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NASC 2015 Commentary: Round 16

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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.

Round 16

John Green (Lealman, FL) is playing at board 1 in division 4. I hardly recognize him with his beard and jean jacket over the Reno event T-shirt. He looks like his bike is revving up outside! I catch STERNER on the board. He is playing Jennifer DeWaelsche (San Antonio, TX).

Orlet Bullock (Barbados) pulls out a win against Nick Ball (San Bruno, CA) at the Collins board 2. I see DIAZINe, FoETIDER#, TEARERS, and PLONGES# on their board. There is a nonbingo double-double of WANTERS, too. Fun smaller words: YIRK and OCREAE. A close game, but the 442-405 win goes to Orlet.

Becky Dyer (Austin, TX) vs. Steve Polatnick (Miami, FL): NEGATION, ANEMONES, UNItIES, and OUTFLEW on their in-progress board. A big win for Becky, 501-349.

SEEDSMEN, CANDIES, FLAgGIER, BLACKEN, RELIQuES, and PYGAL are on a Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON) vs. Austin Shin (United Kingdom) board. It appears that Geoffrey was holding Austin on his play of CANDIES, because Austin signaled he was taking a courtesy draw. I suspect it was trying to think through the endgame machinations. I find later that it was a 10-point win for the Canadian, 435-425.

Leesa Berahovich (Berkeley, CA) vs. Ian Weinstein (Coral Springs, FL). There are a bunch of pretty words on their completed board: BOATSMEN, REPLETE, HORSIESt (Leesa), UNGIFTED (Leesa), ENTRAINS, AIRGLOWS, and WIELDIEST (blank L). A 462-413 win for Ian.

Steve Bush (Richmond, KY) vs. Cesar Del Solar (Albany, CA): FROWNIER, CHAIRED GUILTED, CoZENERS, and OUTSAYS.

I wanted to stay longer, but I got pulled over to the Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) vs. Kolton Koehler (Portland, OR) board. I think there is general agreement that the play of the event so far came in this game. Joshua opened with WOO and Kolton nearly shot out of his chair. He found and played GREASEWOOD from the triple for 95 points. He also got down PINBONES (the second time he’s played it at the NASC) and SNIFTER. Joshua meekly pointed out CRUSTING and SIMONIAc. A big style points win for Kolton!

Marty Gabriel (Charleston, IL) points out a new bingo play by Kate Fukawa-Connelly (Lawrenceville, NJ) in their game this round: WoRLDER. I see DIGiTATED, ATABAL, THESAURI and TENIASES. His win, 408-369.

Pat Schuberg (Australia) calls me over. She played a fun game (already picked up) against Betty Eriksen (New Zealand) this round. At one point, midway through, Pat played TOELESS, and right away Betty responded with her own bingo: BAREFOOT! Talk about a theme, eh? While I was there, she said, “I got whopped by Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) here. In our game, I knew he was building up to a bingo, I could just feel it. And I didn’t want to help him, so I play HEX small, beneath FACT, creating CH# and TE. And you want to know what he did? He is sooooo good! He played TIMPANI beneath my play, hooking to create CHA#, TEN, XI. Then, on his next turn, he played OWES beneath that, creating, CHAW, TENE, XIS.” I am writing furiously, trying to keep up and she says, “No wait, I’m not done. I mean, he wasn’t done! He then played BOKS# beneath that, creating POO, CHAWK#, TENES*.” My notes have him playing BOKS#, but maybe she said BOK and he didn’t create the TENES* phony. Anyway, she was just overjoyed at getting to play him and she couldn’t stop talking about how terrific he was, how modest, how polite. Let’s just say, she is a huge Joel Wapnick fan. Who isn’t?

Okay, the clouds have indeed parted, the angels have sung, and Michael Gincel (Lakewood, NJ) won his very first game of the NASC this round against Caroline Polak Scowcroft (Australia). He held REATION on his last rack and he had two minutes to find a bingo. On his previous play, he put a C into the triple lane, so he kept his focus there. And finally it hit him! He slapped down CREATION as his outbingo and won the game by 64, 436-372. I gave him the biggest hug!

