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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 29

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.

Well, the last day is upon us. There is a mixture of excitement, tension, and sadness in the room. I overhear one person say they can't wait to stop playing and one minute later another player tells a group of friends that she is so sad the event is winding up.

Laura Klein gave her final opening comments and thanked the staff again. John Williams took the stage and singled out the Advisory Board members, thanking them for their service to the association.

Today's games may include threepeats (where players play one another three times) and maybe more. When we get to the end like this, players who are vying for the top spots need a chance to play one another to demonstrate who is better, even if they play one another a few times!

The media are here in droves today. John Williams met with a few crews before the doors opened and we've got one who has his mac laptop networked in to use our DSL line!

Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY) comes up to tell me about two fun events yesterday, none of them game related! In a game with Rose Kreiswirth (East Northport, NY), they drew to see who was to go first and Ted drew an R. Rose then drew out an N and as she went to put it down on the board, it suddenly flew out of her hand into Ted's water glass. He said it reminded him of Tiger Woods doing a chip shot on the green! In a subsequent game, he and Bruce D Ambrosio (Los Angeles, CA) were going to draw tiles to see who would go first, and their tile bag was empty. Still no word on the location of those tiles!

The workers at this event are just top notch! The word judges and division leaders are working together beautifully. I can say with complete honesty that there have been no incidents or problems at all. The room is always calm and the players are all attempting to keep the noise down. And, what is nice to see, is the player appreciation of all the NSA has done to make this event go off so well. Several players have taken the time to tell me how happy they are with the organization and generosity. I've seen several Travel SCRABBLE® games in action in the foyer and on the breakfast tables! During Laura's opening comments today, a player pulled me aside and said, "we've thanked everyone else here, but we really need to thank Laura. She has done a fantastic job!" John Williams did work that thanks in and we all cheered wildly. Laura has helped the event get through everything from late arrivals to dropped out players to emergency cancellations.

A note is slipped onto my table while I'm out and about. It says: Elizabeth Angelone (West Haven, CT) triple-tripled with FAMILIES for 177 but still lost the game by 5 points to Chris Ofstad (Antioch, CA), 400-395.

Judy Horn (Reading, MA) walks up to the table and tells me that she just had a good game. She said she had everything in her game against Carol Dustin (Minneapolis, MN).

Well, things have heated up to a fevered pitch in the division 1 cage. Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) defeated Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand), 414-393, by going out with a bingo. Going into that play, the score was 393-334, with Jakkrit in the lead. Joel held ABEISS? and there were several openings on the board. He played SABInES for 67. He had to bingo to win and he came up with the goods. Jakkrit played CREATIN for 80 and PARADES for 69. In addition to his outbingo, Joel played DOYLIEs for 76.

At table 2 in the cage, Nigel Richards (Malaysia) fell to Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL), 414-473. Briand played MEDUSAE for 86, INULASE for 69, and VARIETIES for 86. Nigel played ANGLICE for 69, LOGICIAN through the C for 94, and DONATIVE for 80.

At table 3, Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) defeated David Weisberg (Hollywood, FL), 447-338. I spot Weisberg's VAPORISE through the S and Wiegand's MiSTAKEN for 92 and LINEAGES for 68.

At table 1 in division 2, Chuck Armstrong (Saline, MI) ouplayed Steve Glass (Plano, TX), 421-368. If I get the flow right, Steve bingoed with VIOLINS and then Chuck played STrINGED through the I of that play. After that, Chuck got down TRIFECTA for 76. I also see Steve's AEONIaN for 74.

Although I miss their boards for photos, division 3's leaders talk to me a bit about their games. Susi Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) defeated Patrick Hodges (Glendale, AZ), 382-358. Patrick claims he made two horrible mistakes, one being missing the triple-triple PROFOUND (he had two blanks on his rack then, but just didn't see it!). He goes on to tell me that he had AID on his endgame rack and he played off one of the letters, only to pick the Q. Then, speaking real slowly, he goes on to explain that QAID is an acceptable SCRABBLE® word. I smile and thank him and try not to high-five Susi for sticking him with the Q. A little levity here folks!

At the next board, a demoralized Dorcas Wallace (Bethel Park, PA) sits with her arms crossed smiling at me. She just played Doug Brockmeier (Yorba Linda, CA) and lost, 356-481. She is proud of challenging off his attempted OVErSAY* bingo. She says she had to as she had IODINES that fit nicely into that spot! Something about this table is evil, however, since she too got stuck with the Q! Doug was holding ??US and he wasn't offering any assistance in getting that Q off her rack!

In division 6, I see a game left on board 2 between Jesse Cromer (Waxhaw, NC) and Terry Kang (Philadelphia, PA). If I read their paperwork right, Jesse won. And I see TIERING for 64 on the board and PARDoNS for 79.

Nigel Richards (Malaysia) and Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) are to play the next two games to determine the championship winner. We are all so excited!

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