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NASC 2015 Commentary: Round 28

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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 28

The rounds are no longer delineated neatly since some of the playoff folks are going into their next games right away (they already know their opponents). It is hard to sit down and write because info keeps coming in. Just as I try to sit down and type, Dan Stock tells me I have to check out this board (glad I did, too!). It was the beginning of a Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM) vs. Kevin Bowerman (Chapel Hill, NC) division 2 consolation division game. Jeff opened with PROD and Kevin replied with SHI?WORK through the R. Dan was sure the blank was a P, but it was a T! One of the new TWL words, too! Jeff replied right away with the double-double INtEGErS. A bit later Kevin got down INWEAVE and then ALIENATE, but it wasn’t enough because Jeff got a bingo-bango-bongo toward the end: GUNNIES, RIALTOS, and ALACRITY! A 499-461 win for Jeff! Wow!

In division 2 news this round, someone opened the game with COB and the other person replied with COB, hooking to create COBB. While Dan Stock is at the news, he tells me about WANKIEST# going down on a division 2 board.

Matt Canik (Austin, TX) is done for the day. He finished his game using only 4:30 on his clock. I asked if he won and he said he didn’t. Maybe he needs to spend more time on his games? I tease him.

Update on Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA) and Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI). He won the first game, she won the second game, and now in game 3 I see a bingo each for them: UNIFIER for Jack and nEGATOR for Connie.

Evan McCarthy (Windham, NH) vs. Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA). I can see that Evan played GUNItES. Not sure about who played TRINDLE (blank L), TACKLED, for TRAINEE, but a nice board!

Because they played faster than the others, John Karris (San Jose, CA) and Tod Taylor (Seattle, WA) are into their 4th game when others haven’t finished round 3. Tod plays the lovely CORDUROy, OUTRIDES, and the aforementioned WANKIeST#. John got down FIASCOS. Despite the highlights, this was John’s win and with a 3-1 advantage, he goes onto tomorrow’s finals in division 2. Tod will play for 3rd or 4th place.

Into their third game, Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR) vs. Kevin Fraley (San Jose, CA) have UNCoUPLE, TiRRiVEE, STARERS, and MARS?IER.

He had attributed going to medical school being good for something earlier in the event, in terms of vocabulary help, so I keep looking for those words in games that Daniel Novinson (San Francisco, CA) plays. So far this round, the only thing moderately medical word I spot is DENTILS. He did get DARTINg down on the triple line. Other plays: DELAINE and FREEZES. This game was Bill’s so it is now a 2-1 lead for Bill. Daniel needs to win his next game and with some spread to move on.

They went into round 3 with a win each, but Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) took game 3 against Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH), 519-309. I see SISTErS for Greg and RETINATE, DINETTe, and VENTURI for Charles.

Tapani Lindgren (Roseville, CA) brings me over to his completed board with Margo Kuno (Philadelphia, PA), only after he’s turned in his result slip (he knows the rules, slip first, chat later). He is excited about playing a new 8: GURGLIER to the final R. No shock, it was challenged, too. He also played BESTOWED through the first E and to down the phony ILKAs*. It is only acceptable without the S in either of the two dictionaries used here. She played INVITER, but lost this one, 245-440.

The crowd of bottleneckers* are growing around the Division 1 and Collins boards now, I get around some of them to check out the third game of the Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA) vs. Joanne Craig (Australia) semifinal. She lost this one, so it is now 2-1 in Peter’s favor. I see her ABuTTAL and his POTLINES, BREEDING, and OUTRIDES. By this point, both players look a bit tired and have that “deer in the headlights” look about all the fuss around them. I wanted to be a fly on their internal wall of reaction when their division leader, John Robertson, announced they were the next game to be annotated and live streamed from the center of the room. Maybe it was a relief? Though those games are broadcast, the annotated game has only two in-close-proximity onlookers.

Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) is delighted to step in and help Jesse Matthews commentate on the last live streamed game of the day: Joanne Craig (Australia) vs. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA). Robin Pollock Daniel, has positioned herself to Rafi’s right, off camera, to simulate play options for Jesse and Rafi to use as the game unfolds.

Jesse Day (Berkeley, CA) vs. Will Anderson (Croton, NY), also encircled with their fans, wrap up with second left of the clocks. One player had 4 seconds and the other had 55 seconds. I see Will’s dRUMLINS through the M and Jesse’s FOrNICES, GRADATE, ANTISMOG, and NAPERIES. A 489-396 win for Jesse, and a 2-1 lead in their best of four. They will move to the other annotated table (but not streamed live) for their final round.

After seeing the game that broke his 10-0 record last round, I was surprised to see another high-scoring game for Nick Ball (San Bruno, CA) this round, and he was in the same position of coming in second, this time to Geoffrey Newman (Brampton ON). This game was even higher scoring: it was an 1100-point creation! Neither one of them was snoozing on this board! It was a back and forth affair: IODIZES for 77 (N); REARERS for 87 (G); PISOLITE through the second I for 90 (G); FACIALS for 84 (N); DAIMYO from the D on the triple line (N); CANTRAIP for 78+5 (G); tEGULAR for 69 hanging the R into the triple lane (N); DANEWORT through that R for a 194-point triple-triple (G); JEUX for 52 (N); and Geoffrey fished two tiles holding IENT? and drew exactly the two he wanted, AQ, to play ANTIQuE for 123. Final score, 701-401, Geoffrey’s shiny, big, enormous win. What a way to end the day for this excited Canadian, eh? As I was walking away, Nick said, “And I thought the last game was bad!” He lost by “only” 171 to Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA).

