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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Round 10

[ 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 10

Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) finds me and brings me across the room to his 565-271 winning game against Amnuay Ploysangngam (Thailand) in division 1. Evan played DIPLOnT for 77, FACEING through the A for 92, and GRUNTLE for 85, the latter two bingos on a triple line. Poor Amnuay made only one play of 5 letters or more for 37 points.

In division 2, Patrick Hodges (Glendale, AZ) had a winning game with Dave Leifer (Alpharetta, GA), 385-350. There was a theme going on. Dave played ALLIANCE through the L for 74 and Pat played HOMElAND from the H for 89. Also on their board was the 3-letter POW!

I watch a game unfold at table 40 in division 2. Cheryl Cadieux (Bay City, MI) is playing Pongsakorn Atichatsrisakul (Thailand). The game looks pretty close, but I can't tell much from their scoresheerts. I leave them several times and come back to check in. I see she has a QU on her rack with other tiles. I think she'll be fine. Well, I would be wrong. He ends up sticking her with the Q and the U and wins, 353-326. I see OrALISTS and LEISUREs on their board.

Frank Lee (Cincinnati, OH) is having a gay old time in his large, Naugahyde, executive chair again. He somehow manages to bring both the chair and his usual motorized wheelchair to every NSC! He's been stationed at his own table at the back of the room above division 2, where he and his opponents get to play their games in the relative luxury of a table for two.

At table 1 in division 1, Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand) challenged off SAUROID*, which was attempted by Ron Hoekstra (Kentwood, MI) midway through their game.

A few tables away in division 1, Trey Wright (Los Angeles, CA) is having a barn-burning game with Richard Julian (Mountainside, NJ). Trey got down ADDITORy for 68 SQUARING for 69, but two other plays caught my eye: JUN down from the triple, hooking onto QUARTER, making QUARTERN for 47 and EPISCIA from the E (the latter is a good rack cleaner-upper). Richard played eINKORN for 72.

At table 26 in division 1, Frank Tangredi (West Babylon, NY) was on fire! He defeated Marlene Milkent (Hattiesburg, MS), 496-301. He played JAMBOREE through the B for 84, ERATZ for 63, and SNORERs for 91 (the latter hooking the S and making JAMBOREES!).

Style counts and no one in this room knows it better than Verna Richards Berg (New York, NY). She is looking fine with shoes that match her bag. She and her opponent, Pamina Deutsch (Corrales, NM), are close to wrapping up a pretty much lopsided game. Verna excitedly points out her KILBASA play and I see OUTDODGE, too. As I'm watching, Pamina plays STRAIneR for 68, but Verna is still enough ahead that the bingo doesn't do much to narrow the scoring gap.

Division 2's Mike Frentz (Seattle, WA) comes toward me with wild, excited eyes. He just bingoed out to defeat David Zimmerman (Baton Rouge, LA) 412-370. Mike is the kind of guy that wants to show you what he could have played several turns before and several options for later, but I had to rush off to some other tables. I did note that his outbingo was TENUTOs for 69.

Mike Wolfberg (Concord, MA) has been delivered his first defeat of the tournament thus far by David Johnson (Red Hook, NY) at division 2's board 1. David got down SAuRIAN and Mike played CINDERS for 78 and DROoLeD.

Division 2's Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON) just lost a heartbreaker by one point, 415-414, to Judy Horn (Reading, MA). I rush to their board and see Judy's UNPINNED for 67 and HOSTLEr for 99. Jim played ENCIRCLE through the N for 82 and BELONgs for 72.

Though I miss getting a photo of the board, I grab Jason Katz-Brown (Richmond, CA) by the wrist and try to get some news on what led to his victory over Nigel Richards (Malaysia), 451-323. He tells me he got down SOlITON (that should read SOLITON with a blank letter L) for 79 and then wants to go into his game last round against Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand), which he lost by 23 points. Komol played EXALTING through the L. Jason played INTAGLiO from the first I for 80 and LICOrICE to the E for 72.

Trey Wright (Los Angeles, CA) mentions that he had a great round 8 play of AUSTENITE through the IT. It was only worth 68 points, but had ample style points! Trey won that game against Chuck Armstrong (Saline, MI) by about 70 points.

While I'm out and about, John Chew notices a bunch of activity in front of him. Marlon eked out a two-point win against Louis Schecter (Brooklyn, NY), 387-385. I assume there is a story and if I can get it, I'll share it later. Instinct tells me that Marlon may have felt he was on the bad end of the tile picking, yet he still won.

John also caught a game between Victor Tantua (Los Angeles, CA) and Varney Senii (Brooklyn, NY). Victor won, 421-411, with plays like ONAGERS, REIGNITE, and 1a QUIVER-ER. Senii played 1a QUIVER, a1 QUININAS, and ADZ/ZEK for 68. (see photo)

In a Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN) vs. Randy Greenspan (Buffalo, NY) battle, Randy was sitting with DEDICATE and he had a place to play it. Jim puts down an E, which doesn't block the play, but instead makes DEDICATEE! Randy quickly built up a lead of 345-42, and ended up winning 603-303.

This round's Division 1 Board 1 game between Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand) and Ron Hoekstra (Kentwood, MI) appears in our playable games section.

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