Jesse Matthews writes:

Noah Kalus (New Paltz, NY) is in his first Nationals. He tells me he is happy with how he has done so far. His mom says that Noah started playing SCRABBLE with her when he was eight years old. After a few months she realized he was getting really good and was beating her all of the time. She did some online searching and found Cornelia Guest (Bethel, CT) as a Scrabble coach for him. Cornelia confirmed that Noah was indeed a rising star and so she found him a partner for School SCRABBLE. The rest is history, because he is now the 2015 NASSC Champion along with Zachary Ansell (Los Angeles, CA).

The camaraderie between the school SCRABBLE players is evident. They have been spending a lot of time together between games, and Noah’s mom tells me that they all went out bowling last night. Noah smiles as he tells me that he’s playing against Paul Hagelstein (Waco, TX) in Round 17. Best of luck!

Several phonies have been attempted in Division 2. Stephen Sneed (Fort Worth, TX) laid down PLAIADE*, which Mark Garrod (East Lansing, MI) holds before ultimately challenging off. Nearby, Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) attempted SINEWAVE*, but it was taken off the board by his opponent Paul Mishkin (San Francisco, CA). There is a valid anagram in SINEWAVE* - do you know it?

Maureen Morris (Calgary AB) comes over to tell me about her game with Troy Millington (Calgary AB) from Day 1. She has been impressed with the level of play in her division, but especially impressed with Troy. She tells me that after her opening play of CRUSH, Troy had AIMNTU? *1 and made a nice play using the H. There are several options (including one Collins only option), but Troy’s play had him designate the blank as a Y. What did he play?

I am impressed more and more each year with the high level of play demonstrated across all divisions. Here’s a few of the nice plays I’ve seen around the room today for you to anagram:

*2 ILOPSX (Ani Migirdicyan (North York ON) versus Jan Lapierre (Cherry Hill, NJ)) *3 EEFMTW# (Eric Kinderman (Burlington, VT) versus Mark Francillon (Marlboro, VT)) *4 BEKLNORY (Kay Adam (Volin, SD) versus Sonia Wilmot (Littleton, CO)) *5 ADEGOORSW? (Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) versus Kolton Koehler (Portland, OR)) *6 ACEEFIMT+ (David Engelhardt (Baltimore, MD) versus Martin Gold (Arlington, VA)) *7 BDIFLO (Lee Brooks (Arlington, TX) versus Richard Strick (Santa Monica, CA))

Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) just got a big win over Joe Roberdeau (Cincinnati, OH). Joe tells me that Charles jumped up to an early lead of 156-15 in just three turns! Charles played GOATFiSH (63) and MISTEND (77) early in the game to build that lead. Joe managed to score well with plays like MEDIATOR (64) and LINEAtE (66), but Charles kept scoring even without bingos, making plays like ZITI for 69. Charles took the win 513-314.

I see a beautiful nine-letter play on the board between Mad Palazzo (Richmond Hill ON) and Claudia Finn (Seattle, WA). With a rack of EGILNTR, Mad extended HA to HALTERING to take a small lead going into the endgame. Unfortunately for her she drew RRUU, and in TWL play RURU# is not allowed. Claudia was sitting pretty with AEILVVS *8, which in Collins has a valid anagram. Can you find it?

Michael Early (Fort Worth, TX) tells me that in his game against Mark Miller (Radnor, PA) he played HADRONIC and TONEMICS*, while Mark played RESHOWS. There’s a valid play with CEIMNOTS *] that didn’t play on the board. What is it?

*1 HUMANITy *2 OXLIPS (for the Collins players out there, OXSLIP# works too) *3 FEWMET# *4 BROKENLY *5 GREASeWOOD *6 FACETIME+ *7 BIFOLD *8 LAVVIES# *9 CENTIMOS

Robin Pollock Daniel writes:

Volunteering rocks, people. This is so much fun, and soothes the pain of not being able to play this year.

