Friday, May 21, 2010

WPC 2010

I hear that Adrian Tamas, by far the best Scrabble player in the world, might be joining the WPC in Dallas this year. It`s not sure yet, but I`ll keep you up to date...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MISO 2010 ( Pakistan`s Got Talent )

People love stories. We love it when the unexpected happens. Have you seen "America`s Got Talent"? Or " Britain`s Got Talent" ? I for one love it when someone gets on that stage and shocks the people with an amazing performance. And that`s exactly what Mohammad Sulaiman did this tournament. He shocked the world of competitive Scrabble with his level of play. We all knew he was a good player, but how many of us would have put money on him winning this tournament? I think I know the answer. I remember last year when I met Mohamad Sulaiman in Malaysia, at the Causeway Scrabble Challenge, he was telling me that he can feel how his age affects his play. He thinks slower, acts slower than his younger opponents, and forgets words easily, he told me then. I was amazed by how aware he was of his shortcomings. Mohammad Sulaiman is a very modest player,who loves this game, and who deserved to win this tournament. His extremely good strategy and his consistent level of play won him the tournament. Something tells me that even Nigel was happy to see Mohammad win this tournament. Congratulations, Mohammad Sulaiman!

Malta International Scrabble Open ( The End )

Game over. The final standings for our team are:

26 Catalin Caba (Romania) 12-9 (+157)
30 Dan Sandu (Romania) 12-9 (-212)
34 Mihai Pantis (Romania) 11-10 (+431)

Catalin Caba`s top 30 finish is like a win! He was rated 50th ( I think ) before the tournament. He finished 24 places better than his rating. It`s like having Dan or Mihai win the tournament. Congratulations Cata! As I was saying before, Dan took quite a few scalps in these two tournaments, proving that he is quite a fighter. Mihai couldn`t find his playing mood, and even though he was higher rated than Cata and Dan, he finished last.
Overall, I think the boys did well, and I hope they learnt something from these two tournaments.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Edward Martin vs Mohammed Sulaiman

I was following the live coverage for the MISO and I think the game was winnable for Edward Martin. I`m not gonna analyse the whole game now, but it would be interesting to see what would Mohammed Sulaiman do if Edward Martin played WAE for 24 points instead of CLAW for 18, which also sets up Mohammed for a high score play. Anybody interested in looking into it? I think Ed would have probably won the game.

Malta International Scrabble Open after 17 games

After 17 games, " the three musketeers" are all on 10 wins and 7 losses! Dan is a magnet for stronger players. That explains his negative spread.

20 Mihai Pantis Romania 10.0-7 +542
26 Catalin Caba Romania 10.0-7 +349
31 Dan Sandu Romania 10.0-7 -46

Malta International Scrabble Open ( Day 2 )

It looks like Dan Laurentiu Sandu will return home with a bag full of scalps. Yesterday, he won his game against Femi Awowade, a very good Nigerian player who played the King`s Cup final in Thailand twice. I had three chances to beat Femi, but I lost every time. I was happy to see that another Romanian managed to beat him. Dan also took Sam Kanthimakhi`s scalp, another very good player from America. Mihai didn`t take any scalps, but managed to get his average up to 422 points per game, which is quite a decent average. Helen Gipson was back for revenge, and beat Mihai 588-402. From the score, I`m guessing it must have been one hell of a game.
Cata is having a very streaky but consistent tournament. A top 40 finish would be a very good result! Mohammad Sulaiman, a good friend of mine, continues to impress. I really don`t like playing against him. He has a gift for blocking his opponents` best plays. He might not have the best word knowledge but his strategy is very good. I hope he keeps it up! One more day to go. Good luck!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A coincidence

After 10 rounds, Mihai Pantis and Dan Laurentiu Sandu, both average 404.70 points per game! What an amazing coincidence!

26 404.70 6.0- 4.0 +142 Pantis, Mihai (#22/ROM)
26 404.70 7.0- 3.0 +138 Sandu, Dan (#23/ROM)

Malta International Scrabble Open 2010 ( Day 1 )

Yesterday, before I fell asleep, two questions were haunting me: " Will my Romanians have a good start", and " Will Nigel Richards drop any games the first day"? I got my answers in the morning! Mihai and Dan are both on 3W-2L, while Cata is on 2W-3L. We even had a 100% Romanian match in Malta yesterday.Dan played against Cata. It was 390-322 for Dan. Unfortunately, my team is struggling to score over 350 points per game. It`s almost impossible to win games like this. I remember Mihai`s average was somewhere around 410. I`m still waiting for him to find his playing mood!
With only one exception ( Paloma Raychbart ), Nigel`s opponents gave him the respect he deserves, and refused to score more than 350 points per game. I must admit that I overlooked Paloma`s APOSTASY when I examined their game! I also overlooked POTASSA and SAPOTAS! But then, that`s one of the many reasons why I`m not in Malta now. My Scrabble tiles are...rusty!

