2013 CNSC

June 21–24, 2013

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Commentary: Round 4

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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 4

Breakfast was served at around 8 this morning. Croissants, muffins, yogurt, and lots of fresh fruit. The players are gathering in clusters around the low tables. Even Chris Lipe was a bit early today! A good sign!

Andy Saunders (Guelph ON) brought a copy of last night's Jeopardy! Fellow SCRABBLE player, Judy Cole, made an appearance. During lunch we are going to gather around his laptop and watch her performance: can't wait!

The Saldanha family is 3-3 so far. Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) is 2-1 and Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) is 1-2. Having loved ones and family is a very good thing when traveling. They have been staying with longtime family friend Steve Ozorio (Mississauga ON) for the CNSC. It was great last night when all three Saldanhas arrived, even Dion, who I hadn't seen in years! She is doing an intensive summer French course north of Toronto.

Craig Rowland (Mississauga ON) is clad in a red and white today (no leather short shorts, alas). He says it is a North Korean football uniform (for the American readers: he means soccer), complete with the flag!

Mad got the players into the room and into their seats at 3 minutes to game play. They were told to make sure they removed their breakfast dishes by the end of the game. She runs a tight ship and tidy, too!

Two new annotators today: Shelley Ubeika and Lynda Wise are annotating board 2 this round.

During morning announcements, John Chew confessed that he'd finally got the high word sheet up for today. Since the one for yesterday didn't go up he asked the players for plays over 100 that they might have played yesterday. First was Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON) with REANNEX for 110, then PILFERING for 111 for Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON). The winner, however, was Lilla Sinanan (Stoney Creek ON) for NOTARIES for 113! It began to feel like an auction: do we hear 114?

NASPA has provided each board with two long wooden racks (in addition to the ones with the players names) and the event has provided Protiles for each table. But somehow, these items keep wandering. John and Mad tried to emphasize the need to keep equipment where it was.

Play began and the first bingo I saw was sYNODAL by Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON). He played it against Steve Ozorio (Mississauga ON) who held, but let it go.

Out of the gates, Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON) played OUTEATS for 66. Two turns later, Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON) evens the field with INFLATES for 86.

Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) punishes her late-arriving opponent, Juraj Pivovarov (Calgary AB), by playing POLICIES through his ALEE on turn 1. His next rack had JURA in it, almost his name! She later got down ELECTRON for 74 and he payed the bingo bang DOTTIER for 64 and EATABLE for 71. They are nip and tuck at 286-290 with just a bit to go.

Early on versus Dean Porporo (Nepean ON), Bernard Gotlieb (Montréal QC) played SNIGGLER through the E.

I see ITERANT for 71 go down by Morris Greenberg (Brookline, MA) in his game with Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON). For a while, Matt sat with a blank rack until he slapped down DiVINISE through the last I. A bit later, Morris played LEARNERS for 68. The game had an exciting ending for Morris when he picked the last blank and got down TOTALInG, winning, 417-368. Morris was sure Matt had the blank because his second to last play was "trade 5." Bad luck for Matt this time.

My favorite play so far: ACIdHEAD for 102 played by Kristiina Overton (Maxville ON) in her game with Andy Saunders (Guelph ON).

Four plays into their game and Allen Pengelly (Waterloo ON) and Jeremy Hildebrand (Ottawa ON) have COOL and OVOLI on their board. A sea of Os.

Priya Fernando (Mississauga ON) vs. Randall Thomas (Calgary AB). RIOJA, GANEV (a great rack dump by Randall), and nOONTIDE.

The kind of endgame rack you do not want: IIIOOES, poor Sinna Vijayakumar (Mississauga ON). As I watch, his opponent, Shan Abbasi (Mississauga ON) plays ENDORSES for 71, emptying the bag and getting OLE. Other plays on that board: PERMEAtE, VIBRETTO* (VIBRATO and LIBRETTO confusion maybe?), LACTATED, BOUQUET, and INVItER.

Jesse Matthews (Kelowna BC) vs. Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON), was a revenge matchup. Two years ago they played about three tables from where they played today. That game, Jackson lost by about 300 points. This time, he won, 502-429. I see Jackson's PARVENUs, PLICATED, TANNERY (that hooked to make COJOINT* which Jesse held, but ultimately let go), and SQUEG. Of this last play to the triple, Jesse said, "that ended the game." Jesse got down CLUMSIER and ADVERSE. Jackson went out, leaving Jesse with a rack full of tiles. Had he not, Jesse had FOrEBAYS from the F that might have turned this whole train ride around. If only for the "if only."

