Karen had arranged a double round-robin for a few of the WSC contenders, including two Kiwis (Howard flew in from Auckland, but Joanne didn't have that far to come from Sydney). Our initial thoughts were with Michael Cameron, who has fallen gravely ill and is in hospital in Adelaide - at this stage he may not be permitted to fly to Prague assuming he pulls through, so our team might need to be rejigged.
We were each to play two games against the same opponent, then moving on to the next contender (it didn't always work out due to departure and arrival times). A tough format, with ten games on day one and eight on the second. The first game against Alastair was an excellent clash, annotated here: http://www.cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=16015#0#
I also got the better of him in game two, aided by his opening change, my TOWPATH 86, a rare phony on his part, and my NEOPLASM 98 giving me a 184-0 start. He made heavy inroads into my lead but couldn't overhaul it. Another good beginning against Michael McKenna, with VARIABLE, QUICKEN (115) and CONICAL hitting my rack early on.
Shared a couple with Esther (I enjoyed hooking BYNAME to the front of her nice ETHOXYL, and my bingo find with ACESU?? onto an M in eighth, getting the C in fourth position). Then shared a couple with Trevor - a heated moment arose after he delivered a fairly belated challenge of an accidental phony, when I had already drawn replacement tiles. At least he got fairly heated until it was sorted out. I didn't play well in that game, refusing a higher-scoring ORGASMED for the phony MODGERS which I had thought was OK, but recovered in the second matchup.
I was able to sweep Russell 2-0, partly thanks to a dodgy ACAROIDS* and a helpful NETTLIER 131, then finished the day with a loss to a rampant Michael.
Bingos for: UNSOLEMN, TUNDISH, TOWPATH, NEOPLASM, VARIABLE, QUICKEN, CONICAL, SCOOTED, SAECULUM, RINGWISE, DIASPORE, PREBUILT, VITRINE, ACAROIDS*, NETTLIER, NOTTURNO, ORBITAS
And against: LAZARETS, LEEBOARD, OVERNICE, ROSEATE, ORANGER, ETHOXYL, TEDDIES, BIPLANES, THEORIES, TALLIED, LORETTES, RESHONE, DUSTLIKE, TINDERS, IDEALISES, BLEATING, DOMIEST, UNVAILES, TOEBIES, CLOVERED, BLANCHED
7-3 after day 1.