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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Round 21

[ 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.

This round's Division 1 Board 2 game between Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand) and Trey Wright (Los Angeles, CA) appears in our playable games section.

Round 21

Advisory Board member, Susan Hoehn (Saint Paul, MN), just had a great game at division 3's table 40. She defeated Nancy Hanley (Wilmington, DE), 552-286. One of the prettiest plays I've seen all day just jumps out from their board: YTTERbIA for 83! This and three other bingos were all played by Sue: tWEAKING for 80, YEAStIER for 83, and HOODIER for 85. Sue's smile went from ear to ear as she filled out the game paperwork.

At the division 3 top table, Jerry Scheiten (Buffalo, NY) defeated Steve Moniz (Manchester, NH), 391-339. I see Jerry's LeGATOR for 63 and RESIGNER for 63. Steve was stuck with the blank at the game's end.

Two Thais are facing off in division 2: Korakoch Kiatsommart (Winter Park, FL) vs. Win Inthara (Winter Park, FL).

A finished game between Mike Wolfberg (Concord, MA) amd Rick Wong (San Jose, CA) presents itself. Mike, the author of the new word soure program called WHAT, is delighted to point out his opening play of WHY. Cute plays notwithstanding, it was Rick's win, 496-390. On their board I see DAzZLER for 97, ABNEGATE through the A for 62, and INTrOITS for 71. Catching Mike with JWNLII on his raxk was a helpful endgame point spreder.

It is time for someone new to shine in division 1 and this time it was the turn of Sammy Okosagah (Baltimore, MD). He defeated Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand), 449-370. Sammy played HEREUPON for 76, AZLON for 74, SINGABLE for 83, and ONGENtLY for 61. SEDULITY for 63, was Charnwit's sole "good" play!

At table 33 in division 3, Chris Ofstad (Antioch, CA) fought valiently, but lost to Ed Liebfried (Exeter, NH). 377-402. Ed played SERVInGS through the G for 158. Do to a simple transposition, Chris challenged off BIEGE* played by a too-quick-for-his-own-good Ed! Other words on their board: LEGATOS and INsIDER.

Claiming theirs to be the ultimate New Orleans board, Christopher Schneider (Seattle, WA) and Ellen Perr (New York, NY) opened their game with PUTT. Later, Ellen got down VOMIT to the T. Andrew then discovered he had 8 tiles on his raxck and as the rules specify, Ellen turned over three of them: BER. She opted to put the B back in the bag. She had no idea, of course, that she left him with a rack that created the 8-letter-word HANGOVER! Chris won this game, 473-256.

On a more appetizing New Orlean's theme, at table 52 in division 2, Wil Dabbs (Neosho, MO) defeated Jeff Martin (Albuquerque, NM), 448-332. Will played INTERNES for 68 and the yummy BEiGNETS for 83. Jeff got down FUSSIER for 73 and TINGLER for 68.

Behind the velvet rope of the top 6 games in division 1, I see Adam Logan (United Kingdom) looking dismayed in his endgame with Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand). With one play each still yet unplayed, Adam looked up at me and said, "I blew it." He is very upset with himself because he somehow managed to turn a certain win into a loss, 403-406.

Division 2's Fern Lindzon (Toronto ON) defeated her opponent at their division 1 board, 388-353. I see PIAStRE for 70 and sTARVED for 75. Both players and their paperwork is gone from the table.

Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC) defeatd Jason Katz-Brown (Richmond, CA) by 51 points, 446-395, in their division 1 game behind the velvet rope. I see Joel's RENOWNS for 78 and STRADDLES. Jason got down cORSAGES and RETINEnE from the R for 74.

Another velvet rope protected game took place at table 5 between Chuck Armstrong (Saline, MI) and Jere Mead (Chelmsford, MA). I see CONVOYS, DAReFUL, and FONDEST. It was Chuck's turn to shine, 429-406, in a battle!

Alan Kraus (Philadelphia, PA) tells me about about "goin' fishin'" this round in division 3. He was in a tough game with Traci Nguyen (Pearland, TX) and toward the end he held IOFLPRW. Unseen was AAEECNST. Behind in game score, he reasoned that he needed a bingo to win, so he played the the W off and prayed to all the tile gods. He got the tile he wanted and bingoed out, winning 443-411. Can you follow his fishing expedition and figure out what he played?* He is undefeated so far today!

Outside in the hallway, Betty Alexandra Toole (Sausalito, CA) tells me about a round 15 game yesterday. In the game with Diane Pietrzak (Algonquin, IL), two great plays went down. LISPERS was on the board, the L hanging into the triple lane. ALLOTTED came down as a 130-point triple-triple. Later in the game, the bingo BORAXES was played for 110 on the triple line beneath NE and WO, creating NEB and WOO. A very pretty fit that nestled right in! Betty won this game, 455-373.

Oh, how I love to find notes on my desk of games I may have missed! This one is about a Robin LaPrelle (Rural Retreat, VA) vs. Pamina Deutsch (Corrales, NM) matchup. A list of plays is written down and I'm not sure who played each one: STRINgS, OLEASTER, EMEROIdS, SERIATE, CLIQUY, JERK (for 64), and ENFILADE. Robin won, 486-438.

*Alan Kraus picked an E from the bag and bingoed out with PROFILE!

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