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Congratulations to the 2001 World Champion, Brian Cappelletto!

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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 4

Go to: Before Round 1, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Round 19, Round 20, Round 21, Round 22, Round 23, Round 24, Final Game 1, Final Game 2, Final Game 3, Final Game 4.

Round 4

Steven Gruzd (South Africa) got a chance to be in the hot seat this round. He was at table 1 playing Joel Wapnick (World Champion). Afterwards, he tells me it was a heartbreaking 8-point loss. Early on, Steve could see that Joel was struggling. His first five moves were DODO, MIG, COLONI, UPDO, and EIDE. Steve started with TAJ, which he now thinks may have been wrong. He could have played JEANS or JEATS for 40, instead he got 20. Steve was well ahead, playing nice words like FANTAIL (33) through the N, NELLIES (81), but then he made a fatal mistake. He was holding AEEIRSV and he played the phoney VELARIES* when VELARISE was good! Joel challenged and the bad word came off. Joel played COLONIC and CHIRReS (106 + 5 for Steve's challenge), then GRANDaME through the N for 90. After this, Steve hit back with a 121-point play of KORATS/QUASHER! Having the last S, Joel played out and won. Steve had an unplayable UNEATEN. How true it is! As if this wasn't a hard enough game, Steve next plays another WSC champ, Joel Sherman (United States).

Allan Simmons (England) defeated Rashid Khan (Pakistan), 404-392. Rashid played ENTRAILS for 77, FOOTaGES for 86, and then he tried the play ABOARDED*, which Allan challenged off. Fifty points behind and fearing he was out of the game, this challenge was quite helpful. Allan then played ARRAsED for 72, then GAZING on the triple line for 57. This put him 10 points ahead and he managed to keep hold of that small lead.

Robin Pollock Daniel (Canada) is now 2-2 and beaming. She said, "I'm glad it happened this way, that I lost the first two games instead of the last two games. Now I can go to lunch in a good mood." She says that studying the British words really helped her from the start of this game. Her opponent, Taewan Sutthasin (Thailand) opened with ALA. She promptly played JOUNCED/NALA. Then, at the game's end, she had to keep him from maximizing his Q on the triple lane. Rembering that TIG# takes and E and an S, she put an N out into the triple lane, which forced Taewan to play QUEEN, which didn't score enough for him to win the game. It was difficult getting close to the board to talk to her as there were two camera crews recording the endgame analysis!

Paul Yandisha Kalumba (Zambia) defeated Mario Miranda (Philippines) this round, 370-349. Paul got down the natural SESTINA and Mario played WHITEOUTs off the W on the triple lane.

In a nail-biter of a game, David William Boys (Canada) lost by only 1 point to Sammy Okosagah (Nigeria), 421-420. I walked up when the both had less than two minutes on their clocks. The score was tied at 383. Sammy held ?BI and Dave had JOEPND. He played JO for 37 and Sammy went out with OBi and with the tiles on Dave's rack, eked out that 1-point win. They did the quickest recount I've ever seen. Since theirs was one of the last games to finish this round, they had quite a crowd around them when the scores were agreed upon. At a quick glance, I see that Dave played ANKERITE, ANURIAS, and MEAGREST. Sammy opend with IGNoBLY and later got down WIELDERS on the triple lane, which brought him back into the game. Dave wished he'd not played COOS/TALAQS, because the play he should have made would have blocked Sammy's second bingo.

James Kramer (United States) sings the praises of the 5-point challenge rule. In his game this round, his opponent, Ronald Credo (Philippines), opened with BOyLIKE*. As Jim tells it, he wouldn't have wanted to loose his turn so early on, so he might have had to let that play go. But, he challenged, and it was ruled unacceptable and came off. Ronald's next play was BODyLIKE*, which Jim also challenged off. Jim says, "before long I was winning by 200 points." End score, 578-369.

SCRABBLE® player and former Vegas tournament director, Paul Terry, is here filming a documentary. He isn't sure where the footage will end up, but he promises to keep in touch with us about where we can find it in the future.

Ravee Joradol is here with the Thai contingency. He tried to explain why Charwit Sukhumrattanaporn wasn't here, but I'm not buying it. Charnwit should have just studied harder so he could have joined us here at the WSC! That said, we are delighted to see Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand), Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand), and Taewan Sutthasin (Thailand)!

Dan Laurentiu Sandu (Romania) tells us that he is working on the first-ever book about SCRABBLE® in Romania.

Lunch time!

This round's featured interactive game is between Steven Gruzd (South Africa) and Joel Wapnick (World Champion).

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