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Congratulations to the 2001 World Champion, Brian Cappelletto!

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WSC 2001 Commentary: Round 24

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 24

The round's big news is that Joel Wapnick (World Champion) defeated James Kramer (United States), 448-405. Jim had a comfortable lead when Joel played down the triple lane with ENRHEUM for 91. Jim held him and ended up challenging, which earned Joel 5 more points, since it is an acceptable play. Joel then went on to pick both blanks and finished off the game. The crowd around this game was at least two deep if not three deep.

Thus, tomorrow's finals will be played by Brian Cappelletto (United States) and Joel Wapnick (World Champion).

At table 24, Rodney Talbot (Australia) played SOMEDEAl through the A for 70 points. His opponent, Margarida Ana de Souza (Trinidad and Tobago), challenged, earning him 5 more points. What a fun word! The game, prior to this play, was quite close.

At table 28, Karl Khoshnaw (Kurdistan-Iraq) played XERASIA for 74. Siu Hean Cheah (Singapore) challenged, it is good, so Karl got 5 more points. Classic bingo revenge hit and Karl picked up ZVKGNVT!

Bob Lipton (United States) pulled me over to view a finished game board between him and Adam Logan (Canada). Bob pointed out that Adam had some good early plays: vERATRIA through the first A for 78 and the British-only REPOINTS through the E for 70. After these plays, Adam had a 58-point lead. Bob then played ALIBI for 30, drawing into AE?. As he tells it, he drew some really good stuff and then the dreaded Q, which necessitated a QI play on his next turn. Adam then played MODULES through the O for 39, which gave him a 51-point lead. Unfortunately for him, he drew EIIIIO to his leave of N. On his next turn, Bob played DEfECATE through the T for about as few points as you can get for a bingo: 60. Suddenly Bob had a lead of 9 points. At that point, Adam needed to pull the H to have any hope. Instead, he played JIN for 19 and picked AO. Bob then played THEW to the W for 37: while Adam's final rack read AEIIIOO, Bob got EGGGLN, and he won the game, 393-364.

I'm pulled over to look at a good game between Howard Warner (New Zealand) and Suresh Thevakumar Samuel Chinnaiyah (Sri Lanka). The New Zealander won, 449-434. Howard pointed at Suresh and said, "So, here I am playing a mechanical engineering student and early in the game he bingos back to back with THORACES through the H for 76 and ANOREXIC through the R in the previous play for 85, and I'm wondering what is going on!" Later in the game Suresh got down INAUrATE through the N for 64 which Howard called a "lovely find." Howard got down pRIVADOS through the R for 68 and DIESTER through the R in the previous word with the S hooking on making GLOBES for 70. However, what made this game so interesting was the end play. Howard was holding IIOONNR and Suresh held NEWSLTV from which he played GUV one short of the triple lane. This created an S-hook opening that Trevor could not block or prevent, so he played ROM elsewhere for 15 points. On his next turn, all Suresh had to do was make a reasonable 4-letter play on the triple lane that ended in S, making GUVS. What does he do? He plays LEWS*/GUVS for 33. Howard challenged and the play came off. This gaff turned it into a whole new ballgame. Suresh still played there the next turn, but that crucial missed turn gave Howard enough chance to rack up some points to set off that play. And, amazingly enough, he won. Both thought it an interesting last game of the tournament.

Keiichiro Hirai (Japan) tells me that he defeated Joel Sherman (United States) in this last round which brings him to 12-12 +675. He won his last three games and is estatic because he thinks this performance might increase Japan's allocation at the next WSC.

Brian Cappelletto (United States) waited until he had made the finals before he lost two games in a row, and strangely enough they were the last two today using the Gibson rule. Against Andrew Davis (England), he was defeated 505-434. Andrew got down four bingos: CANyONS for 83, RIFLEMeN to the N for 82, PICOTEE for 75, and he bingoed out with UNITERS for 76. Brian played LIBERAL for 75, OX for 51, JNANA for 56, and KEF for 43.

I failed to mention Laura Klein's comments to the players after the tea break between rounds 22 and 23. The player who loses the last game is to keep the tiles he or she has just played with. The player who wins that game will turn in the pair's paperwork and get another set of tiles from the NSA staff. So, all players will leave with a set of protiles. Of all the announcments, this met with the loudest applause. Bob Schoenman's matte finish blue tiles are a hit! Another gift was given to the loser: the board the pair was playing on. In round 24, two games tied and not only that, they tied with the same score! 420-420, 420-420. So, the NSA awarded them all with a board: Ranganathan Chakravarthy (India), Paul Yandisha Kalumba (Zambia), Aaron Clottey (Ghana), and Mario Shalendra Ranasuriya (Bahrain).

Laura thanked and I think it is worth mentioning here, too, the annotators: Evan Berofsky, Craig Rowland, Lawren Freebody, John Robertson, John Karris, Sam Kantimathi, Gregg Foster, and Richard Senzel. They were all great and without them we would have been unable to put up the play-by-play games. More thanks at a later date!

Here is a sample of visitors to the WSC so far this year. Richard Senzel helped me start a list this morning and Lawren Freebody added many more names this afternoon:

1. Ben Loiterstein, Cambridge, MA, SCRABBLE® club director.

2. Sam Kantimathi, SamTimer purveyor.

2.5 Mark Berg spotted after placing a few bets on strip (player from New York City).

3. Larry Rand and Barbara VanAlen (Arizona-based tournament directors).

4. Clare Ruckstul from New Zealand, on was from Ireland to support New Zealand Team. Attends club in Ireland and New Zealand.

5. Art Kronenthal is here from New York with son, Eric who found out about WSC on the internet and wants to get involved in SCRABBLE®.

6. Bwirre Matayo, team Manager for the SCRABBLE® Association in Kenya. Plays in club.

7. Rosli Amnijid and Roselina Sallehud Din, both club players from Malaysia here to support Malaysian team.

8. Alan Levin and wife Chris come to Las Vegas regularly and heard about WSC on the internet so timed their vacation to attend.

9. Samson Midigo, from Kenya, is a reserve player.

10. Sujiya, originally from India, went to College with Mohan Verghese Chunkath (India), traveled from Oregon to support him.

11. Khanitta Udomlarp, originally from Thailand, now living in England. Flew with friends from England to support Thai players.

12. Ruth MacInerney, club player from England, here to support English players.

13. Michael Ofori, president of SCRABBLE® association of Ghana. Here to support Ghana players.

14. C M Placca, secretary of SCRABBLE® Association of Ghana.

15. Dr. Joseph Boateng and son Kofi (6), living in Las Vegas, originally from Ghana. Here to support Ghana players. Joseph is a casual player, Kofi now wants to learn SCRABBLE®.

16. Chip Cebollero and wife Diane, happened to be in casino and play SCRABBLE® with friends every Sunday night. Excited about event and enjoying it. Lots of questions!!

17. Linda, wife of Randy Hersom (United States).

18. Martha Mallick, mother of Joey Mallick (United States).

19. Raghuram Jonnalagedda from Oregon, here to support Mohan Verghese Chunkath (India). Having a good time and plans to join club when he gets back to Oregon.

20. Wilma Warwick, partner of Alan Sinclair (Scotland), from Scotland. Plays in clubs and competed in WSC in Melbourne.

21. Lester Schonbrun, expert player from Oakland, CA.

22. Holly, the mother of Brian Cappelletto (United States).

23. Albert Hahn, expert player from Calgary, AB.

24. Stu Goldman, expert player from San Franciso, CA.

This round's featured interactive games are:

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