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Lester Schonbrun just won a game against Joey Mallick, 422-359, his sixth win in a row. At one point early on, Joey played NIL at 9b, forgetting, Lester thinks, about the A hook. With ACTFU?? on his rack, he contemplated many words, but they would have taken an S and potentially given Joey a free triple. So, Lester came up with tACTFUl, using the A hook to make ANIL.
At 12-2 +610, Lester was dealt his only defeat today in game 1 by Mark "Eyechart" Przybyszewski. His victories were over Adam Logan, David Boys, Jim Peters, Lisa Odom, Bob Felt, and Zev Kaufman. In his game against 1996 NSC Champ Adam Logan, Lester was able to maintain his initial lead and pulled out a win.
During the game with David Boys (QC), Lester opened with THAWERS (which he says he wasn't all that sure about). David never blinked, but never caught up. A couple of good plays were David's HEADReST and Lester's AEROsOL. While we were talking, John D. Williams Jr. walked up and said, "Well, Lester, it appears that you are picking up where you left off in Reno!" [Lester won the expert division there, with a XX-X +2,000 record-breaking win] Lester smiled and said he was, but that he was in need of some assistance in maintaining his stamina. I think I even overheard a request for Geritol, but I'm not sure who asked or who offered or who might benefit from such a product. Imagine: SCRABBLE® blood doping with Geritol, the new craze!
Joan Mocine (CA) had two big games after lunch: a 500 game and a 489 game.
Pat Burnham (CA) is playing in division 3. She has had 7-1/2 wins. In the half win, neither opponent wanted to recount as they were happy with the half win over a no win. Pat didn't have a good afternoon and her last game was dreadful. She won big and she lost big. At one point she had ??IIIEE. "Obviously, I didn't make a word of that," she said. She threw back 2 Is and 1 E. On her next play she made IMBiBeS for 65. She is here with a number of people from her club, the Marin SCRABBLE® Club, meets in Mill Valley, CA, directed by Norma Fisher. Other club members in attendance are Betty Toole, Jackie Stewart, Stu Goldman, Bob Smith, and Cynthia Pughsley,
Jacqueline Camper (TN) is playing in division 2. She hasn't had a stellar tournament thus far. However, she is still brave enough to talk to me and I like that. She had a win against TA Sanders (TX) in the fourth round and it was TA's first defeat and Jackie's first win. She earned 81 for OVEREATS, a natural through an A. Jackie directs SCRABBLE® Club #238 in Memphis, TN, that meets at Jason's Deli every Monday night. She has about 16 club members and about half show up at any one gathering.
Rich Baker (NY) in Division 1 says, "I won my last 5 games today by a total of 640 points! In my final game against Joel Wapnick (QC), I extended my lifetime unbeaten strike against 2000+ rated players to 7, thanks to a streak of 6 consecutive turns where I scored over 50 points. Including, 110 for the natural FORKEDLY starting with the F at 1H. Joel challenged and I drew another bingo out of the bag: BLOUSIER, natural, through an I." His five wins today were against Ben Withers, Paul Avrin, Mark Przybyszewski, Marlene Milkent, and Joel Wapnick.
Tunde Ogunyemi (DC) is playing in Division 1. He started off badly today, losing his first 3 games, but won three of the last four. This afternoon he had victories over Mark Milan, Joel Horn, and Amunay Ploysangngam. He lost to Ted Blevin in his last game and he lost by 248 to Chani Katz. In the game against Amnuay, Amnuay opened with TIVY and Tunde had the rack FANNTAL and played FAY to the Y in TIVY. Then Amnuay played ZETA/FA to the F in FAY and Tunde picked ER and played INTERNAL (natural) for 77. And then, it was downhill for poor ol' Amnuay.
Mary Rhodes, director of Division 3, had an incident in her division. During round 14, one player appeared to be having some symptoms that made her want her nitro medication. We aren't sure if she fainted, but this player was lying on the floor for some period and then transported to a nearby hospital. All the time that Mary saw her, she was conscious and talking and understandably quite embarrassed to be in such a predicament. Mary will get in touch with me if there are any new details.
"Besides this," Mary said, "the division in general appeared to suffer from more frayed nerves than yesterday, more second opinions on dispute rulings, no changed rulings, but more attempts to change them. Table 1 and 2 were mostly occupied by Robin Torrance, Heather McCall (ON), and Jesse Wornum. This week, Carl Davis, who plays in Division 2 is having a birthday and being taken out by his friends for a birthday dinner tonight where we will try to get the restaurant to humiliate him!" Mary runs the Mid-Cities SCRABBLE® Club #246 and she has 5 players here in Chicago.
Pam Grazette (NY) word judges in Division 2. There was one unusual incident (well, many were interesting, but this one was unusual) at Table 1. Lawren Freebody was playing Catheryne Teague and Catheryne was 13:30 over on her clock at the game's end. She alleged that her opponent, Lawren, made her so nervous that she was unable to play. Upon further questioning, Catherine alleged Lawren would not allow her to put her hands in her lap or move her tiles where she wanted them. In the end, the time penalty was taken off Catherine's score and the end result was 419 to 84, a spread of 335. This moved Lawren from 10th place to 3rd.
In her division, Pam remembered RENMINBI was played with confidence and immediately challenged. Came back good. "No idea what it means, but it is good," said Pam. She then quoted Joe Edley who says, "you don't have to know the definition to know if a word is good."
This is Pam's first ever experience as a word judge. The verdict: "I would do it again in a nanosecond." Diane Firstman chimed in: "Would it be a SamTimer nanosecond or maybe an Adjudicator 3000 kind of nanosecond? Or if it was a quartz clock nanosecond, would they have to bring over a director to determine whether it was a true nanosecond?"
Pam dispenses advice to would-be word judges: "Always have really good walking shoes and make sure you have tuned up before the event. I walked two miles every day before this to gear up for the strenuousness of the work. You are constantly moving like a shark." Of her many challenges today, she heard more than one "Oh darn" and other scatological terms of displeasure over lost challenges.
She observed that the atmosophere was much more tense today than yesterday. There were more scond chalenges and some words that should have been challenged were not. Even worse, some that should have had second opinions did not. Pam admits to doing her first bad challenge. The word was NECTARY and she missed it while doing the lookup. From a word judge to you: "Ask for a second opinion if you have any doubts." That was her first and only and she felt so bad.
Also in Division 3, Stefan Fatsis (MA) and Jude Shipman were in the bingo-free zone at table 27. Jude pulled out the win 319-241. Check out the photo of their board, too.
Tobi Wikel (MI) lost by one point to George Ulrich (OR) with a 377-378 score. She is now 7-7 +122 and he is 8-6 +369. Geroge played SOONERs, which she challenged, and it is good! As can be gleaned from the photo of their board, she had back-to-back bingos with AIRIEST and sTUNNER.
Division 2's Pat Cole is 7-7 and "not happy about it one bit."
-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98
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