Back to NSC 2002 Live Coverage
NSC 2002 Commentary: Round 11
Congratulations to our new National Champion, Joel Sherman!
Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Round 19, Round 20, Round 21, Round 23, Round 24, Round 25, Round 26, Round 27, Round 28, Round 29, Round 30, Round 31, After the Tournament.
As I make my way out onto the floor to see how things are unfolding, Mark Przybyszewski (Depew, NY), division 1, tells me about his last game in round 10. He was down 119-8 and his opponent had just played HETAIRA, hanging the last A into the triple lane. With a rack ?AETTTW, Mark found TErAWATT through that A for 149. Nice triple-triple.
And a tie drew me to a division 2 game. Scott Leifer (Middleboro, MA) thought he had a one-point win, but a recount showed that he had actually tied Mike Frentz (San Bruno, CA), 389-389. Fun plays on their board: Mike's UNIFIEs for 87 and REUNITE for 79 and Scott's SORBETS for 74.
A fabulous game is unfolding at a division 1 table between Jerry Lerman (Foster City, CA) and Jakkrit Klaphajone (Thailand). I'm so excited, I can barely take my eyes off it, and neither can any of the Thai players that are crowding around Jakkrit. In the end, their countryman loses, 464-539, but what a pretty board! Both players are submitting plays from that game into the "flashiest bingo" contest. The game unfolded with Jerry playing RECENTLY for 76, then MODELED for 83. Jakkrit entered the bingo fest by playing GOATLIKe for 80 and Jerry responded with BUTYRAL for 102! Jakkrit then played EUPlOID for 76. Jerry played the non-bingo ZOECIA for 54, but I think it is pretty, so I'm including it! And Jakkrit then played FANFARe for 110. Their plays fell in this order, but I'm not sure if they were rapid-fire one after another. When I asked Jerry if one of his bingos was good, he whipped out a PDA and ran the word BUTYRAL through LampWords (anagram software) and declared it good!
And the game fell on a CHILIDog, played through the second I for 88. With this play, Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) defeated Robert Ellickson (Branford, CT), 431-370. Dave also got down TUNNIES for 73 and Bob played FERMATa for 95 and RANDIES for 70.
At table 1, Nigel Richards (Malaysia) defeats Robert Felt (Atlanta, GA), 447-385. So much for that 3-way tie now. It is Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) in 1st place with Nigel right behind on spread. On that Felt/Richards board I see words like FLYTED, INSIDER, BEDSONIA, and BELiQUORS. The annotators were busy talking to Bob, so I didn't get much explanation because so much stuff was happening elsewhere!
Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) finally wins a game, this time against Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI), 541-318. She bingoed out with pROLINE down the triple and a huge smile spread over her face. Finally an over 500 game! She tells me how on her first rack she saw CANTER and laughingly wondered what her 7th tile would be. She was thinking a J or a Z, but it was an L and she opened with CENTRAL. Later she got down dEPRIVER to the second R down the triple lane to the R in CENTRAL. Paul played ONSTAGE and REWINDS.
I have the littlest to say about the game that garnered by far the most attention of the tournament. It was an intense battle between Matt Graham (New York, NY) and Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL). I've got to say that I do not know how these players take the heat of the media attention. There were several cameras over them, around them, and looking at them from a distance. There were special microphones and filters on the viewfinders and they were like science exhibits. They handled it well, but it looked like a hard game for them. In the end, Matt won, 437-332, but that belies how close and tense the game was. Matt was able to bingo out with REVELRy, creating COZy for 82. He caught Brian with some tiles on his rack, too. They had what sounded like a pretty good discussion afterwards about their various strategies. I overheard Matt saying that he hoped Brian would get bogged down in rack management issues as they came to the end of the game and from what I saw, that seemed to happen.
As we go to lunch, Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) has taken the Division 1 lead (I mentioned already) and Nigel Richards (Malaysia) is also 10-1. Division 2's Iffy Onyeonwu (Elgin, TX) has taken the top spot with an undefeated 11-0 record. Division 3 is led by Stephen Dennis (Atlanta, GA), Gary Moss (Laguna Woods, CA), Andrea Michaels (San Francisco, CA). and Allan Simon (Calgary AB), all with 9-2 records. Norbert Saldanha (Richmond BC) still storms over division 4 players with an undefeated 11-0 record. The more egalitarian division 5 has nine players tied for first place with Gina DuMez (Elgin, IL) at the top of the pack. Division 6 is similar with six tied for first, Terry Kang (Philadelphia, PA) the top 10-1.
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