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[August 17-22]

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2000 NSC

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Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage

NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 15

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.

This morning got to a roaring start. I took some photos in the viewing area above the games and barely got back into my seat when Jeff Widergren (San Jose, CA) walked by. He had just finished his game with 17 minutes left on his clock. He said he got all the right tiles to defeat Trey Wright (Beverly Hills, CA), 480-350. His favorite play that game was TOXOIDS. On Trey's second to last play, he got down COUTHIER through the O.

When asked, as we are several times a day, if we miss playing, John Chew responds that in 2004, he hopes a thousand players will organize an event for the 30 or so workers at this year's event so we can play!

The tournament's best hat award goes to division 6, hands down. There is Sara Hamel (California City, CA) in her bonnet, John C Green Jr (East Palo Alto, CA) in his straw hat, Gwen Brehon (Port St. Lucie, FL) in her black and white "Panama" hat, and even the word judge, Matt Hopkins is wearing a "kufi*"! I see other caps, too! A black leather baseball cap (I'm not kidding), a white "Panama" hat, and about a half dozen baseball hats.

News has been dribbling in and piling up, so let me report it out of order! Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI) extended EXECUTED with an RE: REEXECUTED* for 20 points. It was a game versus Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA) in division 1. We love those long words!

And round 14 news that got left out: Terry Kang (Philadelphia, PA) from division 6, stayed in first place by beating Edgar Thomas (Cambridge, MA), 370-348, on the strength of a 95-point late-game bingo using AEHKOS? to a T at O15. Her play? SHAKEOuT. Nice find!

Gene Tyszka (Mississauga ON) has a 15th wedding anniversary on 22 August. His wife "let" him attend the NSC despite this momentous date (whereas most of us might choose to celebrate an anniversary with a long weekend in Vermont at a B&B). He is thinking he needs to send her some flowers. . . .

John Chew says he is surprised that only seven players have asked how this event will be split-rated, but not surprised that they were all from division 1. The answer is, it will be rated in two chunks: games 1-16, and then games 17-31.

Lost and Found notes from the word judge (Ann Sanfedele noted these items on the table): one snapshot of a woman with one or more faces cut out with scissors, a sand timer next to a SamTimer, and a button with a slogan "Watch for Falling Ratings."

A really old note from Vivien Mallick, word judge. She saw Sylvia King (Calgary AB) play JEREMIAD for 86 points in a game against Al DeMers (Sparks, NV) on a division 5 round 9 board.

Howard Greenspan (Norwalk, CT) shows me a board where he lost to Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand), 321-447. Howie got away with SNiFTED* and Pakorn played ENROOTS and ODONATES. The games best play was Pakorn's attempt to block the bottom triple lane by playing GENIE. Turns out that it wasn't much of a block and it only worked in his favor! The very next play, he got down MIQUELeT through the first E for 76. The play nestled in nicely and made EEL, NE, and IT as well. Howie was amazed at Pakorn's great play.

In a division 1 duel between Alan Stern and Pat Barrett, Pat won, 444-297. She got down AGONISE, ANTERIOR through the N, and SUrPRINT through the U for 68. Alan wants me to point out that he was busy keeping score through that game. Then he showed me the results slip that says underneath the round, "print clearly." He asked if people normally submitted their numerals in cursive.

In division 2, Noel Livermore (Easton, PA) defeated David Filippi (Portland, OR), 446-339. David found DErIDINg and Noel got down DOTIEST and WINNERS (naturally). David pointed out that he wanted to play the word LOSER, but it would have required an S and he was fresh out of them that round.

Howard Greenspan (Norwalk, CT) tells me that he has had 11 of the last 12 blanks in his last 6 games. He says he's starting to think like Joe Edley (Coram, NY) and to keep himself focused and postive. We both are worried that this deep concentration on Howie's part might be just sucking all the energy out of the room since Joe isn't winning as many games as usual. We'll continue to ponder this thought.

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