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NSC 2008 Commentary: Round 19

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Go to: 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, Award Ceremony.

Round 19

Nigel Peltier (Seattle, WA) brought Brian Cappelletto's (Chicago, IL) 15-game winning streak to an end in a nailbiter of a four-point game at Division 1's Board 1. Brian used both blanks to bingo separately with pUTTEES and WAIVERs, but lost a turn playing KELTY#. Nigel did not bingo at all, but scored well with each of the J, Q, X and Z.

Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) confesses that he let Jesse Matthews (Kelowna BC) get away with FENJ* in their matchup this round. I'm not sure why.... It was Rafi's win, 480-361.

Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY) tells me that he's made a reservation for iChoup Chop tonight, a fine restaurant in the hotel. Almost in anticipation, he played PARFAIT and BASTING in his game today with Lisa Odom (St Louis Park, MN).

Most of the lunch break for us in the playing roomm was spent with the local NBC affiliate, WESH, interviewing first John D. Williams, Jr., and then Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) in front of the big board. The camera operator was a keen player himself and this came out in the astute questions he poised for John and Robin. Gary Daniel, Robin's husband, and their two sons, Oliver & Reese, sat and watched Robin during the interview. When I leaned over and said, "she is the best," Gary nodded and said, "I know." You could tell he was proud of her for doing what she does best, discuss her love of the game in an understandable and articulate way.

The name of the reporter and television station were spelled out on the big board, the camera guy thought of every detail! As the players were milling in he asked Kristen Chew and me about how we started the run. Did we fire a gun? Kristen deadpanned, "No, we prefer to shoot off burning arrows to signal start time." After a laugh, I pointed to Mary Rhoades, sitting quietly at her director's table. I said, "See that woman over there? With the most lovely Texas twang, she says 'You may begin.' He exclaimed that this was perfect. A few minutes later, when Mary took to the stage, it was clear he'd prepped her a bit. She told us about the expected 5:30-6:00 broadcast about the event and if we missed it (as we probably all would due to the play schedule), we could see the segment at wesh.com over the next several days. She clearly mentioned the url again and while his camera was poised on her, she said her by now famous, soft, "You may begin."

Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) faced off against Nigel Richards (Malaysia) this round. I walked over to their board and unprompted, Nigel said, gesturing across the board, "This is a dangerous woman." Figuring this meant she won, I inspected more closely. Alas, no, Robin lost, 388-455. I say alas because I want her to win an NSC or WSC title so badly it makes my teeth hurt. I'd love her to be given a chance to be our media ambassador for a year or so. But enough about that! The game's more exciting plays were MAINLINE, STEELIER, and STIBNITE.

With tremendous pride, Jeanne Freebody (Oakland, CA) brings me over to herr best tournament game ever. Her opponent, Nicholas Tam (Calgary AB), played RADANT for 71, OPERATED through the T for 80, and SANdBILL* to the last L for 76. Beneath his second bingo, Jeanne played HEISTER, hooking to make RADIANTS and five two-letter words: EH/RE/AI/ET/DE for 99. Then she played JOIsTED for 90 amd EVERSION for 71. It was Jeanne's win, 474-403. She pointed out how much she enjoyed playing with Nicholas. At one point, the sportly Nicholas pointed out a 20-point adding error to he defecit that Jeanne had made.

David Dinning (Tampa, FL) had a terrific game this round vs. Mark Hamilton (Toronto ON), the latter asking me to come over and see David's great plays. Four bingos in five turns started things off: BALMIEST 66, FUNKIEST 82, PEARLED 66 (which was held but released), and OVERATE for 68. Mark got down a lovely 92-point double-double, PORRIDGe through the second R. I also see NARcOTIC on the board for 70. David's win, 502-392.

Richard Spence (Tucson, AZ) is a 14-year-old who I'm told played in the 2007 School SCABBLE Championship. He wanted to play this year, but the NSSC fell during his MathCounts National Competition. He's happy to be at the adult nationals!

Carole Miller (Houston, TX) cracked me up with an elevator story. A married couple got into her elvevator and he said, you here with the conference? She nodded that she was. He said, "your band must make a lot of music with all those cymbol cases!" Carole laughed and said it was quite a band when everyone played the symbol, indeed! The woman's husband elbowed him and hissed, "they aren't musicians, they are playing SCRABBLE!" Hahahaha!

Table 1 in division 3 is occupied by a statuesque Thai woman! Piengkamol Intarasuwan (Oakland Park, FL) is a 19-year-old psychology student who has been living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, for two years. This round she played Victor Li (Columbia, SC), winning 406-310. Round 20 she squares off with Fred Oswald (Lansing, MI).

Today is a special day for Daniel Milton (Vienna, VA), his 74th birthday! Amanda Edmonds, division 4 assistant made him a birthday card out of her favorite medium, ink on cardboard (it is environmentally sound!). All the players in his row of four games signed the card and wished him well. Amanda is incredibly creative and her signs are all over the room now. In addition to her assistant duties, her passion seems to be recycling and artwork. I wonder if we're bound to get a tin can mural tomorrow! I sure hope so!


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