Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2014 post-tourney statistics

Causeway Scrabble Challenge (CSC) 2014 has concluded with team Singapore beating team Malaysia 102.5 vs 97.5 . The individual results shows an expectedly-dominant Nigel Richards way ahead of other players, but yet not enough to power the Malaysia team to victory against a balanced result from the Singapore team.

CSC 2014 broke new ground in another area where the players helped noted down all bingos and power tiles distribution, which I tabulated below.


In the main chart, I compare the power tiles (J, Q, X, Z, S, and blank) distribution against the percentage of actual win for a person against the expected as calculated in my earlier blog entry on Causeway prediction. If someone overachieves in his actual wins (i.e. above 100%)  and at the same time has more power tiles than a fair distribution (i.e. above 100, or 95 for players with one bye), one can surmise that Lady Luck may have played a bit of part to push the result up. Similarly, players like Jocelyn Lor and Shim Yen Nee may justifiably attribute their sub-par performance to them being shortchanged on the goodies. (Note: You can hover the mouse on each bar section to see the number of respective power tiles picked by the player, and on the point in the line chart to see the expected wins and share of the power tiles.)

The bingos charts show the Nigel Richards was bingo king by a mile (and if you refer back to the power tiles chart, Nigel “luckbox” Richards had the most S’s + blanks; as if he needed them), which translated to his dominant performance. However, the correlation between number of bingos and wins was not that apparent: a bunch of players with around 40 bingos occupy pretty much the entire spectrum of wins. Vinnith Ramamurti was the middle of the pack where it comes to number of bingos, but he finished last in the standings.

A clearer link can be seen between number of bingos and average game score for each player. This was made more apparent in the chart comparing wins and average scores: players above the red trend line are those who managed to eke out more win than what is to be expected given their average game scores.

Another data we collected was on time left at the end of the game. There is no clear correlation on speed of play and game outcome, but it’s worth noting that majority of the players are relatively fast, finishing on average with more than 5 minutes left on their clock. Only 5 players went overtime, with 2 being chronic offenders (Vannitha Balasingam).

The final chart shows that the chronic offenders didn’t spend so much time in each overtime, but two other players (Alex Tan and Tony Sim) went real hard to try salvage the game when they went overtime. Is it worth it though, to go overtime to try to salvage wins?  Vannitha and Alex seemed to have made it worth their while, with some games being won. I on the other hand seem to just flush spread points down the drain.

5 thoughts on “Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2014 post-tourney statistics

  1. GH

    Nice stats- I’m always interested to find out who’s been bagging all the goodies 😛
    I think it also matters when in the game you get those goodies- getting the blank on the penultimate or the last move is worth less than getting it on the first move. Also the value of each blank when you get both on the same rack is much less, same for each S for multiple esses and for any combination of JQXZ. Most of the time the Q is more a hindrance than a goodie :/
    But of course to take all these into account would require the annotation of all 100 games, which is pretty much…impossible in the first place.

  2. Ricky Purnomo Post author

    Chart updated to correct two of Martin Teo’s bingos which were wrongly attributed to Yen Nee. Now Martin is shown clearly as the person with the most bingos apart from Nigel!

  3. Ricky Purnomo Post author

    @ Yen Nee: yeah, who would have thought Tony Sim is such a slow poke! 😀

    @ GH: I agree, and actually my dream is in the future for all games to be annotated. There will be so much more statistics that can be unearthed. Watch this space as I try to make that happen.

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