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Congratulations to the 2001 World Champion, Brian Cappelletto!

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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 7

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.

This round's featured interactive game is between Kendall Boyd (New Zealand) and Roland Filio (Philippines).
Round 7

I stumbled upon a great conversation between Jim Geary (United States) and Michael Tang (Malaysia) as they were tallying up the final scores, 431-399, in Jim's favor. They were congratulating each other on a great game when Jim mentioned that the 5-point challenge really made a difference in his endgame. He said, "Hey, didn't you essentially invent the challenge penalty?" When Michael nodded, Jim said, "good invention." Turns out that Michael played ORAT and Jim didn't challenge, because he "couldn't afford to lose the 5-point cost of being wrong." Jim opened with WATChER for 80 and Michael responded with DAVENInG for 74 through the A in Jim's play. Later in that game, Michael said he forgot that NORMAL took an S and he said he shouldn't have since he is an engineer after all. Michael is well known as the one who organized the inaugural Channel NewsAsia World SCRABBLE® Masters, which was held in Singapore in 1999. At that tournament, Naween Tharanga Fernando (Sri Lanka) beat Andrew Fisher (England) to win the tourament's top prize of $25,000 USD. This was the first international event to enforce a penalty for challenging an acceptable word (although this concept was in use in Singapore all the while). Up till then, players either played with free challenges or double challenges and the consequences for challenging a "good" word were much steeper for the latter. The 1999 tournament's adoption of this penalty created a compromise that most players continue to use and find fair.

Canadian WSC champs met head-to-head this round and 1999 eked out a 2-point win over 1995: Joel Wapnick (World Champion) defeated David William Boys (Canada), 422-420. A quick glance at a scoresheet shows Joel opening with EBONY, Dave passing 6 and playing uRIDINE the next play for 77. Dave also got down GLISTERS on the triple lane for 77. Joel played GOODIEs for 67.

David Wiegand (United States) defeated Ron Hoekstra (Canada), 361-306. The only exciting play I spot on their board is YIElDING. Dave is now 4-2-1 and Ron is close behind with a 3-4 record.

I see an 8-point win for Brian Cappelletto (United States) vs. Joey Mallick (United States), 397-389. At the game's end, they exchanged bingos to go out. Brian bingoed with SEIZURes for 84, opening the top triple lane, and never one to let an opportunity pass, Joey then bingoed out with MENTION for 86.

Sam Kantimathi, the U.S. team's second alternate, is understandably crestfallen to miss out on playing, but there is a small comfort: he's sold more than 50 SamTimers! It turns out that many players arrived clockless. After calling for timers round after round, I've noticed that we're not hearing it anymore.

Adam Logan (Canada) is 6-1 now after winning a close game against Paul Stephen Cleary (Australia), 400-393. Toward the end of the game, Adam took the lead with REALIsE. Paul then opened the board. There was a blank still out and fearing Paul would bingo, Adam closed the board knowing full well that he might end up eating the Q. As he saw it, he could survive Paul bingoing and he could survive eating the Q, but he couldn't survive both. As it turns out, he was able to block Paul, but gave Paul 20 for the Q on his rack.

As round 7 comes to an end, Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) remains our only undefeated player with a +359 spread. Hanging in second is Jim Geary (United States), 6-1 +611. Others at 6-1 are Joel Wapnick (World Champion), Adam Logan (Canada), Naween Tharanga Fernando (Sri Lanka), Brian Cappelletto (United States), and Joe Edley (United States).

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