SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Commentary: Round 8
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.
As the Director Charlie Southwell called out pairings, Joel Sherman hung out toward the back of the room, taking slugs off a bottle of liquid raspberry antacid. I noted that no one asked for a sip.
There was a round of applause as the top three tables were called off. These were the event leaders: Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) vs. Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) at table 1, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) vs. Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) at table 2, and David Boys (Dorval QC) vs. Trey Wright (Beverly Hills, CA) at table 3.
The first game to finish was between two of the room's quieter players: Joe Weinike (New York, NY) vs. Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA). Seemingly out of nowhere Joe made an exclamation and played out his last tile. It was nearly half an hour later when other games finished that Joe sat down with me and explained this great game, which he won, 431-353. Toward the end of the game, Jere played MaW/AHa/TOW drawing to RUST (with an unseen blank). Joe then bingos with DESOLATE through the L. Jere's last rack is URSTTY? and when Joe gets the last tile in the bag-- the second V--he considers himself a goner. Holding the tiles and expecting to win the game, Jere played off an R on FOLIA to make FOLIAR. Demoralized and his clock now running, Joe turned the board toward himself, certain that he'd never get the V down. Well, sure enough, earlier in the game, Joe had played INDICATE from the first I to the bottom middle triple. Just when he was about to hit the clock to signal a pass of his turn, he spotted that earlier play and slammed the V down to create VINDICATE and the win! He was stunned. Other plays in the game were Jere's AMBROSIA to which Joe hooked an L creating IDEAL/AMBROSIAL. At one point Joe challenged off Jere's attempt with UNCOPIED* through the C in INDICATE. It came off the board pretty quickly!
As I worked my way toward the top tables I saw Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) grab her hair up off her neck with both hands and pull it to the top of her head in frustration. She'd just played HOPEN*, which Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) quietly challenged. It came off the board. I see by the challenge slips that another play was challenged in their game: VIVAS/ALOHAS, ruled acceptable.
Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) had another large win this round versus Tim Adamson (Saint Paul, MN), 453-323. He's won the past four games in a row with a spread in those games alone of 778! He ends today of the 7 players with 5-3 records with a +610 spread!
At table 1, Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) and Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) were playing down to their final seconds and as a result were the last game finishing for several minutes. Chris confused a word and Brian challenged it off, winning their game, 399-361. Chris made a pretty loud yelp when Brian called for the challenge!
Though I didn't get to spend much time with their board beyond a quick photograph, I see that Sam Kantimathi (El Dorado Hills, CA) defeated Rita Norr (Danbury, CT), 489-259. In the challenge slip pile I spot two acceptable challenges in that game: GILDINGS and CRUMP. Perhaps these challenges helped lead to the score discrepency.
Randy Hersom (Morganton, NC) defeated Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI), 504-329. A quick glance at their board and I see DERIVATE played through the first E, one short of the triple word score and then the play ESPANOL/DERIVATES played on that triple for mega points. Other bingos are sprinkled around. This must be All*Star SCRABBLE®!
Other words challenged this round: REHITCH* (not acceptable) and UNSHORN (ruled acceptable).
Games ended for the day and we all were ready for the break. Bright and early tomorrow we'll be at it again for 8 more games with ESPN cameras around the room!
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