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NASC 2015 Commentary: Round 26

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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 26

While we’ve been thinking about Reno being the biggest little SCRABBLE town of in the world, Reno has been preparing for the weeklong festival known as Hot Summer Nights and it starts tomorrow (during our last day of the NASC). There will be more than 100,000 antique cars rolling into the city and many more people. Already the streets are being closed off to traffic and tents are set up on the sidewalks as far as the eye can see. In front of our very building, the Reno Ballroom, two monster trucks, one named Bigfoot (tires at least 10-feet high), have been backed up to the edge of the foyer windows! It is all very exciting if not a bit scary for the Hasbro people working the SCRABBLE Twist booth table a mere few feet in front of Bigfoot, separated by a thin pane of glass!

I have been told that a player reached the second level today and won a free SCRABBLE Twist: Avery Mojica (Overland Park, KS). Way to go, Avery! It took a 17-year-old to break through the talent ceiling!

Ben Berger (Germany, Federal Republic of) visited with Alice Ching-Chew, our activities guru, last round and shared his utter delight in getting to play in this tournament and experience our NASC. Through this second hand source, I was told that he defeated a player today with a rating 700 points higher than his and that is was a meaningful accomplishment. I have a feeling we’ll see him again at another NASC!

The top 8 finalists played a best-of-four games this morning (within their divisions) while those who didn’t make the cut played four games with the non-top-8. The winners of the best of 4 morning sessions will now do a best of 4 this afternoon with the other winners in their group. The ones that lost this morning go into another type of round robin with each other, the consolation bracket. And the main room keeps trucking on as it has been. But what this means is that we have three subsets of players: The top 4 winners of the top 8, the bottom 4 losers of the top 8, and the rest of the room. If you are having trouble finding the standings for the top 8 folks, go to the main live coverage link and reload your browser to see a new link called “quarterfinals.” What you seek will be in there!

The streaming coverage went very well this morning, with the equipment staying put and the players being changed between the top tables, to get both CSW and TWL games featured. This afternoon, there are two games in each division in contention for winning their divisions. Which game is to be featured will be decided by Dallas and division leaders and players will be cycled in for variety (among those top contenders).

Rashad Miller, our streaming guru, has been very pleased with how things have been going. He says that SCRABBLE is a great fit for the kind of streaming coverage he provides. I’d heard that SCRABBLE was too slow-moving of a game and he disagrees vehemently. He said it moves faster than Magic the Gathering, the game he usually steams live. It is great to bring a new member onto the team who is so positive and fun to work with. I know Robin Pollock Daniel and Jesse Matthews have been loving the commentating!

There will be up to four games played by the top two teams in each division and the rest of the room will play only three games this afternoon. Confused yet?

Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) vs. Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA) is annotated this round, so I focused on the other game: Joanne Craig (Australia) vs. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA). Joanne responded to Peter’s small opening play with RETINUED. He then slapped down APTERIUM. Later she played VEINLETS and he played ANTIWEED and JOYRIdES. Peter won with a +145 spread.

Robert Kahn (Plantation, FL) walked by and showed me his scorecard: He has really been winning a lot! As we were basking in the glory of all the wins, he said as dryly as possible as he turned the scorecard over, “If only I hadn’t lost 6 in a row on day 1, all this winning would really matter!” We both chuckled.

Pat Schuberg (Australia) vs. Matthew O'Connor (DeWitt, NY): GROOVIER and pEERAGE are her bingos and GHARRIES from the G and IMPASTE are his. A 447-402 win for Matthew.

In one of the TWL division 1 semis, Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) was playing Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON). Their board was speckled with pretty plays: CARLINE, AESTHETE to the E, and GUIDABLE through the U for Matthew and AUgUSTER for Panupol. A 465-314 win for Matthew.

Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY) defeated Orry Swift (Houston, TX) in round 1 of the Division 1 6-game consolation tournament. I see GLANCERS, ACORNED, PAUSERS, METRIST, and AZOTED on their board.