Friday, May 14, 2010

MISO 2010 ( Predictions for team Romania )

Malta International Scrabble Open is even tougher than The European Scrabble Championship! There won`t be many "easy games". If Mihai and Dan manage to find their playing mood, I think they can finish in top 20. if not, I predict that Mihai will finish 23rd and Dan will finish 28th. Of course, I hope I`m wrong and they both make the top 10! I also hope that Cata will finish top 5 in his division. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 4)

Day 4 was extremely good for Cata Caba, who managed to finish on the podium. 3rd place in B division is a very good result. Well done, Cata! I`m looking forward to seeing Cata play in A division in a year or two, and why not, even take some scalps.
Both Mihai and Dan had a quiet last day. They didn`t have to meet any "bullies", so I was hoping they would make the top 10. Mihai had a tougher schedule than Dan, and unfortunately, he lost 3 out of the 4 games against opponents who had pretty much his level of play. Dan only had one tough game, which he also lost. He also lost 2 "easy" ones. I`m guessing Dan suffers from the same disease as I do. It`s called playing at your opponent`s level. I don`t even wanna remember how many games I lost because of that! Both Mihai (12th place) and Dan (15th place) finished where I thought they would. That means they didn`t impress, but they didn`t disappoint either.
Dan had 9 impossible games ( against opponents much better than him 4W-5L), 12difficult games (against opponents who had the same level or who were a bit better 5W-7L ) and 11 "easy games" ( against weaker opponents 6W-5L!)
Mihai had 8 impossible games ( against much stronger opponents 2W- 6L ), 10 difficult games ( against opponents who had the same level or who were a bit better than him 2w-8L) and 14 "easy games" ( against weaker opponents 10W-4L!) I guess you could say that Mihai is also a "bully"...
Considering Dan`s tougher field, I`d say Dan`s 15th place is as good as Mihai`s 12th place. Great effort! The two days break will be followed by another international tournament: Malta International Scrabble Open. Good luck to everybody, when they`re not playing the....Romanians!

Final standings:
Nigel Richards



Helen Gipson



Joanne Craig



Harshan Lamabadusuriya



Theresa Brousson



Cecil Muscat



David Webb



Craig Beevers



Simon Gillam



Vincent Boyle



Terry Kirk



Mihai Pantis



David Delicata



Jackie McLeod



Dan Sandu



Nicky Vella-Laurenti



Sam Kantimathi

United States


Karen Richards



Kevin Synnott



Eileen Meghen



Raymond Tate



John Barker



Jojo Delia



Mario Saliba



Evelyn Wallace



Alison Pollard



Christine Strawbridge



Gary Pollard



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 3)

Unfortunately, not a very good day for the Romanian team. Mihai`s performance reminded me of mine at the UK Open. He lost all the tough matches and won 4 out of the last 5, against lower rated opponents, as expected. Dan`s performance was a bit better than Mihai`s. If you look at his matches, he had 8 tough games and an easier one. Ironically, he lost the "easy" one and beat Craig Beevers again! He also won his games agains Simon Gillam (expert), Jackie McLeod (expert) and David Delicata ( expert from Malta). He got to play Nigel Richards and Helen Gipson. Dan lost both games as expected, but considering the tough field he played yesterday, his result was not bad at all. In B division, Cata still has a shot at the second place. he is 7th at the moment, but I think he is better than that! Tomorrow is the last day of the European Open Scrabble Championship. All 3 players can finish top 10. Good luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 2)

Day 2 was without doubt Mihai`s day. The win against Helen, really pleased me. I remember Mihai started his WSC campaign with a win against Helen, one of the best scrabble players in the world.Mihai also beat the UK National Champion en titre, Craig Beevers, and lost to Theresa Brousson, even though he scored 443 points. Dan lost most of the tough games today, and won the "easy ones". We all know that there are no easy games in Scrabble. Luck has its 30% contribution.Dan also beat David Delicata, the favourite of the home crowd. Both Mihai and Dan are on 9 wins and 8 losses, which is really not bad at all. It pleases me to see that with a bit of luck, we can beat anybody in the world, when 5 years ago we couldn`t hurt a fly!
Cata is doing well in the B division and I really think he can finish second if he focuses enough.He had an amazing find, any of the A division players would be proud of: HEXEREI, which means witchcraft. Good luck to the 3 musketeers for tomorrow!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 1)

