Saturday, December 19, 2009

My WSC ( Day 1)

My WSC 2009 ( Day 1)
Following Philip Edwing Mugisha and Neil Green`s phenomenal reports, I give you my WSC report "titled humbly and simply": The Conqueror.

Considering that I probably know twice as many words as I knew two years ago, I was feeling very confident about finishing in top 50 at the WSC.. Deep down, I was hoping for a top 20 finish. Well, to tell you the truth, I was almost sure that I would finish in top 10. Why lie to you? I had a feeling I was gonna win this one.

My WSC started extremely well. For Ron, that is. While I had to exchange tiles, Ron hit me with AERATED. I struggled with some awkward racks before playing TENURES. In the meanwhile, Ron kept scoring consistently. Towards the end of the game I got the first blank and played intrepidly, as I always do. I mean, INTREPID. And when I thought that there was still hope for me to win this game, Ron scored 280 points in four moves with ZITI, EXIT, NOVELLA and JOWARS. L:389-542


From the start, Suanne wanted to outrun me. Not an easy task, when you`re facing the strongest player in the word. I invited Suanne to join my friend NETWORKS. I only asked for 110 points in return. She must have thought it was a ripoff, but she accepted. Suanne took the first blank and played LAITIES. A couple of moves later she took the second blank to hit me with LOAMIEST.I considered myself lucky she didn`t have any high score bonuses with the blanks. In the endgame, I used my magic and pulled a REINDEER out of the bag. " Christmas is almost here", I said to myself, as I announced the score. W: 417-399


NIGEL RICHARDS started with INFLATE. From his facial expression, I knew he was extremely worried about the global economy. His poker face betrayed him this time. After missing the beautiful MORTBELL( a funeral bell) as a reply to his bonus, I took the first blank and played TORQUATE. I could see that he didn`t like that. "How about some WIENIES" , he asked me. "That would be 99 cents, thank you very much". I replied right away with UNGOTTEN. Then, the mischievous former World Champion, did something extremely disturbing. He let me think that he was going to play the nonvalid word HEC*. As i was getting ready to celebrate with a challenge, he changed his mind and played the beautiful word YCLEEPE( to call by name) for 101 points. My goose was overcooked. Next move, even though he had ZA for 64, he preferred
playing VIZSLA. As it turned out, he blocked my 86 point bonus DISOWNER. I had to settle for SWOONIER. It was payback time. I played the nonvalid word SWOONEIR*, announced the score and put my finger on the button. I didn`t press it though.
Well, not before rearranging the letters...I took the second blank, but on a closed board and with two Us, there was nothing I could do with it. L: 375-556

After three games, I think I was the player with the worst spread of the tournament. It was time for me to face the other best player in the world. It was the Phenomenon against the Phenomenal. The Phenomenon had a good start, but I caught up. He took the first blank and hit me with REJECTED. I didn`t know this word, but decided not to challenge. The Phenomenon is famous for his amazing word knowledge. I decided that it was time for theme SCRABBLE. AIRSIDES and AVIATION put me back in the game. I considered not playing TENOURS, since it wasn`t related to the theme I had chosen: air and airplanes. I must admit that I gave Philip 10 points from challenging PENE and SWEDE. Later, I found out that SWEDE is a common word in English. Well, excuse me, but I have never eaten a SWEDE before. Maybe one day... I`ve always wanted to visit Sweden. Anyway, if you`ve seen Highlander you know what happened between Mugisha and I.There could only be one. While I was filling in the result sheet, I could tell that Mugisha considered chopping my head off. He knew he would be kicked out the tournament if he did that, so he refrained. W: 453-443

Rohaina is one of the nicest Scrabble players I have ever met. Her atitude during the game reminded me of myself. An early phony from Rohaina, allowed me to see
she had a blank. Strategically, I think I played a good game, until my FRENUM play.. That opened the board and allowed Rohaina to play SOLDERS for a lot of points. From there it was nip and tuck. I took the second blank and played FLITTERN, only to see Rohaina play REBOANT. A very close endgame followed, and only my amazing brilliance saved me . W: 406-383

GAME 6: Adrian Tamas vs Patrick Litunya
Patrick took an early lead and it looked like this would be his game, when he started showing me his tiles. That helped me a lot. I realized that he was struggling with KGGU combinations. I can`t remember the played bonuses. I didn`t get the chance to take a photo of the game. By the time I was done taking the result
sheet to Barry, this is what was left from our game. Another close endgame, and I was on 4 wins and 2 losses, after a terrible start. W: 451-389

Against Vannitha, I started with GOUTIER. She replied with ANITRAPE*. Believe it or not, I spotted that now, when I started writing the report. How was it possible that my eagle eyes betray me? Anyway, I took the first blank and bonused* with GRAVIES. That was followed by SPINDLES, using the second blank. Vannitha was very gracious in accepting her defeat. W: 516-356

I started with AURICLE followed by CROCOITE, and never looked back. It was my luckiest game in a very long time. CROCOITE was followed by CILIATES. Then I drew the first blank and played THORNSET to block the triple triple that Blue had opened. I could have played ANOTHER for 10 extra points but chose not to. Blue is a real gentleman. Even when he was 200 points behind, he kept complimenting me on my play. I started feeling bad and wished for some bad tiles for myself.It didn`t happen. W: 552-290. At the end of the first day, I was 14th, with 6 wins and 2 losses. The Tile Gods gave me 9 blanks and offered 7 to my opponents. Not a bad start, I thought. I fell asleep at around one o` clock, while counting the money I was going to win at the end of the WSC. More to follow.


  1. Enjoyed this very much, Adrian. Thought it might be an opportune time to update you on our Facebook stats: 98 wins to me, 85 to you, 2 draws. Needless to say I am completely mystified as to how I have managed to achieve such a record against The Conqueror, especially as The Conqueror has managed to snaffle 198 blanks to my 172 and outscored me in bonuses by 410 to 363!

    Here's to another 185 games; I have a feeling you'll be overhauling me before long, as my slender advantages, like knowing the word SWEDE, start to count for less and less!

  2. You played one of my favourite looking
    minerals "crocoite".I have a nice chunk of it
    Best mineral Ive played is hidden(ite)
    Its my son's birthday today. Sage will be 9 today.
    cheers Tony k

  3. David, how am I going to enjoy Christmas now that I know I`m 13 wins behind??? And that is after my lucky 5 win streak that came to an end yesterday! That is something, isn`t it? I can`t explain it either! How can you score 47 bonuses more than your opponent and be 16 wins behind???
    About the blanks... I can explain it. One of the tile Gods is a good friend of mine. He kindly provides blanks whenever I need them. We did have an argument at the WSC(Day 2) though...

  4. Tony, hiddenite is even better than crocoite! I hope I get the chance to play it one day! It most come from the word hidden, right? A hidden mineral... Happy Birthday to Sage! A future Scrabble World Champion? :)

  5. Sorry, Adrian, but less romantically HIDDENITE actually takes its name from the mineralogist WE Hidden (1853-1918). An awful lot of these minerals take their names from their finders e.g. ALLANITE, ANDRADITE, ANKERITE, ARFVEDSONITE, BABINGTONITE, BAINITE and so on through to WURTZITE and ZARATITE. But quite a few are named after locations, like ANNABERGITE, ARAGONITE, ATACAMITE, AUTUNITE and so on through to ZORGITE.

  6. Thank you,David! I`m a stronger player after your message!:)

  7. Are you sure YCLEEPE is 101 points ? My calculation is only 89 :)