Friday, March 7, 2008

Genius? Or Fool?

First game of a mini Scrabble tournament, you are the notorious Dawn Summers. Your first match is against your own Scrabble student, who actually has shown marked improvement and whose results against you in recent weeks have been disturbingly good. Now leaving aside some early round mistake you make fishing for the n to complete your satine rack, you are now down by 60 points. However, your student is already over by 1 minute on the clock. So, really you are down by 50. You have a bingo on your rack: Uterine or reunite. (Online anagrammer also says retinue, but you didn't know that word then.) There is no place to put it.
The turn, you played an a to open up a bingo lane on the triple line, unfortunately you didnt draw any letters that would go in front of ae.
Your student, usually predisposed to taking any open triple line, instead plays on the inside. So, you get a flash of brilliance. You pass your turn. No letter exchange, just pass. Again, she plays something on the inside. You pass again. Now she's down by four minutes on her clock.
She makes another inside move. You are now down by eighty, but her clock is running and you have plenty of time.
You pass again. She passes. You pass. She passes.
Now, there is a little known rule that when you have three sucessive passes by both players, the game is over. So, you play uterine down the triple line forming eae. She challenges it off the board and passes her turn.
You then play reunite in the same spot. Again, she challenges it off the board and passes her turn.
Now, another player that is just watching calls the floor for a ruling that the game is over.
I vehemently disagree. "I didn't pass."
I was then told that the rule is three sucessive "scoreless" rounds by each player.
I am mad, but I break up the bingo and just play two words. One five letter word. She passed. And then I played a two letter word to go out. She then showed me her rack. In addition to going over on the clock by 6 minutes, for sixty points for me. She had a q, two vees, a cee, a dee and an A on her rack, for another 42 points to me. There was some discrepancy with the scoring, which we couldn't resolve because she learned how to keep a scoresheet from me and um...I don't know how to keep a score sheet...but in the end we decided that she won by three points.
So I started regretting passing my earlier turns...but she said she drew the vees and the q in those last three turns, so I just would have been stuck with them and would have lost anyway.
So, I don't know...I think my strategy was sound. Why I went on to lose two out of the next three games, on the other hand...bad mazel yo.

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