Play of the day so far: Kolton Koehler (Portland, OR) vs. Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) Josh opens with WOO. Kolton, holding ADEGRS? decides that playing a mere mortal word will not suffice; instead he finds a 95-point beauty.* Can you find it? He also got down PINBONES, followed immediately by SNIFTER. Joshua fought back with MEZCAL for 42, CRUSTING for 86 and SIMONIAc for 68, but it was Kolton’s win, 466-403.

A huge 518 was scored by Steve Bush (Richmond, KY) against still-suffering Cesar Del Solar (Albany, CA). Steve managed five bingos against Cesar, and at least four of them were acceptable words: GUILTED, OUTSAYS, FROWNIER*, TAMPErED, AND CoZENER. Cesar played CHAIRED and finished with a 444.

Norases Vesdapunt (Stanford, CA) was anxious to have me see his win over Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY). “Everything big on the board was played by him”, muttered Joel. RANCHER and ENJOINED were Norases’s first two plays, for a whopping 177 points to start the game. He also got both blanks, putting down ORBITINg and DuMBEST later on. Joel stayed within viewing distance with such plays as INTUITS, ZOEA for 52 and COXED for 44, but it was Norases’s easy win, 480-349.

Walking back to my computer, I couldn’t help but notice the lovely 9, BOOTERIEs, sitting on the board belonging to Jerry Lerman (Foster City, CA) and Will Anderson (Croton, NY). It was Jerry’s find, along with WIRIEST, which Will commented, “I shouldn’t have let you play that.” Will started the game with PLACOId, and then pluralized it by getting down HAZANS. Jerry had CDEIIRT on his rack and, missing the fortuitous DICTIER/CHAZANS one-two punch, tried getting away with DITCHIER, but Will would have none of it. Will frosted the cake with GENOMEs and that’s all she wrote. 496-323 for Mr. Anderson.

*GREASeWOOD. In honour of Chris Lipe, who today suggested a definition be given for WADMOLL on other social media, herewith is what GREASEWOOD actually is: A resinous dwarf shrub of the goosefoot family, which yields hard yellow wood used chiefly for fuel. It grows in dry areas of the western US and is toxic to livestock if eaten in large quantities.

Division 1 Round 16 Auto-Commentary

Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) takes the lead, 12-4 +1065, on a 7-game winning streak. Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY) is +788, #2 slipping from #1. Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) is +758, on a 5-game winning streak, #3 rising from #4. Jesse Day (Berkeley, CA) is +539, #4 climbing from #6. Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI) is 1 game behind at 11-5 +1006, #5 climbing from #7. Will Anderson (Croton, NY) is +903, on a 3-game winning streak, #6 climbing from #8. Joey Krafchick (Richardson, TX) is +771, #7 down from #3. Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ) is +521, on a 4-game winning streak, #8 rising from #10. Orry Swift (Houston, TX) is +381, on a 3-game losing streak, #9 down from #5. Jason Li (Dollard-Des-Ormeaux QC) is -22, #10 rising from #12.

In Class B: Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) is the lead, 12-4 +758, on a 5-game winning streak. Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI) is 1 game behind at 11-5 +1006, #5 improving from #7. Charles Reinke (Middleton, WI) is 2 games behind the leader at 10-6 +664, #11 jumping up from #16. Patricia Barrett (Houston, TX) is +186, #16 climbing from #20.

In Class C: Ross Brown (Ottawa ON) is the lead, 9-7 +175, on a 5-game winning streak. Alec Sjoholm (Lynnwood, WA) is 1 game behind at 8-8 +221, #34 up from #39. Jeff Fiszbein (South Lyon, MI) is -104, #37 up from #43. Terry Kang Rau (Hudson, NY) is -150, #38 dropping from #30. Amnuay Ploysangngam (Thailand) is -421, on a 3-game winning streak, #42 up from #47. Greg Heidler (Waialua, HI) is 2 games behind the leader at 7-9 -414, #51 jumping down from #45. Tasha Asberry (Cordova, TN) is -639, #52 leaping up from #58. Joel Elkins (West Hollywood, CA) is -658, #53 down from #48.

