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Congratulations to the 2001 World Champion, Brian Cappelletto!

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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 13

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 13

We start our first round after lunch with the beginning of two games per round being annotated. John Robertson, director of the Cambridge Ontario SCRABBLE® club is annotating with Lawren Freebody at board 1. Howard Warner (New Zealand) and Joel Wapnick (World Champion) are facing off. At table 2, Brian Cappelletto (United States) is playing Bob Lipton (United States) with Sam Kantimathi and John Karris doing annotation there.

Laura Klein had all the players in their places, tiles counted and ready to go when she realized something unusual: we were early! The round wasn't slated to being yet. No big deal, really, but the tourament's director wasn't in the room yet. Before someone suggested that Matt Graham (United States) do his standup act, Charlie walked into the room and got an applause. Soon thereafter the games began.

Soon after his return, a director call was made from table 18. Turns out that a tile fell out of the bag quite by mistake. Ensuring that both players concurred on the tile out of the bag error, Charlie just told them to put it back in. If only all director calls were that easily resolved!

At table 2, Bob Lipton (United States) defeated Brian Cappelletto (United States) 420-300. In time trouble this game, Brian lost 20 points off his score for the clock. Bob's annotator points out his two bingos: GEODETIc through the O for 61 and eSTRONE for 72. Uncharacteristic for him, Brian had no bingos this game.

Big changes at table 1 as well. Howard Warner (New Zealand) defeated Joel Wapnick (World Champion), 430-368. Howard had that "deer in the headlights" look moments after the game finished. The game will be put up on the web soon, so I'll take time to detail other boards.

Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) lost to Steve Polatnick (United States) this round in a big way, 339-530. Pakorn kindly pointed out an exciting string of high-scoring plays made my Steve: SEAWOMAN through the W for 77, TAnGRAMS through the A for 81, RUNLETS for 81, JIRGA down the triple lane for 45, VIZIER for 38, CODEX for 62, and the cherry on the top of this beautiful play medley was QI for 31 points! Amidst this onslaught, Pakorn managed to get down BrINIEST to the T on the triple lane.

In a game that can only be described as parallel hell, Adam Logan (Canada) won a squeaker against Femi Awowade (Nigeria), 485-437. The game was much closer than the score indicates. Adam opened with OBEAH, Femi played DRANTED alongside making as many parallel plays as possible. Then Adam played CEASE, Femi KAS, Adam FIE, Femi DUPLY, Adam QAT, Femi VIG, and then, relenting, Adam opened up with UFO. The game proceeded from that point with Femi getting down ARCHAISE to the E for 80. Adam played the triple-triple RAIsONNE through an N for 122, bringing him to 29 points from Femi. Undeterred, Femi played GAUJE down the triple lane for 63, putting the then demoralized Adam down by 92 points. A couple of moves later, the strangest thing happened. Adam played MAINEST for 79, taking the last tile in the bag, an N. Femi held WILDIG? and he took a chance on WIDGE, which Adam challenged off. He then played HEN and got the tiles from Femi's rack, winning the game and turning his stomach lining inside out. Femi, still recovering from the loss, heard a voice behind him say, "Don't worry, Femi, next round you get an easy game." Femi turned around and said, "yeah, who do I play?" And Brett Smitheram (England) smiled and answered, "ME!" We all laughed.

I'm told that through 13 rounds, there has been this approximate challenge ratio: 460-acceptable to 290-not acceptable. Word Judge Rick Wong comments that this is lower ratio that he would accept for a 5-point penalty tournament. He would have expected a higher ratio difference, say 4-1. What this boils down to is that people are probably getting away with more phoney plays because the challengers are afraid to challenge.

The loss notwithstanding, Joel Wapnick (World Champion) remains the top player as this round closes with the sole 11-2 record. However, there isn't much room for letting down his guard as there is a 5-way tie for second. All with 10 wins: Joe Edley (United States) +618, Adam Logan (Canada) +543, Howard Warner (New Zealand) +451, Brian Cappelletto (United States) +445, and Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) +308.

This round's featured interactive games are:

HASBRO is the owner of the registered SCRABBLE® trademark in the United States and Canada. © 2001 HASBRO. All rights reserved. "SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game" is the proper way to refer to this unique group of word games and related properties marketed by HASBRO. "SCRABBLE®" is not a generic term. To use it as such is not only misleading but also does injustice to the company responsible for the trademark's longtime popularity. All we ask is that when you mean SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game, you say so. 

The SCRABBLE® trademark is owned by J.W. Spear and Sons, PLC, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. outside of the United States and Canada. 

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