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2000 NSC

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Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage

NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 26

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.

Some statistical facts have fallen down from heaven and I want to share them with you all! Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) is averaging 504 points per game in rounds 21-25. And, the top four players in division 2 after 25 games have an average age of 58.5 years old. Though I won't go so far and say I agree, it has been suggested that we rename division 2 the senior division.

Brian Pepper walks up to our table (which is far for someone who has been runover by 700 trucks as we are all the way across the room) and says, "DAG is still good and VEGS* still isn't!" He has has five challenges each today!

The top table in division 6 is hopping. As I walk by, a confident Terry Kang (Philadelphia, PA) places ECUMENS* hooking on to make SATES. Her opponent, Jesse Cromer (Waxhaw, NC) challenged, and the play came up. Undeterred, on her next play, she put down MUNChES for 71. She went on to win that game, 460-346. I note Jesse's DAURINE*, which they both think is dubious (they aren't wrong to doubt it, as only UNAIRED and URANIDE are good with those tiles). Terry also got down a bingo-bango of REASOnS, hooking the S to make RAWS for 83 and her next play was GELATINE for 72 through the first E.

Board 1 in division 6 has a great game, too. Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) just defeated Barbara Puky (St. Lazare QC), 413-359. She played COAtIES* and ARTISTE. Barbara got down DIGlOTS and defined it for us at the game's end (a bilingual book)! This end gives Dielle a 21-5 +1487 record, which is two games ahead of the pack in her division.

We thought it just might be possible for Norbert Saldanha (Richmond BC) to lose a game in division 4. It was looking more than possible that Jane Clark (West Hartford, CT) might just squeak by him, but it didn't happen this time. He won, by 7 points, 328-321. Norbert has his nametag clipped to the division's table 1 stanchion. So, it looks like he's staying! I see on their board Norbert's tERRAIN and Jane's SCATTER.

Not that she's complaining, mind you, but Lorraine Burton (Baltimore, MD) pulled me over to tell me some important statistical information. In the past 10 games, she's had 67 Is and in one game, she even had 7 Us! She is 11-15 right now, which I consider pretty good considering her vowelitis.

At board 2 in division 3, I find Stephen Dennis (Atlanta, GA) in an endgame recount with Patrick Hodges (Glendale, AZ). As it stands now, Patrick has a two-point lead, 349-347.

There are certain advantages to having a chiropractor who plays SCRABBLE®. And, when said chiropractor says, "You know, I think I want to go to the NSC in San Diego, what do you think?", it can really make your day. My chiropractor, Jeanne Freebody (Provincetown, MA) in division 3, stopped by and fixed my neck. According to her, I was wearing my shoulders as earrings. I do feel much better!

Division 1's Jim Pate (Birmingham, AL) comes to get me to show me a great game between him and Mark Milan (San Juan Capistrano, CA). Jim played CONTINUE to the E for 62 and then STEERING through the N for an 86-point double-double. This latter play was the higher-scoring of the two choices Jim had, but the more dangerous, if his opponent had the X. He did, and AX gave Mark a nice 52 points. Then Mark played SIMULATE from the S on the triple line in the upper right corner for 83. Next he played QuINONES to the S on the bottom left triple lane for 101. Mark ended up winning the game 460-431.

Jan Dixon (Wilmington, DE) strikes up a conversation about a game last round. She played four bingos in that game, two of them QUERIDAS through the A and IRONCLAD through the C. As if suddenly realizing she'd just played a pretty good game against Vince Castellano (Fairfax, VA), she starts telling me about that game, too. She got down ANISEED and PORNIER and Vince played sUNBeLT and PEWTERS. Jan won, 440-407.

A table or two away, I see an Incredible Hulk imitation. Jim Geary (Glendale, AZ) has bent an extra tile rack (we only use two and each set has four) in half. I ask him how he's doing and he says he's doing just fine. I notice the L on his scorecard column and start sniffing around his board. Well, it appears that his opponent, Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME), had used the powers of his mind to find an out-bingo of VIZARdED to the D for 97 to pull out a 394-324 win against Jim. And, in response, Jim used the powers of his hands on the rack.

Rusty Peltz (San Diego, CA) pulls me over to show me part of a board against Gail Wolford (Portland, OR). They had already pulled up most of the board, but they recreated this one corner. Rusty played AX for 51, then DOOLIES for 74, then BETAKEN for 102, and then the visually pleasing WALY for 73, making many wonderful parallel plays. Check out the photo in this round's shots! He went from being 113 behind to winning, 507-361. Incredibly good spirited, Gail only laughed and congratulated him.

My latent Florence Nightingale came out as this round ended. Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) had somehow cut his finger (maybe he's got too much space at those one game per board tables!) and needed to staunch the blood flow. Ever equipped, the NSA first aid kit saved the day. Not only did he get a flexible bandage, but he even got a disinfectant moist towelette! It was important that he get the bleeding under control, because he has to face Nigel Richards (Malaysia) next round!

Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) faces Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) this round and Adam Logan (Berkeley, CA) faces Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand) in division 1. Lots of exciting SCRABBLE® playing to come!

Annotators Eve Wengler and Beth Lerman nominated this round's game between Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) and Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) for this session's on-line game.

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