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NSC 2008 Commentary: Round 15
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John D. Williams, Jr., started off today announcing this session's 1948 winner as Jim Pate, the chair of the NSA's dictionary committee and the data input person for division 6 on this NSC's computer team. Past and present Directors of the Year were asked to stand. At the moment John requested that we stand up, I was speaking briefly to Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand), who is so polite, that when I rose from my croached position to stand, he rose with me. So, it was kind of funny. Amidst, the standing John Chew, Larry Rand (Chandler, AZ), Barbara Van Alen (Chandler, AZ), Ruth Hamilton (Lake Oswego, OR), and others (sorry if I left anyone out, I was way in the corner of the room), there was Pakorn from Thailand, too. It was a funny moment.
Rick Wong (San Jose, CA) is a funny one. He invites me over to see his 1948 board. Sure enough, at table 1 in divison 2, he has a flat, folding, copyright 1948 SCRABBLE board at his table. I'm all for nostalgia, but I'm pretty sure his opponent would prefer a board with a grid.
At Board 1, it's the battle of the World Champions: Nigel Richards (Malaysia) vs. Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL). These evenly matched foes, both at the top of their form, played the closest game you can imagine, taking turns bingo-ing three times apiece and staying within a few points of each other all the way. The game was decided by the tiles left on one player's rack: try playing it yourself online.
At table 1 in division 1, Nathan Benedict (Tucson, AZ) played Joey Mallick (Cape Elizabeth, ME). They each exchanged on their first turns and then Joey opened with NORITES for 66. Nathan responded with INTERRED for 86 and then Joey played ENDORSEE for 77. I walked away since there was so much game left to go. When I returned, the game was over, and Joey's head was hanging kinda low. He pointed at VANFUL* and said, "Maybe if I hadn't let that go, I could have stood a chance." After I left, Nathan got down one more bingo: ETAGErES for 77.
Joel Wapnick (Montreal QC) has been talking to the tile gods again. In his game against Stefan Rau (New Britain, CT) this round, he played four bingos in his first five turns: DANDIEST to the T for 83, OPERANTS through the P for 70, MONSIEUR, and LAXITIES. Stefan managed to get down SCALENE, VALENCED* (Joel accepted it), and METALING (after fishing for the L to take the first lead of the game to take the last tile out of the bag, a J). He was relieved to see that this J played n two separate places. But it was immaterial, because Joel slapped down GROSZ for 50 and won the game, 513-509.
At table 2 in division 6, 15-year-old Brian Farello (West Hills, NY) battled with Dave Rauppius (Athens, GA). I see that it was Dave's win, 359-338. I discover that Brian will be 16 in September and he shares my birthday!
Table 1 in division 5, featured a Tacy Callies (Orlando, FL) vs. Barbara Dixon (Lafayette, IN) matchup. While I stood there, Barbara slapped down RELOANED from the R for 72. Tacy held, but let it go pretty quickly thereafer.
Still on his winning ways, Phil Wertheimer (Short Hills, NJ) defeated Keith Pries (Englewood, CO) this round. Keith's best play was CITIZENS thorugh the Z for 75. Phil played the pretty nonbingo PAUCITY. In the endgame, holding EORSTV?, Phil found STOVERs/EMEs for 74.
Table 1, division 3, I see a Thai female player! Piengkamol Intarasuwan (Oakland Park, FL) is suwaring off against Errol Wilson (Brooklyn, NY). I see Errol's ENTICES for 68 and fEaSTER for 71. While I was watching, Piengkamol tried CASCADER* through the second C and Errol challenged it off.
Table 50 is division 2 is brought to my attention. The first three plays were bingos: SKiRRER for 80 and rOENTGEN through the second E for 59 by T C Houlgate-West (San Luis Obispo, CA). Her opponent, Amnon Igra (Sacramento, CA) played OUTLIES for 72.
Table 1 in division 2, featured a 488-403 win for Conrad Bassett-Bouchard (Moraga, CA) vs. Rick Wong (San Jose, CA). I see Conrad's DEALATES for 60, DEMIURGE for 78, IRONMEN for 90, CAPITOLs for 86, and the icing on the cake, FRITZ for 50. Rick got down TONIEST for 69 and TORSADES for 70.
Mark Przybyszewski (Depew, NY) vs. Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR). Though Dave won, 522-353, Mark was just happy to be at the game at all. He'd had a flat tire on the way here this morning, but got it filled early enough to arrive on time. I see Dave's FANWiSE for 82, BRASHED* for 86, GENITORs through the R for 70, and RENATURE for 62. Mark got down OUTSIDER through the E dor 71.
I'm all for recycling. And a division 1 player is a man after my own heart. Scott Appel (Trenton, NJ) likes to make notes to himself on his scoresheet during the game. Even though he writes pretty small, he chooses to cover the scoresheet's notes area with a 3.5 Windows 2000 Lexpert floppy disk! The sliding metal protector is even bent up on one corner to give it the ultimate "lived-in" and well-worn flavor.
This round, he is playing Chris Lipe (Rome, NY). I see Scott's GALLETED for 64 and INgROUPS for 80. Chris, so far, has played LEEWARDS through the second E for 78.
April McCarley (Austin, TX) vs. Sandra Bloom (Tamarac, FL). The game is back and forth, one strong play after another, the lead going from one player to the other and back. In the endgame, Sandra plopped down POM for 21, hanging the P out into the triple lane. Holding EEEIDS?, April slammed down SPEEDIEr through that P for 149 points, winning the game, 452-308. At the game's send, April thanked Sandra for the incredible "gift."
I check out table 1 in division 1. Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) and Nigel Richards (Malaysia) are laughing and I ask who won their game. Nigel deadpanned, "I think I came in second." Thus the Cappelletto steamroller is working its magic again today.
Nigel Richards (Malaysia) has come out of nowhere for me. The Seattle-based expert goes by elbingo online, so his friends call him that nickname. He came to SCRABBLE through his friend, Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) and has played in many West Coast tournaments.
Kevin Leeds (Austin, TX) comes up to tell me about his game this round with Joanne Cohen (Owings Mills, MD). He played SOLITION, RATOONED through the T, SUBSUMED to the D, and sALVOED. Joanne got down FAX, VEINY for 51, HERTZ for 54, and QI for 33. It was Kevin's win.