Monday, May 02, 2011
Friday, January 09, 2009
I was just playing a game on ISC and having the game of my life! And wouldn't you know it, my gutless opponent quit the game and made me wait 4 minutes for the game to be adjudicated. The score was 345 to 78 in my favour after 6 turns.
I opened the game with one of the two words from AECRMN? for 74. I then played off EE as i had EEEIOS?, I then played REJOINS (88) with R as the blank. I then picked up VENGERS so whacked it down for 78. I played of OY next go and picked up the letters EIOCHRT with makes one 7 and five 8's and I managed to guess the only one that fits. Then my opponent left the game! Typical!
The opponent was "almora" for anyone interested.
Answers to the above is below...
1. I played cREWMAN. Also WIREMAN
2. I played NOTCHIER. Also HENOTIC, ETHANOIC, INCHOATE, ONYCHITE, PHONETIC
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Recently some Jehovah’s witnesses came to my door and I had a brief chat with them. It made me think that Scrabble is a bit like a religion! I told the Jehovah’s witnesses that I was going out as I had to go to the Scrabble Marathon shortly. Later they asked where I was going so I told them I played Scrabble. As usual I got a confused look and they tried to relate it to something – in this case one of them said he had a friend that played chess. I have often gotten weird reactions from telling people I play Scrabble and often it is easier not to tell people. I have come up with the following list of similarities of Scrabble to religion. I should note that I am not religious in any way, unless Scrabble is a religion.
Tournament Scrabble is quite mysterious like many religions. Although widely played socially, is not known as a highly competitive game by many people.
- Scrabblers are often trying to 'convert' people. I am always thinking "who would make a good Scrabble player?"
- Scrabblers have strange meetings where they play a game with strict regulations and guidelines kind of like a church meeting.
- Scrabblers all learn from and recite a strange book, (like the Bible,) which can make or break a Scrabble game.
- Scrabblers have a belief that they will reach enlightenment if they memorize all the top 5000 sevens and eights.
- There are so called Gurus of the game have a strong commitment to the game like a priest's commitment to their religion.
- Some Scrabblers have strange rituals when playing the game. Some have to pick the tiles out of the bag in a certain way. Others have to use lucky charms when playing games.
- A naive young man once said of Scrabble: "It's more than a hobby. It's a way of life really."
Saturday, November 25, 2006
I have noticed that in the top 10 players there are only four countries with more than one player: Canada, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. Some players have migrated from their countries to other countries which could vary the results but I will just take the ratings as they are, for the purpose of this analysis.
Malaysia and Thailand appear to be the powerhouses of the Scrabble World based on the top ten ratings. Most of us would consider Thailand one of the strongest scrabble nations in the world. As I dug deeper into the scrabble ratings I found some interesting results. Nigeria came out on top, looking at the top 50 players. I summarized the countries in order of the number of players they have. Amazingly Thailand came in at 5th with only four players in the top 50. When I looked at the top 200 they came out on top however.
The result here is very interesting. Nigeria tops the list with 11 players, followed by the US, whom use a different lexicon. I find this result very interesting. The US has the largest population of the countries listed, but I found Nigeria a big surprise to top the list.
I also looked at the top 100 and top 200 players and the entire rating list.
Continents with most players in top 50
In the following table I have examined the continents with the most scrabble players in the top 50. Africa came out on top, helped mainly by the high number of Nigerian players. This is again interesting considering that Africa is still made of many largely developing countries. So Africa is the strongest Scrabble continent in the world! (depending on how you look at it.)
Looking at the top nations from the top 50, 100 and 200 and taking the proportion of players as a percentage I came up with the following.
So the strongest scrabble nation is based on numbers of players, is Nigeria. Interestingly Thailand comes in at number five, which is lower than I would have expected.
Friday, April 21, 2006
BENZOATE - noun: any salt or ester of benzoic acid
BOTHRIA – Plural of Bothrium
BOTHRIUM – One of the slitlike sucking grooves found on the scolex of pseudophyllidean tapeworms, such as the broad fish tapeworm of man, Diphyllobothrium latum.
CELOMATA – same as COELOM
COELOM – a cavity in the mesoderm of an embryo that gives rise in humans to the pleural cavity and pericardial cavity and peritoneal cavity
CRUNKLED – To cry like a crane.
EUPHROE - A block or long slat of wood, perforated for the passage of the crowfoot, or cords by which an awning is held up.
