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2000 NSC

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Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage

NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 7

Congratulations to our new National Champion, Joel Sherman!

See also: video clip 1 (2 MB), video clip 2 (2 MB). (video courtesy Roger Cullman)

Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, 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 23, Round 24, Round 25, Round 26, Round 27, Round 28, Round 29, Round 30, Round 31, After the Tournament.

Round 7

Division 1's Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA) walked up to our table to tell us about a 158-point phoney he played against Charnwit Sumrattanaporn (Thailand) to win the game. I ran over to see the board, but it had been picked up. Bob was 95 points behind when he played pARODISM*. The game ended with them 545-476. Having a better game than Charnwit that round, fellow Thai countryman, Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) defeated Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA), 430-289. Jere congratulated Panupol on a good game and went on to tell me about the play he most enjoyed that day. The board had RoDLESS going across, with AWAIT laying above and partially parallel creating AL, WE, AS, IS. Jere's rack was EIOBCDN. Can you find his 9?**

Passing by, I see a division 1 game under way between Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) and David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC). Two better plays are INERtIAE and TAXPAID.

Gail Wolford (Portland, OR) is again having bad luck as I approach her division 1 board. She hasn't seen a blank since sometime before 11 A.M. and she finally has an S. Earlier in the game she played HORRIBLE through the O for 67 and her opponent, Noah Kanter (Berkeley, CA), has responded with fOODLIKE through the I for 76. She slaps down SERVANT hooking the S to make JOES for 75. She's hopeful, because there are still some good tiles out. She draws seven vowels and one consonant! Her last play was a bit risky, since it was one row above the bottom triple row. Her bad luck holds and Noah holds AIOUNR?. He plays RAINOUt for 81 creating AR, NA, TI. There are three tiles left in the bag and Noah gets them. At this point, Gail has more than 20 minutes left on her clock! Noah is down to just above three minutes! Vowelitis helps her one-tile him until she sticks him with the V (one of his last three tiles), but it isn't enough and he wins, 455-433.

Circling division 1, I spot Adam Logan (Berkeley, CA) and Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) filling out paperwork and Marlon isn't smiling. I ask how it went and he said, "One E, that's how it went. One E. You aren't going to have a lot to say with one E!" At this point, he gets a shush from another player and I try to glean what may have happened by looking over their paperwork and the board. I see Adams BARONAGEs through the AR for 63, INDUCTEE from the I, and QUITS for 50. Marlon tells me that Adam went from 113 to 300 in three plays. I see LANNERs and ask who played it. Marlon says, "that was me, with my ONE E." Marlon gets shushed again and make a clean getaway as soon as I get the game score, 432-352.

I spot two Saldanhas sitting around an empty board and join them. Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) is talking to his youngest sister Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC). She is 7-0 +620 and her favorite play of the day was IdOlIZE for 121. She is currently in 2nd place in division 6. Dean is 4-3 and happy with that record in division 1. In his last game against Daniel Goldman (New York, NY), he played five bingos: IRoNERS for 64, RETINAE for 68, NIRVANAS through the second N for 64, REGULARS from the first R for 61, and vACCINE for 76. He won, 517-325. I find out later that the other sibling, Dion Saldanha (Richmond BC), also in division 6, has lost a game and is 6-1 +926 and in 5th place. And proving that it is just a family of over-achievers, their dad, Norbert Saldanha (Richmond BC) is 7-0 +1018 and in first place in division 4! Mom, Miriam Saldanha (Richmond BC), is working her way toward the top of division 5.

In Division 5, I stumble upon the finished game of the division's undefeated leader. Lois Greene (Dayton, OH) (the only undefeated player, a 7-0 +502 record) has another win, this time over Karen Moss (Lawton, OK), 412-318. Going for more points, Karen played sENATES for 71 (opting not to play the "safer" LEANEST elsewhere. Seizing on the opportunity, she played QUEEN through the first E for 68 points. Later in the game, Lois tried BLONDIES*, but Karen called it off. On her next play, she found BlONDISH instead and that one stayed.

Ida Ann Shapiro (Rego Park, NY) tells me about her game vs. Juanita Value (San Diego, CA). It was super defensive and anyone's game since the board was blocked up. There were still many unplayed tiles and neither one wanted to pick the Z, sensing that they wouldn't finish the game. In the end, the game was called on successive scores of 0 and Ida lost 7 points from her score for the tiles on her rack and Juanita lost 12 for the tiles on her rack. However, it didn't stop there. Juanita went more than 4 minutes over on the clock and lost 50 points off her score. Ida won, 196-120!

Going into tomorrow, there are nine division 1 players with 6-1 records: Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA), Nigel Richards (Malaysia), Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand), Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY), Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL), Matt Graham (New York, NY), Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI), Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON), and Marty Gabriel (Berwyn, IL).

Division 2 has two undefeated players: Iffy Onyeonwu (Elgin, TX), 7-0 +852, and Chani Katz (San Mateo, CA), 7-0 +415.

And demonstrating that it isn't at all lonely at the top, divisions 3-5 have only one leader: 3's Allan Simon (Calgary AB), 7-0 +326, 4's Norbert Saldanha (Richmond BC), 7-0 +1018 (the largest spread of the tournament so far!), and 5's Lois Greene (Dayton, OH), 7-0 +502.

Four people share the top of division 6 with undefeated records: Bill Kinsella (Sumas, WA) +927, Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) +755, Terry Kang (Philadelphia, PA) +604, and Vera Kuznecov (Vancouver BC) +599.

**Jere played BALCONIED for 78 and "a turn" since his opponent challenged and it was ruled acceptable.

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