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December 5-8, 2003

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Back to 2003 Canadian SCRABBLE Championship Live Coverage

2003 Canadian SCRABBLE Championship Commentary: Round 1

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, Award Ceremony, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3, Final Round 4, After the Tournament.

Round 1

An excited runner, Daniel West (John Chew's 10-year-old godson) runs up to me. He excitedly explains that he spotted two high-point plays at table 25, the table in front of which he and the other runner, Laura Desiato (Sal Desiato's 8-year-old daughter) are stationed. They are trying to talk quietly, and half succeeding, while they wait for their first challenge.

At table 25, Hugh Currie (Toronto ON) opened with ENTRAnCE to the E for 80 and Tony Leah (Ajax ON) responded with DEEPENS for 80 in his second play. I later find that Tony won, 416-352.

The first challenge of the tournament was called out about 10 minutes later. Glenn Dunlop (Brantford ON) challenged ORED* attempted by Ian Bell (Waterloo ON). Two tables down, I see Bernard Gotlieb (Cote St. Luc QC) laughing his way through a game with fellow club member Anita Rackham (Mansonville QC). Bernard arrived with Arthur Carvalho (Dollard-des-Ormeaux QC) moments before announcements began, but someone took pity on him and gathered him a plateful of canapes, which are sitting beside his game looking tantalizingly good. A few minutes later I walk by to discover that Bernard had a terrible game and lost, 265-448. I guess that was laughter of pain!

Craig Rowland (Mississauga ON) had a big win against Carl Madden (Brantford ON) this round, 417-345. Carl opened with INDEX for 42 and a few plays later Craig extended it to the triple: INDEXERS for 48 points. The word VIG was poised invitingly in the bottom row, across the bottom row, 2 spaces past the first triple word square. As it turns out, both players were pining to extend it to INVIGORATE, but each player couldn't get the right tiles at the right times. Craig got down ORALISTS to the second S for 77 and INSTILL for 64.

In an Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) vs. Allan Simon (Calgary AB) match up, Evan won, 481-357. He opened up with HANKIES for 86, then got down URETERIC to the C for 83, and sOLVENCY through the V for 73. Allan did get down CARILLOn for 72.

Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) defeated Mike Ebanks (Calgary AB) at table 1 this round, 391-349. Mike got down two early bingos: AZaLEAS for 78 and INJURERS through the E for 67, but Robin came back with plays like TRAMLiNE down the triple lane for 80.

Two of the taller men in the room faced off this round. Albert Hahn (Calgary AB) at a mere 6'5" lost to his taller compatriot, Stuart Levinsky (Thornhill ON), who is 6'8", 416-520. While Albert got down INTRUDED to the second D for 74 and the lovely HOGmEnAY through the E for a 102-point double-double, it was Stuart's NATIVELY from the N for 104, LOCATING from the L for 84, and DAMPERS for 77 that won the game.

This playing room is in the corner of the building with large windows on two walls: eight large windows. The fact that we are a bit compressed into this space is alleviated by the sense of room "out there." However, I should add, we are a bit high up in this high-rise for walks directly outside those windows.

Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) played Mike Ebanks (Calgary AB) at Board 1 this round, and their annotated game is available for browsing.

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