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August 15-18, 2003

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Back to SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Live Coverage

SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Commentary: Round 3

Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3, Final Round 4, After the Tournament.

Round 3

John Luebkemann (Charlotte, NC) came up to me smiling from ear to ear. I deduced that after losing his first two games that this was his round to win, but I was wrong. He lost to Sam Kantimathi (El Dorado Hills, CA), 479-456, but what a HIGH loss! They both were wowed by that game. Sam thanks Dan Stock who shared a SOWPODS anamonic for BEATLES*, which is "INSTANT KARMA." This means that any of the letters in the phrase can be added to the band name to create an 8-letter word. After John played TOADIES for 71, Sam responded with BEATLESS for 70. John got down the lovely find of sPLENII for 70 and OROGENY for 89. Sam opened with the natural ANILINS for 66.

At the next table I hear Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) say to Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL), "Maybe I should have fished when I played JAILER." I take a quick look at the scoresheet, 494-303 in Brian's favor. I see Brian's DRIVABLe on the triple lane for 92 and DISOBEY for 91.

I spy a small crowd at the end of the room. Stefan Fatsis has arrived! He will be working with the ESPN crew to do the color commentary during the filming, which we have been told will start tomorrow. They are getting us used to the lights today. ESPN producers and crew are here today, observing and taking notes.

I also saw Matthew Hoge, the screenwriter hired to adapt Word Freak into a screenplay, camped out in the hallway with the event alternate, Matt Laufer. At one point I heard Matt describing what playing a tight board meant and he used the New York expert Steve Williams as an example.

In a game between Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA) and David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC), Jere won by 30 points, 375-345. David opened with TRANQ, in the maximum point position and then later on added UIL to make TRANQUIL for 51 points! Jere got down SEDATELY, but was more impressed with the play he could have made, YEASTED, but for David's blocking play of SORN. Jere said, "He SORNed me!"

Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) lost to Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) this round 428-413. Neither was around so I wrote down some words which Joel later explained. Joel opened the game with ANNATTOs. Later he added UN to the front of AVOWED for 45 and played VIZIER (a non-bingo, but I liked it). Chris got down PREUNITE and SERIATE on the triple lane.

There were ZERO challenges this round! Either they are all playing "good" words or they are too afraid to challenge! The room is about as quiet as I've ever seen a tournament. The clicks of tiles being drawn out of bags is the loudest sound of all!

We've got one more game before lunch and then four more games this afternoon.

This round's recorded game matched Jerry Lerman (Foster City, CA) vs. Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR).

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