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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 11

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.

David Boys (Dorval QC) played Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) at Board 1 this round, and their annotated game is available for browsing.

Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) played Lou Cornelis (Ottawa ON) at Board 2 this round, and their annotated game is available for browsing.

round 11

Eight games of high intensity SCRABBLE® in one day is tough and fatigue is beginning to show on the faces of all of us. One of our runners, Stephanie Bathgate, tells me that this has been fun but tiring and that she almost fell asleep at one point. The high point of her runner tasks today was the game where a player tried ZONIC*, ruled not acceptable. On the next turn, the very same player played AZONIC, which was ruled acceptable.

The first game to finish this round was between Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON) and Steve Ozorio (Mississauga ON) Clearly ready to go on to the next thing, Jim was outta there in a flash with his new and lovely wife, Heather. Steve, still sitting at the table doing paperwork, told me that the score was 389-278 in his favor.

After winning four games in a row, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) has now lost her third game in a row, this time to Lou Cornelis (Ottawa ON), 404-394. While they did a quick recount, I tried to pick up on their better plays. Robin played DOSsIER for 80, TERTIAN for 69, and SYNERGIA through the Y for 63. Lou played only one bingo, PLACATED through the E for 71, but he made some high-point smaller plays: ZERO for 56, BOOZE for 48, and QuEAN for 40. Late in the game, Lou played SHERD to the triple. She challenged and the play was ruled acceptable. They both agree that this was a turning point in the game. Once the recount confirmed their original score, Robin admitted that Lou blocked her 101-point JOINDERS. Looking over her SYNERGIA play, Robin was stunned to note that she'd missed playing RESAYING for 98, a double-double. I congratulated Lou on his game and he said, "Thanks, after my 3-9 performance at an Oshawa tournament last weekend, this is a nice change!"

Tony Leah (Ajax ON) defeated Ray Francis (Pickering ON) this round, 403-331. Tony made a double-double bingo, ADOPTEd for 101. Ray played STONIEST for 61 through the first T and called off Tony's attempt to play out with UNIRONIC*.

After winning six in a row, Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) lost to David Boys (Dorval QC) this round 387-425. The game commenced with a phoney bingo: UNPAYED* played by Evan. Dave held him, knowing it wasn't a word, but he reasoned that Evan was using up a blank for not a lot of points and it gave Dave the tile he needed to play his own bingo in response (that would only play as an 8-letter word), so the phoney stayed and Dave replied with OUTSAILS. The game will appear in the annotated section of the site later.

"Am I overtime?" Brenda Megannety (Toronto ON) asked her opponent, David Stokoe (Windsor ON), while gesturing to the game timer. He nodded and she sat silently, puzzled, finally explaining that she hadn't gone overtime in a tournament game in years. I asked if it made the difference in the game and they agreed that it didn't. While she thought she'd lost by only 6 points, it turns out that her -1:37 overtime cost her twenty more points (the rule is 10 points for every minute or fraction of a minute that a player goes over on the clock). Game score 454-428.

Their game already mostly picked up, I join Barbara Bultz (Dollard-des-Ormeaux QC) and Lisa Kessler (Toronto ON) in a post-game chat. Both players are standing, hands full of tiles, and Lisa says, "Oh, you should have seen this game! It was so close! I had one second left of my clock and Barbara had 23 seconds left on hers. We were tied until the very last play!" Barbara won, 373-364.

As the room is clearing out, one game is still in progress between Ron Hoekstra (Kentwood, MI) and Andrew Golding (Verdun QC). It turns out to be a recount. As the game ended, Andrew thought he'd won by one point. However, the recount showed a total of four errors (shared by both players) and the final score was actually an 8-point difference, 410-402, in Andrew's favor. Recounts are common at SCRABBLE® tournaments when game scores are close as it is easy to make an addition error that isn't caught during the timed pressure of the game.

Early in their game, Andrew tried LAWIN* (which is an acceptable play in another SCRABBLE® dictionary, but not in ours), and Ron challenged it off for two reasons. One, it isn't acceptable and two, it blocked his massive double-double bingo. Ron's sHEALInG through the A was played and Andrew was down 102-0. A couple of turns later, it was 162-28, still in Ron's favor, and then Andrew was elated to find ELATION for 81 (he wanted to play the double-double TOENAIL, but it didn't go down). Then DESISTED was played by Andrew for 83, finally giving him the lead. The Q was a factor in their endgame. Ron's last play, was SUQ for 43 points, but Andrew's outplay gave him a 1-point win based on the tiles left in Ron's rack and that only changed slightly in the recount. Afterwards Ron said, "The game was great. It had everything: a huge comeback, lots of bingos, open board, endgame drama...."

Salvatore Desiato (Toronto ON) pauses at the internet table before leaving and says, "In round 10, I had III??CE and I found a bingo from the V. Can you find it?" Whether the group delay in finding his play was due to fatigue or lack of skill, we'll never know, but it took about a dozen of us a good five minutes to figure out what he played. Meanwhile, Sal was under time pressure and found it more quickly than we did! Finally, Craig Rowland (Mississauga ON) figured it out and John Chew admitted he'd guessed right and was waiting for someone else to get it before spoiling the fun for us all. Siri Tillekeratne (Calgary AB), too tired to work on Sal's puzzle, posed one of his own: IIOOCP? played through a P. That one took less time than Sal's for the collective SCRABBLE® mind to ferret out. Sal's play? VIrICIdE. Siri's play? He's submitted it to the NSA for newsletter inclusion, so I'll leave it unanswered for now.

Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC) won five in a row today and climbed from 45th to 19th place.

John Chew points out that Ron Hoekstra (Kentwood, MI) came to the CNSC with a 14-game winning streak against his fellow competitors. He lost to David Stokoe in Round 1.

Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) and Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) sit at the top with 9 wins apiece. Tony Leah (Ajax ON), Bernard Gotlieb (Cote St. Luc QC), Craig Rowland (Mississauga ON), David Boys (Dorval QC), and Lou Cornelis (Ottawa ON) sit with 8 wins. It's an exciting horse race! Seven games tomorrow and we can't wait.

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