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NSC 2014 Commentary: Round 1

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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 26, Round 27, Round 28, Round 29, Round 30, Round 31, After the Tournament.

Round 1

Before the games started Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA), our Master of Ceremonies clad in his black event T-shirt, gave us a pre-game pep talk. He mentioned that Buffalo was the first city to feature electric street lights and also the first city to use the electric chair. I look forward to learning more tidbits as the NSC goes on!

Judy Newhouse (Houston, TX) lucks into playing Nigel Richards (Malaysia) at the annotated division 1 board 1. She is not intimidated, however. She has played him twice before at the Dallas World Players Championship. She lost both times, but she ought to get in a win before too long!

David Pearl (Long Beach, CA) is at his first NSC in five years. He is playing Kolton Koehler (Portland, OR) who always looks ready for a battle. Today he has on a head sweatband. Early on I see that Kolton got down HOWITZer from the H.

From the “oh so similar names department,” Mack Meller (Bedford, NY) is playing Mark Miller (Radnor, PA) this round. Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) stops by and suggests they be quite sure to print on the result slip so that we can be sure the names are correct with the scores! Early on in their game, I see that Mark’s opening WAIT. Mack replied with DERAILS/AWAIT for 90. I see Mark’s RENTIER.

Adam Logan (Ottawa ON) plays Warodom Geamsakul (Japan) this round. Warodom opens quietly with ONE. I see Adam holding AAEIIL? and I walk around the table a few times before LAcINIAE for 59 goes down. Adam went on to win. Though his opponent’s name badge says Japan, Adam assures me that Warodom is Thai.

Jason Broersma (Caledon ON) vs. Henry De Young (St. Marys ON). Early on I see REGALES and BETAINES as opening bingos. In the end, I learn that Jason pulled out the win, but it was harrowing and close and nervewracking.

I am happy to see the directing duo of Dallas Johnson and is wife, Sue. They are both extremely organized and we started today with the place in tiptop shape!

Matthew O'Connor (DeWitt, NY) is waiting for his opponent to play. Of his 7 tiles, only one is standing straight up. Four of them are sideways and two are upside down. Who needs order to see bingos, right?

A gorgeous board between Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) and Samuel Moch (Brooklyn, NY). I see BEATERS with TERNATE underneath. Then CAGE and VAMP placed below making BEG, ARE, some open space, TAV, ETA, and REM. Very tight, gorgeous overlaid.

Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) vs. Jim Pate (Birmingham, AL). I see Matt’s opening BIGOTED and later ANYTHING through the I. As I walk by ENCODEs/LEAVINGs goes down and Jim holds, but lets go. Nice game for the Canadian!

ACARIDS is an opening play for Matt Graham (New York, NY) in his game with Shah Ali (Leesburg, VA).

I see REINDEER go down through the second E for Josh Kopczak (Madison, OH) in his game with Jason Keller (Highland Park, NJ). Closer examination, Jason played POETIzE and then right after got down FiRSTLY on the triple line, hooking to make POETIZER for beaucoup points. Despite Josh bingoing out with UNSTRUNG, it was Jason’s win, 511-289.

Roy Kamen (Covina, CA) vs. Mark Przybyszewski (Depew, NY). I see Roy’s MONkWEED* and AGOuTIS.

Sean Wrona (Syracuse, NY) vs. John Dungey (Mitchell ON): MOrDENTS on triple, DILATERS, and OUTDRIVE.

Roland Filio (Thousand Oaks, CA) vs. Supriya Devnani (Orlando, FL): OVERsEEN, DENTINAL, DIVERTs, UNCINAL, and ROOMIEST.

Roderick McDonald (Long Sault ON) vs. Barbara Olsen (Omaha, NE): DEITIEs jumps out. Their game is winding down and he is decides to trade 7.

One of our smaller and younger players, Zachary Ansell (Los Angeles, CA) squared off with Gert Cavanagh (London ON) this round. Despite him having both blanks, she eked out the win, 375-350. He got down the only bingo: ODORAnT. She knew he had the second blank and she had to keep blocking the board to keep ahead. He kindly offered to turn in their result slip.

Jonathan Kent (Unknown city, NY) saunters up. He nods. He won, 466-335. He played TERNION for 78, which drew a challenge and then picked QA? out of the bag and slapped down QATs through a T for 66. Ouch.

David Koenig (Falls Church, VA) walks up breathing hard. He just played Cody McCormick (United Kingdom) and was down by 4 before his last play. Get ready for this! From NORM, he played NORMALIZERS to the triple for 116, which drew the challenge (and in Collins land, that means +5 more points). Then he caught Cody with 20 points on his rack, winning 488-353. I bet Cody is still sitting there shaking his head. It wasn’t supposed to go down this way....

Crayne Spanier (Toronto ON) walks up and says, “My opening play this NSC was pANACHE.” He thinks this says it all.

Kate Fukawa-Connelly has arrived, ice coffee in one hand. She saw a couple of nines on a board between Will Anderson (Croton, NY) and Marlene Milkent (Hattiesburg, MS) game and I am going to let her fill us in!

In the post-mortem, Will said something along the lines of “I just played it fast - I was sure it was good,” when I come over to ask him about ABJECT(I)V(E)*. This is the kind of play I make all the time, concatenating ABJECT and ADJECTIVE (fwiw, ADJECT* is also not a word). Also on the board, TRIPLOID was hooked with a Y for TRIPLOIDY. I like a board with lots of long words.

There were barely any long words on the board between Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and Jan Cardia (Hockessin, DE). They build a staircase that climbed from the bottom left to the top right corner of the board, with just a couple of tiles straying above the diagonal line. Joey was sitting with EOLSTT on his rack and had to pass. Jan held ?INRRZ (she had just drawn the Z). The only playable tile was the blank, and both places she could play it would give him the win. She chose the one that made the game the closest, and Joey eventually eked out the win, assisted by the Z-stick.

Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) and Jim Burlant (Grapevine, TX) tied at 325, due to a 20-point time penalty for Jim. I would bet that Jim plays the second game a lot more quickly.

Zachary Dang (Chevy Chase, MD) is vying for the best handwriting award in division two. He has some tough competition with Judy Cole (Concord, MA) in the mix.

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