FILAGREE - noun: delicate and intricate ornamentation (usually in gold or silver or other fine twisted wire)
GUNDOG/S – a dog trained to work with hunters by locating and retrieving game
GAUCIEST – see GAUCY
GAUCY – fat and comely (a compliment and insult rolled into one; see fussock)
GRECQUE - (n.) An ornament supposed to be of Greek origin, esp. a fret or meander.
GRISEOUS - (a.) Of a light color, or white, mottled with black or brown; grizzled or grizzly.
MOULINET - (n.) A machine formerly used for bending a crossbow by winding it up.
(n.) In sword and saber exercises, a circular swing of the weapon.
(n.) The drum upon which the rope is wound in a capstan, crane, or the like.
NAUTILI - noun: a submarine that is propelled by nuclear power
noun: cephalopod mollusk of warm seas whose females have delicate papery spiral shells
noun: cephalopod of the Indian and Pacific oceans having a spiral shell with pale pearly partitions
OLIGURIA - noun: production of an abnormally small amount of urine
noun: abnormally small production of urine; can be a symptom of kidney disease or obstruction of the urinary tract or edema or an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes in the body
RHODANATE - (n.) A salt of rhodanic acid; a sulphocyanate.
SARDONIC – disdainfully or ironically humorous; scornful and mocking
SEXTARII - see SEXTARY*
SEXTARY* - (n.) A sacristy.
(n.) An ancient Roman liquid and dry measure, about equal to an English pint.
SINEWING – To strengthen with or as if with sinews. Ie. Strengthen tendons.
STURNUS - type genus of the Sturnidae: common starlings.
THIONYL/S – The bivalent group SO - sulfinyl.
TREDDLE - (n.) A prostitute; a strumpet.
(n.) See Treadle.
(n.) The dung of sheep or hares.
TREDDLED - To TREADLE ?
TROCHI - (pl. ) of Trochus
TROCHUS - (n.) Any one of numerous species of marine univalve shells belonging to Trochus and many allied genera of the family Trochidae. Some of the species are called also topshells.
UNTRUSS - (n.) Alt. of Untrusser
(v. t.) To loose from a truss, or as from a truss; to untie or unfasten; to let out; to undress.
WEIGELIA – A hardy garden shrub (Diervilla Japonica) belonging to the Honeysuckle family, with white or red flowers. It was introduced from China
YULETIDE – period extending from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6
ZOETROPE - An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.
ZOOTROPE - Same as ZOETROPE ?
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Tonight I had this opening rack in my game: AEJNSTQ
I immediately thought of JANES, and played it, although JEANS, or JEATS would have been better positionally.
I then simulated this rack in maven and was surprised that QAT was the top preference by quite a few points. The next option was a surprise too of CHANGE JQ. Of course this would make it easier to get bingos.
I think JEANS or JEATS is best because if scores 40 points whereas QAT only scores 24. But it's interesting to see what Maven thinks.
I then simulated in Quackle and QAT come out best again! QAT had the highest win percentage followed by JEANS.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
* Allow users to click on the board and setup games.
* Better endgame
* A way to import games from ISC
* A better name than Quackle! Joke...
* A way for the computer to play itself (or can it do this already?)
* Different Levels of difficulty
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
My first impressions are good. It has a double sided board with a regular board a new one with different word squares including a quadruple word score and quintuple letter scores.
The game also comes with cards to make the game more interesting and random. You can make you opponent miss turns and stuff just for fun.
The red racks look cool and the yellow tiles. New words are also included. Many of these are a bit hard to play like AYCARUMBA or TOMACCO. But they are quite funny.
Overall it is quite good even if it is a little expensive.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Absent WSC 2005 players who should have been there:
Brian Cappelletto (USA) - 1st WSC 2001
Dave Gibson (USA) - 3rd WSC 1993
Jim Geary (USA) - 12th WSC 2003
Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand)- 6th WSC 2003
Edward Okulicz (Australia) - 23rd WSC 2001
Jack Dymond (New Zealand) - 6th WSC 1997
Monday, November 21, 2005
David plays NATTERS instead of TRANECTS. He also plays HOED instead of OHED. He also misses TROPARIA and plays PARVO.
Naween plays JAG letting Adam go out on his next turn with REFINE.
Gerald plays ARISEN opening a closed board and making a spot for Adam’s bingo.
