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NSSC 2012 Commentary: Round 4

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Round 4 began at 9:00 A.M. Saturday. We play three games this morning, break for lunch, and play a seventh to decide who the two finalist teams are who will compete for the $10,000 top prize.

We begin the day with eight undefeated teams, all playing each other, so we'll have at most four undefeated after this round. Because we have 72 teams this year and 7 rounds of play, it's quite possible that the two finalist teams will not be undefeated. So it's important to pay attention to cumulative spread, and not to rule out teams that are 2-1 right now.

The four undefeated teams after this round are: Salem MS 2 (NC), Salem MS 1 (NC), Long Island Linguists (NY) and Da Talisman Honchos (NJ), with spreads of respectively +567, +518, +422 and +348. D.C. School SCRABBLE 1 (DC) trails by half a game (thanks to a tie) at 3½–½ +149; and another 16 team are at 3&ndash1.

We had a second 104-point play this round: Carlisle Public (MA) opened at Board 1 with BLITZEd against Da Talisman Honchos (NJ), who ended up coming back to win 389–379.