This is a subtle, but, nevertheless very important
aspect of the game, which is not always properly
appreciated. There are many pivotal points, in any game,
where a player can sense an opportunity to seize the
initiative, or, simply sense that he/she already has the
initiative. Often, it will be simply the case that the
player who is in the lead is the one who has the
initiative. The other player, being forced to try to
catch up, is made to take risks, and gamble on being
always ready to accept opportunities that have still to
arise. This might simply mean saving for bonus-words,
which may, of course, never come. Sometimes it is the
margin of the lead that confirms and extends the sense
of who has the initiative. If you are 60 points ahead,
and your opponent changes, or merely scores very little,
then you might consider using the blank, or an S, to
ensure you get a score of 30-plus, to push you into a
90-point lead. Being one-and-half bonus words ahead can
be very nearly as good as being two bonus plays ahead.
In this case you are using the blank or the S to help
you to seize the initiative. From now on, your opponent
will be taking even bigger risks, and making even more
compromises on score.
Conversely, the player who is forced into a change, or
the one who defends as a matter of course, rather than
because the game requires it, is, almost always,
surrendering the initiative.
The lesson, here, then, is to be aware of the scores,
and the margin between you and your opponent. It will
help you to judge the true value of the opportunities
that come your way, and to modify your strategy
depending on who is winning, and by how much, and at
what stage of the game.