High Win: Judy Newhouse (Houston, TX) 527-354 vs. Ken Kasney (Meridian, ID). Low Win: Amnuay Ploysangngam (Thailand) 340-272 vs. Chris Tallman (Vancouver BC). High Loss: Darrell Day (Richardson, TX) 474-477 vs. Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ). Low Loss: Chris Tallman (Vancouver BC) 272-340 vs. Amnuay Ploysangngam (Thailand).

Division 2 Round 16 Auto-Commentary

Howard Pistol (Oakland Park, FL) stays in the lead for the 3rd consecutive round, 13-3 +968. Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) is 1 game behind at 12-4 +884, on a 3-game winning streak, #2 rising from #3. Chris Williams (Vancouver BC) is +725, #3 falling from #2. Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR) is 2 games behind the leader at 11-5 +1081, #4 climbing from #5. Kevin Bowerman (Chapel Hill, NC) is +634, #5 up from #8. Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) is +114, #6 slipping from #4. Mark Peltier (Seattle, WA) is -64, #7 climbing from #13.

In Class : In Class B: Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) is the lead, 12-4 +884, on a 3-game winning streak. Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) is 1 game behind at 11-5 +114, #6 down from #4. Mark Peltier (Seattle, WA) is -64, #7 jumping up from #13. Guy Ingram (Ellenwood, GA) is 1.5 games behind the leader at 10.5-5.5 -64, #8 jumping up from #15.

In Class C: Paula Catanese (Mountain View, CA) is the lead, 10-6 +532. Carolyn Easter (Birmingham, MI) is +147, #19 down from #11. Elizabeth Ralston (Los Angeles, CA) is +79, #21 improving from #23. Gwen Stewart (Ellicott City, MD) is +66, #22 climbing from #25. Edward Gowash (Fort Worth, TX) is 1 game behind at 9-7 +312, #26 up from #32. Carol McDonald (Northboro, MA) is +30, #31 up from #36. Cynthia Pughsley (Oakland, CA) is -106, on a 3-game winning streak, #33 up from #39. Diana Grosman (Reisterstown, MD) is 1.5 games behind the leader at 8.5-7.5 -472, #38 leaping up from #46.

High Win: Jan Cardia (Hockessin, DE) 522-345 vs. Connie Creed (Philadelphia, PA). Low Win: John Dalton (Dallas, TX) 334-314 vs. Edward Stewart (Elicott City, MD). High Loss: Judy Cole (Concord, MA) 428-463 vs. Arun Methaset (Thailand). Low Loss: David Engelhardt (Baltimore, MD) 269-477 vs. Martin Gold (Arlington, VA).

Division 3 Round 16 Auto-Commentary

Bill Ewing (Missoula, MT) remains in the lead for the 9th consecutive round, 15-1 +1086, on a 3-game winning streak. Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) is 2 games behind at 13-3 +1256, on a 5-game winning streak, remaining steady at #2 for 5 rounds. Lynda Wise (Toronto ON) is 3 games behind the leader at 12-4 +411, #3 rising from #4. April McCarley (Austin, TX) is +351, #4 climbing from #5.

In Class B: Carol Tillson (Silver Spring, MD) is the lead, 11-5 +558. Zachary Ansell (Los Angeles, CA) is 1 game behind at 10-6 +116, #16 slipping from #12. Lynn Dreyer (Tacoma, WA) is 2 games behind the leader at 9-7 +407, #21 jumping up from #30. Rhonda Morris (Oklahoma City, OK) is +120, #25 hurtling up from #35. Margo Kuno (Philadelphia, PA) is -31, #31 jumping down from #25. Claudia Finn (Seattle, WA) is -91, #32 up from #40. Mary Ellen Weisskopf (Huntsville, AL) is -288, #34 jumping up from #41.

