Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage
NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 27
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.
As I walk back to my table at the end of round 26 to write up commentary, I pass a division 1 game between David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) and Komol Panyasoponlert (Thailand). David opened with MIDRIB and Komol challenged it right away. I saw Gerald Carter (Thailand) rise up from his seat imperceptably from the next table to see which word was challenged. I guess he and a few others knew before the word judge rule that the play was acceptable.
Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON) stops by our table while he's waiting for his next game to start to tell us that he is 5-1 today and quite pleased. This brings his overall record to 17-10 and he likes those numbers. He says hi to Indira and Camille!
In division 4, Jeannie J Wilson (Livermore, CA) had a strong game against Ivan Blackman (Bahamas). Ivan exchanged on his first turn and Jeannie played LUMPIER for 72. Evan played FLATTENS through the L for 72 and Jeannie played MOUTHIER form the M for 67. Evan then played RELATION for 76. After Jeannie played small, Evan played OVErRIDE for 67. After a few more small turns, Evan got down PORTAGE for 78 and Jeannie played SOCKeTS for 72. A seven bingo game that went in Ivan's favor, 513-430.
Ginger White (Shirley, NY) in division 3, tells me about a game she just played against Lee Brooks (Lawton, OK). Ginger won, 473-296, and she did get down the game's only bingo: rEBAITS for 83. But the play she is most proud of is in the endgame when she played three tiles, FAE, for 41 points. She created: FAZE, FOXY, AT, and KAE. So, in essence, she made a play with the J, K, and X tiles all at the very same time!
In the division 1 cage, Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) defeated Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD), 485-385. Joel played SQuINTED through the E for 67, ORNITHEs for 76, and ALEMBiC for 80. Marlon played ARENOSE for 74 and some other "fat" plays according to his annotator, Eve Wengler. They were ADOZE for 54, RAJAH for 52, and WIFED for 57. If I overhear the table talk right, RAJAH was a great play for more than one reason, it blocked a big play that Joel had planned for that spot. Eve says that Marlon drew "crapola" again that game and she fears that when she annotates him she brings him bad luck!
I approach Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) sitting at his board, alone, starring down. I can tell he's lost and that he is concentrating on what he could have done. When I ask, he says he isn't sure he could have won it no matter what he did. David returns, perhaps from having turned in the result slip, and I ask him to go over the game with me. He's eager, but Brian is understandably spent, so he wanders off for a break. In this seven bingo game, David got 5: URANITE for 66, THIAMINE from the T for 68, EYEPOINt through the N for 74, NUTSIER for 70, and GRANiTA for 66. Brian played ELDRESS for 69 and TOXICANT to the T for 84.
A word judge walks up to me and slips me a paper that says: Leland Fidler (Waltham, MA) defeated Waheed Thompson (New Orleans, LA) by 1 point. I mosey over to their area, but they are long gone and their board picked up.
I love how the word judges, division leaders, and players help me find the "good stuff." In a room this size, it just isn't possible to see all that can be seen. I'm grateful for the elbow tugs, the frantic waving, and the moseying across a room the size of a football field that people traverse to point out what is best about the games.
Back in the division 1 cage, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) is stunned. She just pulled out a win over fellow countryman, Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON), 376-360. At one point in the game, the score is 89-229 in Zev's favor. She is down by 140. Zev began strong with LOUDLIEr through the L and AUREOLED through the R for 63. Later she gets down SAFETIED through the A for 63 and RECLEANS for 60. But it was her outbingo that won the game: BIMENSaL through the I for 63. This play tied them, but with the 16 points from his rack, she won.
Joel Horn (Reading, MA) from division 1 tells me that he had a 557 game today where he got no blanks. His favorite play of that game was OUTJUT through the second U for 63.
We enter round 28 with Nigel Richards (Malaysia) and Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) at 21-6, two games ahead of the field. Division 2 topped with Sal Dijamco (Margate, FL) with 21-6. He is tone game ahead of Chuck Armstrong (Saline, MI), who is two games ahead of the pack. Doug Brockmeier (Yorba Linda, CA) goes into the last round of the day one game ahead of the pack with a 20-7 record. Now three games ahead and showing his great dominance, Norbert Saldanha (Richmond BC) is 23-4 in division 4. Scott McDougall (Williamsburg, VA) is 22-5, and two games up on the others in division 5. Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) is two games up in division 6, with a 22-5 record.
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