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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Round 22

[ 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 22

Mr. Kilt, er, I mean Tobin Lathrop (Seattle, WA), came over to tell me that he was having a great game until his opponent had the nerve to park the K from her QUICK play on the triple letter spot and then double the play for 60 points. It turned the game and Jane Tacker (Sealy, TX) won, 364-321. Way to go Jane!

In division 3, on board 28, Thomas Wood (Valrico, FL) lost a close one to Tim Margolis (Silver Spring, MD), 402-417. In what was described by many as a "bingo slugfest," Tim played SCORIAE for 74 and INVItEES to the S for 80. Tom played PRODDERS through the second R for 72, OUTRAISE through the S for 66, and SEDITiON to the N for 77. In their last two racks, the JXZ tiles were still out. So, in the endgame, Tim got down XU for 23 while Tom played ZIT for 22.

David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC) defeated Adam Logan (United Kingdom) at table 3 in division 1, 470-344. On their board, I see MINORcAS for 72, aCETOSE for 91, NITRIDED (for 20 says my notes), GNARLED (for 27 says my notes), and STACKING for 90. I'm curious if those two low scores are correct for those plays...

I pass a completed board with no players at it. The paperwork around says that Debbie Stegman (Kew Gardens, NY) defeated Marcia McPhee (Centreville, VA), 374-368, in a division 1 contest. I see MOIRAI on their board.

On an in-progress game between Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and Komol Panyasophonlert (Thailand), I see DIMETRIC and DOPEHEAd (I'm guessing at the blank!).

Robert Ellickson (New Haven, CT) made it all the way up to table 2 in division 1 this game, but lost to Charnwit Sukhumrattanaporn (Thailand), 381-455. The play they both liked and called pivitol was Charnwit's PULSIVE.

From the "how in the world did this happen" department comes the three-blank game at table 30 in division 4. Brenda Casey (Guilford, CT) defeated Delores M. Arrington (Sicklerville, NJ), 434-375. I'm not sure exactly how it unfolded, but as I reach their board, Brenda is shaking her head, saying she is very sorry for the extra tile, and that she doesn't know how this happened. I read into that situation that this third blank gave Brenda a winning advantage (as an extra blank can!). They quickly started checking the game's tile distribution so the next players wouldn't face the same predicament. No resolution on how this happened, but similar tiles are at nearby boards (but not adjacent ones!).

In the middle of the long center aisle, I see division 2's Judy Horn (Reading, MA) give Fern Lindzon (Toronto ON) a well-deserved hug of congratuations on Fern's strong performance thus far in the their division.

And what would a tournament in New Orleans be without some locally-flavored words? Rob Robinsky (Saint Paul, MN) finds me to tell me about an already picked up (as in no photo) division 2 game. He played DETAINEE to the last E for 74 to open, but the play of the game came later when Rob put down the 96-point CREOLIZE! His opponent, Ruth Hamilton (Lake Oswego, OR), got down SENARII for 71. Though Robert won, 458-386, he notes that Ruth was down by about 165 at one point and fought back to get the spread down to 70.

I had a long, complicated passage typed in about a Jeremy Frank (New York, NY) vs. Robert Kahn (Plantation, FL) game, but my machine crashed and I lost it. Suffice it to say that it involved a late-game overdraw, a knowledge of each other's racks, and a desire to block a certain bingo that was foiled when EGAD turned out to not be the block that Robert had intended. He thought it an interjection that could not be pluralized. Jeremy disabused him of this and won bingoed to win their game!

At board 3 in division 5, down 212-352, William Snoddy (Asheville, NC) played DIPPIEST through the first I for a 167-point triple-triple! A game-changing find, Bill won, 442-390.

I'm told that division 5 leader, Wendell Smith, had to wrestle Billie Garver (Leachville, AR) from her foyer visit with Bill Geist (from CBS Sunday Morning). I guess they had been visiting for several minutes, charming each other with their stories when Wendell realized that if he didn't get her back inside, her game would never start!

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