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Round 11 Commentary

[Cappelletto being interviewed] Brian Cappelletto appeared in both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune papers today in virtually the same pose. However, most interestingly, Brian was just interviewed by ABC News. (See photo at left.) WLS-TV (Channel 7 in Chicago) will be airing an interview between reporter Frank Mathie and Brian on today's 5 o'clock broadcast. I attempted to be a fly on the wall and listened in a bit. Brian talked about streaks of luck affecting the game. Frank asked Brian about a normal day and Brian said that after work he would go home, turn on his computer and use his Video Flashcards program, looking at racks of 7-8 letters and coming up with words in them. Frank asked how many words were in our dictionary and Brian said, "With inflections, about 100,000." And he admitted to knowing most of them. Then the standard question about why men do better than women at this game came out. Brian admitted that men tend to do better, but that he couldn't be sure why. The reporter asked if Brian thought it had anything to do with the "male mind" and Brian got them both laughing by mentioning that it was a possibility that only men were crazy enough to memorize a whole dictionary. The reporter asked him if he knew all the meanings and he admitted he did not and that the game is not only for literary scholars, but that mathematical minds excel at SCRABBLE® at this level. The trick is, Brian noted, that you've got to be able to spell as well as count.

Adam Logan (MA), is visiting with me now. He just played Rick Wong (CA). Adam won 393-276. Adam noted that in the adjacent game which was being analyzed, the last play had made the word DA#, and pointed this out to the players, with Rick standing near. Not 60 seconds later, after Adam had started with AXE 8F, Rick played DORKY 7F, and Adam challenged the play off the board.

Steven Alexander, division 1, just palyed Matt de Waelsche and won 530-292. Steven opened with a bingo HEmIOLA, and then he got the next bingo NEROLIS, which gave him a big lead. Matt found, through EN, a natural PARENTAGE for a double-double for 98. Later on, Steven played an interesing word. He extended RESH and made RESHAPE for a triple and 42 points. In the game before, against Tim Adamson (MN) Steven played ALLOcATOR to an OR that was supposed to be a block. He got 66 points, but still lost.

Gregg Foster, division 3, is now 6-5 +250ish.

Harmony Kuller (MN), is "fighting to maximize my losses." She has eked out 2 games and as Bob Lundegaard says, "at least you are on the board!" In all the years she has played she has never had such bad luck. But, she is smiling, she is enjoying Chicago and she looks forward to dinner tonight at Navy Pier.

Carl Madden (ON), division 3, has not had a good morning. He is 0-4 today, but he won 4 1/2 games yesterday. VOWELS everywhere.

Edd Coker (NY), division 2, just played Raymond Slaughter (KY) and Edd took the game 394-327. Raymond opened with the natural phoney EGGIEST# for 70 points and Edd played COREiGNS for a double-double 90, through one of Raymond's Gs. Raymond challenged the play and it stayed on the board. Later on, Raymond tried CODI into the triple word square, but Edd challenged it off the board.

I'm now visiting with David Pearl (CA) and he just won his game at Board 1 in Division 4. His record is 11-0!!! Both he and his opponent, Don Rathberger were 10-0 going in, but Don had a larger spread. Don opened with GOATEE and David played IXIA. His rack that play was IIUUXSA. Don then played VIZIER for 36. David hooked onto that with ANUS for 46 points. They each had a bingo. David's was phoney: STOWErS, and it stayed. Don didn't challenge, because he had his own bingo to play, a triple word PEDDLiNG. They each had a blank, so it was kinda fair. In an earlier game, David played MIAOUED with the A hooking onto the front of VERSE in the triple column for 92 points.