Paul plays SEG, allowing Adam to later play VASA on the triple.
Andrew plays QAID instead of QADI, giving his opponent the Q in the triple lane, although he bingos on the triple on his next move.
Adam misses EUTECTIC.
Paul plays ECU, although this isn’t that badder move he could have played CUTIE to go for tile turnover and block the triple lane. If his opponent bingos it would then be in a more open spot making it easier for him to come back.
Andrew plays HYP instead of TRYP although HYP scored more. Andrew also plays DOU* instead of DUO.
Ganesh plays the phony theorism*. Jerry plays FLEW setting up for FLEWS.
Adam misses ENDOSTEA!
Peter plays the phony DANE and Asirvatham doesn’t challenge!!!
Tim plays MILO for 20 and leaves the S in the triple lane for Adam to bingo. Maven suggests playing MOR for 24 which would block the triple lane, or MORICHES threw CHE to score 30.
Tim also plays the very open move of FINS, when he could have played FOSSIL for 26 and had more chance at picking up the remaining blank.
Phil Appleby plays DELE which sets Adam up for WIPE.
John misses QIS and plays QI, then Adam bingos in a spot that could have been blocked.
In a very interesting game Adam has both blanks and Naween has two spots to block and blocks the wrong one. It was difficult to know which one to block.
Instead of playing ALURE, Naween could have played LUD to make the spot unplayable.
Pakorn plays CLIT and Naween doesn’t challenge! What were they thinking about! :)
Gareth misses AUGURIES and changes UU!
Finals Game 1
Pakorn plays VOGUE and doesn’t block the S in the dangerous triple lane. He then blocks the M instead of the S!
Well played generally I think by Parkorn and Adam.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
More Blanks – This is the best feature of Literati. More blanks means more bingos and both opponents usually start with a blank each which makes the game fairer.
More people – You can almost guarantee that you’ll be able to find someone of a similar rating to play with at any time of day.
Multiplayer games – You can play games with 2 – 5 players.
Coloured Tiles – When I first started playing on ISC I found it annoying that the tiles were all the same colour, but I got used to it of course. I guess real scrabble has tiles all the same colours possibly so you can’t easily distinguish what tiles your opponent has.
Faster games – I learnt to play blitz scrabble on Literati and one minute games sure are heart pumping! Games with increments of seconds are possible eg. 3 mins 2 second increment.
Different Board Structure – In literati the double-double squares are easier to bridge. The triple letter 4 squares away from the triple-word square also makes it easy to get big scores from four letter words.
Both players must click start before a game begins – this is a good feature so that games don’t get started when people are not in the room.
Main Disadvantages of Literati
Random tile distribution – I think this is one of the main problems although it does make the games interesting and more random. Three Z’s or Q’s can make things either very difficult or very easy.
Simplistic Rating System – When you start playing literati your rating begins at 1500. On ISC your rating is determined after your first game. This makes more sense as there is less work to get a high rating if you already have great skill.
Screen can’t be maximised to fullscreen – this would be helpful to make the board more visible and it would be easy to implement.
Tiles must be placed on the board one at a time – this is one of the most annoying things after playing on ISC.
More Novices – The ISC seems to have attracted a much more serious group of scrabbles including tournament players.
Slow login process – Password and ID must be entered every time you log on
Different Dictionary – Only one dictionary – American wordlist with additions of VON, KEV, and DA.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
• The top 3 finishers all got at least one win over me but it was very close in the end. With one loss I dropped from first to sixth but it was an enjoyable tournament.
• My most painful loss was to Rex Shakespeare. I was 50 points ahead and the board appeared virtually blocked with no bingo lanes. Rex then played SEEPING/ SERRING onto ERRING which fitted perfectly and won him the game. He also ended his long losing streak against me. Well done Rex.
• Graeme played ALENCONS in our first game, and TUYERES in our second which were the weirdest words played against me,
• Edward got beaten by Alistair Richards. hahahaha
Total bingos: 31
Total blanks: 28
Average score: 380
Total phonies: 8
Total phonies challenged off: 7
Games likely lost because of strategic errors like not blocking or phonies: 6
Games lost because of bad tiles or lack of word knowledge: 4
REFUNDER - guessed (challenged)
DIPPIER - guessed (challenged)
RENTABLE - guessed (challenged)
VS Alison Pollard
My final rack of EDITOR? was handy but I had 7 minutes left to find the best play. As it happened there were four bingos which I missed. See if you can spot them. I lost the game 406 to 416.
