Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage
NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 16
Congratulations to our new National Champion, Joel Sherman!
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.
At table 1 in division 5, Tim Olsen (Los Angeles, CA) squared off against Matthew Carter (Richmond, VA). As I walk by, Matt has EIIDGR? on his rack. Tim plays, blocking the best bingo lane and leaves Matt to find his bingo through an N. And he does: DEaIRING! On Matt's next play, he tries playing REGALIA through the E, hooking the R at the end of WINE, making WINER*. Tim, rightly, doesn't like that play, and challenges it off the board.
A photo opportunity missed, but a fun story nonetheless, 14-year-old Leland Fidler (Waltham, MA), playing in his second nationals, had his second crack at a nonagenarian opponent! This time he got to play Helen Pipi (Las Vegas, NV), who proudly admits to turning 91 last June. The game was a squeaker with Leland winning, 367-337, pretty much because Helen was stuck with the Q.
Division 2 has so many beautiful boards this round. I spot a game underway between Lisa Kessler (Toronto ON) and Clay Daniel (Dallas, TX). Their bingos are REHANDLE, CREWING, and WOOSIER*. In a nearby game Elaine Patterson (Stoughton, MA) is doing battle with Maddy Golob (Canyon Country, CA). Reading Elaine's scoresheet, I see that she has played EXTErNE and Maddy has played TINWARe and TAURINE to the E.
In a game between Carol Dustin (Minneapolis, MN) and Larry Gradus (Margate, FL), Carol's play of ARGHILE* caught my eye. Turns out it needs an N in front to be good, but neither Carol nor Larry were sure about this. Larry played MANMADE and Carol played ENQuIRE and ADVERTED to win, 404-321.
Another division 2 game, this one between John Olaughlin (Hartland, WI) and Dave Leifer (Alpharetta, GA), was cooking. John played BANDOGS and then found with the rack: ??CEHIU through an O, the astounding (to me at least) COpIHUEs. He won the game 415-324.
Joel Horn (Reading, MA) defeated Joseph Jokubaitis (Middlebury, CT) this round, 488-287. Joel pointed out the only bingo he could play with his tiles and he found it. They were: IIURV??. On the triple lane, he found tRIVIUm, which Joe challenged. He also played JOINING through the first I for 86, INSANER, and EXTREMA to the A on the triple line for 51. Joe got down THROWING through the H. Joel admits that everything fell his way that game.
Josh Silber walks up and tells me that for the first time in the tournament, he actually had to bite his lip to keep from laughing when he looked up the word NONNAZI*. It wasn't good.
Diane Firstman (Brooklyn, NY) had a tough, tough loss to Rick Wong (San José, CA) this round in division 2. They did a recount that stood, 427-425, in Rick's favor. Diane played MeDICAID through the A for 84, MEAGERER from the M for 63, and TOXINS for 63. Rick got down INSULTER for 68 and TARTARED* through the first R for 63. His favorite play of the game was holding HIOUTWE and finding a 44-point play through a DE: HIDEOUT.
At table 1 in division 1, Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) defeated Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA), 451-443, which amounted to the tiles left on Bob's rack: CT. Marlon played SOLUTION for 59 and STUDLIER (I can hear him saying, "but, of course!") for 72. Bob played INSOFAR for 79, OVERlID for 92, and CATTISH for 70. Bob tried AECIDINE* through the N, but Marlon had the offending word removed.
Just as I'm about to write up this round's notes, Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) asks if I want to see CHEERFULLY on a board. And do I! I jump up and go over to his board, hearing the story of how he added CHEER to his opponent's FULLY play. That opponent, Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI), won the game, 404-400. Alan got down INSTALL, BANDANAS to the S, and JAsMINES to the S. Paul played URETHAnE through the A. By the way, CHEERFULLY only garnered 25 points, but it had immeasureable style points! Alan thinks his last draw might have lost him the game: IIDVCUW.
A board I didn't to see, but heard about, was between Patricia Barrett (Houston, TX) and J Goard (Foresthill, CA). J "walked like an EGYPTIAN," by going out with that bingo for 101 points! He also got down DRIVeLS, BEFRIeND through the R, and RESTERS. He politely points out Pat's bingo: NONSKIER. He won, 551-334.
Another good sport is in the room! Unsolicited, Michael Garner (Taylor, MI) came over to tell me about a game he just lost to 13-year-old, Bay Area School SCRABBLE® Champ, Chris Ofstad (Antioch, CA), 442-344. He said that he lost despite getting down two bingos: STEELING through the T for 60 and AIRLINE for 76, Chris' best play was DOSSIER for 73. Michael said he was impressed with Chris' level of play! They are in division 6.
I'm handed a sheet of paper by Gene Tyszka (Mississauga ON). It says, "In Division 4, Ossie Mair (Lauderhill, FL) defeated me, 400-355. I almost overcome an early loss when down by 126. I come back to within 18 at which point Ossie plays TAKE for 28 points by hooking the A onto VERSION to 'steal' the win!" Gene tells me that the momentum was swiming his way, but he still lost and thinks Ossie played a great game.
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