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NASC 2015 Commentary: Round 20

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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 20

You could cut the tension in this room with a knife this round. Robin had taken a break last round from writing and she was ready to jump in for 20. She said she could feel the stress and tension. Once I got onto the floor, I could, too. This round and the next one will decide who makes it into the playoffs in each division. So these games are for big stakes. This is the first time the NASC has used this particular pairing system so it is new for us all!

I stopped out in the lobby to see the new Hasbro SCRABBLE-themed game called SCRABBLE Twist. It will retail this fall for $19.99. What it is, essentially, is an anagram game with a heavy duty plastic tube that turns on either end. And the turning ends signify locking in words, once they are found and designated on the tube. Hard to describe, but those at the NASC can try it out over the next three days. And those not here can find out about it at the Hasbro web site! The folks running the booth will be giving some of the games away to players who are able to graduate to the next level of the game. This requires meeting a minimum of words found on the first level. I assume they will be giving a few of them away once the players start trying it with dedicated zeal!

Darrell Day (Richardson, TX) and Doug Brockmeier (San Francisco, CA) were intensely focused in on their game this round (some of the aforementioned tension). I saw FILAReE, WIDEOUTS, COURAGE, MORRION, TRAILED, ROUNDERS, and PIANIC on their board. I could see, from a distance that Doug got stuck with an unplayable J. Darrell played off a few tiles a time, but ended up losing the game, 438-500.

An unusual-looking board between Joey Krafchick (Richardson, TX) and Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI). It is more stair-steppy and less spidery looking. Only two bingos: SIGMATE for Joey and OVeRLAND for Thomas. He isn’t sure how he won it, but it was a 394-383 win for Joey.

Jason Li (Dollard-Des-Ormeaux QC) and Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ) were focusing heavily. I spotted VERSINE, FeLONIES, ZOARIAL, and MISErLY on their board. It turned out to be a 420-377 win for Laurie. Jason said she played a terrific game.

Becky Dyer (Austin, TX) and Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA) were locked in, too, to the very end. It was a close game. She played DIURESES for 83, BRONzING for 80, and SALUTING for 61. Bradley got down NECKLESS for 78 and HOTELIER for 72. They ran the clock down, but in the end in was a 466-452 win for Becky.

Jason Broersma (Caledon ON) and John O'Laughlin (San Francisco, CA) were working on some fun words: SIDELONG, ATOMISE, CARTAGES, and SCaLENE were some of the plays I spotted. I stayed away due to the stress of it all. John’s win, 426-374.

Karen Richards (Australia) vs. Steve Polatnick (Miami, FL): OUTDONE, TENSIBLE, INSNARE, PAVANes, and TEREBRAE# were their finer words. His win, 539-374.

A coupla’ Texans squared off to cement a spot in the playoffs It was a close game, but Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) had taken the lead. He had just played WINTERS, making UTE, LAP, and ITS for 92 points. And, he drew the last blank. Orry Swift (Houston, TX) had only one way to win this game. He had to end a bingo in an O. And he did. He put down RELIEVO and won, 418-404. It was a heartbreaking loss for Chris and not super awesome for Orry, I don’t think, because who wants to beat a friend, right?

There was some bad luck for the Reinike twins this round as Charles Reinke (Middleton, WI) fell to Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON). He tells me that he felt good, almost as if he would win, after he played GRADAtED, but Matt kept hammering back with plays like FIsHLINE, PRESENCE, and DINITRO (making about 6 parallel plays). I now remember that Robin was going to write this one up, so I’m stopping now. Read the rest in Robin’s coverage!

Two quiet, low-key guys, finished up among the last games of round 20, Trey Wright (Sierra Madre, CA) vs. Nigel Peltier (Portland, OR). The game finished, they shook hands, and started talking. I was right beside them and could not hear anything. So, I bent down and listened in. It was Trey’s win, 450-358, but it was a funny game. Trey drew three Rs in his first rack and tossed a couple back. Then, he picked up every R after that and got both blanks and made them Rs, so he had a total of 10 Rs this game! Plays I see: DEZINCS, VENOMER, COLANDEr, ESTRIOL, and HOrRORS.

The command center team has been just awesome this afternoon. We’ve had to gather all results in order to pair each round on the last round’s data (instead of going back two rounds, which we do most of the time to speed things along). The team has been crackerjack, getting in result slips and putting up pairings lickity-split. Great work all!