In Class C: Chloe Fatsis (Washington, DC) is the lead, 11-5 +262. Chris Autio (Missoula, MT) is 1 game behind at 10-6 +458, on a 4-game winning streak, #13 up from #19. Joey Gordon (Fort Worth, TX) is 2 games behind the leader at 9-7 -6, #30 jumping down from #24. Noah Kalus (New Paltz, NY) is -185, #33 jumping down from #27.

High Win: Kay Adam (Volin, SD) 533-250 vs. Sonia Wilmot (Littleton, CO). Low Win: Whitney Gould (Berkeley, CA) 326-303 vs. Rhonda Roederer (New Orleans, LA). High Loss: Mad Palazzo (Richmond Hill ON) 397-410 vs. Claudia Finn (Seattle, WA). Low Loss: Sonia Wilmot (Littleton, CO) 250-533 vs. Kay Adam (Volin, SD).

Division 4 Round 16 Auto-Commentary

Hannah Rozear (Durham, NC) takes the lead, 12-4 +583. Jennifer DeWaelsche (San Antonio, TX) is +559, #2 dropping from #1. Richard Banker (Ankeny, IA) is 1 game behind at 11-5 +608, #3 falling from #2. Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA) is +595, unchanged at #4. Jim Laris (Altadena, CA) is +141, #5 up from #7. Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) is 2 games behind the leader at 10-6 +551, #6 up from #9. Dustin Brown (Fairfield, CT) is +480, #7 improving from #8. Deanna Stacy (Des Moines, IA) is +294, on a 3-game winning streak, #8 rising from #12. Peter Hopkins (Toronto ON) is +275, #9 sliding from #5. Jamie De Jong (Ottawa ON) is +166, #10 dropping from #6.

In Class B: Jennifer DeWaelsche (San Antonio, TX) is the lead, 12-4 +559. Richard Banker (Ankeny, IA) is 1 game behind at 11-5 +608, #3 slipping from #2. Jim Laris (Altadena, CA) is +141, #5 improving from #7. Jamie De Jong (Ottawa ON) is 2 games behind the leader at 10-6 +166, #10 falling from #6.

In Class C: Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA) is the lead, 11-5 +595. Dustin Brown (Fairfield, CT) is 1 game behind at 10-6 +480, #7 rising from #8. Donna Leigh (Menomonee Falls, WI) is 2 games behind the leader at 9-7 +361, on a 3-game winning streak, #14 rising from #18. Sheng Guo (Amawalk, NY) is +44, on a 3-game winning streak, #18 climbing from #20. Chandra Hebert (Lafayette, LA) is -23, on a 4-game winning streak, #19 up from #23.

High Win: Maxine Marcus (Anaheim Hills, CA) 513-266 vs. Paul Rickhoff (Saugus, CA). Low Win: Gil Baker (Chicago, IL) 327-282 vs. Dawn Mennear (Des Moines, IA). High Loss: Evan McCarthy (Windham, NH) 409-420 vs. Jim Laris (Altadena, CA). Low Loss: Desiree Engel (Anaheim, CA) 231-372 vs. Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI).

Division CSW Round 16 Auto-Commentary

Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) remains in the lead for the 3rd consecutive round, 13-3 +1027. Becky Dyer (Austin, TX) is 1 game behind at 12-4 +1014, #2 climbing from #3. Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA) is +659, #3 improving from #4. Austin Shin (United Kingdom) is +508, #4 sliding from #2. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA) is 2 games behind the leader at 11-5 +614, #5 up from #6. Amit Chakrabarti (Hanover, NH) is +226, #6 sliding from #5.

High Win: Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA) 593-433 vs. Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR). Low Win: Lynda Woods Cleary (Princeton, NJ) 344-275 vs. Liam Hopfensperger (Chapel Hill, NC). High Loss: Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) 433-593 vs. Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA). Low Loss: Karen Richards (Australia) 261-484 vs. Mina Le (West Palm Beach, FL).

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