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Round 20 Commentary

[Bednarz and Wright] Division 4's Board 6, had Jason Bednarz (TX), defeating Mary Becker (WI) 460-321. Jason played WhARFED for 96 and Mary challenged: it was good. He also got down TREADING for 72. Mary played SLANGIER for 63. Mary told me that her daughter was logging in and following the tournament. I asked if she wanted to tell her any messages, like "clean your room" or anything like that and she assured me that all she wanted to say was "hi". So, Tracy, your mom says "hi". As we were discussing this game, Trey Wright (TX) came over to check out the board. Jason and Trey met at Rice Univeristy, where they are students. Although it isn't fair to call Jason Trey's protege, Jason's interest in SCRABBLE was piqued by his friend the champion.

Division 2 word judge, a very hard-working Kathy Baker, just told me a story of coincidence. She heard a challenge at table 72. She went there, picked up the slip, checked it on the board, and as she was looking it up, heard a challenge call at table 73 (right next door for those not following). She held up her hand, as if to say, "wait, I'll be right there," and proceeded to look up and rule on HEXT, it is unacceptable. Suddenly she heard two thank yous and two clocks click on. She rushed to table 73 telling them she hadn't ruled on their challenge. But she had. On their challenge slip was the very same word: HEXT!

A post-it note appeared on my desk while I was canvassing the room. It said: "Jim Kramer finally beats Jim Geary! (after 10 or so tries)." Something tells me that it was a Jim that put it there....

In division 4, Dan Rathenberger leaped back into 1st place. He is 15-4-1, +971. Five other people are at 15-5, and four of them within 123 point spread of each other.

Some division 1 news: Richie Lund beat Ann Sanfedele, 565-315; Adam Logan beat Joel Wapnick, 492-288; and Mark Pistolese won against Bob Prentiss, 524-238.

Division 3's Carl Madden, has won 8 of his last 9 games. He excitedly says, "I think I am in the top 20 now!" His last game against Gwen Bishop was 398-359, in his favor. He played GODLIEST for 70 and RUNNIEr for 66.

I ran into Division 1's Rita Norr (CA) in the hall and she told me that she'd just lost a close one to Ron Tiekert (NY), by 23 points. She beat Lester Schonbrun by 17 with a natural double-double, RHETORIC. She recalls someone playing FLEABITE on her.

Josh Silber (NY) comes up and tells me of his division 2 game against Scott Appel (MA). Scott opened with a bingo and Josh says he fought back to a 20-point lead. Late in the game, the blanks were gone and Josh saw that Scott was playing off cononsants and Josh thought Scott must be holding an S on his rack. Josh has UNIDEAL (or its anagram, ALIUNDE), but it won't go down. He tries the play UNBAILED for 74 through an open B, hanging the D into the triple lane. Scott held the play, looked, studied, then didn't challenge. Much to Josh's utter horror, Scott instead played SEDATERS for a 140-point triple-triple. Josh says, "Oh, and don't forget to mention that I forgot to challenge it off." Turns out that both plays are phoneys: UNBAILED and SEDATERS. Scott won by 40 and Josh felt sick.

Ann Sanfedele (NY), division 1, is 8-11. On day 1, she was 1-6. On day 2, she was 6-1. Today... well, she "just doesn't seem to be doing it." She says she never had a prayer in her game with Richie Lund. She excitedly told me of a great play she made in her game with Dee Jackson. There was the word VETCH on the board. Ann played CHOkING down, hooking VETCH, making kVETCH for 91 points. Since we didn't have a board where we were standing in the hallway, Ann ran across the room to the SCRABBLE® rug on the floor, and mapped out her play from memory and counted up her score with her toes. She tells me about a play of UNDERLInE through a DE against Iffy Onyeonwe.

Chris Cree (TX), Division 1 just lost a game to Bob Felt. He has won 9 in a row before this defeat.

The NSA informs me that we have 119 seniors in this NSC vying for the senior divisional awards. In order to qualify, a senior must be 60 years old.

-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98

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