The reason this report is so long is that it is now lunch and people are free to visit me. Joel (division 1) and Judy (division 2, and my club director) Horn are here now. Joel just played Chris Cree (TX). Joel claims this game was one of the stangest games in terms of vowel distribution. Joel had all 9 As, 2 Es, 1I, 2 Os, and 1 U. No surprise, Chris pulled out that win 418-328! Judy is 5-6. She just went out with a bingo that made a 5 word overlap. The word was the natural RELOADS and it made these other words: RAH, ET, LI, ON, AG. A lot of words for one play! She still didn't win, but it was fun. The Lexington SCRABBLE® Club, #108 boasts 15 attendees and one of them, Scott Appel, in division 2, is 9-2. A picture of Joel appeared in a SCRABBLE® article in the Chicago Sun-Times today. He wasn't identified, but we can see him just fine. Also, in a related note, a picture of Joel and Judy appears on the NSA Web site at this address: http://www.scrabble-assoc.com/tourneys/1998/nsc/sat/pix/p4.htm.

Tobin Lathrop reports that Division 3's round 11 low game was Anita Rackman vs. Charlotte Ferris 290-256. Talk about a defensive board!

Division 4's computer guru, Diane Firstman, reports that Rosetta Donelick beat Robin Schlauch in a heartbreaker: 458-440.

Ron Tiekert (NY) is now visiting with me, Diet Coke in hand. I guess he's had lunch. :) Anyway, he is 9-2 +800. He says he hasn't had any games that went down to the wire, except for his game with Bob Felt (CA). Ron did get a gift of about 100 points when his opponent played INJUsT, and Ron was holding AAEMNOR and was able to challenge it off, play off an A, draw an I, and have two places to play an outbingo. He had RADIOMAN, but it wouldn't go down, so he played MORAINE. In the game with Felt, the person who got the remaining S was going to win and it wasn't Ron who lucked out in the draw. Felt is 9-2 +319 right now. Brian Cappelletto is 10-1 +1160. I don't know how, Sherrie speaking here, Brian can deal with all this press and still win every game!!!

Joe Edley (NY) has stopped by. He is 4.5-6.5 -80. Five of his losses were basically because his opponents got a bunch of bingos in their first few plays. Joe could muster only one or two and was behind before he started. He lost two outright blowouts. The others started out as blowouts, but he caught up. Paul Epstein played 4 bingos against him and he managed to catch up and lost 445-449. What a heartbreaker. He tied Jeff Widegren and he only had about 3 minutes left. He could make two 30-point plays to win and he misplayed the wrong play first. By playing in the wrong order, he ended up winning by one point and then in the recount they realized it was a tie. If he'd played these two plays in the right order, he would have won by 10 or 15 points. He did a natural for 98: PALIKAR. He had a blowout against Ted Blevins. Edley played ENDARCH for 98. Against Susi Tiekert his opening rack was DDEGJ?P. What do you do with that? After looking at it for awhile, almost anyone would play JuDGED for 46 points. He picked an RE, keeping the P and played PREJuDGED for 69 points! He also played COINHERE in that game with Susi. In his game against Danny Goldman, Joe opened up with UPBOIL (8c) for 26 and Danny played JIBE (e6) for 13 points. Joe's rack was then CFGOTXM. He could have played FOX (f7) for 27 points, but it didn't make any sense. He thought FOX (7a) for 38 points was better, but the F goes on a7 and that opens up that triple. Danny had AEIRSZ?. Instead of playing his bingos: CRAZIES, etc., he plays ZARFS for 81 keeping EI?. Then bingoed a turn or two later. Joe says, "This is how my luck has been going!" And he's laughing. Afterall, it is only a game. He lost that game by only 28 points. And, he is doing a bit of Tai Chi when he can. I envy him his calm.

Opening play against Randy Greenspan AADHJTU. So, it didn't take him long to see THUJA. He has two places to put it: 8d or 8h, but he plays it at 8d to avoid the S hook to the double word, nor did he want to put the J in the double word spot. So, Randy, in his first of four bingos played the natural LENITION and of course had Joe had played THUJA at 8h, his next play would have been a bingo AIRBOUND through LENITION, but of course not. That is the way his luck has been going.

-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98

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