Alice Ching-Chew, our NASPA member services guru, has been hosting a music night at NASPA run yearly championships since NASPA began. The event has grown over the years and is now better than ever. Sunday night’s shindig was attended by around 75 people. Here is an admittedly imperfect list of what went down (but it gives the sense):

SCRABBLE Musicale List

Alice Ching-Chew: Songs: Waterloo & The Gambler Michael Early (Fort Worth, TX) - piano, own composition Rohan Fonseka - sing to a track Love of My Life by Queen - 13 year old son of Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) Martin Gold (Arlington, VA) — 4.5-minute piece on clarinet Hannah Lieberman (Charlotte, NC) - singing musical songs Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) - piano and singing Kay Patterson (Fair Oaks, CA) - accordion Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) - singing and piano Jim Pate - sing ... one round, one syncopated Take me Out to the ballgame Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) - guitar country/pop – fantastic carbon fiber guitar Supriya Devnani (Orlando, FL) — indian song—“Pal Pal Har Pal” Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) – guitar and singing, three songs, finished with “Wildfire” Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) – piano and singing, one song with Cesar Del Solar (Albany, CA) on guitar, “Summertime” and “The Scientist” on his own

Jesse Matthews writes:

For this round of Spot That Bingo:

(1) AEGLOPR (Kevin Fraley (San Jose, CA) versus Kit Morehead (Berkley, MI))
(2) ADEMNRRU (Joe Roberdeau (Cincinnati, OH) versus Chris Autio (Missoula, MT))
(3) AEHMNOR (Robert Linn (Potomac, MD) versus Supriya Devnani (Orlando, FL))
(4) AACEEGIR# (Carmel Dodd (Australia) versus Mohammad Sulaiman (United Arab Emirates))

Carlene Wallis (Sparks, NV) played VALIUM# against Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR), but in their division the play is unacceptable. Gunter held and ultimately challenged, gaining a turn in their matchup. Later in the matchup I see that BEANPOLE has been played...very nice!

Bingo, bang, bongo...bungo? That’s what we’ll call it, at least. Orlet Bullock (Barbados) tells me that he won 600-360 versus Walker Willingham (Bainbridge Island, WA). Early in the game they bingoed back and forth for a total of four consecutive bingo plays (PLEATEd, uNDERATE, STERILE and ORDINANT). Orlet also bingoed with STHENIA and DESANDS later on. Walker, meanwhile, attempted UNRENOWN* but it was challenged off. There is a fun Collins-only 11 in UNRENOWN??? (5) - the word is self-explanatory for most of us! He struggled in the last half of the game, which was evident when Orlet saw the final tiles from Walker’s rack: CDGGW.

Josh Greenway (Toronto ON) says he got off to a good start against Noah Kalus (New Paltz, NY), but that Noah caught up and then scored well consistently to take a lead that he would never give up. Noah played AEOLIEN*, a creative mix of AEOLIAN and EOLIENNE#, but Josh did not challenge it. Noah also played WINTRIeR and OVERRAN. With the win Noah is at 10-10, but he tells me that he was at 9-6 and went on a losing streak earlier today. Glad you’re turning it around, Noah!

James Porter (Cleveland Heights, OH) had an interesting pre-endgame with Sam Masling (Washington, DC). Both were almost even in score, so James made a play to open a second bingo lane and attempt to draw one of the last two esses from the tile bag. Sam had trouble blocking both lanes, and James’ gamble paid off - he bingoed out with INANEST! Not a bad last rack to have, I dare say. James got off to an early lead with AUrEOLE and TRAVOISE, while Sam was able to catch up just before the endgame with DiCTIONS and PUSHIER. Both players were engrossed in a pre-endgame analysis but it looks like Sam was not able to win no matter what he played after James opened the board.

Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) had a very tight board against Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH). Down about 40 points after Greg had played MiRAGES, Charles was in all sorts of trouble. Getting inventive, Charles hooked an A onto REB to make REBA* and AVERAGE, which Greg did not challenge. He was perhaps uncertain after Charles challenged off his earlier attempt of IMBUER. Charles ended up logging a narrow victory as a result of his innovative bingo play. His win, 349-330. He’s now in first!

