NSA: Tourneys: 1998: CSC : Friday: Commentary
CSC98 Commentary: Round 3

Round 3

The first call of "director" was heard this round. John Chew leapt 
into action and scurried over to table 2. As John told it, "Lisa Deift 
had placed down a beautiful, overlapping play that created an 
unfortunate OSW-only 3-letter word. She announced her score, hit 
her clock, and had her hand well into the bag when her opponent, 
Jim Nanavati yelled 'challenge'. She kept her full-of-tiles hand in the 
bag until I came over." John ruled that since no tiles had left the 
bag, the challenge should stand. Lisa's word subsequently came off 
the board. 

I must say that the help is exceptional at this championship. At the 
end of every round, Trevor Sealy and Mad Palazzo comb over the 
wall chart standings and double-check for discrepancies. So far, 
only one error has been detected each round. Lisa Deift created the 
charts with her distinctive, architectural hand lettering. They are 
clear, pleasingly artsy, and they sure class up the foyer! 

Top notch word judge Robin Pollock Daniel took all the challenges 
this evening. She adds, "correctly, phew, however I almost sent 
DEI back acceptable." She is sitting down with her list of challenge 
slips. Some unacceptable words were: OVERFIRMS, GOALLINE, 
that a band??!), BOOZINESS (a B was placed in front of 
REVILING). Some acceptable words challenged were ALIENAGE, 
was effortlessly reeling off the anagrams faster than I could type. 
She says there were far fewer challenges in round 3 than there 
were in the first two. She says her favorite word thus far has been 
BhEESTY, played by Craig Rowland. The play was challenged and 
stayed on the board.

Gene Tyszka came down from Mississauga to meet with John 
Williams this evening. From what I can tell, what he is really doing 
is coveting the gorgeous black SCRABBLE sweatshirts that came in 
the contestant SCRABBLE bags. Thus far, he hasn't managed to 
swindle anyone out of their prize. Out of the 50 players here, six 
play at his #422 Mississauga club. 

The first cards turned in this round belong to Siri Tillekeratne and 
Len Borer. Siri won this one, 401-330. He ends tonight 2-1 and Len 
is 1-2.

Zev Kaufman is 3-0, but he says he should be 0-3. In his last game 
he held COUPONU, and hooked COUPON onto an existing ED 
and made 48 points (it is a phoney).
His opponent, Linda Espallardo, held for a bit 
over  3 minutes and then let it go. It caught him up and then he 
won the game by 4 points.

As I was strolling around the room, I observed Jeff Parsons 
challenging Glenn Mosher's play, ERUPTiVE for 63. The play came 
back acceptable. I also spy BEDROCkS on the board. Of course I 
hum the theme song to the Flinstones for the next 10 minutes . . . . 

Lynda Wise eked out a win over Marilyn Murray this round. 
Lynda held EEINRST and bingoed out with SERENITY (tripled to a 
Y) and won by only 3 points.

Adam Logan beat Jeff Fleetham, 389-369. Adam got down 
rUGOSITY. As I walked away, Randall Thomas and Jeff were 
working on various possible definitions of that word.

Hilda Schlechter ends the evening 2-1 with a win over Fern 
Lindzon, 455-438.

At table 1, Tim Anglin had a strong win against Max Garfinkle, 445-
296. Max got down RETRIES and Tim played dARNDEsT and 

Shaun Goatcher got down the triple-triple PRORATED for 149 

With deft endgame play, John Dafoe defeated David Boys, 414-310. 
Toward the end, out of desperation, David played VITrEOLe one 
square short of the triple. He knew the play was phony, but his 
only hope of winning was if John played his bingo down and 
pluralized the play. John held IGNITES, but _didn't_ pluralize the 
phony. He put his bingo down elsewhere for less points, but with 
more safety. Other plays were EMIRATES for David and ZONKED 
(63) for John.

"I won by 16, a blowout." Andrew Golding has been specializing in 
close games. He is 1-2 +6. In one game tonight, he was short on 
time, too. He ended the game with 1 second on his clock and 
Libero Paolella had a mere 2 seconds left! In his game against Peter 
Teitelbaum, they were using Peter's Richard Buck clock. They both 
own and are fans of Buck's handmade, wooden beauties. Instead of 
starting at 25, though, they discovered they had both started at 0, 
which was disorienting to be going "backwards. "

Jane Jankovic, producer of Studio 2 on TVO, Ontario's public 
television station, has been interviewing contestants at the end of 
this round. Lisa Kessler explains that Jane is doing a show on 
"classic games." I asked Randall Thomas what he'd talked about in 
his interview. He told me that she'd asked about his best plays and 
he said that early game jitters had provided memories of no good 
plays, but a few bad ones. He said, "SCRABBLE has a certain 
creativity, a mystical quality. It's like reaching into a bag of runes . . 
. . "  In her interview with Zev Kaufman, Zev stressed how 
important is the factor of luck in SCRABBLE. He said, "I don't 
think I'd play the game at this level were it not for the luck 

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