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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Round 27

[ 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 27

Sammy Okosagah (Baltimore, MD) worked his way up to table 2 in division 1 and had a tough game against the on-a-zoom, David Gibson (Spartanburg, SC), 318-566. David opened the game with INGRESS for 72 and by turn 6 put down the 86-point MAESTRO. Meanwhile, Sammy was making good plays with the tiles he had--QUOTE for 48 and DEX for 43, but by David's second bingo, he was behind 173-297. Right around this time, the game got complicated. Sammy played FEMINIE for 32, but then two turns later put down some version of LIVENED, but misspelled it. The annotators at the game missed the way the tiles were misplaced before they were picked back up again. The challenge was not completed at the WordJudge computer because Sammmy realized his mistake. David's next play was ZoOLOGIC for 118 points. Sammy responded with LIVENED again, this time spelled properly, for 26 points. On his very next play, Sammy tried to play SNAFU/FEMINIES*, but the play was ruled unacceptable. Meanwhile, David's last two plays were CHeZ for 51 and OKRA for 23. This was not Sammy's favorite game at the 2004 NSC.

Hey! A new name to report in division 2! At table 1, Roy Kamen (Covina, CA) played David Pearl (Long Beach, CA), and lost, 466-485. David got down ORBITALS for 80, DEMUONTS* for 94 (neither player noticed the transposed tiles for several plays!), and DURIANS for 87. Roy played ABOITEAU through the T for 64, CONCEALS to the triple for 95, and JITTERS for 87.

At table 15 in division 1, Jere Mead (Chelmsford, MA) got some revenge. In round 25, he lost to Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC), 389-396. Jere went first and passed, then Dean passed, then Jere slapped down AeONIAN for 64. Dean played the non-bingo ERRANT, then Jere the non-bingo GUIDE. Surging back into the game. Dean got down FRIGHTEN through the G for a 185-point triple-triple. Jere then played ENGIRDS for 78, SULFONE for 75, and in SATINE?, he is embarrassed to admit that it took him nearly four minutes to find a bingo! Through a C, he made an 8, can you figure it out?* Not done yet, Dean played OVERPITY* for 90. Jere had to accept it he said as he was holding EYEEXAM and unseen was AADIOOWZ. He let the phoney go and put down EXAM to the triple for 47, tying up the win, 472-454.

Table 72, division 2, Judith Levitt (Los Angeles, CA) defeated Christina O'Sullivan (Seattle, WA), 424-413, a close one! On their board I see SELVAGE, P?RITIES, and IONONEs. They were in the middle of endgame paperwork, so I didn't press for blank information or who played what.

Speaking of Christina O'Sullivan (Seattle, WA), Andrew Golding (Verdun QC) tells me about his game against her earlier today. He was holding IOOHLR? and he played to a D. He'd just learned that word the night before in an informal game with Steve Ozorio (Mississauga ON). Can you figure out his play?** He said that he enjoys getting the chance to play new words.

Trey Wright (Los Angeles, CA) and Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) are at it again at table 1. Toward the very end of the game, Chris could be overheard saying in a mock-serious tone, "Thanks for giving me the 1st E to play through!" Right about then, someone's cellphone# went off in the room and Chris looked up and said to anyone within earshot (and he's got a pretty hefty set of lungs) "no cellphones#, please." He was in a funny mood, actually making kissing sounds at Trey when he played GORgEOUS for 66, telling him "it was so pretty." Early in the game, Trey got down LENSING for 72 ad WARPaTH for 84, and since Chris only got down one bingo, ALCAIDES for 74, he lost, 343-440. When the game was over, Eric Chaikin (West Hollywood, CA) walked over and Trey said, "I got lucky."

*Jere played vESICANT through a C for 70 points.

** Andrew played gIRLHOOD to the D.

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