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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 15

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 15

Charlie Southwell is only human. Sure he is hired to be the director of all these swanky events, but down deep he is just a fan of the game. Every so often when it just gets to be too much, he saunters over here and writes me a note or gives me a look. This round it was that Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC) had played a phoney in his response to Jim Kramer's (Roseville, MN) opening play of BOVID. Joel responded with SPLENTeD* to the D for 83. Jim held him, but let it go. I find out later that Joel won this game, 433-394. Jim played PRINTED for 77 and Joel's bingos were GANGRENE and HANDIEsT, for 74 each. Turns out that they played a similar game at the World SCRABBLE® Championships in Las Vegas, NV, a few years back. Jim "let" Joel get away with a phoney and then went on to lose that game, too.

A bingo with a Y catches my eye on a finished board between David Boys (Dorval QC) and Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR). Boys tells me he got down INSTATES to the second S for 74, MENSURAL through the E for 78, and VILAYET for 86. One of them opened with LAZAR which Wiegand extended to the triple as LAZARETS. Eastern Canada David defeated Pacific Northest US David, 444-389.

I look closely at the challenge slips that Charlie Southwell drops on my desk after he makes a ruling. In this round, JUSTERS/SOU, EMEROID,and SEAPIECE (!) are ruled acceptable. Two minutes after that last one came in I walked by table 12 where Randy Hersom (Morganton, NC) had just defeated John Luebkemann (Charlotte, NC) soundly, 479-280. And there is that word! On their board I spy DECANES for 73, BALLOoNS from the B on the triple lane for 80, and SEAPIECE through the E for 63, all played by Randy. To add insult to injury, Randy later played ES to the triple, creating SEAPIECES for 45! Ouch!

At table 7, Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI) defeated Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD), 499-419. While Marlon got down mILEAGES to the S on a triple lane for 77, Paul played PERUSAL for 74, REPAIRED through the P for 72, and MISsOUT for 77.

Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA) had another strong game this round. This time he defeated Joe Edley (Coram, NY), 542-346.

As I walked by table 3, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) rolled her eyes up in exasperation at her game with David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC). I can't wait to find out how it went.

With a 410-277 score, Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) defeated Joe Weinike (New York, NY), 410-277. I exclaimed at the spread and Chris said, "It's my defense, baby." I see that he got down EMErOID for 66 and NEEdLERS through the R for 64.

Joel Sherman's (Bronx, NY) snort catches my attention at table 4. He looks up at me and says, "I can't win a game to save my life." His opponent, Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME), said, "Hey! You're the National SCRABBLE® Champ!" This quieted Joel down a bit for a while longer. :) Joel played SANTIMI for 76, TRENDING from the T for 70, and SYNDETIC for 65. Joey got down BIOTItIC for 80 and ANImATO for 78. After I mentioned his loss with three bingos, Joel said, "And it was life and death to break 400."

Jeremiah Mead (Chelmsford, MA) confesses to me, the person to busy to notice the standings, that he is in dead last. He can't remember the last time he's been dead last at a tournament. Losing 8 games in a row has really put a crimp in the ol' win-loss ratio!

Table 3's game was David Gibson's (Spartanburg, SC). He defeated Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON), 522-401. While Robin played ARANEID for 64 in turn two and OUTFAcE for 64 in turn three, she wasn't able to keep with with David's triple-triple POETRIES for 149 points (played through the second E in the turn immediately following Robin's OUTFAcE play), mISTUNED through the I for 68, and EVASION on the triple lane for 89.

This round's recorded game matched Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC) vs. Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA).

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