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NSC 2014 Commentary: Round 29

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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 29

We managed to start very nearly on time this morning despite a ton of luggage coming into the room and lining its perimeter. As suspected, we had a few missing gear issues, but everything was settled and underway within five minutes of the round’s start time.

Dallas Johnson asked the players to fill out online surveys about the event at scrabbleplayers.org.

Dan Stock finds joy at seeing WHEELING on a board in which Brad Mills (Charleston, WV) is playing. I nod. He says, “He is a club director in West Virgina.” I nod. He says, “WHEELING is a big city/town in West Virginia.” That was too many degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon for me to get. I’m not sure I even knew about WHEELING, WV! I do now!

Our fine event annotators this year are Lisa Kessler and Pete Zeigler. We thank them for their quiet dedication!

From the “you had to see it to believe it file,” Noah Walton (Portland, OR), while waiting for his annotated game to begin, cool as a cucumber pulled out his electric shaver and performed a bit of buzzing right at table 1! The room was busy and humming with pre game setting up, so there weren’t television cameras on him or anything!

Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME) defeated Conrad Bassett-Bouchard (Piedmont, CA) at table 2 in division 1. I see Joey’s kINGDOM and Conrad’s NUTTIER and REcITAL. A 398-364 win the Mainer. After the game, Conrad said that if Joey ends up winning the division, it will be well deserved.

A 440-424 win for Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY) vs. Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY). I see NONTIDAL, MALaISE, EMERSION, TOPaZ, and BUNIONS are on the board.

Lisa Odom (St Louis Park, MN) defeats Mack Meller (Bedford, NY) 572-342. I see Mack’s coo ANgLEPOd and Lisa’s triple-triople STEROIdS, NIOBATES, and GIFTWARE.

“He got me by 10,” says Nigel Richards (Malaysia) of his game with Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN). I saw SPADINg, OUTsINS, and VIOLATER.

Jerry Lerman (Foster City, CA) vs. Gabriel Gauthier-Shalom (Montreal QC): early on CHAirMEN and DISCOING (Jerry challenged) were played. Later on, WOoRALIS.

Division 2, bereft at losing Rahn McKeown (Cary, NC) at table 1, featured Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) vs. Doug Lundquist (Chicago, IL). I see Alan put down UNTRIED, which front hooked to make THEY, but he picked it up and moved it over and played INTRUDE/HI for 84 on the triple.

I catch Brenda Casey (Guilford, CT) and Will Robertson (Toronto ON) returning from the challenge machine. He played DABSTER which hooked to make HIER* and she challenged it off. I see her ELOIGNED (blank L) and MONoLITH and his REFUTERS. Her win.

At the beginning of this round, we took a photo up front of family members at this event. And in the spirit of that, after I wrote about Will, I tromped across the room to find his mom, Marcela Kadanka (Toronto ON) in a game with Denise Mahnken (Tillman, SC) I saw Marcela’s TRAINEES and RATTENS. It was a late-finishing game and took two slips to get the results written right, but it was Marcela’s win, 375-368.

From a distance I see MOOTNeSS, REQUIEMS, and UINTAITE. Later on, I hear that Joel won, 435-317.

On an in-progress board between Chris Lipe (Rome, NY) and Tony Leah (Ajax ON)” CANTRAIP and EARWORm.

Table 1, division 3, Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH) pulls out win against Mark Francillon (Marlboro, VT). He played both bingos I saw: TENDINg and MEATIEST. I could see Mark packing up his things at the other side of the table — hard to lose a game at table 1 when you mighta just won!

Roderick McDonald (Long Sault ON) defeated Doug Critchlow (Columbus, OH) at table 1 in division 4. This excited division leader, Art Moore, as there were so many contenders! I see OUTAGED*, TELEOST, and LURCHiNG on their board. I saw those tiles on Rod’s rack toward the endgame.

Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) TROWELEd Dan Lichtblau (Los Angeles, CA) this round. And Dan challenged the play!

Tom OLaughlin (Hartland, WI) vs. Helena Gauthier (Merrimack, NH), a normal game under normal circumstances, but not this round. Their clock malfunctioned, then they tried to use it anyway, while broken, then they got a new clock and finished up with that. All confusing and interruptive of game flow. Helena won.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that 109 Canadians (not including youth players or staff) are at this year’s NSC. A terrific showing and I’m glad we could hold the event in a place that drew so many. Speaking of this, Buffalo has been a great city. Matt Canik (Austin, TX) loves how affordable and comfortable the air has been. Vivienne Muhling (Toronto ON) loves the staff and thinks this is the best NSC she has ever attended. I think the convention staff has been top notch and others on the committee agree.

The young men from Porltand, OR, are vying for the big win!

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