifth turn, when C.’s VOID/VOX/OW/IN 36 gave him a 99-90 advantage.

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