2003 Canadian SCRABBLE Championship Commentary: Final Round 2
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.
This round is going much more smoothly. The crowd of onlookers has swelled to 30 or so and the personnel changes in the playing room have ther racks and plays coming into us much more smoothly!
We are finally caught up and actually ahead of the players this game, meaning that we have time to think over their plays while they think, which is preferred to the mad dash for information!
The plays so far have been expected until the play NICOL at 8b. We're told that David Boys (Dorval QC) held the play. We in the room expected Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) to play TINCALS, but he appears to have missed it. Wendy McGrath (Calgary AB) and Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) shout out that NICOL is good and we are relieved to hear that Dave accepted the play.
With Dave's rack of EGLLROU, we don't see many great plays. His play of REGULO* which is not acceptable. Dean does not challenge.
Robin says, "Dave is playing with Dean, like a cat and a mouse." Zev agrees that Dave may be trying to psych Dean out.
Evan calls out that REGULO# is in the British word source and not in ours. So Dave may have made an honest mistake in recalling it.
Holding ADEOSTV, the crowd is trying to find a play. Robins says ADVERT, Zev says VOTER, as it will "open the door." Robin says that if Dave plays VOTER, he'll have EYEBOLT, suggests Robin...
Then we realize we have the wrong rack. Holding GEELORY, we see LEVOGYRE, but Dave misses it. He plays GOOEY instead.
Robin predicts YARDS/HOOKERS and he plays it.
For his next rack holding BUNDTST, Robin suggest BUNTS/SH and Zev sees a play higher up. Dean played BUNTED /LID and everyone pretty much agrees.
Dave's rack is LEWATS?. Robin suggests TWATTLES. He plays AW and Zev agrees, as he knows Dave will bingo next time. Robin disagrees and says he should have done the bingo.
Robin agrees with his play of QATS.
The room agrees with Dave's play of STROlLER. Robin thanks Kristen Chew for the "inspiration."
With Dean's rack of TONIER?. Robin says, "It isn't about 'can he find a bingo' becasue he can, it is what kind of bingo will be play?" There is agreement about his NORITEs play.
Shaun sees MAIZE for lots of points for Dave. The whole room agrees when he sees that play with IEMAFNZ.
Dean is a in a lot of trouble says Robin. He holds WHINCJE. The room is uncertain. We hear WEN. We find out our rack is wrong and we agree with what he did play: HEWN. Maybe liked WINCH better.
David is now holding, FNEAOUA. Zev suggests ANALOG. He plays YAUN.
We have few suggestions for Dean's next rack and he finds JEFE from JIGFECN to an E.
Dave's vowelitis continues with AAEFIOU. Albert sitting next to me says nothing too great is left to do. He plays YOU for 6. Zev suggests to not empty bag yet.
Robin says, "What is Dean going to do? He knows there is 1 left in the bag." We announce he plays PI and Robin asks, what is he going for do you think? The room is a bit quiet. We're not sure.
Robin says of Dave's rack, OFAAIED, "Dave has FASH, but it doesn't go out in two." If he plays FEOD under JEFE and he goes out with RYA.
A Toronto Star reporter is here and wants a photo, I go help him and miss a couple small plays. They are both down to 1 minutes of their clocks and Dave goes down to 30 seconds.
They play quickly and neither goes out quickly. The end game is drawn out.
With Dave's last rack we find nothing. Robin suggests OVA at the top and the rest of us mumble that he doesn't have much time, what could he do. Well, the guy in time trouble had NO PROBLEM finding a play that blew our minds! He played AWASH/AXION for 24 points. We all cheered and gave him a round of applause. He earned our "serious admiration," declared Robin. She then said, "He's going to come in here and try to be straight-faced about it." He had 14 seconds left on his clock.
We are so happy for that great game!
Final score 418-336.
This round started after a longer break than the one between rounds 1 and 2. When I ask John Chew why, I think I hear him say "we are looking for the players." I couldn't imagine that they would be that hard to find.
John Chew tells us that we should resume at 1:15 after this game and lunch if there is need for another game.
Toronto SCRABBLE® club member James Wallenberg stopped by in the middle of his errands this morning and catches most of the first two rounds. He hopes we have a round 4 so that when he returns.
Robin talked to Dave during the break and he says YOU was intention to block VICING which would have put Dean within 5 points, which we in the room didn't know. He says he made a mistake with REGULO# mixing it up from the British dictionary and he wasn't at all sure about NICOL played by Dean.
When we thought he had TWATTLES, he said it wasn't available.
The game is now beginning. Dave is drawing tiles. Dean is first.
Dean starts with AAEEOL?. We think he plays ArEOLAE and he does. The room approves, but Robin says he opens up two double-doubles with this play.
David holds AAGPRTX. "He needs a Y for APTERYX to clean up his rack," says Robin. Or "add another A and you get TAXPAYER," adds Robin. She is SO quick. He plays PAX for 29. Do we agree.
David blocked Dean's SOLVATED through the O says Robin. Robin sees lots of scoring opportunities on the board. Zev suggests VELDT. Robin says VASTED maybe. He plays it and we are suprised with his positioning of the play Dean makes.
David holds AGRTDYO and plays GYRATED. Turns out Dean's play helped Dave a bit.
Dean holds RASURED. Robin suggests GUARDERS and he plays it for 70 points.
