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Congratulations to the 2001 World Champion, Brian Cappelletto!

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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 22

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 22

At table 3, Andrew Fisher (England) defeated Steve Polatnick (United States), 493-368. Steve opened with QAID and Andrew promptly put down HULlERS, hooking the S to make QAIDS for 84 points. Steve played LEPROTIC through the I for 65 and SEDATION through the A for 63. Andrew got down SHRIEVE, hooking the S to make MAQUIS for 93 and RENEGES for 68. Toward the end of the game, Andrew held DMORXZ?. He opted to play MIX, leaving two triples open. Facing two evils, Steve blocked the play he feared most: Andrew's potential play of DIAZO for 74 by playing JEW on the lower left side of lane 13. Andrew settled for using the other triple and played DOZeR for 51.

Steven Gruzd (South Africa) says that this round's game can be best summed up by the Dire Straits song that has this line in it: "Sometimes you are the windscreen, and sometimes you are the bug." Steve says it was his turn to be the bug. Evan Simpson (England) "ate him for breakfast," 559-391. As the game began, Steve's opening rack was AAEOUTT. He prayed for the right tile. Evan complied by opening with MICRON. Steve threw down AUTOMATE through the M thinking he was cruising along. It wasn't to be. Evan played RADIALS hooking the D to make AUTOMATED for 92. Evan then played KEX which blocked Steve's AGUEWEED. Later, Steve got down EROGEnIC for 62 plus 5 more because Evan challenged the play. When pressed, Steve pointed out Evan's better plays: ROOTIEST for 59, and VIATORs for 82.

Brian Cappelletto (United States) defeated Brett Smitheram (England) this round at table 1. Brett opened strong with eNTOTIC which Brian held him on (it is good). Sam Kantimathi, Brian's annotator, pointed out that Brian missed playing TOLEWARE, but it worked out to his favor, because the bingo he did play, AREOLATE from the A drew a challenge from Brett. So, Brian got 70 plus 5 for the challenge. Later in the game, Brett also challenged Brian's play of TENOURs which hooked the s to make COOFs. The play was ruled acceptable. Late in the game, Brian made a high-scoring, but risky play of FONDU for 41. Brett exploited the opening by playing LOADERS hooking the E to make FONDUE, but it wasn't enough points to sway the game.

James Kramer (United States) describes his game againt Adam Logan (Canada) this round as a "real nail-biter." Jim won, 398-382, and it points out that you can get both blanks and still lose a game! Jim played GNARRED making a 4-way overlap for 88, and EULOGIAS through the G for 72. He points out Adam's good plays: TOrSAdE for 64 and NEWSIER for 85. At the game's end, Adam held POTT in his rack. He gambled and played POTAH* to the triple. Jim challenged and the play came off the board.

Sanath Hemachandra (Oman) defeated Dan Laurentiu Sandu (Romania) this round, 474-268. Sanath opened strong with BEArISH after Dan exchanged tiles. Later in the game, Dan got down TALLIES and Sanath played OPERENTS through the P.

Zev Kaufman (Canada) calls me over to see his game against Jere Mead (United States). Zev won, 426-344. But that wasn't what interested Zev. All he wanted me to see was his neat find and play. He held NTSIZEO and he couldn't find any "good" places to play. Then he spotted PI on the top triple line and he found PINTSIZE for 60. He also played HaRMINE, TAUTENED, and IXORA to the triple for 62. Jere got down TINDALS.

About five minutes later, Jere pulled me aside for a newsy bit. I asked if it had anything to do with PINTSIZE and he assured me it did not. He brought a book to read with him on the trip called The Flanders Panel. On page one of the book, he spotted the word scrabbling and on page three of the book he found venetian!

The tournament is using the Gibson Rule next round. Brian Cappelletto (United States) will play John Holgate at table 1. Fontes explains that John was selected because he is "the highest preforming player who does not have a mathematical chance of winning a prize."

Brian Cappelletto (United States) has clinched a berth to the finals. To win the other place, a player will have to have at least 17 wins, and given that at least two players will do so, he will need high spread. This means that realistically, only James Kramer (United States), Andrew Fisher (England), Adam Logan (Canada) and Joel Wapnick (World Champion) are in the running. Jim has the significant advantage that he is guaranteed a place if he wins both games, but he really needs to do so with his relatively low spread. Andrew, Adam and Joel all must win both their remaining games or be eliminated. The game to watch therefore is Adam vs. Joel in round 23. (this provided by John Chew!)

This round's featured interactive games are:

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