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NSC 2000 Round 31 Commentary

The NSA has separated boards 1 and 2 onto their own tables in division 1. In addition, they've roped off a large area to keep the masses at bay.

The room is nothing short of electric with excitement and anticipation! It has almost been like two tournaments at once this morning due to the pre-paired games and the paired round-by-round games.

Peter Schwartzman, playing in division 3, came to this NSC with his mother, Barbara Major in division 6. Just another example of why SCRABBLE is "America's good time game!"

Division 3's winner is David Pearl. He defeated Dean Cullen this round,. 361-350. Dave played KERATInS for 86, SERRaNID, and DEGAGE, which Dean challenged. It was a good play and it might have been the pivotal move in the game. Dean played SULCATE. When the bag was emptied, David held VOALITN and Dean held DOHAAUY and their scores were 338-284. David says he had the same final day in Chicago 1998 as he had today: lost first game, won last two to take the division title. Dean and David faced each other all three games today: game 1 was a blowout for Dean and game 2 was Dave's turn to blowout. They both consider the last game the only real "game" they played.

In division 1 board 1, Joe Edley defeated Dave Wiegand, 420-400. The crowd around the game was so dense, I couldn't get through. I caught glimpses and with Milt Wertheimer's help afterwards found these highlights: CAPESKIN and REHANGED by Joe and URODELES, OXEYE to the triple, and GETABLE for Dave. There was a huge roar of applause as the game ended, but the tension was not over. We still had to wait to hear the results of the Brian Cappelletto vs. Randy Hersom game. If Brian won that game by 176 points, he would have taken first.

If board 1 was crowded, division 1's board 2 suddenly became even more crowded, unfortunately at the expense of the extremely tolerant players at boards 3 and 4. In the crush to see the head boards, there was more talking and jostling around them since they weren't cordoned off. And these games were important, too, since the division is handing out 10 prizes.

While waiting for the Cappelletto-Hersom result, John Chew was being interviewed by Good Morning America about the earlier Cappelletto-Edley game. John showed the cameras the play-by-play on the NSA website's annotated game area. The reporter seemed genuinely interested in the analysis, even requesting that John repeat a key play or strategy again.

Brian Cappelletto pulled out the win in division 1, board 2 duel, 440-377. I spotted COVERLET, MIDPOINT, and SATIATED. I saw Randy play LUX for 40. Brian held the Q for a while and didn't get to play it off, so Randy stuck him with it. Randy had 3 seconds on his clock when the game ended and Brian had a bit more than two minutes on his.

So, this makes Joe Edley the the only three-time NSC division 1 winner (before today, he was the only two-time champ!). He won his first one in 1980 in Santa Monica, CA, and his second at the 1992 Atlanta NSC. His record was 22-9 +1454. Brian Cappelletto, with the same record but less cume +1342, is second. Dave Wiegand takes third, 21-10 +1410. Adam Logan, 4th, 21-10 +1116. Randy Hersom, 5th, 21-10 +164. Jere Mead, 6th, 20-10-1 +894. Ron Tiekert, 7th, 20-11 +1327. Jim Kramer, 8th, 20-11 +1020. Sammy Okosagah, 9th, 20-11 +566. Robert Felt, 10th, 20-11 +437.

During the short giant check/silver cup award presentation, Joe Edley shook hands with John D. Williams, Jr., and Mark Morris from Hasbro.

Division 2's winner: David Johnson 25-6 +1992

Division 3's winner: David Pearl 22-9 +1292

Division 4's winner: Joseph Connelly 24-7 +1547

Division 5's winner: Rob Matthews 23-8 +1672

Division 6's winner: Connie Creed 25-6 +1490

Awards ceremony to come so I have to run. More complete results for the other divisions soon!


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