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NSC 2008 Commentary: Round 20

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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 20

One of the first games to finish this round is between Judy Newhouse (Houston, TX) and Dan Unger (Alameda, CA). And what a beauty it was, too, for Judy. She had some gorgeous plays: UTILIsE 68, SENORAS 76, BODICES 82, PROVIDe 73, and QUART for 50. Her win, 512-322.

I catch Tacy Callies (Orlando, FL) and Kendrick Lo (Toronto ON) at the challenge machine. HEROS/VIGS is ruled acceptable. She is a woman after my own heart. Perhaps flustered by the ruling, she went back to her seat, but missed it by a whole row and went and nearly sat in the wrong seat before she caught herself!

Two kid titans squared off at table 1 in division 4. And now, Phil Wertheimer (Short Hills, NJ) has two losses (that means 18 wins!!), losing to Stephen Sneed (Fort Worth, TX) this round, 335-447. While I watch, Phil plays AWAItED for 67 "and out." Stephen got down VISAGEs for 80 and ARIDNEsS for 70. Phil explains that he exchanged three times in the game and was just never in it. Stephen is now 14-5-1, since he tied Chris Bonin (Toronto ON). Stephen recounts how in the game with Chris it came down to BILT*. Christ tried in the endgame, but it was no good.

In round 17, Piengkamol Intarasuwan (Oakland Park, FL) lost to Fred Oswald (Lansing, MI), 366-387. This round, she extracted her revenge, defeating him, 378-327. On their board I see her ANISEED for 64 and GAUDIER for 63.

Judy Levitt (Los Angeles, CA) vs. Paul Izikoff (Miami, FL), 286-266, her win. The board was super tight, despite Judy opening with a bingo, BARRIOS. They were unable to play anymore with 14 tiles left in the bag.

Conrad Bassett-Bouchard (Moraga, CA) has won his past 9 games in a row!

Win Inthara (Orlando, FL) defeated David Abolafia (Sarasota, FL), 384-361. The board was incredibly tight and the play defensive. Win passed 6 or 7 times, both players holding bingos and refusing to open.

We've got a visiting dignitary! Chris Cree flew in today to attend the Directors Meeting tonight at 7:30 pm. He said that getting to Orlando was easy, as was getting from the airport to the hotel, but finding the playing room was not at all easy! I assured him that we all had the same problem the first time we walked here! This is his first trip away from home since the birth of his baby daughter, Faith. Wife, Carla Cree, also an NSA member and expert SCRABBLE player stayed home with the baby despite many requests by us in Orlando for him to bring the baby here to give Carla a break. I asked Chris if living in Houston prepared him for the intense heat of Orlando. He said, "Heck no! It is hotter than teenage love out there!"

Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) is sitting at table 1, enjoying Chris' company, this despite losing to two Nigels in a row: Nigel Peltier (Seattle, WA) and Nigel Richards (Malaysia).

David Koenig (Tenafly, NJ) tells me about his game this round, a 371-436 loss to Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN). He points out the lovely find of GYMNASIA through the I for 78. I am wrenched away suddenly and can't get more info.

Larry Rand (Chandler, AZ) played Chris Patrick Morgan (San Francisco, CA) in division 2. Larry played the beautiful SInCERER through the first R for 140. Nice triple-triple action! He also got down PROLINe for 76 and Chris played ALLEGED for 76 and TABORET for 73. Larry's win, 476-463.

Jason Katz-Brown (Cambridge, MA) is sitting alone at table 4, looking over his completed game. He lost at the site of this battle, 415-393, to Ian Weinstein (Coral Springs, FL). At one point, Ian was down by 88, but he got REsTIVE for 92 and CENSUAL for 82 to Jason's DELLIES for 70.

While Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) waited for his next round's opponent, Chris Cree moved into the seat opposite him, as if to signify to everyone that had he been able to attend for the whole event he would have been sitting there! Our favorite url-festooned expert, Sam Kantimathi (El Dorado Hills, CA) stopped by to visit Brian and Chris and I was totally taken back by the size of Sam's cup. It looks like a mini-keg, and not that mini! And it has his url in 57-point type! It coordinates well with his silk shirt!

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