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Round 15 Commentary

My long notes on the town hall meeting were lost in a crash. Will redo them when I can.

Today is a beautiful day in Chicago. Spirits are high and people are milling around excited about playing SCRABBLE® all day again.

The giant SCRABBLE® board, situated nearby the NSA press table, has had a different message on it every day. Today's message in big SCRABBLE® tiles is:

SCRABBLE® groupie Mike Litman tells me that he and his wife Harmony Kuller were walking down on Navy Pier last night and they overheard two men talking. Mike heard, "Well, I wouldn't waste an IES on that...." Mike and Harmony got quite a kick out of that. Even two miles away from the hotel and many hours after touranment play, the players were still discussing their games.

Stephen Moniz (MA) went 1-6 yesterday. He says he isn't used to this kind of heavy bad luck. He jokingly referred to wanting to sit next to me, but not because he was at the bottom of division 2 (those tables are located near our computer tables). He assures me that he is planning on rebounding.

Jane Williams provides an update on the division 3 player who left in the middle of round 14 yesterday. Jane says, "She is in Northwestern Hospital and is in good spirits. She'll be going through routine testing before she is released later today."

I'm a bit arrears in reporting this, but better late than never: Two days ago, Marshall Kaminsky showed up to visit with the NSC crowd in the after hours. He demonstrated his new game, Ozzie and delighted many people with its usefulness and fun. He has an interest in seeing it move into an online format, where people could play from different locations. As always with matters like this, he is meeting with people who might help make it a possibility. I feel quite honored to be given a test sample of this game. Anyone interested in discussing Ozzie with Marshall, send e-mail to: ozziegoogl@aol.com.

The NSA has put out information on Chicago-area SCRABBLE® clubs and I thought I'd share them with you:

Club #442 Chicago, IL
Call for information Nedd Kareiva (312) 284-8927.
Club #340
Deerfield, IL
Sundays, 12 noon-6 p.m. Barnes & Noble Booksellers. 7 North Waukegan. (847) 374-0320. Robert Denn <rdenn@earthlink.net> (847) 945-7150.

Skokie, IL
Thursdays @ 11:30-5:30 p.m. Oakton Community Center 4701 Oakton. Robert Denn, see above.

On board 2 in Division 1, there is a battle under way. Jim Geary opened with SWAGgER and Ron Tiekert responded with TREACLES. Then Jim played WAIR and Ron followed with FETATION. After these two plays, the scores are 151-99 in Ron's favor.

Susan Lichtblau (NY), from division 3, tells me that yesterday during rounds 12 and 13 she was sitting in a round robin with Toni Douglas. During her first game she noticed to her left that Toni Douglas' first rack was ZIPIKAT. And the very next game when Susan played Toni herself, Susan's first rack was also ZIPIKAT! Write this up in the strange coincidence file!

Joey Mallick (ME), tells me about a game against Sam Kantimathi. He calls it the game of "10 Missing." There were 90 tiles! They did all the right things and made a square grid of tiles. But since it wasn't one tile short on the aisle, they thought all the tiles were there. Joey says, "At about the endgame there were still no blanks out yet and I exchanged five tiles and got one blank. Sam was tracking and came to the realization that there was only 90 tiles. We called over the director and the director said it was too late and we had to finish the game as is. I bingo-ed with the blank, making FLaTTENS and ended up winning by 8 points due to the fact that Sam didn't have the other blank. Our scores were 372-364." Jan and I agree that this is a pretty high score for only 90 tiles, minus a blank. The missing tiles were found under David Stone's set nearby. Jan Dixon, hearing this story and Joey's 9-7 record says, "good for you, wish I had your record!" Jan assures Joey that he didn't do anything wrong since both Joey and Sam were under the same disadvantage with those missing tiles.

In division 4, seven games were decided by spreads of 4 points or less. Table 1's David Pearl loses.

Wendell Hanynes beat Noel Livermore, 588-334, an astounding +254 spread. This earns Wendell the high win in round 15.

Diane Firstman, always looking for more fun details, found me some Division 1 information. All this is up to and including round 14. Current win streaks: Lester Schonbrun (currently 2nd place, 12-2, +610) has won 6 in a row. He's had 5 straight games with scores of at least 410 points.

Robert Felt, (currently 3rd place, 12-2, +385) has won 4 in a row. Paul Epstein (4th place, 10-4, +504) has won 4 in a row. Rich Baker (13th place, 9-5, +575) has won 5 in a row, all with scores of 450 or above. Rita Norr (21st place, 9-5, +203) has won four in a row. Chris Cree (50th place, 7-7, +215) has won 4 in a row, too.

Other notes: David Boys (QC), had two consecutive 500+ games in rounds 11 and 12. Dave Wiegand (OR) has had six straight losses after a 7-1 start. Ann Ferguson (WA) now has 7 losses and 1 tie in the last 8 games after a 5-1 start.

-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98

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