NSA: Tourneys: 1998: CSC : Monday: Commentary
CSC98 Commentary: Round 19

Round 19

Between the workers and the slew of volunteers this round, we 
began almost on time at 9:07am: Game 1 of the Albert Hahn vs Joel 
Wapnick championship series
Joel is going first in this best of five series. Hugh Currie and Paul 
Sidsorsky, clad in running shoes, are bringing the racks to Adam 
and me at the computer desk, and then onto Robin Pollack Daniel 
in the Lamp Room. She'll be commenting on the racks and 
discussing play possibilities with members of the press and 

Tim Anglin is on the stage at the big board. To deal with the use of 
blanks, Tim's been given a giant red magic marker that he uses to 
encircle letters to be used as blanks. This board, well lit with 
professional stage lighting, is being filmed and sent to the Lamp 
Room for Robin to use in her analysis.

Adam Logan is volunteering to put the game up live on 
MarlDOoM. And I'm . . .  well, I've lent my phone line to Adam, so 
I'm typing.

Members of the media are slowly trickling in. David Hayes is back 
for day four and a tv crew from TV Ontario (public broadcasting) is 
covering the event, seemingly from start to finish.

Mad Palazzo (back into her stiletto heels) is annotating Albert and 
Trevor Sealy (looking smart in a dark blue suit and tie) is 
annotating Joel. 

Eight or so plays in, there has been one challenge: REOVIRUS. 
Albert challenged it, but the play was acceptable, so it stood.

This room is so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. Pretty good for a 
total of 13 people. On MarlDOoM, there are a total of seven people 
thus far, including Sam Kantimathi and Zev Kesselman of Israel.

When Albert played OGRE, he missed STRIGOSE/GORIEST.

I forgot one worker, Jeff Parsons is yet another runner, bringing 
the racks to Tim Anglin at the big board. 

John Chew is standing at the head of the table, clad in a starched 
white shirt with a red SCRABBLE tie. Jeff Fleetham stands nearby 
and both are holding TWLs. I infer that Jeff is on hand to render 
second opinions.

I can see from Adam's computer that Albert holds EUFLST?. I see 
FLUTErS down the triple creating ZETAS. Let's see if Albert and I 
are like-minded. Turns out that he saw FLUTES/ZETAS. Almost as 
good but no banana. 

To cut Albert some slack here, this is an incredibly pressure-filled 
experience. Playing in front of cameras (note plural), and having 
seven people watching every move (five of them standing and 
watching) can't be easy. Knowing that literally every move they 
make is being broadcast over television and the Internet must be 

Joel, having been in this situation many times, is clearly at an 
advantage. Using a sports metaphor, this match-up is a bit like the 
Montreal Canadiens vs. the Ottawa Senators.

Just visited Robin and she explained that Joel missed PENTOSAN 
earlier on and Albert missed BaLMLIKE for the win.

The game ended 464-390 (after a 10-point time penalty). Albert 
went 16 seconds over and Joel had 4:45 left. Joel was stuck with 
DINNER on his rack with Albert went out with BaLMLIKE, a great 
find, that won him the game.

The players are off taking a much-needed break and a camera crew 
is setting up in the balcony to shoot from above.

More next round.

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