2013 CNSC

June 21–24, 2013

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Commentary: Round 12

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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, After the Tournament.

Round 12

Our last day of games with the whole field and it is another lovely day in Toronto. The hotel's lower lobby serves as our foyer, gathering area, and catering distribution center. This morning another group in the hotel is using a part of the lobby. Our group is coming in, smelling their breakfast and salivating. Not sure our group gets eggs! The catering crew is now bringing out our foods and the players are gathering!

The way this thing works up here in Canada is that after today's games we have a prize ceremony. All prizes save for 1st and 2nd place are handed out. Tomorrow, we meet back here again for a best of five finals. The top two finalists are closed off from us and we watch remotely and use group think (basically someone on a laptop running our favorite simulation software, Quackle, or Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) as emcee, if she is not in the finals) pointing out some of the better plays. It is an interactive and fun time. If you are around metro Toronto tomorrow and you want some elite SCRABBLE voyeurism, come on down to the Bond Hotel! I'm told that Space TV will be back!

Morris Greenberg (Brookline, MA) stops by to tell me that he is still happy, 6-5 after losing his last two games yesterday. The last one, with Jason Broersma (Caledon ON) was a 9-point loss. Can't really be too upset about that!

Lilla Sinanan (Stoney Creek ON) showed up with flowers from her garden! Columbine and a very sweet selling rose. mmmmmm

Small slips/ballots were handed to every player this morning before round 1 began. Each player gets to select the Michael R. Wise Sportsmanship Award recipient. The rules are simple: pick someone who hasn't won before (past recipients Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) and Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) tied in 2003; Bernard Gotlieb (Montréal QC) in 2000, Libero Paello in 1998, Sal Desiato in 2008, Siri Tillekeratne in 2005, and the 2011 recipient Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON). All but 10 managed to vote and hand me or Mad their choice before the round began and there are 10 more slips to come: exciting times!

Shelley Ubeika is not annotating this round (more than enough to work at one table, not enough for two tables of annotation) and so she's been giving the job of cleaning up John Chew's enormous pencil case. She's testing each pen/pencil to make sure it works and putting them back in neatly. Talk about busy work! We need another annotation person to show up!

In an effort to support the Toronto restaurant establishments a few players and CNSC workers headed out last night for libations and celebrations. The drink of choice appears to have been AEIULTQ. And for those of you reading who aren't from Canada, beer is sometimes served here in 1-liter steins. If you happen to see Shelley Ubeika in Las Vegas, ask to see her iPhone videos.

Today we will continue in our obsessive almost British ways and have two tea breaks and one leisurely lunch break. A few players made slight objections to all this free time yesterday (while, on the other hand, the commentators thought there were entirely too few tea breaks). I guess they just want to play SCRABBLE. To accommodate this obsessiveness, we will still have breaks, but slightly shorter ones and anyone who is using a cached version of the schedule was reminded to reload the page for the revised start times today.

Gallantry is not all but dead. This round, looking a bit like a waiter at a Soho top-notch eatery, I catch Jesse Matthews (Kelowna BC) bringing two glasses of water to his game with Marilyn Wilkins (Richmond BC). One for him and one for her!

Gabriel Gauthier-Shalom (Montreal QC) vs. Jason Ubeika (Mississauga ON): ?ACTORED, DINGOES, XENONS to the triple, ATHWART, and FAINTEST.

Ross Brown (Ottawa ON) defeated Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON), 420-397. I see Matt's ANISETTE, DESTROY, PREEMIES, and DACTYL (not a bingo, but nice) and Ross' fIXATED, and PINNACES.

Max Panitch (Toronto ON) vs. Eric Tran (Calgary AB): LEANEST, LICENSER, WITHERED, DIOPTASE, RAVAGER, and NUTRIAS. Fun nonbingos: JUPON, NGWEE, and KENAFS to the triple. Jason Ubeika (Mississauga ON) sees me writing and of the NGWEE says, "It is Zambian money, one one-hundredth of a KWACHA." He them asks if I know the anagram of KWACHA plus an S. Do you?*

Shan Abbasi (Mississauga ON) vs. Juraj Pivovarov (Calgary AB): RAdISHES, OORALI (nice vowel dump!), and OUTLEArNT.

Jeremy Hildebrand (Ottawa ON) vs. Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON): TANAGERS was Jeremy's bingo and ENVIOUS and CHEROOT were nonbingo plays. They both were tied until about the two-thirds point when Jeremy found himself in tons of vowel trouble. Jackson got down HeALeRS and it was pretty much all done, but for the crying.

I see VENIR* challenged on the zyzzyva machine and Adam Logan (Ottawa ON) watches me catch it and says, "It is French."

Adam Logan (Ottawa ON) defeated Christopher Sykes (Cambridge ON), 440-365. I notice the pretty TEAZEL, but it is a painful note, because that play made Chris empty the bag and get OXTRTN, just in time for Adam to bingo out with BRAIDER on the triple for 88. Thanks tile gods. Chris got down DANGLIER and rESOLED and Adam found the gorgeous "is this really English?" HImATIA. A 440-365 win for Adam.

