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NASC 2015 Commentary: Round 25

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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 25

Okay, so since Will Anderson (Croton, NY) won his three games with Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY), they did not play a fourth (how the playoffs work). Will provides excellent commentary on live game play so he got hooked into join the team of Jesse Matthews and Robin Pollock Daniel as they commentate on the fourth game between Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) and Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA). Joel needs to win this matchup by 89 to defeat Evans. Robin decided to give the mic to Will and she is running a game sim just off the camera to feed Jesse and Will with possible plays. They are working as a well-oiled machine there! Rashid is maestro-ing this whole thing about three feet in front of them with his five laptops and bright blue headphones over his newsboy cap.

So a fun story! In division 4, Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI) toiled in the bottom of division D. By winning 8 of her last 9 games over the past two days, she eked her way into the top 8 (and played very few of the others in the top 8). She played the #1 seed, Hannah Rozear (Durham, NC) and ended up winning 3 of their 4 games. On their last game I saw TAXIING by Hannah and MITIGAtE by Connie. In the endgame, low on time, Hannah tried ANTIfACE* as an outbingo, but it was challenged by Connie. After the game was over she talked about losing the first game by 140 and being sure she was just not going to win, and yet she did! Standing next to me, I was reminded of a tall blonde tennis player and have now coined Connie the Maria Sharapova of SCRABBLE!

A quick glimpse of Austin Shin (United Kingdom) vs. Joanne Craig (Australia): I see OUT?OVED.

Game 4 between Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ)and Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) is in the record books. She is sitting alone at their board. She says, “He blew me out of the water the first two games, I won the second, and then he won this one, too. I needed two blowouts of my own to catch up to him. Wasn’t to be.” I see his YODELED, DODGIER, and JAZZ for 81. She played OUTSLEEP, AUTISTIC, and BARISTAS.

My breath has been taken away by a play by Paul Richards (Australia). It was the endgame and he was playing Walker Willingham (Bainbridge Island, WA). The game had been a tit for tat with Walker playing AILETTE#, aCQUAINT, and EXURGY* (hey, he got away with it!). Paul had played SOLDIERY (blank L) and ODONATES. Holding EICGNRZ, he looked over the board and found a play through disconnected O and ER. A 10-letter word for 76 which drew a challenge. He won, 465-365, and got UNUSVEL from Walker’s rack. His wife, Karen Richards (Australia), overlooking the board, joking said, “He plays one 10 and suddenly he’s Nigel Richards!” We said the name is pretty close..... since they are both Richards! The play that Paul found was RECOGNIZER!

I mentioned a game between Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) and Peter Hopkins (Toronto ON). The recount turned out to be a 7-point win for Peter (so a 9-point swing in doing the recount)!

April McCarley (Austin, TX) and Daniel Novinson (San Francisco, CA) end their 4-game with 2 games each, but he gets her on spread. I see his ATTABOYS (which drew a challenge) and NARRAtED. He said he needed to win by 78 and he won by 98, so he got the spread he needed. He tells me privately that she played really well and had she had better tiles, it would have been her moving onto the next stage of the playoffs.

Lynda Wise (Toronto ON) and Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH) are in a TENSE endgame. He is down to 16 seconds on his clock. She has more than 8 minutes and a blank on her rack. I think I see RURIER? I am standing about, I dunno, 12 feet away. I don’t dare to go near. Suddenly, he makes a play, goes over on the clock a bit, then she challenges and they go to the challenge machine. There is a backlog of folks up there so I run over to their board and see HIDEOUT, CURIOsA, TANGLES, and PELORIAL from the P. They start returning to the board and I slide away. It appears the game is done and they are beginning to do endgame paperwork so I try to slide back in. Suddenly a big cactus is tossed up and I totally get it and flee the area. When the dust settled, he moved on to the next phase. That is about as much as I could glean.

Howard Pistol (Oakland Park, FL) vs. Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR): NATTERED, SPAREsT, NATRIUM, and NEBULIZE (blank L). Gunther won 3 out of their 4 games and moves onto the next phase of the playoffs.

Michael Early (Fort Worth, TX) tells me that earlier today in a game against Nick Meyer (Berkeley, CA), he got down ZEOLITIC through the first I for 79 points. He has lost games this event by 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 18 points. He would win a tuff luck prize now for sure!

Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA) comes back from lunch with a chocolate ice cream cone in his hand. As he twirls it around he tells me about his last game with Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON). It ended up being one of those rare pass 6 times/0 score games. It was so cramped, they both ended with four tiles on their racks. Brad won, he remembers, 415-401, then he said, “ish.” I think those are approximate scores.

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