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2000 NSC

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Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage

NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 24

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 24

As this round begins, I walk by and see Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) shake hands with Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY). They are about to compete at board 1 in division 1.

Division 5 leader, Bryan Pepper, confesses to me that he feels like 700 busses have just run him over. But he is still smiling!

At the division 5 top table, the boys were beaten by the girls. Gina DuMez (Elgin, IL) beat Scott McDougall (Williamsburg, VA), 419-373, at board 1, and Helen Pipi (Las Vegas, NV) defeated Waheed Thompson (New Orleans, LA), 387-252.

Randy Greenspan (Buffalo, NY) was feeling faint this round and he went to get himself checked out.

At board 1 in division 2, I observe Iffy Onyeonwu (Elgin, TX) playing upside down in the end game. In the end, Sal Dijamco (Margate, FL) wins, 507-416. The board is pretty with VINEYArD stretching out on the triple (Sal played it for 104 from the V). He also got down ENTAsTIC for 72 and Iffy played INTONES for 75 and FORGERS for 78.

The neighboring game at board 2 between Jack Eichenbaum (Flushing, NY) and Steve Glass (Plano, TX) ended a few minutes later with Jack pulling off the win, 393-335. I see Steve's DIVORCE and Jack's lovely MAGnETISE for 86 and DERIVERS for 66.

David Andrien notices a unique board in division 3 and he brings me over to that table. Players have been leaving their tiles on the board when done so that it is easier to verify 100 tiles before the next game. Some people leave one big block of 10 x 10 tiles and others do four 5 x 5 blocks put into each corner of the board. This division 3 board had the tiles spread out in a wonderfully repeated pattern. Check it out in the round 24 photos!

Back in division 1 (it isn't lost on me that I'm spending a lot of time there!), Adam Logan (Berkeley, CA) has a monster win against Patricia Barrett (Houston, TX), 572-320. Lawren Freebody, the division 1 word judge, brings me to see the board. Pat played ARTERIAL to the L, Adam played GNATlIKE through the T, Pat played CRISTAE, Adam played SPLINtS, and then the back and forth stopped and Adam played the last bingo, AUTODYNE, an out bingo! Other nice plays on the board are Adam's opeing play of GLAZY and Pat's midgame dump for 18 of EREMURI through the second R.

In the cage (the area where the top six games are being played), the setup has changed slightly. It is still six games, but instead of being at three tables, as they were yesterday, each game has its own table. The players have more space to spread out and the cameras have better viewing and listening access.

Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) pulled out the win against Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) this round, 449-358. I see Joel's CArOLING for 83, NIRVAnAS for 74, and RENATURE for 61. Joel was stuck with the Q, but it didn't make a difference. Marlon was talking "what ifs" with Joel afterwards and the cameras were rolling. Marlon mentioned something about needing to make Joel panic in order to eke out a win and Joel deadpanned, "I had too much time on my clock to panic, Marlon."

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