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, EIRYIES, GIRATING (missing TRIAGING), FOGHAT (hey, isn't that a band??!), BOOZINESS (a B was placed in front of OOZINESS), NONSTEEL, LIVERING (missing RELIVING and REVILING). Some acceptable words challenged were ALIENAGE, SORGO, SAURIAN (also URANIAS and ANURIAS), ERUPTIVE, UNSAWED, and UNTIDIES (NUDITIES and DISUNITE). Robin 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 RELIEVO. Shaun Goatcher got down the triple-triple PRORATED for 149 tonight. 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 component."
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