Report from the Ador vs. KC Hirai Match
Yesterday, me and Kc
Hirai played another 11 exciting games with Kc prevailing in the
clincher. The games were of top quality I would say, the way bingos
were remarkably executed and fantastic words that were created.
After 10 rounds we
were tied at 5 games apiece. The deciding game was won by him as soon
as he made his first move with THERMAL for a fat 80 points. It was a
futile effort for me from there on as he kept increasing his lead on
every turn. Kc even took a snapshots of some of our games because of
the beauty they were played as if we intentionally arranged the board
for the taking. It was in round three where we played our best game so
far wherein a total of 8 bingos were laid down, which is very rare. I
remember Nigel Richards and Mark Nyman had 9 bingos in one of their
games in Thailand a couple of years back. I don't know but modesty
aside, maybe I was in my elements at that precise moment ( ha! ha! ha!
I was able to nail 5
bingos against his 3. My bingos were REBUYING, RELICTS, sLATING,
RESITED, and RETINiTE. While his bingos were EPINAOS, RUINABLE, and
BONNETS. But I admit Kc is slightly better than me. His vocab is wider
and he seldom commits mistakes. I was amazed when in the 6th round
going into the last 2 moves, I was leading by about 60 points and
already confident of securing that game because the position of the
board was closed and only a Q was exposed on the top far right corner.
As I gazed in my tracking, he had HHONRI and a blank on his rack. So I
told myself, there's no way he could bingo with that set of tiles and
position of the board.
After juggling his
tiles and spending a little over 2 minutes just before his flag would
fall, Kc's face suddenly glowed as if telling in my face
"EUREKA" ( or I FOUND IT ). He laid down RHONcHI with the
"I" forming QI. In disbelief, I felt dumbfounded suddenly
for about ten seconds. He was so happy he took snapshot again of this
game. And the same scenario was repeated in 9th round. It was the same
story with me leading all the way until the dying minutes. I played
defensively and all openings were sealed and blocked off. There was
one floating "A" along the left triple word box having
played AVAIL from AIL and CAGE a while ago.
Prior to his move, I
had planned to block that spot on my next turn. He was holding WOOFAR
and a blank, and I just couldn't find any bingo using the A, so I was
expecting win number 5 already. Know what he did? He played FOOfARAW,
using the blank as F. I automatically challenged it but it only added
insult to injury as I gave him an additional 5 points.
I was mesmerized for
a while before coming back to my own self. As usual, I was in complete
amazement of the beauty of the word and the way it was played. I
hadn't experience anything like it before. From out of nowhere he
would find a way to win. Indeed, he is a dangerous opponent to reckon
with in the coming WSC. That's why I don't know if I will improve
playing with this guy or deteriorates because every time he beats me
I'm losing confidence with myself. But come to think of it, I have
beaten guys who are far better than him before. I defeated the former
World Champion Mark Nyman when we met in 1999 during the King's Cup
Tournament in Thailand. I won over rated players like Kendall Boyd and
Femi Awowade in the Asia Pacific Tournament in Malaysia. I've beaten
Bob Jackman, the current Australian Open Champion, in the Philippine
Premier Tournament organized by Prof. Filio. I dealt loses to Ganesh
Aservatham, the current Malaysian Champion, countless of times during
my stint in Malaysia a couple of years ago. Likewise to Cheah Siu Hean,
the current Champion in Singapore and former Australian Open Champion.
That's why I'm confident this guy will go far in the next WSC.
words he played were: ALOPECIA, VINDALOO, WAKANDA, ABROOKE, THOLEPIN,
PICEOUS, PHEAZAR, and UNEATHES.
All the best,