Perennial NASC contenders Will Anderson and Jesse Day had a close battle this morning in round 15. Jesse was willing to provide his racks in this game, and unsurprisingly there are a couple of informative plays in this game.
Let’s start with this position. Jesse is down 31 points after will has just played CREATORs on not the most open of boards. He can keep the blank and go for a bingo next turn, or use the blank now for a bingo score. The key word here is MANKY+ (+ means that the word was just added to the dictionary last year).
So Jesse’s options here are:
15A MAnKY (RV) making JIGSAWN (props if you spotted the hook!)
M1 MA(N)KY 33 (?RV)
Some points to consider:
How valuable is the blank here?
How does scoring 33 vs 71 now affect the board, and the way Will might play in the future? Specifically, Jesse has a lead after the 71 point MAnKY, but still trails (perhaps just in the short run) after the 33 point option.
How does RV and ?RV work with the remaining tiles? (look at all those vowels!)
What about that glaring S hook in the top right?
As we continue on in this game, we see that Jesse opts for the 33 point MA(N)KY. He isn’t able to bingo the next turn, but two turns later has a friendly rack of ?ADIIRT and finds himself in a similar situation! Will has just played LU(S)HER to go up 290-248.
Now, Jesse can bingo, or save the blank again. His choices:
3A TRIA(C)IDs 74
3A RATI(C)IDe 74
(Q)AID 42 (?IRT)
(Q)ADI 42 (?IRT)
With fewer tiles remaining in the pool, it’s plain to see that the tile pool is very vowel heavy. How would that affect your decision?
And as with the last position, how important is it to take the lead now, versus attempting to maximize your score a different way over the next couple of turns?
Interestingly, Jesse opts for the bingo now in contrast to the short term sacrifice he makes earlier in the game!
Oh, and if you were wondering, Will holds on to win, as Jesse ends up with too many vowels after playing TRIA(C)IDs.
Analysis to come later.