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NSC 2000 Round 29 Commentary

We begin our last three games with an anything is possible point of view. It is so exciting to know that there are hot contests in all the divisions!

Since the top 40 in each division are going to be paired each round based on the previous round's results, the majority of the room's participants are already paired for rounds 29-31.

Television news crews were in the playing room this morning when we arrived. I saw Verna Richards Berg (div 1) being interviewed. Thus far, I think I've identified Good Morning America, Associated Press, and News 12 Long Island.

Division 1's featured Joe Edley vs. David Wiegand. As I walk by, I see SORBENT on Dave's rack. I can't get close enough to see much, because the table has been cordoned off to keep onlookers a bit back from the tense game play. As it turns out, Joe Edley wins this game, 406-342. Joe bingoed out with VALERAtE through the E and Dave challenged. It is good. Joe also got down REALIST. Dave played NEEDIlY.

At board 2 is Randy Hersom vs. Brian Cappelletto. Brian wins, 430-381. On that board I see SOLDERER from the S and OBTAINERS through the B and S. My notes say that Brian bingoed out, but it is hard to see with what word. . . .

Board 3 is Jim Kramer vs. Adam Logan. I just catch that Jim beat Adam, 373-327. Hello to Adam's mother following carefully from Israel!

In a board between Randy Epstein and Akegapun Erbprasartsook, I spot the play ENCHANTED and start humming "Some Enchanted Evening" and have to slap myself to stop. Somehow, the seeing their bingo SWEATINg didn't make me want to break out into song. . . .

Division 2's top board David Johnson vs. John Van Pelt. John tells me that David won, 359-327. He said it started like fireworks, but ended closed and defensive. His opening rack was AMUSERS, but it didn't play, so the ever-resourceful JVP found SURNAMES through an N. He says the game turned when he mistakenly accepted a phoney bingo.

Board 2 is Bob Lundegaard vs. Larry Sheman. Bob won, 381-355. Larry played ETESIAN for 94 and Bob played JAROvIZE through the Z for 76 (he says I shouldn't ask him what it means), SULFIDe, and the nonbingo TUNNELER to the ER on the triple lane . Larry said this was a good play because it blocked the two possible bingo lanes and he had an S.

Board 3 is Bernard Gotlieb vs. Jerry Scheiten. Board 4 is Steven Saul vs. Michael Wolfberg.

Division 3's top board Dean Cullen defeated David Pearl, 449-320. Dean opened with XENON for 40 and then later got down RAThOLES to the S on the triple lane for 92 and NeATEST for 69. Showing he can be just as tidy, David played NeATEST for 69, but it wasn't enough. David said, "What a time to have a bad game. I turned it tiles twice and just was never in the game."

At division 3's table 2, I just spotted a clever play. With DE on the board, Rusty Peltz placed JOYRI to create JOYRIDE. The play was only 26 points, but it has about 100 points worth of style! I also spot that he has played DANGLiNG through the N and that Dean has played NETTERS and VIbRATES. Dean tells me later that he lost this game, 360-370.

Division 5's Roz Gold lost to Harvey Wilson by 20 points at table 2. She tells me that her last rack was VVOOEEI. She managed to earn 20 points with a V, but Harvey held and S and an X, so she knew she couldn't pull it out.

Board 1 in division 4 had Mike Ecsedy fall to Joseph Connelly, 385-362. I spot STeARIC on their board, and it was the game's only bingo, I think. Mike says he is fairly sure that Joseph as won the division, because his record is now 23-6, and with two games to go, there are three 20-9s behind him who can't catch up, including Mike.

Donna Paul, who refers to herself as "The School SCRABBLE® Lady," says hello to all her Newberg School SCRABBLE® Club members who are watching this via the Internet!

In all the business of yesterday, I failed to mention that we had a few executives from Hasbro who came to take in the happenings: Gary Serby, Alan Hassenfeld, and Wayne Charness. Today I spot Hasbro's Gail Rubenstein, Julie Collins (Agnew Carter PR), Tracy Hogan, Mark Morris, Russell Grant (Fleishman-Hillard), and Karen Eastman. I'm sure there will be more!

Division 6's top tables were a happening place this round. At board 1 was Connie Creed vs. Joan Knobelsdorf and Connie won 429-348. She got down ELUsIVE and REUNItER to the R on the triple lane. Joan, being a hot one herself, got down TAMALES for 71 points.

At board 2 in division 6, Andrea Ross-Greene played FUNDIC and her opponent, Frances Gross, challenged. It is acceptable. Andrea pulled out a close win, 353-350. I guess a combination of Frances' age, she's admitted to being 90, and her fine play (she's still vying for a spot at the top of the division) has made her a bit of a media sensation. She has handled the cameras, microphone, and interruptions with aplomb and grace.

We end with Connie in the lead in division 6, 23-6. Only Andrea Ross-Greene has a chance of catching her at 21-8. more later!

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