Gabriel Gauthier-Shalom (Montreal QC) continued his winning ways at board 1. Check it out in the annotated game section. What stands out most is he's wrapped tightly in a heavy spring coat. He says he is usually quite warm, but SCRABBLE encourages him to sit so still he gets cold. During endgame analysis with Eric Tran (Calgary AB) he said, "You see this bingo? I almost missed it. I was looking for some 5-letter dump, but the tiles were so difficult, it wasn't coming to me, then I saw the bingo." :) He already has a spread of +662 in the tournament. Mad Palazzo is walking around saying, "How can he have that spread? Only four games!"

From Chris Lipe:

Oh, the irony of the "continental" breakfast. We have a spread of fruit, muffins, and croissants, and yogurt -- delicious items all, but the fact remains that "continental" is a misnomer. The breakfast on the European continent would be some hard crusty bread, savory hard sausage or cured ham sliced into wisps, and perhaps a nice nutty brown cheese. Still, though, this muffin, it has whole grains and raisins, and each bite feels as if sweet wheaty goodness is dancing on my tongue.

It's a liberating feeling, entering a tournament in the morning, having jammed to Röyksopp in the car, bag slung over my shoulder, entering the Scrabble Thunderdome, and knowing that not once will I have to make a decision on how many points to give up to unpair UW, or not once will I draw II to an AEIRS leave, or anything like that. The players are filing in for announcements now. Ten hours hence, much will be known, but much will still be unknown. Welcome to Day Two.

Morning announcements are exciting today, because it turns out we get TEA BREAKS! I love tea breaks even though I drink coffee. Breaking for tea makes it all seem a little more like a proper cricket match.

First bingo of the day -- Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON) has OUTEATS to open against Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON).

Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) is holding AHLMNV? -- no bingoes there, but he plays HALM, and then hits DiVINISE next turn. Morris Greenberg (Brookline, MA) holds -- I'd hold too; I have no idea if that's CSW-only or not. (It's good in TWL).

Everything within two or three tables of Table 9 is glowing green -- the premier fashionista on the Scrabble ciruit, Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON), is rocking a wicked bright fluorescent green shirt today. Take into account that he's sitting across the board from dapper dude Jesse Matthews (Kelowna BC) and I'm expecting Joan Rivers to show up and start shouting "Who are you wearing?!"

Andrew Golding (Verdun QC) is holding EIRTWY? against Jason Ubeika (Mississauga ON). The rack makes exactly one eight (1) and he gets it down. Not to be outdone, Jason immediately responds with ORIBATID for a 2x2 right back. Later I wander by and Andrew has played CANALISE. That -ise word is in TWL, too.

Lilla Sinanan (Stoney Creek ON) has played ASTORIA* against Glenn Dunlop (Brantford ON). She's got tiles on her rack, though, and as I pass by, Glenn issues the challenge. Zyzzyva gives this hotel zero stars, and off the board it comes. Then I hear a call for "Director!" -- turns out Lilla has put her courtesy tiles in the bag before showing them to Glenn. AFAIK I don't think this situation is mentioned in the rules. Our deftly able codirector Mad Palazzo settles the issue, but I'm sure the Rules Committee will have something to discuss. If you wonder why the rule book is something like 40 pages long, well, all kinds of random things do happen.

There's a scrum of annotators surrounding boards 1 and 2 this morning. Navigating past them three or four deep is hard -- it's like being chased by the Scrabble paparazzi, but while sitting, and authorized, and they're respectful.

Walking by Zev and Geoff's board, I see Zev has gotten down ROYALISE#. ROYALIZE# is CSW-only as well.

Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC) totally just played PUNDITS / SELECTRONS*. After about a minute and change hold, Juraj Pivovarov (Calgary AB) takes it off the board.

The Green Lantern Smylie has defeated Jesse 502-429. He had PLICATED, PARVENUS, TANNERY, and SQUEG for like 80 points, and Jesse had ADVERSE and CLUMSIER. Across the top of his scoresheet, Jackson had written "VENGEANCE!" Given the result of the game, to the end of this directive I add "IS MINE!"

Andy Saunders (Guelph ON) comes up to the commentators table and asks, "What kind of sick joke is this? I'm 1-3 -500 and my next opponent is Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC)!" He had a chance late in his game with Kristiina Overton (Maxville ON) but had to find the bingo in AEKOPRT? (2). I see the one with the K late in the word, which Andy saw too, but it didn't fit; the one with the K toward the beginning was the one he should have played, but alas.


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