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Back to NASC 2015 Live Coverage

NASC 2015 Commentary: Before the Tournament

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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.

Congratulations to John Karris (San Jose, CA) on going undefeated to win the TWL Early Bird, and to annotator Jackson Smylie for similarly winning the CSW Early Bird undefeated!

Thanks to Tony Leah (Ajax ON) for alerting us to an issue about Division CSW showing up in parts of our website using its internal designation of Division 5. Please remember that comments about the website should be directed to info@scrabbleplayers.org.

Special thanks to Connie Creed (Philadelphia, PA) on putting together another memorable NASC reception. I loved the space, the menu, and the people!

As of about 23:00 local time, I am finalizing tomorrow morning's pairings and getting TSH configuration files ready for data entry staff. The following registered players will be omitted from the first session, as they did not check in today in person or by proxy, and have not contacted us to advise us of any delay: Jack Allard (Pryor Creek, OK), Keith Forman (El Cajon, CA), Troy Millington (Calgary AB). Also, Will Anderson's (Croton, NY) flight was cancelled and he is expecting to miss the first two rounds of play.



Players and staff have been happily pouring into Reno’s Silver Legacy all day. The hotel hosted our evening reception from 7:30-10:00 pm in the Silver Baron Ballroom. A food report from Jason Keller (Highland Park, NJ): “It was great. They had sliders, pizza, veggie platters, and lots of drink options.” Although I wasn’t able to attend this year, I have heard that in lieu of playing SCRABBLE, some of the players resorted to arm wrestling and a young Canadian, Jackson Smylie, was a bit of a sleeper and took top honors.

The staff early birds had a total of 16 players, four in the Collins event. When I asked John Chew about the tournament, he boasted that a man named John won it all. Thinking it was him, I began to congratulate him and then he admitted the John who won the TWL event was actually John Karris (San Jose, CA) (and the CSW division was won by Jackson Smylie). Of the four people named John who played in the early birds, two of them had no wins: a hard day to be a John game-wise! The NASC early birds are open to all NASPA directors and NASC workers (many of whom like to work but feel left out from the game play fun).

I have been asked to remind folks that there will be live video streaming coverage of the top boards starting on Tuesday for the playoffs. A Magic the Gathering professional will be coming in an helping to provide top notch digital coverage. Make sure to check it out!

Saturday morning

We are playing across the street from the Silver Legacy in the Reno Ballroom, an enormous well-lit building with sunlight pouring into the reception area. Though our playing room has no natural light, the light flooding in from the lobby is mood brightening! We are spread into five divisions: 2 and 3 are on one end of the room and 1, CSW, and 4 are on the other side. Our command center (data entry, event staff, and folks who run the shindig hang out here with boxes of tape, pencils, pens, and printed event papers) and a roped off top table area fill out the middle of the room. New this year: Both the division 1 and CSW table 1s are in the red roped off area. Both are annotated this year (check out the Games link on the coverage page). Toronto-based Lisa Kessler and Jackson Smylie are the CSW annotators and Kate Watson (Texas) and Ian Chew (Ontario) are the TWL annotators.

The players have been making their way into the room, trying to find their playing spot, looking for their pairings, asking me about their pairings (I tend to be behind the curve on that), and catching up.

We have about 340 players this year and by the end of registration last night, all but 25 were accounted for. When we started set up this morning, that number had dwindled to just two. So, we are hoping for all to check in so that we can include the in the round 1 pairings.

Just as pairings were put up, Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA), our master of ceremonies took to the microphone and welcomed us to the biggest little city in the world! He reminded everyone that we’d all be playing 31 games this year and to buckle in for the duration.

He mentioned that Nigel Richards wasn’t here this year (Nigel has won this event five times since he first started coming in 2008) and then highlighted his impressive French language National Championship win last month in Belgium. Not speaking a word of French beyond “bonjour,” Nigel managed to memorize the French dictionary in nine weeks and win the event!

Tom Bond (Everett, WA) wandered into the roped off area and said, “I always wanted to play at table 1!” And his opponent, Kenji Matsumoto (Berkeley, CA), welcomed him to the table!

Moments later, Liz Jackman (Australia) found her seat opposite Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) at the CSW board 1.

Dallas Johnson, running his last North American SCRABBLE Championship, took to the microphone and started the events games. About 20 sets of hands shot up with players missing equipment. Division leaders sprang into action and within a few minutes, all tables (including board 1 in division 1) were equipped with sets, tiles, and clocks!

And we’re off!

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