I must say that I was more than impressed by Dan`s start. Wins to Harshan Lambadusuriya( master), Craig Beevers (master), Theresa Brousson (expert) and Jojo Delia (represented Malta at the World Scrabble Championship). Losses to Karen Richard(I`ve never beaten Karen), Sam Kantimathi( an expert player from America, once the winner of the famous King`s Cup, and Simon Gillam ( expert )
Dan also played Vella Laurenti-Nicky, but I don`t know much about this player.
At the end of the day, Dan`s 4-4 is an amazing result. If he keeps beating the "eagles" and focuses more against the "lowriders", he can finish again in top 10.
And tomorrow, first thing in the morning, he has to play David Webb, another master from UK.
Mihai managed to avoid all of my favourites for the top 10 today. He did have 3
fairly difficult games against Delia Jojo, Gillam Simon and Vincent Boyle.Unfortunately he lost all of them. But the good news is he won 4 games against lower rated opponents.
A win is a win, and now Mihai is 12th while Dan is 17th, both on 4-4. If this was a boxing game between Mihai and Dan, I`d give this round to Dan.
In Division B Cata Caba is on 5 wins and 3 losses. I know he is a good player.If he stops playing scared, he can even win the division.Good luck to the three musketeers tomorrow. In the meanwhile, I`ll pay my first visit to the Osaka Scrabble Club in 2 years. I`m hoping to get a couple of games. I haven`t studied any words in 4 months, so I feel a bit rusty.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 )

Go Romania! The European Championship has begun. Congrats to Dan Laurentiu Sandu for beating Harshan Lambadusuriya. I must say it took me 7 games to beat him once! Now Dan has to face the Uk National Champion en titre, Craig Beevers. I won 3 games and lost 2 to Craig.Not an easy game! Mihai started with easier draws, but I`m sure thing will change as he climbs his way to the top 10. I guestimate* Mihai will finish in top 15, Dan in Top 20, and Cata Caba, who plays in the B division, will finish top 10.

1000 Games on Facebook

Today I made it to 1000 games on Facebook.
Games played: 1000
Games won : 547
Games lost: 453
Best word score: Dextrose (185 points)
Facebook Scrabble is still pretty bad, compared to the Internet Scrabble Club. The void option kills the beauty of the game. I`m surprised that the creators of Facebook Scrabble couldn`t come up with something better. After all, Facebook Scrabble had to replace Scrabulous. Not an easy task. I feel that those pretty colors are just not enough.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Romanian Scrabble National Championship in English (second round)

Congratulations to Mihai Pantis, who beat Dan Laurentiu Sandu twice, to win the tournament. My father had his first win ever against Mihai in a tournament. Well done, old man! It`s good to see a new player on the Romanian Scrabble scene. Welcome, Iuliu Fabian! There will be a third tournament later this year, that will decide the new National Champion. Until then, good luck to Mihai, Cata and Dan in Malta, where they will join two tournaments: Malta International Scrabble Open and the European Scrabble Championship.
1. Mihai Pantis (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 6 wins, 2 losses +868
2. Catalin Caba (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 5 wins, 3 losses (+628)
3. Dan Laurentiu Sandu (Locomotiva Bucuresti): 5 wins, 3 losses (+491)
4. Ovidiu Tamas (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 4 wins, 4 losses (+479)
5. Iuliu Fabian (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 0 wins, 8 losses (-2465)

1: Tamas-Sandu 311-358; Caba-Fabian 497-180;
2: Pantis-Sandu 428-417; Tamas-Fabian 464-193;
3: Pantis-Fabian 571-171; Tamas-Caba 436-333;
4: Pantis-Caba 322-426; Fabian-Sandu 178-528;
5: Pantis-Tamas 382-488; Caba-Sandu 365-345;
6: Tamas-Sandu 388-423; Caba-Fabian 490-231;
7: Pantis-Sandu 450-268; Tamas-Fabian 456-109;
8: Pantis-Fabian 521-244; Tamas-Caba 390-452;
9: Pantis-Caba 373-367; Fabian-Sandu 196-440;
10: Pantis-Tamas 503-301; Caba-Sandu 350-378;

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Defunnytions ( Bugout )

A BUGOUT happens when in a bug fight, one of the bugs knocks the other one out. Other dictionaries might disagree, but I take it you know who the supreme authority in defunnytions is..