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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 13

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 13

After their interview, the top dogs are now facing off. At table 1, it was Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) vs. Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN); at table 2, Joe Weinike (New York, NY) vs. Trey Wright (Beverly Hills, CA); and at table 3, Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) played Chris Cree (Dallas, TX). Everything felt a bit different, more heightened.

At table 9 Rod MacNeil tells me that in a game between Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) and David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC), Gibson opened with a beautiful play: the natural DACTYLI for 80 points. Despite Wiegand's late bingo of NOTEBoOk for 84, Gibson held on to win, 402-369.

Kristen Chew annotated Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) and Gregg Foster annotated Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN) this game. It was amazing that Brian got 385 with the garbage he had said his annotator. He didn't have one half-way decent rack. He traded three times and still got 385. One trade was AAAAE, keeping AP and he picked up EEKNQ (in his next play he put down HELP!). And, they tell me that this was one of his more fortunate turns. Jim bingoed three times: CODEiNA for 73, TRIDENT for 74, and EROGEnIC for 70 to the C. Brian's better plays were FUTZ for 60 and CHARTIST 84.

Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) showing that if it works once, do it twice, started his game versus Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) with TEAPOY, the same word he opened with in Round 6 against Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD). He went on to win that game, 521-339. As I came up to take a photo, Chris (yes, Chris again!) took one E out of the board and random and pushed it at me and said, "Want to take a picture of my E? Want to see my E?" Ron smiled and checked his scoresheet and said, "I think you actually had four Es, Chris." Anyway, Ron got down LITIGATE for 62, DiLATORY through the L for 63, and REnMINBI though the first I for 77. His annotator, Milt Wertheimer said, "You know, just when I think I can play this game and that I'm even half-way decent, I see a guy like Ron pull a play like this out of his memory and I realize I can't even hold a candle. He is that good." Chris got down DECLAWS for 82. He also played VISE on a triple for 32, which was a good play, but Ron decided to capitalize on that play, too, by adding LIKE to the end making VISELIKE to the triple for 45. As we say, it was Ron's game.

At the table 2, I see Trey Wright (Beverly Hills, CA) up, 362-300 to his opponent Joe Weinike (New York, NY). In the world where anything goes, about 3 minutes later I saw him in the hall and asked how it went. He said, "Oh, I lost." I had to investigate why. Well, it was one of those "when you shouldn't bingo type things." Trey played FRAULeIN to the N, which put him up by 62 points, but he emptied the bag. Wouldn't you know it: Joe made an outbingo through the R making ARMORIES for 74, sticking Trey with ENNGSU, which gave him the win, 374-362. Early on in the game, Trey got down sORORITY to the Y for 70 and Joe played LUSTIER for 76.

John Luebkemann (Charlotte, NC) brought me to his winning board versus Jerry Lerman (Foster City, CA). Down at one point 167-19, John came back to win, 462-396. While Jerry played CESTODe for 87, John got down three great plays in a row: TRIDENT for 64, SOLIDUS for 70, and GONOF/SO/ON/LO/IF on the triple line beneath SOLIDUS for 54 points.

Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD) had a difficult game this round. Twice during his game with Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON), he exclaimed loudly at his draw and walked out of the room. The clock was neutralized and he came back in, but I'm sure it was distracting to Robin. His vowel woes didn't lessen at all and he ended with a loss, 363-402. She claims that while he had all the vowels, she played with the consonants!

This round's recorded game matched Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) vs. Chris Cree (Dallas, TX).

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