Back to NSC 2009 Live Coverage
NSC 2009 Commentary: Round 31
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, Round 19, Round 20, Round 21, Round 22, Round 23, Round 24, Round 25, Round 26, Round 27, Round 28, Round 29, Round 30, Round 31, After the Tournament.
Congratulations to Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR), our 2009 National SCRABBLE Champion! More to come!
As we went into this round, there was only one division whose winner we didn't know: division 1. Division 4 was decided two games ago and divisions 2, 3, and 5 after last round. So there were gibsonized games going on all over.
At table 1 in division 1 as they had been doing all day so far, Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) and Nigel Richards (MYS) faced each other. Photographers kept a respectable distance from the duo for the game, but every laptop in the room was tuned in. Players who finished before Nigel & Dave crowded around the laptops that Andy Saunders and Steve Pellinen were using on the computer tables. Players were crowded around the one on the division 1 table, too. When Dave pulled the second blank, we kinda had an inkling that it was going to be hard for Nigel to pull it out, but he's done it before, so our breaths were held. The game endedly quietly with little fanfare, and Dave looked up at me and smiled BIG! That was his signal. They shook hands before any photographs could be taken and sat there for a few seconds, filling out paperwork. It was all so very low-key. Dave stood up to stretch out his legs, looking down at the baord and one or two people began to clap. In moments, the whole room was clapping, and standing, clocks paused midgame. Dave, who had stepped down off the stage to shake a few hands, climbed back up and waved to the room. The clapping grew even louder and then a few cheers were thrown in, too. Chris made her way across the room and he jumped down to give her a big hug and kiss, knocking her cap back as he did so. They were both grinning ear to ear. She straightened her cap and stepped back. After all, there were still things to do in division 2!
Andrew Solomon (Barrington, IL) and Panupol Sujjayakorn (THA) had a nice game this round. Andrew opened with ZIN and Panupol played JARHEaD/ZINE for 97 (nice!). Continuing to extend that opening play, Panupol front hooked ZINE with MEDICANTI/AZINE for 81. Andrew played CURRYINg and then on his next play put down BUNGS creating SCURRYINg for 98! He also played EXALTER for 60 and MAESTRI. Andrew's win on a pretty board, 495-472.
Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY) tells me that he played WARSTLING through the IN in a game with Ravee Joradol (THA). Ted was so excited about it that he wandered off to get me in the middle of the game. I'm all for enthusiasm, but we can't do this! As I escorted Ted back to his game, Ravee waved and me. Nice play, Ted! Now finish that game! Another meeting of the students who will be our champs in time: Ruben Radlauer (Los Angeles, CA) defeated David Steinke (Indianapolis, IN), 414-377.
Paul Epstein (Keego Harbor, MI) wins round 31 against Stan Miranda (Albuquerque, NM), 477-377. I see OVIPARA on their board. Paul, who entertained us all on the piano this weekend in the foyer outside the after-hours room said, "The best two games of this tournament for me was this one and the first one!" In that game he played THATAwAY through the middle A in his first play of the tournament.
The first World SCRABBLE champion was crowned in 1991 in London. That winner is sportwriter Peter Morris. Peter, clad in a fun SCRABBLE shirt, visited us today, flashing his brand new book: Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Hero. Jeremey Cahnman, also a huge baseball fan, had a chance to meet and talk shop with Peter. Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY) and other long-time players crowded around Peter, enjoying catching up. It was fun having him here on this exciting day!
Bless Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY) for his tenacity. He managed to get all of the 2009 NSC attendees who had been at the 1978 Nationals at the Summit Hotel in NYC together for a photo: Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC), Ted, Steve Tier (New York, NY), Marjorie Schoneboom (New York, NY), Jim Pate (Birmingham, AL), and Paul Avrin (New York, NY) all got together for a group shot. Fun!
Much hugging, joy, and merriment amidst the packing up of equipment. We have a bit of time before the Awards, so let's get to it!
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