Miriam Gregory (Vancouver BC) won a close game against Ben Greenwood (Florence, MA) this round. Ben is proud of a play he made that required some excellent board vision. Ben fit PIU on the board so that he made four words of PIU, PAGE, ZIT and TAUT for more than 30 points! He also scored well with GROPERS and FAX, but credited Miriam with some great plays of her own. Miriam played ENDEARED and then got down EQUALISE for 104 later in the game as well, which Ben says caught Miriam up and swung the moment in her favour. Miriam took this game in 405-384 in a close endgame.

(1) PERGOLA (2) UNDERARM (UNMARRED was not playable) (3) MENORAH (4) AGACERIE# (ACIERAGE# was not playable) (5) UNFOREKNOWN#

Robin Pollock Daniel writes:

Things are definitely getting antsy around here. With only two rounds to go, players who are marginally in contention are nervous, and they don’t need us Internet reporters skulking around their games. I got shooed away from one that I wasn’t even taking notes on! But I totally understand the sentiment.

I managed to get the goods on two games. Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) played Charles Reinke (Middleton, WI), and all the big-scoring plays happened early on. Matt played the lovely FIsHLINE for 80, along with PRESENCE (70) and DINITRO (77). Charles got down GRADAtED for 70, which allowed Matthew’s DINITRO to make four parallel two-letter words along the AtED. After the game, which Matt won 433-372, Patricia Barrett (Houston, TX) noted that CYSTI* remained on the board, probably confused with XYSTI. I believe the play was held but let go.

In an exciting CSW game, John O'Laughlin (San Francisco, CA) took on Jason Broersma (Caledon ON). I was drawn to this game because I noted that CARTAGES (86) was played. As we’re at the beginning of our final round before the top eight are determined in each division, and I am loathe to go down to the floor and start hovering around understandably highly focussed players, I’ll share a little story. I attended Sam Kantimathi’s Las Vegas tournament in 2012 while celebrating a, ahem, landmark birthday. Going into the final game, I had to win by over 190 points to win the tournament. I went first, and pulled CARTAGE out of the bag (and, yes, I very fortunately won the game, by over 200 points, and thus the tournament as well), so I am pretty fond of that word. Alas for Jason, who played CARTAGES, his fate was not the same, despite immediately playing ATOMISED (65) right after. In between his two bingoes, John fit in SIDELONG for 83, and sealed the victory with SCaLENE for 85. Final score 426-374.

Division 1 Round 20 Auto-Commentary

Orry Swift (Houston, TX) claims the lead, 15-5 +599, on a 4-game winning streak. Jesse Day (Berkeley, CA) is +497, #2 slipping from #1. Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) is 1 game behind at 14-6 +1065, on a 4-game winning streak, #3 rising from #4. Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) is +965, #4 dropping from #2. Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ) is +727, remaining steady at #5. Will Anderson (Croton, NY) is 2 games behind the leader at 13-7 +963, #6 climbing from #7. Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY) is +763, #7 up from #9. Joey Krafchick (Richardson, TX) is +526, #8 up from #12. Jason Li (Dollard-Des-Ormeaux QC) is +51, #9 falling from #6.

In Class B: Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI) is the lead, 12-8 +787, on a 3-game losing streak. Charles Reinke (Middleton, WI) is +587, #12 down from #10. Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) is +572, on a 4-game losing streak, #13 slipping from #11. Darrell Day (Richardson, TX) is +260, #16 slipping from #13. Avery Mojica (Overland Park, KS) is 1 game behind at 11-9 +799, #20 leaping up from #27. Joshua Sokol (Montreal QC) is +476, #24 rising from #29. Leesa Berahovich (Berkeley, CA) is +214, #27 climbing from #30. Steve Bush (Richmond, KY) is -88, #29 rising from #33. Nigel Peltier (Portland, OR) is -453, #30 jumping down from #22. Kate Fukawa-Connelly (Lawrenceville, NJ) is 2 games behind the leader at 10-10 +747, #32 rising from #39.

In Class C: Jeff Fiszbein (South Lyon, MI) is the lead, 11-9 +20, on a 3-game winning streak. Ross Brown (Ottawa ON) is 0.5 games behind at 10.5-9.5 +283, #31 dropping from #23. Terry Kang Rau (Hudson, NY) is 1 game behind the leader at 10-10 -217, #35 whizzing up from #46. Greg Heidler (Waialua, HI) is -273, #37 sliding from #34.

