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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 17

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 17

This morning's first round began on time and all players were present when the clocks started. Even more media here today. One reported photographed the web site over my machine. He had a keen interest in a David William Boys (Canada) game, but since we didn't have one in the chute, he was most pleased to run through the round 14 game between Joel Wapnick (World Champion) and Andrew Fisher (England).

It hit me this morning that the reason I might be having trouble keeping the British Andrews straight is that there are three, of them here!

The top Canadians didn't fare so well this game. At table 1 this round, Joel Wapnick (World Champion) faced off against Joe Edley (United States) with the current North American SCRABBLE® champ winning the game, 459-351. At table 2, Adam Logan (Canada) fell to Brett Smitheram (England), 457-407. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) defeated Andrew Perry (England), 445-404 and the race has gotten a lot closer!

In other parts of the room, Catherine Costello (Ireland) lost a close game to Dixon Assesa (Kenya) at table 38. Midway through the game I spy close scores, 288-256 with Catherine in the lead. She has the promising rack of OVERTEM, but the only open letter she can play through is a Y.

Fearing being removed for hovering, I walk over to check out the game between Ganesh Asirvatham (Malaysia) and Mohan Verghese Chunkath (India) at table 21. Mohan called a challenge of the word SOE, which was ruled unacceptable. There was a look of disappointment on Ganesh's expressive face.

At table 26, a game is under way between Joey Mallick (United States) and Randy Hersom (United States). I hear Randy say, "I've got to challenge it even though I'm pretty sure it is good. The challenge of FirEPOT comes back acceptable giving, which pretty much won Joey the game. I saw his shoulders go down when he heard the ruling. The end score was 390-374. I spot Randy's play of IMBADGES* for 78 which neither player was sure of. A passing Charlie Southwell looked it up for us and gave the thumbs down (this wasn't a formal challenge as the game was already over). Randy also got down ERASION. Joey played UNHIVE, which is an OSW word he leared only the other day.

At table 27, Trevor Mark Hovelmeier (South Africa) was playing Ronald Credo (Philippines). I see the play SEATMAte go down for 87, it is challenged and ruled acceptable. Ronald is a careful player, dutifully checking the play counts to verify scores. After winning the challenge for his two-blank bingo, he put down JIVeY through the blank E for 50 points. As their game ends, I see Ronald pull out a calculator as the players try to agree on the game's score. This game's S-tile recipient, Ronald got down TRAPEZES for 88 from the T and LEOTARDS through the E for 72. Trevor got down TRIDENT on the triple lane.

At table 25, Steven Gruzd (South Africa) is racking his brain. He puts down a play that hooks an E creating EUGE. I can see him contemplating. Is it good? Is it not good? Finally he decides it is good, announces 10, and hits his clock. Not batting an eyelash to challenge Margarida Ana de Souza (Trinidad and Tobago) goes out and the game ends, 427-293 in Steve's favor. When she opened with CRAW, he slapped down UpTOWNS, creating CRAWS for 79. I think that set the game's tone. Later he played JUBES, hooking the S and creating AMAZONS for 67. She challenged, it was ruled acceptable. Later on, he manged to get down ADORINGLy through the OR for 78. They both agreed that it was not her game.

Back to Catherine Costello (Ireland) and Dixon Assesa (Kenya). Leading throughout the game, Catherine played SOJA for 28, which opened a triple lane. She lead at this point, 349-300. Thanking the tile gods, Dixon slapped down FoRD for 52, creating JO and AR. They were now, 352-349, his lead. She held IVNITS and was forced to get that V off her rack so she played IVY. The then played TIE, hooking onto ADZ, creating ADZE, which was enough to win the game with the tiles on her rack. Tough loss for her, exciting win for him.

At table 29, the quiet pair of Suresh Thevakumar Samuel Chinnaiyah (Sri Lanka) and Maor Eichler (Israel) were doing battle. I overheard Suresh say that he didn't think he deserved the win. Maor assured him he did. The Sri Lankan player got down DAINTiER from the D for 81 and SPRAINT for 68 (which Maor challenged, earning Suresh 5 extra points). Maor did have one bonus: HIlLIEST to the T for 77. Game score, 418-336.

At table 12, Robin Pollock Daniel (Canada) lost to Joel Sherman (United States). The lighting from the cameras was so great that I didn't need my flash to get a shot of their board. In her classic style, Robin was explaining the game's flow to the reporters and players. She started the game with two Es and didn't see another one until play 10. She was proud of herself for staying in the hunt despite her tiles of dreck. Joel got down GauZIER for 72, NONETTES through the O for 59, and the lovely PEERIES which hooked onto Robin's earlier play of ENVOIS making RENVOIS for 80 points. Robin got down MEANEST. Their score, 365-354.

This round's featured interactive games are:

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