David holds AOCINET. Robin asks if he can play ACONITE. With an S, he can play a couple others, one being CANOEST. Zev says it plays through "avoid exotic mushrooms." Any of those consonants makes a bingo!
Someone suggests AVION (George MacAulay (Saskatoon SK)). Robin doesn't like that play.
When we hear that he plays ICON, she says, "He has opened a triple-triple, he is blowing my mind!"
Dean has IMATEIA, we see INTIMATE. We hear from Gregg that Dean does not see it. He plays MAIN and the room groans collectively. Robin says, "Dean is rankled. I don't know him very well, does someone know him and can they explain his thinking here?"
We discover we MAY have had the wrong rack. We are all so relieved IMATEIA, so his play makes more sense.
Holding AETNOEO, we try to figure out his play. Robin says VOE, but she thinks he can do more than that. She asks if we can find anything to the R. She is so >good at this. We approve of ATONE. We approve. Robin says it is fine since he is behind now.
Dean now holds ARQTEIE. Robin says that Dean could play QAT with confidence as he knows who he is playing. He will need to close down the board to keep his lead. When we hear he plays QAID we like it.
David holds OETMPLW. We hear SNOWMELT, a jumble word. PLUM says Siri Tillekeratne (Calgary AB). We correct him that YM is not a word. Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) laughs a lot. He is chewing gum and standing up. This is a good game in that there is a real tussle going on. Michael Krepakevich (Mississauga ON) also stands up in his business suit. Robin seems nothing off TAX. She likes PLOW, scores a lot, doesn't block the lane. Robin liked PLOW better, but MOW is okay.
Dean is holding FEZCERT. We like his play of FROZE.
Dean holds COKELET. We are quietly pondering. Robin says that it is going to be hard. She has her intense concentration face on, one hand on hip, one hand on her chin. She is a fabulous combination of Vanna White and Alex Trebek.
We hear TYTE for David's rack of NEUPTLE. Robin says FROZE is a "one ahead move." By playing it, Dean is asking Dave to do FROZEN and open up the triple beneath, so she thinks Dave won't go there.
PUN/FROZEN is his play. We don't like it so much.
Dean holds COKELET and his play of COKE makes sense says Robin because he is ahead.
Dave holds SNBETLE and we like his NEB play.
Dean holds GWRHTLE. Albert Hahn (Calgary AB) says THEW, Robin says "absolutely!" He plays THEW. Robin says, "good boy!"
David has EIOGSLT. Not a lot of good ideas. We hear COG. He plays GO and we think it is fine.
Holding GLNNRHO, Dean has to block. We see HANG through the A in QAID to block the only bingo lane.
Robin suggests Dave could still bingo through the Q and she laughs as it is hard to find a bingo that ends in QUA. The room is quiet. We like his play of HANG.
David has A?BSTTV. Robin asks for ideas to open up. LOG is suggested because it would force Dean to block. And, unless he had a V or something Dean would have trouble blocking. He plays EVIL, setting up two lines. Shaun Goatcher (Mississauga ON) likes it as it opens two lines. Uses his vowels, but that is okay.
Dean holds LINDORS. Robin says that he doens't have good blocking tiles. Fern Lindzon (North York ON) suggests TAXI. He plays IRON and Robin doesn't like it. It took his 7 minutes to make this play. Albert Hahn (Calgary AB) thinks he blocked the right line.
David holds STB?VTA. Evan suggests the B hook to HANG: BHANG. He plays TAB/BANG. He was thinking like Evan!
Dean holds JUDFULS. Everyone says JUTS is obvious. Robin says, "If you have too much of Naomi and her mother, you have JUDSFUL." We laugh. Dean plays JUTS.
David struggles with YIIVST?. Robin asks for ideas. The room is fresh out. Michael Krepakevich (Mississauga ON) shakes his head. Fern Lindzon (North York ON) suggests VIA. He plays CITY from C in COKE. We like it. He is opening, but Robin says that any play by Dean will block it.
Dean holds EOEDLFU. Robin says he has to decide which opening is more dangerous to him. The I in iron or the Y along the bottom triple lane.
Robin catches Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) looking up a play suggestion on his PDA. She had asked us not to call out those play suggestions until we'd exhausted our brains. He smiles sheepishly.
We've got representives from Hasbro Canada, Ontario Club, and The Toronto Games with us now and more players are coming in.
Dean is retracking now says Kate from the playing room.
Dean played DEFY for 33. Consensus was that it was a reasonably good play.
Dave has ISVRSI?. Robin says that he is aware we are watching and he wants to do something good.
All the tiles are gone. Dean iwth six AEILOU and Dave with his blank rack.
The room quiet and Robin suggests that Dave either concede or go out in two. We are told by Kate in the playing room that Dave is trying an outbingo. Robin says, "How about we guess the phoney. Who is the most creative?" Robin is in stunned disbelief that he tried ReVISITS forming ID, SE, and IF, hoping Dean was unconscious or asleep. Dean wasn't and he challnged it off. So that 79-point play is a no-go.
Dean played QUAI and then picked up his tiles again. He finally plays QUAIL. It is now David's turn to try something else with that rack, but he is very low on time.
Dave plays VISITS/EVILS.
Dean plays VOE for 12 and "we have a match" says Robin.
Final score, 402-291 for Dave.
We go to a fourth round after lunch!
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