Scores at this point: 359 to 399 in Alison’s favour.
Click for larger Image.
Friday, September 23, 2005
On the weekend myself, John Spaan, Susan MacGillvray, and Richard Jeremy attended the Australian Masters and State Challenge Scrabble tournament in Melbourne. It was a very eventful weekend and I was pleased with the results. Canberra’s own, Richard Jeremy finished 9th in the Australian Masters showing that he has what it takes to battle it out with the best of best in the Scrabble world.
The top three positions in the State Challenge were females with the South Australian team winning the event. Western Australia came second and NSW finished third while ACT finished sixth. In the Masters division the top four positions were taken by Victorians with the Australian number 11, Trevor Halsall winning overall. This was an excellent result for him. His last major title was the Australian Nationals in 1994. The fifteen year old and Australian number 7 from Victoria, David Eldar, finished second proving that he is an outstanding player to represent Australia in the World Scrabble Championships, which are held later this year in London.
Scrabble players tend to learn a lot of words and not a lot of meanings. I had a good laugh when one of my opponents played PUBS onto my QUAFF to make QUAFFS and I decided to challenge as I didn’t know the meaning of QUAFF. I subsequently discovered that it means to drink your beverage very quickly and can be used as a noun or a verb. Some other interesting words played include BUAZE, TORULAE, ORDAINED, PANDERS, EROTICS, AIZLE, FADIEST, SALLIED, TORCHINGS, YEANING, BAPU, FERMI, VAURIEN, HYLEG, CURIOSA, INTERSEX, ACTINIAE, STALLION, BEASTIE, MARTINS, PIRANHA, and QUILLETS.
Another notable play by one of my opponents was the word SYSTEMED which was played through two triples for 176! I thought I had a comfortable lead at the time, being 120 points or so in the lead. This was the highest scoring play at the tournament.
Three out of the four representatives from Canberra improved their ratings with Richard Jeremy increasing his ranking to 15th in Australia which was an outstanding result. John and I went up a few rating points although I would have like to go up more. Susan dropped a few rating points but still some great games. It was a highly enjoyable tournament and we all hope to go back next year and improve on our results.
Monday, August 01, 2005
CERNUOUS – having branches or flower heads that bend downward.
NIOBOUS – concerning or containing niobium with a valence less than five
NIOBIUM – soft gray ductile metallic element used in alloys; occurs in niobite; formerly called columbium.
NIOBITE – a black mineral that is an ore of niobium and tantalum.
THUJA – red cedar.
SYBO – ?
SYBOE – Green onion
SYBOW – a young union.
SYBOTIC – a. pertaining to swineherd. sybotism, n. (swineherd - a herder or swine)
DISFLESH - To reduce the flesh or obesity of.
MOTUCA - Motuca is a municipality/county in the state of São Paulo in Brazil.
1. member of Papua New Guinean people: a member of a Melanesian people of Papua New Guinea who live in the central province in and around Port Moresby
2. Motu language: the Austronesian language of the Motu.14,000.
MOTTY – Full of, or consisting of, motes.
The motty dust reek raised by the workmen. - H. Miller.
SYPH - a common venereal disease caused by the Treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta)
SYPHER - To overlap and even (chamfered or beveled plank edges) so that they form a flush surface.
HESP – A measure of two hanks of linen thread.
HESPED - Eulogy delivered by rabbi for the dead in Judaism.
HESPING – ?
Thursday, July 14, 2005
PASHM - fine wool of Kashmir goat.
MEGASS, MEGASSE - Same as bagasse. the dry dusty pulp that remains after juice is extracted
from sugar cane or similar plants
GOWF - a fun golf course card game?
GOWFERS - Someone who plays GOWF?
BUGSEED - form of tumbleweed.
SCYTALE - A species of serpent. Also is a tool used to perform a transposition cipher.
LASHINS - a great plenty
YAQONAS - A Fijian drink made from the powdered root of Piper methysticum (family Piperaceae);
excessive drinking of it causes a state of hyperexcitability and a loss of power in the
legs; chronic intoxication induces roughening of the skin and a state of debility.
COPAIVA - A more or less viscid, yellowish liquid, the bitter oleoresin of several
species of Copaifera, a genus of trees growing in South America and the West Indies.
