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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: Final Round 4

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.

David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) wins the last round 445-388, bingo-ing HERNIAATE, PACTIONS and ANoTHER to Ron's TEENIER. David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) is the 2003 SCRABBLE® ALL*STARS Champion.

Finals: Round 4

Well, we had a funny start in here. The screen in our room showed an ESPN logo for a long time, say 15 minutes and then when it went away, there was a play on the board!

It took us a long time to find out who played which play.

David had the first turn and got EEAEEOU and exchanged AEEOU.

Ron, then holding AVOWEDA played the game's first word: AVOWED.

David held THEREIN and he played HERNIATE through the A.

We lost some plays here, sorry.

trade; AVOWED, HERNIATE, JAW, FAIRY, BRENS, BIELD are plays so far

David's turn: He holds CDINPST. The crowd is singing a song, but I can't hear what. He played DAP/HERNIATED, hooking the D.

Score, 152-146 in David's favor.

Ron holds AEUUNTE. He plays EAU for 15, taking a very small lead. He draws FBQ to TUNE.

Holding CINSTWY, David concentrates.

Stefan wipes his brow again.

AYIN might be David's play through an A and I already on the board, which keeps the bad leave of CW. He ends up playing WYe to the blank E, leaving CINST.

Ron responds with QUAY for 32 points and Ron is now up by 25, 193-168.

David bingos PACTIONS leaving a wide-open board and an S in the triple-triple lane. The play was for 76.

Now Ron is looking at BEEFNRT and faces a 51-point deficit. Both players are concentrating. Ron plays FOB for 16, maximizing his rack leave, which is EENRT. He draws IK and has the bingo: KERNITES on his rack.

David holds ACLNTVZ and plays VACS to the S in the triple lane for 27.

The bingo won't go down for Ron, and we are hearing KEG. Ron played KEF, playing only the K. He drew an I and now has bingos through the open T: INTERTIE or RETINITE. Wow.

David has blocked those bingos with COZ, off the C. He now has 7 consonants.

Ron holds EEIINRT.

Both players have at least 14 minutes on their clocks.

Ron fished again, HI, playing only one I, and draws an E, giving him TEENIER/TIN.

David now holds TLNTGNM, plays GAMIN through the A and I.

Ron plays TEENIER/TIN as Jim expected for 64, leaving David 27 points ahead, 327-300.

David has drawn a blank, but he has 6 consonants to go with it: TTTLMR?

Sixteen tiles left in the bag.

Ron has a reasonably balanced rack. AEGIRUX.

David played TI, playing only the T on the triple.

The game is now close enough that Tiekert might not need a bingo.

Ron plays NIX/BI for 30 and he had pulled to within 30 points.

David fortunately drew an E and he now has a bingo: SLaTTERN. It is playable but will leave a triple-triple open.

Ron has AEGLMRU.

The crowd is saying Gibson is worried because Ron just played two tiles, so he might have good bingo tiles.

The crowd yelled "he missed it!" But maybe not. He may have decided to play safe. And he may be able to bingo if the board stays open.

David played LETS through an E into the S in BRENS.

Ron, holding AEGLMRU. Ron played URGE and XU. He now holds ADMOULG and it doesn't look good.

David holds: AEHNRT?. David has to be careful. Ron could bingo back. Judging by what he did last time, he may be conservative and not play a bingo. ETH has been mentioned as a play he might make instead of one of his many bingos.

AEEOOOS are the remaining tiles.

He plays ANoTHER for 73, and pulls ahead, 416-354.

Ron, holds ADGLMOU, seems to be pondering playing MOULAGED* (Jim says MOULAGE is a noun). If Ron is not sure of that, he may have to try it. It would an automatic challenge since the bag is empty. Jim thinks Ron will try it unless he is absolutely sure it isn't good, to keep himself in the tournament. Since the championship weighs on this move, Ron will probably take his time, though it might not make a difference.

Ron played MOULAGED*. Charlie rules not acceptable and Kristen Chew does a second opinion, same ruling.

David is now playing from AEEOOOS.

We are pretty sure that Gibson is going to win, but he hasn't made his play yet.

In the middle of all this excitement, we hit technical difficulties and can't be live for a short time.

David plays OSE and Ron replies with MOULAGES through the E. He could have tried MOULDAGES, but we guess he decided against having two words challenged off.

David now breaths a sigh of relief, and he seems to be emotional and overwhelmed.

Crazy here, David wins the All*Stars, 3-1, with a 445-388 last game score.

David Gibson now takes a commanding lead in the all-time earning list for SCRABBLE® players. He won the Superstars in 1995 (in Las Vegas, NV) and he won the 1994 Nationals in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to Jim Kramer for sacrificing time he could have spent with the throng in the front of the room and instead spending he finals time with me in the back of the room, helping me keep up with the games and the possibilities in games 2, and 4. Thanks to Chris Cree for doing much the same in round 1. Thanks to Jerry Lerman for sacrificing being in the Stadium Room at all to be in the finals room with John Chew, offering assistance in there.

This round's recorded game matched David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) vs. Ron Tiekert (Alpharetta, GA).

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