We’ve all experienced it, a crap night at club, a run of bad luck at a tournament, your opponent getting EVERYTHING. It’s so frustrating but you have to keep trying, just remember you WILL pull better tiles at some stage in the future and the board will be nice and open.
(From the movie Galaxy Quest, 1999, Dreamworks)
I was at the bottom of a really tough field of players at the Northern Ireland Scrabble Championships last weekend. (Huge thanks to Stewart Holden for organising a great tournament). On Saturday it was a day of GIRL POWER, 7 out of 8 losses all against women. Sunday wasn’t going much better until I came up against Liam Donnelly. After 8 moves, I had changed once and although I had an early bonus of CHARGES the score was 347 points to 196.
Before I made my 9th move, I took stock of the unseen tiles, realised most of the clunky tiles were gone and there were some nice letters left that should lead to some bonus likely combinations so I changed for the second time. The board looked like this:
Liam changed also and both of our luck completely reversed. Liam’s 10th, 11th & 12th moves scored 12 points altogether as his 12th move of LYED on the top left hand corner was challenged off and my next 3 moves scored 197 points. My final rack was:
I had loads of time left on my clock so tile tracked to see what Liam had. (I prefer to tile track at the end to ensure I get it correct). His rack was:
Liam didn’t have many options and I saw a nice 2-move winning end strategy. I spotted AXEL/KOALA and with the remaining tiles found ADORN. Final score sheet looked like this:
And the final board shaped up like this:
It was nice to get a win and also to see it’s always worth not giving up and to keep trying. Scrabble is a fascinating game and even though things might not be going your way, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
John The Captain Ryan