It is stimulant and diuretic, and is much used in affections of the mucous membranes;
-- called also balsam of copaiba.
LANCEGAY, LANCEGAYE - A kind of spear anciently used. Its use was
prohibited by a statute of Richard II.
WETWARES - the human brain or a human being considered especially with
respect to human logical and computational capabilities.
That is a difficult question because there are many different countries with different rating systems.
Many have argued that Nigel Richards, or Parkorn Nemitrmansuk are the best, or the 2003 world champion Panupol Sujjayakorn. Some may even say Joel Wapnick is the best because he has won the world championship once and finished second twice, along with his other top 50 placings.
A more logical of working out the best player is to look at international tournaments such as Bob Jackman has done.
Another problem with this method is that some tournaments have only two countries playing, such as the Trans Tasman and there are also problems with lack of information. I believe if a player has played less than 100 games then their rating is not very accurate due to the small number of games. I have also noticed that for some reason a few players that have competed in World Championships are not on this list, such as Brian Cappelletto for example.
Another method of rating players could to look at past World Championship results.
The problem with this is that it takes old data into account and a tournament played in the 80s would be quite different to a tournament played now.
We need a method that takes a large amount of data into account and looks at a wide array of tournament results. There should be some method of comparing various results from USA and Australia for example, even though they use different rating systems.
It was suggested recently that some sort of calibration of various national systems could be possible by fitting a distribution to each rating system and shifting them according to a mean. This may not be highly accurate but would be useful in comparing various countries and opponents especially for the World Scrabble Championships.
After some consideration and some random thoughts I have come up with my top 20 world scrabble players. I based it on the various lists discussed and my personal opinions.
Of course some of these players I haven’t heard that much about or seen play, like David Gibson but he is the number one player in the US apparently.
My Top 20 Overall
1. Adam Logan (CAN/UK)
2. Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) – [Zedoary online]
3. Ganesh Asirvatham (Malaysia) – [Juggernaut online]
4. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) – [Pakorn online]
5. Narween Fernando (AUS) – [Nawster online]
6. Nigel Richards (Malaysia)
7. Brian Cappelleto (US) – [Bricap online]
8. Andrew Fisher (AUS) – [Aphis online]
9. Edward Okulicz (AUS) – [Taqi online]
10. David Eldar (AUS) – [deldar182]
11. Mark Nyman (UK)
12. Helen Gipson (UK) – [Pooh online]
13. Andrew Davis (UK) – [Bin70 online]
14. David Boys (CAN)
15. Dave Wiegand (USA) - [Drbing online]
16. Komol Panyasoponlert (Thailand)
17. Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand)
18. Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand)
19. Joel Wapnick (Canada)
20. Jude Obinna (Nigeria) – [Judeobinna online]
21. David Gibson (US)
Another interesting list of Scrabble world players is the highest earners,
Some Top Earners from Jimgeary.com
1. 129300 David Gibson
2. 110545 Brian Cappelletto
3. 087170 Joe Edley
4. 076286 Joel Sherman
5. 060520 Joel Wapnick
6. 059005 Nigel Richards
7. 040175 Ron Tiekert
8. 037943 Mark Nyman
9. 037659 Adam Logan
10. 037070 Trey Wright
11. 027744 Naween Fernando
12. 024848 Pakorn Nemitrmansuk
13. 024816 Jakkrit Klaphajone
14. 024020 David Wiegand
15. 023125 Peter Morris
16. 021673 Robert Felt
17. 019579 David Boys
18. 018471 Panupol Sujjayakorn
19. 017745 Andrew Fisher
Sunday, June 26, 2005
On further inspection I discovered that the high scoring letters H and K were still out and that HIKES or something similar on the triple already open could give the opponent a nice score.
So taking this into account the best option is to play off one or two letters, and aim to go out with a bingo. Playing DE at H3 blocks the possibilty of HIKES, or HIKER and makes a second opening for a bingo.
After simulating the situation in MAVEN, DE at H3 is clearly a strong move and most likely the best move in this situation.
As it happened my opponent had the letters for HIKER and made it after I played CREDITS.
In this game between Trey and Airtight a very interesting endgame situation came about. Can you see the winning moves for Airtight? The scores are 370-357 and it is Airtight's turn.
Play GURU, which sets up the unblockable XU next turn.