High Win: Kenji Matsumoto (Berkeley, CA) 544-316 vs. Norases Vesdapunt (Stanford, CA). Low Win: Ian Weinstein (Coral Springs, FL) 358-337 vs. Ross Brown (Ottawa ON). High Loss: Darrell Day (Richardson, TX) 438-500 vs. Doug Brockmeier (San Francisco, CA). Low Loss: Manop Phiphatboonserm (Thailand) 274-449 vs. Avery Mojica (Overland Park, KS).

Division 2 Round 20 Auto-Commentary

Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) stays in the lead for the 4th consecutive round, 14-6 +998. Howard Pistol (Oakland Park, FL) is +842, remaining unchanged at #2 for 4 rounds. Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) is +423, on a 3-game winning streak, #3 up from #6. John Karris (San Jose, CA) is 1 game behind at 13-7 +1087, on a 3-game winning streak, #4 rising from #8. Kevin Fraley (San Jose, CA) is +1017, #5 jumping up from #10. Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR) is +935, #6 rising from #9. Kevin Bowerman (Chapel Hill, NC) is +829, #7 dropping from #4. Chris Williams (Vancouver BC) is +811, #8 dropping from #3. Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) is +678, on a 4-game winning streak, #9 climbing from #11. Dave Leifer (Alpharetta, GA) is +580, on a 3-game winning streak, #10 climbing from #12.

In Class : In Class B: Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) is the lead for the 4th consecutive round, 14-6 +998. Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) is +423, on a 3-game winning streak, #3 climbing from #6. Paul Mishkin (San Francisco, CA) is 1 game behind at 13-7 +464, #11 up from #13. Edwin Roth (Philadelphia, PA) is +425, on a 9-game winning streak, #12 rising from #15. Kit Morehead (Berkley, MI) is +232, #14 tumbling from #5. Mark Peltier (Seattle, WA) is 1.5 games behind the leader at 12.5-7.5 -59, #15 improving from #18.

In Class C: Edward Gowash (Fort Worth, TX) is the lead, 12-8 +726. Elizabeth Ralston (Los Angeles, CA) is +98, #22 jumping up from #29. Gwen Stewart (Ellicott City, MD) is +81, #23 climbing from #30. Paula Catanese (Mountain View, CA) is 1 game behind at 11-9 +78, #32 whizzing down from #22. Cynthia Pughsley (Oakland, CA) is -16, #35 jumping down from #28. Linda Oliva (Lisbon, MD) is -378, #37 jumping down from #31. Diana Grosman (Reisterstown, MD) is 1.5 games behind the leader at 10.5-9.5 -456, #40 down from #33.

High Win: Carol McDonald (Northboro, MA) 540-302 vs. Harriette Lakernick (Chicago, IL). Low Win: Mark Schmidt (Asheville, NC) 365-347 vs. Nancy Bowen (Charlottesville, VA). High Loss: Yukiko Loritz (Anaheim, CA) 397-443 vs. Glenda Short (Oklahoma City, OK). Low Loss: Ruchi Gupta (Knoxville, TN) 253-484 vs. Ken Smith (Pukalani, HI).

Division 3 Round 20 Auto-Commentary

Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) seizes the lead, 15-5 +1362. Bill Ewing (Missoula, MT) is +737, on a 4-game losing streak, #2 sliding from #1. April McCarley (Austin, TX) is +456, #3 rising from #4. Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH) is 1 game behind at 14-6 +851, #4 slipping from #3. Yolanda Ushry (Fort Smith, AR) is +612, on a 7-game winning streak, #5 climbing from #6. Lynda Wise (Toronto ON) is +511, #6 climbing from #8. Chloe Fatsis (Washington, DC) is +282, #7 falling from #5. Daniel Novinson (San Francisco, CA) is 2 games behind the leader at 13-7 +615, #8 climbing from #11. Miriam Gregory (Vancouver BC) is +580, on a 3-game winning streak, #9 climbing from #12. Paul Hagelstein (Waco, TX) is +547, on a 4-game winning streak, #10 improving from #14.

In Class B: Claudia Finn (Seattle, WA) is the lead, 12-8 -7. Margo Kuno (Philadelphia, PA) is -40, on a 3-game winning streak, #20 rising from #25. Dave Krook (Mississauga ON) is 0.5 games behind at 11.5-8.5 -66, #22 climbing from #28. Maureen Morris (Calgary AB) is 1 game behind the leader at 11-9 +422, #25 tumbling from #19. Carol Tillson (Silver Spring, MD) is +219, on a 4-game losing streak, #30 tumbling from #21. Zachary Ansell (Los Angeles, CA) is +40, #31 rising from #39.

