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Midori Howard (WA), division 2, is stopping by. Okay, I admit, I leashed her to the chair. I bet she'd rather go outside and see some sunlight. She says she is tired and that her brains are fried. She is 8-12, but she has made progress. Her first two days here, she won only two games each day. But today, she won 4, tomorrow 8, then the next day, 16 or so, right? She just won her last game against Lynne Mitchnick and it was a blowout. She had three bingos: INTAKeS, VARIOUS, and LIMBeRS. Lynne held and looked at it for a long time, but didn't challenge. This is her first Nationals, her first jet plane ride of her life, and her first trip to the Midwest. She has never been this far from home in her life. The farthest she's ever traveled from her Seattle home is Calgary. She is staying in the hotel with Michael Orford, her boyfriend of six months. Michael has been having a bit of a better tournament! He is one of Division 3's leaders. She went to the Tabletop Grill for dinner last night. She took Fodor's on Chicago out of the library and she got recommendations for all the places to eat under $18. And she got tips on sights to see and places to visit. Sounds like Midori is a better traveler in her first trip out than many of us are in our 100th trips out. She wants to see the city!
Gene Tyszka (ON), a division 4 top contender (15-6, +500ish), just won a game on a recount. He was playing Dolores Muhich and they thought she had won by 2, but upon a recount, they discovered that she had actually lost by 1 point. What a heartbreaker, 297-296. A real tight board. One of the better plays by Gene was QuEY for 39, and probably the one that won him the game.
Robert Gillis (AL), is 10-11 now, but that is a real improvement. He started today 4-10. Robert is the perhaps the lowest-rated person in division 3 with a rating of 1090. He says he bingo-ed so many times today: hEJIRAS, REDWARTS,BEMUSING, MUNChIES, ALIUNDE,tOURISM, SMEARING, GREeDILY, ENFRaMES, AUDITION, GIMLETS, and IDEALIST. For the JOEL/WISE play, he played WIChES for 50 points.
There are 9 players within 1 game of the lead in Division 4.
There are two cousins here, Esther White (PA), Division 3, and Rosetta Donelick (NV), Division 4. They didn't grow up playing the game, but once they both caught the bug, they've been unstoppable. They plan family trips where Esther and Rosetta can just play game after game of SCRABBLE® while the rest of the family just lets them be. Rooming together while they attend tournaments is a real joy.
Only a little glumly, Lester Schonbrun told me that he'd lost all his games this afternoon.
-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98
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