2005 National SCRABBLE® Championship Commentary: Final Round 1
Go to: Anagrams Championship, 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, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3, Final Round 4, Final Round 5.
We are all gathered in the viewing room to see two champions duke it out for the title of the 2005 NSC champion! Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) and Joel Sherman (Bronx, NY) will be handling the microphones in this room. Katie Schulz, the NSA intern, is on one giant rack and Lisa Kessler, division 6 assistant, is on the other rack. Big board duties will be handled by Bryan Pepper this year, the division 3 director at this NSC. John Luebkemann (Pineville, NC) appears to be on scoreboard duty. Sitting beside me is David Pearl (Long Beach, CA), helping me make sense of the comments shouted in the room.
Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) goes first round 1 and has EEIOUDW. The room "ews" audibly. David plays DOWIE for 22 points.
Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) has YAALGUE. He plays GAYAL keeping UE for 28.
Holding EEAUJZ?, the room hums for Dave's potential plays. A smattering of applause for JAW for 29.
Panupol has REEFLUN. The peanut gallery is amazingly quiet..... Maven, the computer game we all like suggests FLUNG for 18. He played FLUNG.
Dave holds EEEAUZ?. He slaps down ZEE for 31.
82-46 Dave's lead.
KEPREND is on Panupol's rack. KERNED is suggested by Maven, making KEF/EEL. Steve Pellinen (St. Louis Park, MN) is helping me with Maven to my left. Panupol played KNEAD/ELK/UN/NE for 38 to take the lead for 2 points.
Dave now has ABEEIU?. Jim Geary (Phoenix, AZ) is not fond of any of the racks so far. Dave traded 5, thus Jim was on the right track!
Onto Panupol, who holds ADEIPRV. David Pearl points out that the game is very tight and the board closed. Rich Baker (Eureka, CA) recommends JAWED, maybe... I hear LIVID. Panupol got brave and opened the triple of 8 points. We are all wowed in here.
Dave holds AEFNOR? and the room is electric with excitement. What can he do with the V? Chris Cree suggests 4 bingos, FOREMAN, FORAMEN, FORERAN, PROFANE. The last one gets more points, but is the most hookable.
He plays the defensive one: FOREmAN for 66. It is suggested he do FORErAN but it takes a K. The K has been played....
UPDEARR is on Panupol's rack and David sees an open E. We think we see a bingo coming down. Not quite a double-double, but it is good nonetheless. UPREARED through the last E. (John Chew: Panupol said later that he wasn't 100% sure that UPREARED was good in OWL.)
15 minutes to 19 and Dave has more time.
He missed his bingo!!!! He played a 5-letter word, DUPER. The room is alarmed.
Dave has MAELIS?. The room erupts! I'm told Panupol's nerves must be getting to him. We think Dave is entertaining MISDEALER, but his best play may be DISMALER. The room is wondering if Dave might be trying to think about Panupol's English and whether he would know MISDEALER* is bad.
Maven suggests dISMALER for 86 points. LAMIStER for 80 and we like it in here.
228-132, Dave's lead.
Panupol holds AENRTVY. He play ENVY for 14 from the EN.
The room just let off a collective groan for Dave's rack TUITUIX. He played TUX/TA/UM/XI for 37 points.
Panupol played QAT from QTARENT.
Dave holds BIIITUW. Chris says there are two options, trading or playing a 35-point play and having a terrible leave. Dave opted for TUB for 27 points, opening a triple. Joel thinks this play with the leave of IIIW might be more costly since he may have to trade next time.
Panupol now has TONERSE. The room mmmmmms with pleasure. Steve, on Maven, sees a double-double, does Panupol see it? ERODENT.
Panupol, in the room, rubs his lip, clearly is thinking over all his options.
He plays ERODENT for 32 and the room applauds.
292-220, Dave's lead.
Now Dave has IIIIWPD. The room groans as if Tiger Woods has just missed a 4-foot putt. David Pearl says that these racks that Dave has had have been like this the whole tournament, difficult.
Panupol slapped down THERMOS/ME/OR/SO for 78. The room is very happy.
Dave's now holding AADELRS.
Panupol takes the lead, 302-292. Unbelievable, says David Pearl, after Panupol missed those two earlier plays. We think this is bingo revenge for Dave.
I'm told that Panupol draws very slowly and is making it hard on the annotators to see is rack. When he draws seven tiles, he often places them facedown on the table to make an asterisk. (Kristen Chew says that the pattern is always slightly different, as with any two snowflakes.)
Dave plays VARA from the V for 21 pts. We think he did this to open a bingo lane.
Dave now has an 11-point lead.
Panupol has ABCGINP. The room worries about what is in the bag. David Pearl calls it nuclear waste.
Maven suggests ACNG or APING.
It is anybody's game now.
He played ACING/AY for 38 points. 313-340.
Dave, holding COLDEST, played COLDEST into a T for a nonbingo for 39. ERODENT doesn't take an S.
Panupol holds PBINIEH and played PHI for 24 points.
score 363-352, Panupol's lead.
Dave had WOODITT and played SOW/OH/WE from the S for 24.
Two tiles left in the bag, Panuopol has BEEINRS.
Advantage Panupol now, based on Dave's last rack: DIIIOOT.
Panupol plays EH for 10, fishing we thinking, takes 1 tile.
Dave holds IDIOTIO, the nuclear waste mentioned from before.
We find that Panupol missed on his fish, he has ARSINEB.
Dave has to try to guess what bingo lane to block. He is down to 30 seconds on the clock.
Panupol can bingo out.
Down to 20 seconds, room erupting.
Dave plays IDIOT, the right play, but Panupol will win this game we think.
Panupol plays SABERING for 83 and out.
He wins, 456-389. The room applauds.
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