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NSC 2000 Round 4 Commentary

Walter "Blackie" Sudnikovich, rated 666, has a bye in Division 6 and is demoralized that this is his first win. He has had some pretty hard losses so far. This is often part of the experience of a first-time NSC attendee. Blackie caught my eye at the reception last last atop the Biltmore Hotel. Bedecked in a SCRABBLE® tie and a flashing SCRABBLE® hat, that says "I love SCRABBLE," he really stood out! He runs an unsanctioned club in Edison, N.J., and he says that every NSA and Hasbro person he's spoken to has encouraged him to get the club sanctioned (which includes me!). He claims to have an average of 15 players at the weekly gatherings. They range from beginners to intermediate. The most games he's ever played before is 12 games, so he expects 31 to be somewhat tiring.

One of this round's highlights was a youngest-oldest challenge. Frances Gross, who isn't at all hedgy about mentioning her age (when she arrived to registration on Saturday, she greeted the NSA staff with, "hi, I'm your statistic!") of 90 years young, met up with 12-year-old Leland Fidler. He was winless going in, but managed his first win, 341-258. Frances, now 2-2, was gracious with all the attention this match created. I was one of three photographers angling for a shot!

I wandered by division 2's Jeff Clark and Elaine Patterson just as Elaine challenged Jeff's STROMAE. It was ruled unacceptable.

Division 1's Tim Anglin challenged off fellow Club #3 member Evan Berofsky's bingo, because his word attached an S to PULIK (which is already a plural of PULI). Off it came!

Division 3's Tom Wood defeated Dean Cullen, 374-326. They are both 3-1 now.

In division 2, Jim Dodds pulled out a win against Anita Rackham, 479-413. Anita played GANGLIER and PERORATE and Jim played LItERATI, VAULTIEr, and RESTRING. All these bingos made for an attractive board!

Checking in with our better-late-than-never, NSC 1996 Champion, Adam Logan (div 1): he is now 3-1 after a victory against Nuttakrit Keskaroonkul, who is 1-3. Adam played TRACHLED and bOLSHIEs and Nuttakrit played VOMITERS, RAVENING, and DOCENTS. Final score, 446-408.

Division 1's Jean Carol had a close loss to Joey Mallick, 412-416. Jean got down TIRESOME and DOCENTS (she wasn't in eyesight of the Adam/Nuttakrit game above!) and Joey played RUNTIEST and SNARInG.

Update on division 1's Rod MacNeil. He lost to Sammy Okosagah, 446-415. Rod said he was in the game the whole way until Sammy bingoed three times in the late game: ENSUrED, REMORAS, and CoINTERS.

Jim Kramer (div 1) had a win against Anne Hay, 442-313. The play he was most proud of was wINTRILY (I agree, it was a great find!). He also played UNARGUED and PLANTED. Ann got down REMORSe.

Steven Alexander (div 1) is now 3-1 after a win against Trip Payne, 385-329. It is worth noting for those who may have missed the write-up in a recent SCRABBLE® News, that Trip Payne was a winning contestant on an early taping of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Jere Mead (div 1) defeated Purinth Vutthichairerk, 381-295. They are both 2-2.

An exciting game in division 1 just wound up. Amnuay Ploysangngam held Daniel Goldman's extension of LO to the 9-letter bingo LORIKEETS for what seemed like forever. Finally, with less than a minute on his clock, he decided to challenge and the play was ruled acceptable. It was a tough challenge for Amnuay to make at that point in the game with a Q on his rack. The end score was 445-379. Some other interesting plays were Amnuay's extension of OVATION to INNOVATION and Daniel's ATELIERS and DURAtIVE.

Before the Thai contigent headed off to lunch, they let me know their standings:

Gerry Carter, 4-0, Akegapun Erbprasartsook, 3-1, Purinth Vutthichairerk, 2-2, and Charnwit Sukhumratanaporn,k Nuttakrit Keskaroonkul, and Amnuary Ploysangngam all 1-3l.

Charnwit played a SOWPODS word (from another dictionary) that cost him his last game against Randy Hersom.

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