What follows are the last games, if played, for the semifinalists.

CHEEKIEr jumps out of the just finished game: Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA) vs. Greg Feldkamp (Cleveland Heights, OH). I asked which one of them got it down and Greg said, “We both wanted to do it, but Charles got the chance before I did.” It was an extension from CHEEK, but worth it to hit the triple. The 96-point, perfectly nestled SONDERS and MATRONaL were enough to give Greg the win and bring them to a 2-2 record, but Charles gets through to the finals on spread.

At the nearby division 3, game 4, semi, Daniel Novinson (San Francisco, CA) opens with NETTiEr. A few turns in, Bill Ewing (Missoula, MT) played ENTAILS. Bill has his clipboard on his lap and it is leaning against his body as he’s drawing tiles well above his head. Daniel wants to confirm the cumulative score and Bill, handless at that moment, take a big breath and pushes his abdomen out to change the angle of his clipboard/scoresheet. So, with his hands above his head, he manages to check out his scoresheet and answer in agreement while continuing to draw tiles. It was a suave move. A bit later, the game ends 380-367 in Bill’s favor and he wins their best of 4 games 3-1. Daniel pushed back into his chair and sighed. He said, “I had two important elimination games in this NASC, one in round 21 and then the other in my games with April McCarley (Austin, TX) and in both of those situations I did it. This time, I couldn’t, but it was a great ride.” We will see the man with the awesome abundance of hair in the division 3 finals and he will play Charles Dupont (Seattle, WA).

The only outstanding game in division two was the round 4 Gunther Jacobi (Portland, OR) vs. Kevin Fraley (San Jose, CA) matchup. They went into this round with Kevin at a 2-1 lead. Early on I saw Gunther’s CHiNTZED and then later MURIATE and EUPNeAS. But Kevin’s SELENIC, GAROTTE, and the perfectly nestled AX/TA/EX on the triple for 56 helped seal the deal for him. A 451-433 win for Kevin, ending their series 3-1. He’ll square off against John Karris (San Jose, CA) tomorrow.

As they were going into their last game, in the open area of division 1, both Matthew Tunnicliffe (Ottawa ON) and Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) asked for plenty of berth from onlookers and division leader John Robertson made sure of it, shooing the curious away. Only my not-yet-failing far sightedness helped me take a few notes. Matthew had the 2-1 advantage going in, so Panupol had to win, and with enough spread to move past Matthew. I saw VOLaTILE for 80 go down first for Matthew, then EATERIES for 70 for Panupol. A long time past and then in the endgame, FREEsIA for 71 sealed it for Matthew and he won, 414-318. He finished 3-1 in his series with Panupol.

All we could do now was wait for the Jesse Day (Berkeley, CA) vs. Will Anderson (Croton, NY) game to wrap up.

I had somehow, in all the hubbub, missed that Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR), going 3-0 in his semis with Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA), had already earned his berth in the CSW finals. So, we were waiting for the winner of the Joanne Craig (Australia) vs. Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA) game, too.

While we were waiting on those two games, I rounded the corner toward the division 4 last semi. Going into this match, the 8th seed in the playoffs, Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI), was 2-1, ahead of Jack Peters (Nantucket, MA). Early on in their game, she played VOIDErS, which drew a challenge from Jack. And just as I got there, they were off to challenge her play of PINEY, also acceptable. She ended up winning this game (he won the first one in their matchups), ending their series at 3-1, and earning her berth in the finals against School SCRABBLE phenom, Evan McCarthy (Windham, NH).

A fast player, Evan had played through his 4th game with Chan Fonseka (Dublin, CA) before most of the round 3 semis were done so I missed it. Chan won the first in their series and Evan went on to win the next three. So, it will be a Constance J Creech (Metamora, MI) and Evan McCarthy (Windham, NH) final in division 4!

The room was now waiting for the games behind the red ropes. Under the guise of journalism, I wandered in but stayed about 8 feet away from Jesse Day (Berkeley, CA) vs. Will Anderson (Croton, NY). An annotator slipped me a note: “Jesse opened with BEHOWLED through the O for 118.” Knowing that Will had to win their game by about 200, I just left the red roped area. No one needs more stress in a time like this.

Well, in a few short minutes, Jesse pulled out the win, ending his semis at 3-1 against Will. Moments later, Joanne Craig (Australia) pulled off her second win against Peter Armstrong (Oakland, CA), bringing their games to 2-2, but without enough spread under her belt, Peter goes on to win their matchup and will face Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) tomorrow.

What a day of games! We are all so wiped! We’ll be back tomorrow for all the excitement and we hope you all will join in with the live streaming, annotating, and awesome photos!

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