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A position - Pete Z
A position
 I came across this position in a game last weekend.  And found what I thought was a pretty cool play.  Duck is not as fond of my play as I am, sometimes at least... I've gotten different results different times simming it..

The position kind of fascinated me, and I've been considering it ever since, which for an early game position, is kinda different for me.

The more I though about it, it seems to me the kind of position that is as much as anything a test of ones philosophy on scrabble, mindset, outlook, etc. as anything else.  

No play scores more than the mid 20s.  there are great leaves possible, cool set ups possible, a whole bunch of possibilities and ideas on how to play it.

My opps first play is the kind that can lead to inferences, about his leave, which impacted my thinking 

I found the flashy play that duck didn't particularly like, that barring an opponent bingo in exactly right place guaranteed me 40 on more on the next play, and left the kind of tiles likely to score well in such a case regardless, but left myself very unlikely to bingo.  Duck's choice is heavily towards the most bingo friendly leave.  

On reflection, as much as my play is cute, I think it is almost too passive in some respects by settling for a very likely 40+ next play when I could have been building towards a bingo.  with a very strong leave on an open board.  

I love this kind of situation, even if I screw it up, just because of the possibilities that exist out of it.  

1. Some general considerations: The value of setups vrs. playing for the bingo, the general value of the X in a leave, and the X's value in a bingo prone leave, How does the point of the game affect the value of setting up vs. d the importance of bingoing.  Say I had an analogous position down 50 at mid game? up 50 at mid game? 
Do in infer him on an S or blank from the play, It's the kind of play where an exchange would make likely sense for him but he plays through, setting up the S hook.  I put him on an S, but I think I may have read too much into in, as the play doesn't give much back.  

Over the board, my thoughts:

1. No great X or  spot. KEX jumps out, although I get concerned that If I brick on the draw, I'm gonna end up in an ugly game not scoring on the next turn and with the potential to turn into the kind of fishing game that I hate.  
2.  COXAE scores and turns over, but leaves with a potentially awkward KNT, and doesn't really cash in on resources effectively, and leaves me very dependent on a strong draw.
3. NICK or TICK scores reasonably and leaves the X, but improves his potential S bingo 
4. ICK, the pure fish type play, but deceptive as you don't anticipate a fishing player early to be holding an X, particularly early, but the leave even with the X is a very strong one for bingoes, or scoring.  Con no X spot on board, and sets up hooks I don't have, while giving my opp the ability to bingo in a way that gets the board pretty shut down.
5. ANTICK sets up an X spot and scores.  But also sets up only one spot, on a board with no real scoring spots.  If he doesn't bingo, he seems very likely to take that spot.

6 I played ANTIC, figuring it sets up the X and the K for next turn, guarantees me a good score next turn and quite possibly will allow me to save the X on my next turn, should that seem  appropriate.  

There are other reasonable options too, but I didn't really consider them.

So, what do you do and why, and why am I an idiot for picking the one I did. Justify your answer and show your work.

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10 comments or Leave a comment
hector31 From: hector31 Date: September 5th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Looking for the position link. Maybe my netbook doesn't want to play nice tonight.
spherulitic From: spherulitic Date: September 5th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
It's hidden. Try the word "position" in the second paragraph.
dugy1001 From: dugy1001 Date: September 5th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC) (Link)
yikes. like you i love these types of opening positions...from what i have heard, one of the reasons pakorn takes so long is that he really takes the time to think when he has wildly different options early in the game.

ANTIC is pretty neat but i think it just sacrifices too much to only score 9 points out of this rack. i probably would have played KEX...curious to see the quackle sim, and also to see other opinions. KEX isn't too interesting but it does the simple task of scoring decently and keeping an alright leave without opening up too much.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: September 5th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)


Darrell Day wrote in his book about the importance of opening rack play, and this position, my first play would play a huge role in determining the kind of game this ended up being. Trying to balance those kind of considerations with score, future scoring, etc., is what fascinates me. I've posited that Scrabble is really at its fundamental level a game of efficient resource use and creation. This position is indicative of those types of questions, while perhaps revealing the limitations of such a philosophy of play at least early in the game.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: September 5th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Some Duckage

Static eval
KEX is one point better than TAX which is one better than TAXON which is one point better than ANTICK.
My sim results have changed each time I've simmed, actually. I've noticed that the length of the sim is positively correlated with the performance of my play ANTIC. The more iterations, the better it seems to perform.It seems to continuously move up the list as being simmed, but never beats KEX or ANTICK Duck tends to like KEX and ANTICK... they've been two of the top three in each sim. My longest sim (very long 10k+) was KEX ANTICK and ANTIC all nearly equivalent. My Medium sim had ANTICK KEX TICK at the top.
CP's top three in order are ANTICK (51.62%,32.9) NICK (51.19%, 31.8) and KEX (50.94%, 31.2)

All sims at 2 plies, I wish my antique laptop wasn't so slow, or I'd run a bunch at many plies.
hector31 From: hector31 Date: September 5th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Some Duckage

Never go past two plies at this juncture; you're just inviting noise and basically rendering the sim useless.
hector31 From: hector31 Date: September 5th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't infer an S from this sort of play. Some people just don't want to mint the DLS spots, rightly or wrongly.

ANTIC is a cute option, no doubt on that. It's good to see plays like that, even if you're not going to go with them. TAX is the first thing I liked here, but I'm pretty sure that's not the right play.
jalapic From: jalapic Date: September 5th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
me too - i liked TAX. Perhaps being overly fond of the synergy of ECKN as a leave. It also gives very little back to the opp and scores ok.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: September 5th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC) (Link)


TAX I think sets up just a bit too likely potential heartbreak with a bad draw on the next turn. while there's good synergy, its a fragile synergy, because a whole lot of tiles can turn that strong leave into a very clunky rack. and the CENT synergy is stronger on an early board.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: September 5th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)


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