SCRABBLE ALL*STARS 2003 Commentary: Round 14
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.
The temperature of this room keeps rising. ESPN staff was in this room a lot this round, producers, production staff, and cameras milling around. Table 1 featured Joe Weinike (New York, NY) vs. Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN). Joe won, 509-385. Gregg Foster, the game annotator, said it was pretty lopsided from the start. Jim challenged off Joe's play of INHERER* because he didn't think ERRHINE had an anagram (Gregg tells me that ERRHINES is SHERRIE plus an N). Joe played ISOLATE for 64, GALENAs for 80, and RIVIERAS from the first R for 72. Jim did manage to play the nice bingo: TOMBaKS for 85 to save an otherwise completely miserable game.
The first game to finish was between Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD). Unable to read either of their scoresheets at the table, I went out into the hall to find them. Marlon was regaling Matthew Hoge with stories about how he can't get any tiles. He said, "Somebody gonna' have to draw for me because I can't take this no more. It is ridiculous!" He told Joey that he didn't necessarily mind lopsided games like theirs, but that he likes to have one of them himself every once in a while. Joey rattled off all the bingos to me in the hall, including scores and letters played through without his scoresheet: there were SEVEN. Joey opened with JOINteD for 92, then played TARGETED through the A for 83, FARTHING from the F for 107, and RETAINS for 84. Marlon played VERSICLE through the E for 73, BARONIES through the N for 62, and AILMENT for 77. Joey won, 563-425. They accomplished this mutual high score in half the time it took most the other games to finish, too!
Trying to share some of the flavor of our community with Matthew, I mentioned that Joey has always had a remarkable and extraordinary memory and that he can remember virtually all of the games he has played against other players. Almost as if on cue, Joey started rattling off, with his hands behind his back (as in: no notes!), "Today I lost by 213, 124, and 149. I won by 136, 138, and 89. So, my closest game spread today was 89." He just amazes me. I have trouble remembering how old I am!
So, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) was again abandoned in a game this round when Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) popped out for a quick break. As he tore out of the room, she said, "Is it just me or what?" She toyed around with her play, made it, and then asked Susi Tiekert to watch her draw new tiles, in case Joel wasn't back within the allotted minute she had to wait before seeing them if he was away for longer. Joel did return and they had a close endgame. She was waving her right arm around, counting plays in different positions, weighing which one of them would be better and for what reasons. She was riveted to the spot, to those tiles, to her decision. She played (I didn't see what as I was keeping my distance to give her some space to breathe!) and then Joel played out with ROQUE. Robin nodded, like she expected that play and she seemed disappointed almost. When I got to the board, I discovered that she won! 394-388. She got down BASINETS to the second S for 61 and then picked up ACLTWVZ. Earlier in the game she played HEXOsAn for 88. Joel played VERSEMEN for 81 and FRITTERS for 76.
At table 2, Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC) opened with SPOuSED for 74 in his game against Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA). Later he got down PENKNIFE for 86, JUTE for 53, FORTE for 46, and LIVIER for 39, which led him to win, 479-428. Ron got down GlIADINE for 80, PITLESS for 78, and HORNTAIL for 65. My favorite play of his? YAHOO for 36, just because it is such an enthusiastic word!
David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) eked out a win againt Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) at table 3 this round. While Brian lost the challenge of his word FEATHERIE*, he did get down RESINATE for 74 two turns later. David played ESTIVATe for 92 and WRINgED for 77.
I'm a little behind on my challenge mentions. In round 11, both AARDWOLFS* and AGENIC* were tried and ruled unacceptable. In round 13, the word DRAYINGS* was tried and ruled unacceptable. Much more action this round: TUYER and ERASABLE ruled acceptable and FEATHERIE*, INHERER*, and REQUERIED* ruled unacceptable.
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