SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Commentary: Round 11
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.
Rod MacNeil saw a great play at table 10, Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME) vs. David Boys (Dorval QC). Joey's win was highlighted by a great find of GuMBOTIL played from the G for 86. Game ends 439-303. When I walked by during their endgame banter I overheard Dave say, "I'm 0-2 in games where I've played 9-letter words." I see that Joey opened with FIZ and Dave passed, then Joey played KEX. Dave's REFEEDiNG through the EF in Joey's plays made the score 60-65. Later on Dave got down INSURED for 63 and Joey played INERTIAE to the E for 70. Dave confides that out of desperation he fished for the QT in the endgame hoping for SQUINT or QUINTS which could have nestled in fine in two different spots on the board, which would have been unblockable by Joey. This 1 chance out of 45 (Dave did the math) didn't pan out.
At table 8, in a game between Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA) and John Luebkemann (Charlotte, NC), Rod noticed two of John's flashy bingos. They were the second and fourth plays of the game and put him in the lead early on: SCHRODS for 86 and POLEMIST through the S for 78. Jere had two bingos of his own: rOSEATE for 72 and VENDIBLE for 83 through the D. John won with a final score, 494-365.
At table 7, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) beat up on Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) this round, 390-359. After he passed on his opening play, she opened with NOUgATS for 64. He replied with PAGINATE through the A in her play for 62. Pretty much a tit for tat, she later played BRANDERS through the A for 79 with her one-vowel rack. She said he took a long time on the turn before she got that down and she was suspecting that he was planning to block. I spot the non-bingo WHERRIES on their board.
A battle ensued this round at table 1 between Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN) and Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA). Jim eked out the win, 404-397. Setting the tone, Ron opened with QUEAN for 48. Later in the game, he got down HALTERED for 63 through the A. Just beneath and "oh so prettily played" was Jim's MORAINES through the R for 85 which created a nice little bunch of words that looked liked this:
HALTERED MORAINES MITEJim also played EBONIES for 72 and the non-bingo EXOTIC for 62. Ron replied with FLAB on the triple, which also made EXOTICA for 55. Jim had to hand it to Ron for that play. Typical game at this tournament, as I walk up I hear Ron say, "Nice, good game. I enjoyed it." So, I thought he'd won! Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA) walked over for some post-game talk and Ron admitted he's missed SEQUITUR, which would have won him the game.
A tight, tense game at table 5. As I walk by, Joe Edley (Coram, NY) and Sam Kantimathi (El Dorado Hills, CA) assume they've tied, but in a tense recount, Sam's last play was overcounted by 1 point, which gave Joe the game, 371-370. They were SO wrapped up in their analysis that I couldn't get them to stop talking to each other long enough to talk to me, but I spot ExPENSE on the board which was played by Joe and WATERiNG which was played by Sam.
Overheard by the standings posted on the wall, "This is a great tournament! I'm having a bad tournament and I'm still in in!" Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) is excited!
Jane Williams of the NSA pulled me out of the room this round to show me where the ESPN folks have been working. They are in a side room with no windows and very little light doing filming of "power tiles" and "Protiles" and piles of wooden tiles. The "A1" was using our vernacular like she'd been playing tournament SCRABBLE® her whole life! They were shining one bright light onto a very dark cloth with tiles, racks, and a board on display and then shooting it and showing the images on a small monitor. They can make a silk purse out of a cow's ear, for sure! There are about a dozen different producers and production team members here wearing "Media" badges and the air is crackling with excitement. I took some photos that I hope show up!
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