Sometimes the only way to go any further is taking a risk, so we’d better mind our step doing it. Here the scoring position is 252-250 (it doesn’t matter whose score is which). Only about ten tiles left in the bag. The endgame is right on the doorstep.
Now we have a homeless bingo (UNTAXED). Too bad. But hey, we’ve also got an advantage: the last blank on the game. Maybe it’s time to take some calculated risk.
N2: TAXED scores about 50 points, but it gives our opponent an (arguably) open bingo line (with some O’s and E’s still up, D is somewhat easy to parallel ). N4: TAXED scores less (not by much), but surely it gives us a decent 35 lead and a one-for-you-one-for-me split over the two TWS (red) squares on the bottom.
Which one is better? I guess nobody knows, for we just don’t go sneaking around peeking our opponent’s rack. Each option has its own risk. But the choice is always ours.
Thinking too hard—even in a thinking game like this, will do no one any good for (apart from becoming stressful) it will not only snatch the fun away, but also draw us away from our best potentials (nobody could do their best if they’re worn out).
Here, were there a U available on the board, this would be ANTIQUES (a bingo)—or, were there be another A, 4A:QANAT would still be a big timer (though not a bingo). But since neither seems to be the case, it would be better to forget about those ifs and all that jazz. Let’s stick with the facts instead.
Blue: 130 Red: 139
Blue has just made N3:TEA. Seeing how the board is going (an open one), it looks like Blue’s having a hard time with his rack combination—and being desperate for a change. But this surely looks like a setup too. It’s like his way in saying: “So you want the top row, Red? Then I’ll do the bottom.” This might indeed be a good move by Blue, opening up new possibilities when whatever available doesn’t look very promising.