Paradise Lost!

Playing Scrabble against a Grand Master rated computer opponent, after couple of consecutive wins I tried to make it a hat trick. At one point trailing 264-309 I found the perfect opportunity to take the lead when I hit the jackpot! Or, should I say I found paradise? 😊 With the word “paradise” I hit both the TWs (Triple Word score) at the right top. The result: I got 158 points (12 * 3 * 3 + 50) to zoom to 422 and take a handy 110+ point lead! Generally the computer blocks opportunities to score big by somehow finding words to place in squares with point multipliers. The reason I got an opportunity this time was because the computer struck the dagger first by playing “soulmate” and scoring a 50+ point word in its previous turn! We were both trading haymakers rest of the game. Things appeared to be going swimmingly for me as my score reached 487 with 5 pieces remaining for me to play and I had a 80+ lead till right before computer’s last turn (as it turned out). Astonishingly the computer not only managed to strike a dagger it managed to twist it for good. Using all the 7 pieces it had left it scored 83+ points to take the game 491-487. The win was also aided by the fact computer got credit for all the points in the 5 pieces I still had left to play. Another high scoring thriller turned into a heartbreaker. Such is a game and such is life! 😭 How did I feel afterwards? What I felt must have been akin to what Smokin’ Joe Frazier might have felt after his “Thrilla in Manila” battle with Muhammad Ali! Battered and bruised, fighting a bigger and more fancied opponent, an opponent with a bigger reach (in Scrabble terms more expansive dictionary) as Smokin’ Joe was getting ready to fight the last round his corner threw in the towel as both his eyes were shut with the blows taken earlier in the fight and he had been fighting practically blind the earlier rounds (He did not have vision in one eye in his fighting career, in this fight the other eye was swollen and shut with the blows taken). A practical move that ultimately might not have been needed! If Joe had been allowed to fight the last round he would have won the fight as Ali collapsed with exhaustion as he as he got up from his stool ready to fight the last round. Did not matter. Joe’s corner had already thrown in the towel. 😒
Yes, like Joe, I felt a bit robbed πŸ‘Žand it felt like “Paradise Lost!”. Would be poetic justice if I could the word “paradise” again in another game and win. That would make it my own version of “Paradise Regained!”. πŸ˜ƒ
Sorry, John Milton ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milton ) , did not mean to appropriate your work in any way and you can rest assured the chance my version of “Paradise Regained!” working out is slim to none! 😊
Life lesson: Results may not always match effort, expectation or seem fair. Doesn’t matter if one is able to get up with determination to fight after being down. πŸ‘πŸ™

Author: Rajaram 'Raj' Gopalan

Hi All, Welcome to my home in cyberspace! You can call me Raj. Feel free to explore, discuss, comment and most importantly have a good time!

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