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NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 31
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.
This round has been different than the others since the divisions were paired differently this morning. Players in the top 40 of each division (placement wise) had to turn in their contestant scorecards and their results slips after each game. The rest of the field was paired for the whole morning. Thus, those that could just slip into their next games, did, and those that had to wait, waited, and by the beginning of round 31 for the top 40 players in each division, most of the other games were already done. This caused confusion for some, because they thought they had to play another game. Actually, it was just the top 40 being a bit behind.
Roger Cullman (Toronto ON) has been helping us try to get some streaming video of Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) up on the site. During a moment of quiet, he tells me that he is 17-13 and that he won his last 8 games. Oops, he corrects me as I type. He lost his last game, so he was 17-14. Anyway, his favorite play was REALIZED from the R for 107 points.
Off in the distance, I hear Diane Firstman (Brooklyn, NY), who must not have been in the top 40, shout "Thank goodness it's over!" Just then, Laura Klein comes on the PA system to tell us an adjusted awards ceremony time: 2:30 or 2:45. People gladly mill out to get something to eat and see the sun.
Daniel Goodwin (Seattle, WA) came up and told me that though he started 0-10, he ended 12-19 -310. And if only he hadn't run into the truck that is Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR), he would have had a positive cume despite having so many losses!
David Mallick (Andover, MA) comes to get me for his wife Vivien V. Mallick, who wants me to see a game in division 5. Maureen Kennerk (Hicksville, OH) definitely saved the best for last! She got down the lovely BATTaLIONS for 104 points. She held BTLIONS? and played through disconnected A and T. She ended up defeating Matthew Carter (Richmond, VA), 525-314. Not without his favorite play of the game, Matthew put down three tiles and got 84 points. From the top right triple, he played ZOA, creating ADZ, NOO, and AWA. He also got down VIEWERS.
In the cage, Lawren Freebody, word judge, pulls me aside to tell me that these experts almost unnerve her with the way they play. She watched Nigel Richards (Malaysia) slam down EVERYMAN and a few seconds later, ENSERFED. And then he took five minutes to play a small word. Counter-intuitive time management, but who is she to think it doesn't work, since it obviously does!
Kristen Chew, word judge, tells me that she has delivered three word judge adjudications this round in Thai (well, actually bilingually in English and Thai). She learned that MII KHA is "the play is acceptable" and MAY MII KHA is "the play is not acceptable." To our Thai readers, please forgive the lack of party hats atop some of those letters.
Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) made a bad play in his game against Nigel Richards (Malaysia) and it cost him the game. He tried UPSTAGER* through the G for 72 and Nigel called it off. Nigel got down EVErYMAN through the R for 90, ENsERFED for 86, and VERTIGO for 72. Brian got down OUTPRESs for 68 and BINARIES for 74. The annotators had a hard time afterwards reconciling their paperwork because both players are so soft-spoken. Beth Lerman actually heard Nigel say 19 when he actually said 90 for one play.
Steven Ornish (La Mesa, CA) came up to us after the games to say how much he and his son have enjoyed the event. His son said, "Oh Dad, it's over already!?" Steven ended up 14-17 and Andre ended up 17-14. They were paired in one round and Andre beat his dad by 20 points! They both won all of their games today. Steven points out that he got two bingos in each of these games: SUNBELT and TONNAGE, INJESTS* and POwDERS, and DILATES and PONDERS. His scores were 357, 372, and 430. He mentions how good SCRABBLE® has been for his son and how kind Carol Kaplan (San Diego, CA) and her La Jolla club has been to them both as they develop into stronger players.
Ron McGill (Costa Mesa, CA) or zax tells me that he had a fun game today against Cheryl Cadieux (Bay City, MI). He scored a 595 and played 5 bingos, only three of which are coming to him right now: AIRLINE, REGLUED, and his out-bingo STETSON* (it anagrams to the acceptable TESTONS). He mentions that at karoke last night he sang a song with a title that goes like "I want to be there to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart." Of course, he substituted "Protiles" for pieces. He said that Eric Chaiken sang a really good version of "Born to Run." NSA's Yvonne Gillispie sang "You Never Even Call Me By My Name." And the best for last: Zax sang "Dancing Queen" by Abba with the NSA's Cindy McCaffrey doing background vocals and dancing.
Okay, now to the ceremony!
Annotators Eve Wengler and Beth Lerman nominated this round's game between Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) and Nigel Richards (Malaysia) for this session's on-line game. The winner of this game would win the tournament's $10,000 second prize.
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