A funny start in the Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ) vs. Thomas Reinke (Middleton, WI) game. He opened with CINQ, one of the new 4s. She replied with NUT from the N. He then replied with NUTHIN (another new TWL word!) from the NUT. Later he got down ISOBARE. His win, with a spread of 63. They are the other duo in the division 1 consolation division.

Joey Krafchick (Richardson, TX) is looking very sharp today in a dress shirt and tie! He and Cesar Del Solar (Albany, CA) are close to the end of their game. Clear scoresheets and a glance over the board, I see there were four bingos played early on: Cesar’s DAUBIER, Joey’s ANTIRAPE, Cesar’s DEVOURER and then TERATOID. Later, Cesar played FrETSAW and Joey played ORAtIONS. I also see INTENtLY. It was Cesar’s win, 491-462.

Game in progress between Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI) and Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA). I see FAncIES for Connie. She lost this game by 4.

Across the room in a division 3 semi, Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) squared off with Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH). I catch MALARIA, DREARILY (blank L), CURTAINS, and OBTAINS on their board. A 419-380 win for Charles.

The other division 3 semi: Bill Ewing (Missoula, MT) vs. Daniel Novinson (San Francisco, CA): CENTERED, Bill’s TOCKING* (nonbingo phony) and OLESTRA, and Daniel’s MENINGeS. A 440-387 win for Bill.

Chloe Fatsis (Washington, DC) and April McCarley (Austin, TX) settled in for a fun game. I see eEEW on the board, then Chloe’s TAUNTeR and ATrESIAS. April played SOIGNEES and VARIATE/TI/AA/UT/NE for 74. Chloe won game 1 by 47.

Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR) vs. Kevin Fraley (San Jose, CA): UNQUIET, TERpENE, SCARIEST, and TRuANTS. A 13-point win for Kevin.

Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) vs. John Karris (San Jose, CA): UNG?ATED, MANURED, and JEEPING. John won by 35 points.

Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) vs. Chris Williams (Vancouver BC): cHEDITEs, RANTERS, and HOUNDING.

Matt Canik (Austin, TX) brings me over to see a great play. As we walk across the room to division 1, he explains that his opponent, Darrell Day (Richardson, TX), was winning by a bunch and had been trying to close the board down. Desperate to get back into the game, Matt found from COP the play COPYwRITES* for 84. He points out Darrell’s bingos: SANITATE, InULASE, and TRIPLINE. Everyone who happens by congratulates him and he suddenly decides to look it up. All this hoopla over a phony! Turns out that COPYWRITER is good, but not his word. After all that he said a quiet, “never mind.”

All I can see is CABOCEeRS on an Austin Shin (United Kingdom) vs. Becky Dyer (Austin, TX) board. Turns out he played the singular and an S was added later. He also played RIVETING, FUGUISTS, and TWAdDLER from the T. Becky got down MANDATE and LAXEST to the triple for many points. Austin’s win, 495-430.

I stand about 10 feet away and can still pick out some pretty plays on the Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) vs. John O'Laughlin (San Francisco, CA) board: DERANGES, INTITLED, DASHIEST, QUIETLY (blank I and L), SKLENT, and QUALMY. Joel won this one by 98 points.

Joe Edley (Port Jefferson, NY), finished his game this round, asked if I’d heard about his game 3 with Will Anderson (Croton, NY) before lunch. I had not. He had lost the first two games and needed to win the third one in order to play the fourth. He took a lead late in the game by playing a bingo. He then picked the last tile in the bag. One little tile, what could it hurt? Well, if was a V and if it was unplayable, it meant the game. Will played out carefully and won three games in a row, making playing the fourth game unnecessary. Will ended up doing live streaming commentary that round instead!

Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) stops by to tell me that he got to play CuTOFFS down the triple, hooking to make SPAMS for 113 points. He also got down REGRATED and COINTERs. His opponent, Ken Smith (Pukalani, HI), played OVERLAIN. It was Alan’s win.

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