In Class C: Chloe Fatsis (Washington, DC) is the lead, 14-6 +282. Cooper Komatsu (Los Angeles, CA) is 3 games behind at 11-9 +441, on a 3-game winning streak, #24 rising from #31. Cecilia Huber (Cleveland, OH) is +292, #27 climbing from #32. Sander Post (Ottawa ON) is +290, #28 up from #33. Chris Autio (Missoula, MT) is +238, #29 dropping from #22. Joey Gordon (Fort Worth, TX) is -173, #34 tumbling from #23. Nancy Hanley (Wilmington, DE) is 4 games behind the leader at 10-10 +120, #39 climbing from #48. Anne LaDu (Des Moines, IA) is +87, #42 dropping from #36. Nicole Kazarian (Worcester, MA) is +34, #43 jumping up from #49. Noah Kalus (New Paltz, NY) is -263, #48 leaping up from #57.

High Win: George Bissonnette (Seattle, WA) 581-339 vs. Regenia Hidalgo (Colleyville, TX). Low Win: Cecilia Huber (Cleveland, OH) 342-329 vs. Cornelia Guest (Bethel, CT). High Loss: Lynn Dreyer (Tacoma, WA) 424-434 vs. Nandini Dickens (Bethesola, MD). Low Loss: Josh Greenway (Toronto ON) 254-426 vs. Noah Kalus (New Paltz, NY).

Division 4 Round 20 Auto-Commentary

Hannah Rozear (Durham, NC) remains in the lead for the 3rd consecutive round, 16-4 +888, on a 6-game winning streak. Jennifer DeWaelsche (San Antonio, TX) is 1 game behind at 15-5 +903, remaining steady at #2 for 3 rounds. Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) is 3 games behind the leader at 13-7 +568, #3 improving from #7. Peter Hopkins (Toronto ON) is +561, #4 falling from #3. Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA) is +560, #5 up from #6.

In Class B: Jennifer DeWaelsche (San Antonio, TX) is the lead for the 3rd consecutive round, 15-5 +903. Richard Banker (Ankeny, IA) is 3 games behind at 12-8 +500, #7 dropping from #5. Debra Bates (Sherwood Park AB) is +197, on a 6-game winning streak, #11 improving from #15. Jim Laris (Altadena, CA) is +38, #12 up from #16. Diana Bowen (Charlottesville, VA) is 4 games behind the leader at 11-9 +318, #16 rising from #19. Arthur van Tol (Grandville, MI) is +223, #17 jumping down from #12. Maxine Marcus (Anaheim Hills, CA) is +185, on a 5-game winning streak, #18 rising from #21.

In Class C: Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA) is the lead, 13-7 +560. Dustin Brown (Fairfield, CT) is 1 game behind at 12-8 +659, #6 down from #4. Donna Leigh (Menomonee Falls, WI) is 2 games behind the leader at 11-9 +435, #14 rising from #18.

High Win: Dawn Mennear (Des Moines, IA) 487-320 vs. Paul Rickhoff (Saugus, CA). Low Win: Karen Kaminski (Demotte, IN) 304-284 vs. Laurie Holz (Los Angeles, CA). High Loss: Deanna Stacy (Des Moines, IA) 406-448 vs. Diana Bowen (Charlottesville, VA). Low Loss: Mary Fonti (Hallandale, FL) 224-466 vs. Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI).

Division CSW Round 20 Auto-Commentary

Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) remains in the lead for the 7th consecutive round, 16-4 +1192, on a 3-game winning streak. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA) is 2 games behind at 14-6 +637, #2 up from #3. Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA) is +431, #3 falling from #2. Austin Shin (United Kingdom) is +406, unchanged at #4. Becky Dyer (Austin, TX) is 3 games behind the leader at 13-7 +844, steady at #5. Joanne Craig (Australia) is +824, #6 rising from #8. Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) is +682, on a 4-game winning streak, hovering at #7.

High Win: Orlet Bullock (Barbados) 600-360 vs. Walker Willingham (Bainbridge Island, WA). Low Win: Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) 383-346 vs. Jean McArthur (Austin, TX). High Loss: Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON) 465-472 vs. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA). Low Loss: Lynda Woods Cleary (Princeton, NJ) 300-426 vs. Eric Kinderman (Burlington, VT).

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