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NASC 2016 Commentary: Round 17

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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, After the Tournament.

Round 17

There is a 1094-point game just wrapping up in division 1. I find Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) on the losing end of a 639-455 game with Paul Epstein (Ann Arbor, MI). Right out of the gates, Paul started early with a bingo-bangs-bongo of MISDATE 76, ACQuIRE 75, and AUDITED 82. Miraculously, Rafi pulled with 4 points with an early TENTIER and the lovely 140-point triple-triple GNATTIER, but the machine that was Paul got down these three beauties: APPOINTS for 94, EX for 50, and REGIONS for 85.

With some of the top players, you can't really tell who wins or loses in their games unless you either know them very well and can see a change in their demeanor (like a barely perceptible flush) or unless they kvetch. And among the top players, there is very little of the later. Thus it was that I approached David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) and Will Anderson (Croton, NY). I had no idea who had won. I saw gUARANTY, KITTIES, and EYEhOLE. A 443-364 win for David. He is owning that table 2, I'll tell you. He should be moving up to the annotated 1 soon!

Greg Rogers (Mishawaka, IN) vs. Lucille Thornton (Pennsauken, NJ) at table 1 in division 4: bingo-bongo REENACTS 74 and FLOWERS 90 and then EQUATEs 80 for Greg. CODEINS 67 for Lucille.

Dustin Brown (Fairfield, CT) vs. Diana Bowen (Charlottesville, VA): BOARdINGS, GIFTINGS, REVIEWS, and OAKIEsT.

A win for Meredith Leigh (Des Moines, IA) against Ben Greenwood (Florence, MA), 462-338, at table 1 in division 3. I spotted CURTaIN and ENGORGED before the tiles were pulled up. He showed me the undisturbed bottom right corner and that she had played UNITE (which he found interesting, because it rested three above the bottom right triple word square. He was thinking that UNIT might have been safer, but I'm wondering how much of that was wishful thinking as he held REHIRED at that time and it couldn't go down through that E! Were the E not there, watch out!

I quote Bryan Pepper, "Roy Kamen (Covina, CA) has come back from the dead." He was 6-1 yesterday and has won all three so far this morning. All of them by at least 450, too. I look over and see Alan Stern (Shadow Hills, CA) with his head in his hands, the latest victim. They are sitting facing each other, looking over the completed game. This was a 480-400 win for Roy. Alan had played INTIMATE and ROUGHIsH to Roy's PAINTED. But then COZENErS happened. Alan was shaking his head.

The game long over, Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA) tells me that he had a 452-399 win over Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC), despite Wapnick's gorgeous PINERIES for a 140-point triple-triple. I glance over the almost computer-generatedly easy to read scoresheet and see that Brad played IODIDES, NEGATRON for 80, and BLASTING for 74. He saw me writing and he said, "You know how unfair this game is right?" I nodded. He said, "Joel's last rack was AAAEEOQ. My last rack? BLASTING?. Like that's even remotely statistically fair." I said, so he could call you a lockbox? He nodded.

David Eldar (Australia) continues to win, yawn. He defeated Evans Clinchy (Boston, MA) this round and you can see the game, all David's games at the annotated Collins table 1 in the annotated game section of this web site. The only person who has felled the giant is Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA).

Robin Pollock Daniel writes:

Fern Lindzon (Toronto ON) showed me the subtraction she had to physically write down after her game against Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand), the 306 difference so great that she couldn’t do it mentally. Fern bingoed* early with VITEL(l)I for 72, but Panupol roared back with TRICORNE for 78, sneezing out RHINITIS for 74, followed immediately by TA(b)LEAUX for 82, and then a late DENTURES for 80 to pad his spread (I had originally written “cum” but, well, if you pronounce it wrong...). 611-305 for the brilliant and much-welcome Thai player.

Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) showed he knows his way around wood, hammering out CABINETRY through BI in his game agains Steve Bush (Richmond, KY). Also played were DINKIEST, PAVI(o)URS, and a late-game TREADLER by Chris to seal his 517-426 win.

Another beautiful nine-letter word was spotted on the Geoff Thevenot (Crystal Lake, IL) vs. Peter Armstrong (Portland, CA) board: FALCONERS, through what appears to have been FA already extant on the board. POSITING and ETHANAL also got down.

A new ten was played in the CSW division, potentially rivalling the earlier DISHONESTY that I wrote about a few days ago. Jason Ubeika (Mississauga ON) hopefully did not self-refer when he found UNSHOWERE(d)# through the OWE, making a 110-point double-double. It is acceptable only in Collins, but not, frankly, as a way of life. Jason defeated his namesake, Jason Broersma (Caledon ON) with a 407-378.

Sherrie wrote last round about how there was phony-itis in the air, and I dub this round Scrabble 101-itis. All those hours of study, yet the number of stem bingos I saw astounded. Of course, you play what you pick out of the bag; they can’t all be QUINZHEE. Rather than list them, why not create a little quiz? Here are some of the words I spotted:


Conrad Bassett-Bouchard writes:

Yesterday, David Pearl (Long Beach, CA) told me he was moved up to Division 1 at the last moment. Previously my pick to win Division 2, as he has done so before, David seems to be having no trouble navigating the top group right now, as I watch him take down reigning Crescent City Cup champion Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME). David is now 11-6, and hovering around the top 10 in Division 1!

Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) and Fern Lindzon (Toronto ON) have some nice words on their board. Fern opened with the lovely VITELlI, but then Panupol went into World-Champ mode with TAbLEAUX, RHINITIS (natural!) TRICORNE, and DENTURES for a big win.

In Division 3, I pass a game with OUTBUILD on the board. Not a minute later am I passing through Division 2 when I spot OUTBUILT! What are the odds of that?

Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) gives a nod to his board. I look down and staring back at me is what has got to be one of the finds of the tournament thus far! Ca(BI)NETRY. Wow. At this point Chris was barely hanging onto a lead, with both players sporting scores over 400, but I eventually see Chris turning in the tally slip.

I have never seen someone so happy to lose a turn in a tournament. Michael Fagen (Montreal QC) challenges a fancy play by Mack Meller (Bedford, NY) of PRIMUL(A)S and (EPERGNE)S. When the play comes back acceptable, Michael appears extremely happy to see the green check mark! But the score shows a blowout in Mack's favor, and as I walk away, he's already nearing 500 and another bingo.

Jackson Smylie (Toronto ON) walks up to me and informs me he has done the hokey pokey. I ask him what that's all about...turns out he has won all of his games today after a five game skid, and is heading back towards contention for the Division 2 title.

Mike Frentz (San Mateo, CA) walks up with his signature bewildered look after his round 17 win. I know I'm in for a good story, especially when he begins by emphatically declaring that he tells me he isn't sure how he won. After an early misstep of challenging WINDINGS (there's those -INGS words again - I'm telling you!), a pretty bingo that blocked his own OSTINATO, Mike's tracking fell apart, and found himself Q stuck in the endgame. His opponent, however, turned out to be stuck with the Z, and as such, Mike walked away with an 18 point win. He points out that as one of the fastest players in Division 1, this strange game left him with a mere two seconds on his clock!

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