In the endgame, sometimes we have just to accept the fact that it is the other player who will make the last move and do our best to use up as many tiles as possible (especially ‘the big guys’, if we have any) before our opponent closes the game.
Check out the diagram. The bag is empty and there are only five tiles left on the opponent’s rack (we don’t know what they are but seeing that all ‘the tough guys’ are already down then it would be sensible to assume he will finish the game in one or two moves max).
Now suppose the scoring is tight and we are Blue. What are we going to do?
Clearly, we need to do some dumping. But a move like 6L:DID or 11A:ILL is not good for that would have thrown our last and only vowel without any compensation. Even 12M:LIP is bad here for it will give our opponent a free TWS out of nowhere.
And for the game is tight, we have something else to worry about: scoring (to give us some leverage for the penalty points we’ll have to concede if our opponent does end the game).
A photograph is always a good reminder for it helps us remember things. But a reminder does not have to be something physical. Actually, anything at all (making sense or otherwise) will do. As long as it works, it’s good.
Are you unfamiliar with SOWPODS? Try learning these words, by using reminders.
a village in the Netherlands
Search and Rescue
Leave or Rescue
Only Rescuing Force (sorry, we don’t search)
to stoit = to bounce
(1347) Blue: 390 (1450) Red: 346
Love making a bingo? Then better make a habit of recognizing the bingo line(s)—area(s) on the board where we will have a fair chance to lay down a bingo. The idea of recognizing the bingo line beforehand (then make a mental note of it) is that we will quickly know where to look if we have a bingo combination on our rack.
As we can see, this board has at least seven bingo lines—marked by the yellow lines (you can add more if you wish, like row-L or column-3). Of all these seven, the (bingo) line on the first row (row-A) is the least flexible since it can only fit to a bingo ending with an A (to parallel the letter-B). Please notice that although an R can only be ‘under-paralleled’ by an E, row-K can still be considered flexible because we don’t have to start from right under the R (in this case, we can start from one square to the left—that is K7:, for instance).
Now look at the tiles on the rack. See any bingo? Where would it fit? (answer below).
(834) Blue: 188
(1273) Red: 168
Righto! Sure we’ve got MAIDENS. Where to? (Hint: as we don’t have to start from right under the letter-R on row-K, we also don’t have to start from right above the letter-T on row-N).
The game is just over. Blue finished it—miserably. But that wasn’t just about the score. Something is very wrong with this game. Have a good look at the diagram, then try to figure that out. Take a wild guess, if you have to.
Blue: 161 Red: 424
This one is easier. So, let’s just start right away (see diagram). We will focus on the first quadrant, line-B in particular. One of the squares is really hot(!).
One easy way to make some big score is by making a good use of hotspot. But what is a hotspot, anyway? What kind of spot is that? Maybe the easiest way to understand the concept is not by defining it, but by seeing it in action. So let’s have a look.
Suppose we have this combination in our rack: JXPENE? (see diagram). What word would we be thinking? EXPENSE? JEEP? The first would need an extra S or E to make do, but for JEEP we’ve had it all. So the problem now is to find a place on the board where we can lay our jeep down. Please give it a try. Find the place. Spot the spot.
Being the first player, we have what the other player(s) can only dream about: an empty board! So we’d better know our way around this one-and-only time we’ll ever have such chances during the whole game. Let’s try with these tile combinations.
What had we better do, if as the opening player we have this on our rack?
With two big guys (JQ) and two middleweights (FW), this rack is just too heavy (and too much weight will cost us flexibility). When possible, get rid of one of the big guys right away (along with one of the middleweights, sure). So here JAW is quite sensible (If it were T instead of D, then QAT would be even better).
I am Blue, and just moved K2: WOVE. You are Red—about 60 point behind. The bag is already empty. The only way for you to win this game is by making a bingo (in the game, Red did just that). So, use up all your tiles, and make me blue.. 🙂
Blue: 291 Red: 230