Scrabble Club / February 9, 2023

Last night I struggled through all three games with the worst racks I have seen in a long time. Nevertheless I won two:

328-296 against Nicole. To no offence to my first opponent, who was the weakest of the three and would likely have a rating under 800, I could not pull ahead until the third-last move. Her opening move scored 22 and mine scored nineteen and that was the closest we were until I played LANDING for 66. Nicole drew the bag: all four S’s, both blanks and she used the J, X and Z on premium squares. I could only get 11 when I played QI. I was resigned to lose, and was going to do so graciously with congratulations. I had by then had a long time to compose myself and accept, the hard way, that in any game anyone could be beaten. Look at my winning score: a pitiful 328. I can’t score if I’m pulling drek. I wasn’t fishing for that elusive bingo as I genuinely had unworkable tile draws turn after turn. Wait till you see the racks I pulled on my third game.

401-336 against Dave K. Only one bingo in this game as well, ANEURINS for 59, which came as my last play. Before my bingo Dave was up 336-326 and I was able to play AEINRSU through his N. I then got sixteen from the CNNRTT left on his rack.

370-403 against Jonathan. He opened with LINTIER (66) then later played STICkLE (74). My play HABU stacked on top of the ER in LINTIER and Jonathan held it, then unsuccessfully challenged. My new rack was EEGORTT, for which I saw TOGETHER yet no other bingos. As it turns out, TOGETHER is the only eight. However, I was not averse to trying the questionable OUTGREET (70) through the U in HABU. It was classic strategizing: Jonathan had already lost a turn with his challenge of HABU and might be hesitant to risk losing a second turn in a row. So I played OUTGREET and didn’t even get held on the play. It was a phony as I later checked. I then played DEVEINED (69) on my next turn. It was after this that my game went downhill, as I had to exchange tiles on my next two turns. With a replacement rack of AEIIIUY, I exchanged all but the E and then drew AAAAIO. I had to exchange again (keeping just the E) and then drew ENRRRV. I draw my tiles one at a time and after suffering such an onslaught of vowels I was relieved to see that E as my sixth pick.

When I looked at the back of my score sheet at the end of the night (I use one sheet of paper for three games) I was shocked to see hardly any notes. I always write down interesting racks, questionable words and even future plays–so I don’t forget them on my upcoming turn should my opponent take a lot of time–and my sheet was practically blank. I had nothing worth writing about, except horrible replacement draws the tile gods inflicted on me out of retributive justice.

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