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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 18

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.

Matt Hopkins and Wendell Smith, working in division 6 in front of our table, walk over to tell us about the strangest coincidence. In that division, there were two virtually identical challenges on the same word in the same spot on the board! One player tried lIVIdEST# and another tried LIVIDESt#. Both 8-letter phoneys were played in the left-hand bottom corner of the board!

Funniest overheard comment this morning. Someone walks up to John Chew and asks him to, when he is not busy, write up the formula for calculating ratings so she can work out her ratings change. (I printed up a copy of my web page on the subject - jjc)

From division 6, Robin Bowles (Albuquerque, NM) walks over in a stunned daze. He asks if we know the word UNITAGE. I, of course, don't, but John does and spouts off the angram with an S: SAUTEING. His opponent, Maxine Marcus (Anaheim Hills, CA) played it for 68 and he challenged. It cost him the game, 316-400.

Bonnie Rudolph issues an alert for me to check out UNDERSHOOT on table 16 in division 3 (it was challenged and is good), but by the time I get there, the board was already picked up.

I run by table 1 in division 5 to see Scott McDougall (Williamsburg, VA) defeat Tim Olsen (Los Angeles, CA), 351-283. I see Scott's ARENITE for 63 and note that he caught Tim with QSRE? on his rank. The post-game talk was about how Scott prevented Tim from taking advantage of his blank.

I see a dejected Leland Fidler (Waltham, MA) sitting on the sidelines. He just suffered a heartbreaking loss to Barry Skoletsky (Hartford, CT). In Leland's outplay, he got a bit sloppy, and instead of playing FA, he played FAS/DES*, which Barry challenged off. Barry won, 342-333. Amidst the depressing scene, Leland takes time to note Barry's nice GUTTURAL play.

A fine division 1 board was lying between Trey Wright (Beverly Hills, CA) and David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC). Trey played ALIZARIN and ZOOpHYTE and David got down REPOSAL and SHoRTAGE. I notice other good plays JETTON (David's I think), WELLY, and YAIRD. It turns out that Trey wins, 434-411. As I walk away, they are reconstructing their endgames. Trey held EEINORU going in and David had MUBVINO. If he plays off VINO as they both agree is the "right" thing to do, he draws ME, which leaves him with MUBME. I left before they decided the verdict!

Rod MacNeil (Londonderry, NH) defeated Michael Baker (Portland, OR), 477-408, in division 1. Mike played ELOINER for 63, RESOWING through the I for 82, and sCAbBING from the blank S, for 76. Rod's better plays were DAMOSEL for 75, COURTEsY for 89 down the triple, and the double-double FEASTING to the G for 98.

Another tough loss for Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA) at board 1 in division 1. This time to Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY), 402-486. Though Bob got down SEDILItY* from the S for 86, OUTDROVE from the O for 76, and CLOUdIER through the L for 68, he still couldn't keep up with Joel's overall game which included the opening BANDORA for 86 and PIGMeNTS through the G for 78.

In the late-breaking news department, I missed a big event! Fern Lindzon (North York ON) gave Iffy Onyeonwu (Elgin, TX) his first loss of the day! She beat him in round 16, playing AUDITORY through the O and wINCHES. She says it came down to the endgame and he made a really strong 30-point outplay: INSTAR from the IN. And while we are ganging up on the invincible Iffy, it turns out that Chuck Armstrong (Saline, MI) delivered his second loss just this round, 448-359.

As people mill out of the room for lunch, Scott Pianowski (Berkley, MI) comes over to tell me about a game he lost to Martin Smith (East Orange, NJ), who he says played beautifully. Scott opened with PAY and Martin responded strongly by passing 7. Then Scott bingoed with ORIGAnS for 73 and Martin again passes 7. Those must have been some awful tiles! Later in the game, Scott plays DOZE for 42, he has the second blank, and the score is 174-37. Scott is all but blowing on his knuckles, right? Well, suddenly Martin is on fire. He plays FIQUE for 56, JOEYS for 75, PIETA (hooking to make four other words) for 33, and then he bingos with SHINGLE for 66. And, wins the game, 414-349. About himself, Scott admits that if he'd gotten an E, he would have played PERCENTAGE to an AGE on the board and that might have won him the game. C'est dommage!

Just as I was about to go finish this write up, Joe Edley (Coram, NY) stopped by to tell me about his 219-point game. I'll write it and a lot more stuff up later, but will get these notes up now. Look for his stuff here later today!

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