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NSC 2000 Round 28 Commentary

At board 2 in division 2, Larry Sherman beat Harriet Lakernick, 421-365. Larry has gone 11-1, in his last 12 games. He is 20-8 +867 and in fourth place after this win.

Bryan Pepper, division 5 leader, took a challenge in division 6: ERODEnT. He quizzed me and I did a thumbs down. It's good!

Board 1 in division 5 was won by Rob Matthews with a 449 to Norbert Saldanha's 393. This keeps Rob, now 21-7 +1461, in first place with two others at 20-8: Jeff Myers and Norbert. Rob comments that being in contention is a stressful business and that at the next NSC a masseuse should be hired for each division. I tell him that we'll take the suggestion under advisement!

Vicki Blizzard (div 5) is a bit down. She had a 6-0 record going into the last game and just lost, 426-415. It turns out that she accepted a phoney, which gave her opponent the win. She ends today 14-14.

Dave Wiegand (div 1) defeated Joe Edley, 411-362. I see Dave's play of UpTAKES on the board.

At the next table, Adam Logan (div 1) lost to Brian Cappelletto, 374-431. Adam whispered to me after the game, "I didn't play very well in the end game, but with Brian's tiles it wouldn't have mattered."

Steven Alexander tells me that he is 18-10 and that he just won three in a row against Trey Wright, Jerry Lerman, and Martin Smith. He had only two losses today.

In division 4, Bill Menor defeated Mike Kelly, 492-336. Bill opened with ZOOMING for 108, Mike played PRANDiAL through the N for 62. Bill put down FACIALlY for 82, which Mike challenged (it stayed on the board). Later in the game, Mike played HEX/EX fror 57, then he played VOTIVE one short of the triple lane. Next play he plays SITUATE/VOTIVES for 87. What clinched the game for Bill was his play of QUEST which created DECORS for 45 points.

Lynda Cleary (div 4) defeated Barbara Platt, 385-383. Barbara played STRIATED though the E for 72 and HONESTy for 82. Lynda played ARRIVAL for 71, QUID to the triple for 48, and the overlapping triple play, BOWED, beneath HONESTy, creating HO, OW, NE, and ED for 61.

Joan Knobelsdorf (div 6) defeated Connie Creed, 22-6. This win moves Joan into second place with a record of 20-8 +2079 (that is not a typo!) . Although she is still in first place with a 22-6 +1294 record, Connie was moaning about how she'd lost more games today than in all the other days combined. Walking past the table, Andrea Ross-Greene told me that she just lost to Miles Dequetteville. She predicts a "dog fight" tomorrow.

In division 3 board 2, Dean Saldanha defeated Ben Loiterstein, 393-366. The entire Saldanha clan was surrounding the board and Ben was laughing over all the phonies that he let Dean get away with in their game. I decided not to photograph that board! This win puts Dean in 3rd place.

Dean Cullen still leads division 3 by a game, 21-7 +1241.

I ask Joan Mocine how she is doing and she says won her last game, which is always a nice way to end the day. After lunch, as she sat down to play Jesse Wornum, he kept going on and on about how she always beat him and about he was going down, etc. Superstitious at heart, Joan knew all this talk was going to jinx her, and it did: she lost the game. However, she ends today 16-12.

Jim Geary (div 1) beat John Leubkemann, 400-347.

Division 1's Marlon Hill, who played this round with Akegapun Erbprasartsook signed his contestant card EAYOAEIOU VSTROMXZ! I guess his Thai opponent's name sent him over the deep edge! They both end the day 16-12.

Bob Felt (div 1) beat Sammy Okosagah, 377-306. The loss pushes Sammy down to 10th and raises Bob to 7th.

Randy Hersom (div 1) defeated Merrill Kaitz, 470-360. Merrill is now in 17th place and Randy is in third.

Stat guru Jeff Widergren, who also told me the 1 in a million story about the letter W, reminds us to notice how tough the tournament has been on division 1 women. Currently, Pat Barrett, in 25th place, has the best record: 16-12 +683. There are only two women in the top 56!

Kristen Chew, word judge with the fastest legs, writes, "With six word judges and four division leaders, there will be more than 1400 challenges (average 20 per judge, 7 rounds) per day. Over the course of 4 1/2 days, more than 6,300 challenges will be taken. A parliament of owls, a swarm of word judges."

A SCRABBLE® player from a few years ago came to the Convention Center as we were packing up for the night. Loren Mitchell took time off from playing to write and since we were right in his hometown thought he should stop by and say hi. I walked him over to the Biltmore and pointed out the after-hours playing room, thinking he might see some old friends. Several hours later, I popped by head in and he was still there, playing a group SCRABBLE® game! It was a vibrant scene for sure, people crowding around the standing/pairing bulletin board, a game of Boggle going on one table, a few games of anagrams, many games of SCRABBLE® played in groups, pairs, and individually. And, there was something else. . . . Something that made this unlike any other after-hour game gathering I'd ever been to. . . . Then it hit me: music! Live music! I spun around and Paul Epstein was playing a what sounded like a Led Zepellin song and Bruce Adams was singing along! In no time, others crowded in to enjoy the music. Bruce's song turned into a duet with Ronnie Thomas, which then turned into a solo by Ronnie Thomas. It was a fun moment.

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