My favorite National SCRABBLE Association T-shirt over the years is the one that has three little tiles across the front: WTF. Randall Thomas (Calgary AB) is sporting that shirt this round. Oh yeah, SCRABBLE. He is playing Sue Tremblay (Carlsbad Springs ON) this round and I see dEVOTeES on their board.

It took three of us to realize that it just wasn't there. I see YA?FERS* on a Roger Cullman (Toronto ON) v. Allen Pengelly (Waterloo ON) board. Try as we might to run it through generators, we just can't find the real word buried in the phony!

Lou Cornelis (Stoney Creek ON) vs. Craig Rowland (Mississauga ON): I see two fun fives: LOBAR and VERST. Craig ha splayed REUnITED and Lou is going to town: CARDOONS, SENARII, and REGLETS.

Another fun shirt being worn this round was made by Jeremy Hildebrand (Ottawa ON). It says: MUFFIN WITH TENTACLE. When I remark how much I like it, I'm told that it could also say FAITHFUL CEMENT TWIN. So, who is wearing this shirt, eh?**

John Robertson (Cambridge ON) vs. Mike Ebanks (Calgary AB): WARMuPS, PINOLES, ENABLED, and ENdURES.

Barbara Bultz (Dollard-des-Ormeaux QC) vs. Sary Karanofsky (Cote Saint-Luc QC): UnFILED and RESTARtS.

I walk by Dean Porporo (Nepean ON) and hear him say, "trade 1." I see COLRE? on his rack. He gets a T. What was his bingo?*** I see Dean's PATOOTIE and RENAILS and Steve's gorgeous OZoNATER. This was Dean's win.

Jason Broersma (Caledon ON) vs. Kristiina Overton (Maxville ON): SIGHTING, EMBROWN (don't think it was a bingo, but a fun word!), NAUSEaS, ANtIQUED played through the U, ADOPTER, and LEKU.

To provide more protection from rubber neckers as we get further into today's games, a phalanx of tables and chairs has been set to encircle table 1. This meant we had to move some tables over into the third room by the wall of projectors. This wall has become a corner and now three tables are over there. More room for everyone, really.

John Chew would like to announce that as of the next round, TWO games will be going up live, play by play, on the server. Check 'em out!

* HACKSAWS ** Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) *** Dean Porporo (Nepean ON) played eLECTRO

Chris Lipe writes:

Good morning, Toronto! Here we are for the third day of the 2013 Canadian National Scrabble Championship! Everyone is ready and raring to go (except, can we have two more clocks? We need two more clocks....) and one, two, you know what to do....

Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON) opens against Bernard Gotlieb (Montréal QC) with a natural NITRATE. Then Bernie notices that the board is upside down, and they stop the clock to reorient the tiles. Boo ba doop.

Sue Tremblay (Carlsbad Springs ON) immediately puts down PEAKILY* against Randall Thomas (Calgary AB), and just as immediately he challenges. After a short walk she immediately picks up her tiles and play resumes.

I walk by Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) and Yvonne Lobo (Mississauga ON), and see Yvonne sitting patiently with an empty rack, Dean's clock running, and COARSED* on the board. A few minutes later I walk by again and see COARSED* off the board and Yvonne with a rack of ACDEORS.

Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON) and Jeremy Hildebrand (Ottawa ON) are heading to the challenge computer. From across the room I think I see ANNULATES# unacceptable, which would be a heckuva challenge. Then I realise that would be nine letters, and Jeremy is picking up seven tiles surrounding one on the board, and the word attempted was ANNUATES*.

Andy Saunders (Guelph ON) is playing Glenn Dunlop (Brantford ON) and he's off to a good start -- Andy opens with QUOIT. A couple turns later Glenn gets down BURSATE / QUOITS and picks up the challenge -- oy.

So Dean Saldanha had opened the game with HEPARIN, H on the double. Yvonne, after having COARSED taken off the board, played IDOCRASE, dangling the E in the 3x3 line, and then, BOOM! Dean comes back with BEANPoLE for 176. That is the high play of the tournament so far.

Andy Saunders lost that game to Glenn Dunlop, he lost it fair and square. He did have one awesome play -- holding AENOS?? through FISH on the board he played OCEANFISHES*. Glenn had a nice play, too -- challenging this play off the board.

Mark Edelson (Toronto ON) and Morris Greenberg (Brookline, MA) are trundling to the challenge computer. They move swiftly, with purpose, and as they arrive, Morris is already typing, SHERD. The play, Zyzzyva decrees, is acceptable. Morris and Mark return to the board. Judgement has been given.

Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON) is not happy. After his game with Joshua Castellano (Vienna, VA), he signed a blank results slip and stormed away. Josh seemed a little shaken by this at first; he looked at me, and I shrugged, he shrugged, and proceeded to enter the scores in their boxes. The fire and intensity is so high for these top-level players, and losing hurts, almost physically, all the more so at a tournament like this where the stakes are so high.

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