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2004 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Final Round 2

[ 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.

Finals 2

Trey open the game with FEIJOA for 40 to start the game.

David played OHIA, overlapping for 27.

Trey then got the first bingo of the game with ECOToNE, overlapping with four different words for

Now David has bingo-prone tiles, TELSONW, and played WON, making a nice leave, but he is 80 behind.

Trey played FORKY for 34, and we are at: 158-44, in Trey's favor.

David's rack is: LETSUXY. The crowd is suggesting SULKY, which David has arranged on his rack. It looks like David is at least contemplating that play. He's looking at CULEX as well. We are wondering what he'll play. Jim Kramer likes CULEX.

He opts to play SULKY for 32 points, putting the score at 76-158.

Trey's rack is ZIGBURE. We are thinking ZEBRINE to the NE on the board already. He opts to play ZEBU for 30 and the crowd claps, putting him up by 112.

David's rack is AEENTUX.

The camera angles in the play

David is quickly getting into trouble again as the board is not very open. In fact Trey's ZEBU closed the board very nicely, comments Jim. So David is probably going to have to try to open the board.

The big screen is alternating between shots of the players in their room and the crowd in this room.

David played YEAN for 26. We like YEAN.

Now back to Trey. He has an 86-point lead with GUVTIRE on his rack. Stephen Tier (Rego Park, NY) says TIE, [error: no such id: stevep] says GUL.

The camera is now on Andre and Robin as they give Joel their thoughts.

Trey may not want to leave the bingo line open to the N in YEAN.

Let me just say that Jim Kramer is essentially telling me what to type as it is so confusing in here! John O'Laughlin (Madison, WI) and [error: no such id: stevep] are running maven behind us, quitely suggesting plays.

Trey has 21:56 on his clock and David is down to 15:52.

Still waiting on Trey, does he block? His mouth pursed, he moves the tiles around on his rack.

Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) says it is correct to block.

Trey plays TRUEING through the open N and the crowd claps. It is only 9 points, but it blocks the key spot and it uses a lot of letters, bringing the game closer to an end which is to Trey's advantage.

He is now 95 points ahead.

David holding GUNEXIT. He is thinking about how he needs to open the board. He may try EXEUNT and that will open a lot of new lines.

JoelS says David's rack looks like it wants an L on the board.

David does play EXEUNT for 28 and it is going to be hard to block everything for Trey.

So, Trey, holding ABORTIV, needs to try to block some of the openings on the bottom of the board.

Jim asks Steve if he can do anything through the open N. BORT through the T blocks the biggest bingo line says Jim, but there will still be open lines. Trey is unaware that David's rack is in no shape to bingo through anything. Playing into the great unknown.

It is quieting down in the room as we wait for Trey to make his play.

Jim says, "It looks like Trey has the wrong rack and the wrong time and David's going to be able to keep this board open."

He plays VINO through the N, blocking three of the most dangerous lines, where BORT only blocked one. But there is still an E wide open.

David, holding CDGIMOR is going to need to open up. He played MUG. It is very mysterious to us in the gallery as it blocks the only open line he had. He still has a chance to bingo through the T, but it would have to be a perfect fit. However, it might be a tough spot to block for Trey.

Score is 211-153, for Trey.

Trey holds AABLORT. The maven experts suggest TABLA across the bottom line. It scores and blocks the T, but it leaves a 7-letter bingo line wide open.

He makes a beautiful blocking play of AMIA for 10, blocking everything. No one in the room saw it. Unless David makes a new opening, everything, but an obscure 9 is impossible now.

David holdw CDIMORE?. He quickly slaps down ATOMIC, not using his blank, for 34 points.

He has pulled to within 34 points of Trey.

Trey, holding, BOVILRT, played BOVINE to an NE, for 22, opening a couple of lines.

David's turn. He has PRIDE?D. And he bingos PERIODiD for 82 and we have a game.

David just took the lead by 26, 269-243.

It looked really bad for David a few moves ago, but now it is anybody's game and the crowd is excited!

Trey has a not good rack of ADLRRTT. He plays TREAD for 20 through the E in David's last play and he is still trailing David.

David holds GETPLAN and his face has softened. He isn't as sure to lose this game as he may have been earlier.

Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) has come up to add some insight.

David plays ENG to a triple for 15.

And Trey quickly plays HERL for 23.

David holds PLAAATS and the crowd groans because we get a flash of Trey's rack. He just got the yucky Q.

Chris is saying that David kept an A last play to protect him against the Q and then David drew two more As. He played APED to the triple for 21 points.

305-286, David's lead.

Trey has a troublesome Q rack, EQRSTWS, but the A in David's last play will allow him to play it off, most likely.

There are 5 letters in the bag: NIUDE.

Trey has to decide whether to leave two or three letters in the bag. He's thinking. This is going to be a very close end game.

Trey opts to play QATS for 13 points, leaving two tiles in the bag.

Trey is now 6 points behind,l 299-305.

David's rack is AAILLST. He playes LIS, emptying the bag.

Trey holds DEERSUW and David holds AAILNT.

Marlon has declared David the winner of this game.

David is ahead by 30, 329-299.

I hear WEEP from the crowd, which would allow him to play out with SURD.

Chris Cree is suggesting URDS and ATOMICS (hooking the S on this last word).

Trey plays WEEP and the crowd claps.

DaVID HAS LAAINT - doesn't seem like he can block both of Trey's outspot, so he needs to find a good score somehwere

Joel sees LAARI for 21 points

That will still leave him short - instead, he has played NA for 15

Trey goes out with URDS/ATOMICS and wins an extremely exciting game.

Jim says it was a super exciting game and puts Trey up with two wins.


Chris Cree suggests that David's play of APED may have been a very big mistake as he had all the As and might have been able to do a Q stick.

Marlon's victory declaration for David was a bit premature.l

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