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NSC 2013 Commentary: Round 2

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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, 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.

Round 2

Sam Masling (Washington, DC) is having a whopper of a good game with Ida Ann Shapiro (New York, NY). I think I see a 500 score on his sheet. He passes his turn with an unplayable G on his rack and Ida goes out. No kidding, a 555-356 win! I see his STANDER for 84, TONSURe for 77, and opening reply of ORIENTER to the R for 60. Plays like JO for 56 and MAX for 41 helped him reach that monster score!

While I am talking to Dallas Johnson about the many reports of how cold the room is (it will heat up beyond our wildest desires in no time he promises), Dan Stock, division 3 leader, reports about a "slow leak over table 10 which he has now had to move." I guess the hotel is still recovering from that storm last night!

Andy Hoang (Cary, NC) is now 2-0 and busy making TSH printout improvement suggestions to his division leader, Dan Stock. Dan assures Andy he'll bring these ideas up at the next opening he's got.

Brian Nelson (Los Angeles, CA), who plays in the Los Angeles club run by Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) is at his first NSC since New Orleans. He says he is really happy to be back.

Chris Lipe (Rome, NY) vs. Jim Lamerand (Chandler, AZ). Jim plays REWARDING through the AR (wow, nice!) and Chris later plays BATSMEN (division leader Jason Idalski says, "If you knew how much Chris loved cricket, you would know how happy he was to make that play!").

Nice to see Martin DeMello (San Francisco, CA) back at an NSC. Having a CSW division does tend to bring in new faces!

Puneet Sharma (Cambridge, MA) and Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) go up to the CSW Zyzyvva-equipped machine with STOP signs on either side to discourage TWL challenges from using it. I see that WILLEST# is good!

Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY) who has been playing this game almost as long as anyone finds me. He's just played his first 11-letter word! He was trailing, 315-402. And then he found it: MICROQUAKES through the QUAKE on the triple lane for 89 points. This won him the game, 410-402, but that play has just blown his mind, totally!

Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) is now 2-0. I ask if anything special has happened and he said, "Well, I was the game beside the MICROQUAKES play!"

I hear of a 5-trade game between Carl Johnson (Beaverton, OR) and Michael Early (Fort Worth, TX). Final score, 576-288. It was Mike who traded. I'll assume Carl won that matchup.

Tom OLaughlin (Hartland, WI) (okay, I'm just going to come out and say it, dad to John OLaughlin (Cambridge, MA)) says, "I tried POSTRELEASE* played to the EASE this round. It got called off, but what a try! PRERELEASE is good!"

Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) vs. Shannon Burns (Airdrie AB) wraps up as I'm standing there. It is a win for Joel, who runs off to turn in the result slip. I see Joel's GOOMbAYS and Shannon's ACRoSTICS. Shannon said of his bingo, "I drew a compliment from Joel for that play. It is all I need." I see UROPOD on their board.

A close win for Gary Perman (Blairsville, PA) in his game with Stefan Fatsis (Washington, DC), 342-327. I see PiNWALE on the board and that UNEASING* drew a challenge (from the game result slip). Tiles were pulled out into the sides in endgame discussion. I think Stefan was trying to see if he could have won the game with what he had.

Mack Meller (Bedford, NY) tells me he just won game 2 against Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI), one of the young identical twin phenoms that has been playing in our nationals for the past few years. It was Mack's turn to win with plays like FINAGLED, ROMANTIC, and GAIETIES.

Jesse Matthews (Kelowna BC) reports that he is 2-0 +20 in two close games. In one game he could have played DORMITORY through the MI and he wanted to, badly, for the style points. But, the game dictated he play STROYED elsewhere.

The only Saldanha at this NSC is Dielle Saldanha (Richmond BC). Her older brother, Dean, is celebrating his one-year anniversary. We are happy for he and his wife. However, Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) said to Dielle, "And he's not here? Is an anniversary a good enough excuse?"

A face I'm used to seeing in my neck of the woods, Marvin Kraus (Newton, MA), appears on the other side of the table. He is 2-0 and beaming with excitement about being here at his first NSC. He genuinely loves this game and said with no trace of irony, "It is so exciting to be here in the very room that will crown the National champion! And that there will be other division winners, too!" Somehow, I do not think this will be his last!

At table 1 this round, Lester Schonbrun (Oakland, CA) defeated Mike Baron (Corrales, NM) in a battle of the white haired men. Mike admitted he got a few more white ones over their game! I reminded him that he just defeated Nigel so he wasn't doing so bad. Speaking of anniversaries, this is Mike's anniversary tonight with Pamina Deutsch (Corrales, NM). Congrats to you both!

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