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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Round 3

[ Congratulations to the new National Champion, Trey Wright, who defeated David Gibson in three straight games, 365-328, 355-344 and 429-328. Please tune in to ESPN to watch the final games at 1 P.M. ET on Sunday, October 3rd, 2004. We welcome your e-mailed corrections to our web site. ]

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, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3.

Round 3

Well, we knew it would happen eventually, the two Pattersons in division 2 faced off this round: Elaine Patterson (Stoughton, MA) vs. Kay Patterson (Columbia, MD). It was Elaine's turn to be the Patterson of note and she won, 434-249.

Sometimes other round's info will creep in and this is a case of such a thing. In round 2, Mike Frentz (Seattle, WA) pulled out a squeaker of a win against Scott Pianowski (Berkley, MI), 418-415. I guess they did a recount and everything stayed the same. Mike played BLEArED for 78, PANTLESS for 74, and DEALERS for 75. Scott got down DILUTION for 68 and GOATEES for 73. Scott points out that he has lost his first two games by 4 points and 3 points!

In division 2, Mike Wolfberg (Concord, MA) pulls me over to see his round 2 win against Lorraine Burton (Baltimore, MD), 621-366. What a smashing combined score for them both! Mike's monster score was as a result of good play combined with one GREAT find: OVERSIZE through the I for a triple-triple scoring 239 points! This in only ONE play! Mike is still smiling ear to ear. Lorraine got down OUTSTARE in that game and Mike found FOLiATES.

I run into division 2's Luise Shafritz (Las Vegas, NV). She is 1-1 going into this game and feeling good. She is running a division 2 rotisserie for a few players who want to take a chance on the outcome of their division's results.

Division 5's Gail Linn (Potomac, MD) is 2-0 going into this round. She confides that she should be doing quite well. She attended a SCRABBLE® tour/tournament run by Rich Baker and Liz Ashby in France last month. She won her division and earned a 1316 rating, but since we are pairing this event based on June 1st ratings, she is playing in the division that month's rating specified.

In division 3, I spot a completed board between Jim Hughes (Austin, TX) and Chris Ofstad (Antioch, CA). It was Jim's win, 355-345. Both were down to mere seconds on their clocks and both were stuck with tiles. Chris couldn't get down FR and Jim was stuck with the Q. I see Chris' LeTTINg play. This is a round 2 game.

Robin Ross (St. Petersburg, FL) in division 3 is getting an early start on her Christmas presents. She is putting the down time between games to work on Swedish embroidery pieces. She has a little SCRABBLE® lunch box full of needles and string and she pulls out bits and pieces and whistles while she works. She says it is a "lost art" and she loves relaxing when she can.

Division 3's Scott Davies (Pearland, TX) just pulled out a win against Greg Heidler (Waialua, HI), 385-348. I spot Scott's GAuCHEST for 67 and Greg's MANAGERS through the N for 72.

Division 3's Jeannie J. Wilson (Livermore, CA) defeated Charlie Alexander (Tallahassee, GA), 399-391. I see Jeannie's FODDERs and OUTSNEER*. Charlie admitted that he knew the latter was a phoney, but he used the S opening to play QATS from the triple for 39.

Thomas Wood (Valrico, FL) defeated Chris Ofstad (Antioch, CA), 371-359. Tom was mighty impressed with Chris' level of play. Tom was up by more than 100 and Chris bingoed with STRAYED, creating GOOD/NODE for and 85-point out-bingo, bringing their scores much closer than Tom an envisioned earlier in the game. Good on ya' Chris!

In division 4, Jim Fonti (Port Jefferson Station, NY) suffered a big loss to Isaac Apindi (Richmond, CA), 275-351. I see PEtTIER on their board.

Nearby at another division 4 board, I see two board makers playing one another. The game is still in progress, but I see Peter Manzolillo (Bellmore, NY) ahead of Gene Tyszka (Mississauga ON), 312-250. There is still hope for Gene, though, as he is holding both blanks. Holding RTG??RG, I see Gene play aRGO for 8 points and he pulls new tiles to hold RTG?AUZ. I wished him silent good luck as I passed on by. Other words featured on their board: OVERTAN* ENVOYED, and AUNTIES.

Danny Kidd (New Boston, MI) just had a big game against the young Alex Fiszbein (South Lyon, MI), winning 400-288. I see BATTENEd on their board.

In division 1, I see a game between Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand) and Libero Paolella (Toronto ON). As I walk by, Charnwit bingos with sEAGOING to the second G on the triple for 80 points. He picks the last three tiles: ?EE. Libero, sitting on too many consonants and not much chance of pulling out a win, is defeated, 328-476. Charnwit also played LUNETTES, ANEROIDS, and the lovely non-bingo UROLITH through the R (talk about a nice dump play!). Libero did get down SALUTERS, but it just wasn't enough.

Daniel Goodwin (Seattle, WA) in division 1 sidles up beside me with a grin as wide as the Mississippi Delta. He is 3-0 as this round winds up and he's delighted. At the last nationals, it took him 13 rounds to attain 3 wins! He thinks I will remember this fact and I kindly remind him that there are a lot of players with records from two years ago and I'm never going to remember all of them.

Frank Tangredi (West Babylon, NY) gets a win over Siri Tillekeratne (Calgary AB), 446-401. He got down FRONTAGES, RELATIVE, and OUTSIDE. Siri played PRESTIGE and the lovely EQUISETA through the E. I am so impressed with this last play and John Chew drily says, "It is a 5-vowel 8, Sherrie." I sniff, like I'm supposed to know them all? (John: There are only 298 of them, so yes.)

Randy Hersom (Morganton, NC) from division 1 wants to show off a play that makes him most proud. It is a 10-letter bingo through disconnected letters! Through an NA and S, he played FULMINATES for 80 points. He won that game, defeating Susi Tiekert (Indialantic, FL), 419-361.

Dawn Camille Wisniew (Pullman, WA) lost to George Ross (St. Petersburg, FL), 299-345. She smiles slyly as I check out their board, because she got away with the phoney GEMINI* in that game.

I walk by the earlier mentioned nervous Andrew Golding (Verdun QC) and spy on his contestant scorecard. He is 2-1!

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