August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 1

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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, Round 31, After the Tournament, Award Ceremony.

This round's annotated game featured: Jean Carol vs. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk.

Round 1

And as smooth as butter goes onto hot corn, the Players Championship began this morning. Event organizer and all around swell guy, Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) took off his player hat long enough to welcome us and introduce the "best director ever," Mary Rhoades. The applause from us all bespoke our agreement. In her best gentlewomanly Texas twang, Mary pointed the players to the rule sheet in each contestant folder and explained that every player was to read the rules. She outlined very basic event logistics and received her greatest response when she cited Ohio State law about no one being permitted to smoke within 25-feet of a public building. I see this morning that signs to that effect have been posted on all the doors. Ohio is serious about this issue.

From what I can tell, we may be odd in only one division, sadly the top one, and Lisa Odom (St. Louis Park, MN) appears to have gotten up way too early to receive her first round bye. There may be a player or two not yet accounted for, so I assume that what is even and what is not will be changing, certainly as we progress through 31 games.

I want to point out some sort of tragic flaw or misthought out beginner's mistake made by the Event Committee in this, the first player organized/planned/executed Nationals-type event, but I have to say, things are just great!

I'll walk around and see some games.

Okay, so the T-shirt helper mentioned in yesterday's color is Michael Zoller, son of Lillian Zoller (Dayton, OH). He is here today, too, helping us distribute pairings to each division leader and to post two copies of each in the pairing/standings room outside the ballroom. He is being assisted ably by Alba Vazquez, an exchange student from Spain staying with Teresa Schaeffer (Potomac, MD). We are delighted to have both of them helping us out and we'll take them for as many days as we get!

The family of Andrew Friedrich (Aurora, CO) is here again today, sitting on the sidelines, cheering him on. A solid fan base helps morale SO much!

The Dayton Convention Center is bringing power to the middle of the room not via taped onto the floor cords, but via cords dropped from the ceiling. And, the staff draped three clusters of tables down the middle of the room. Instead of potentially long tripping hazards for table covers, the staff tied each tablecloth in the middle with a contrasting color napkin to create an hourglass shaped cluster of tables. A nice look and really practical.

Verna Berg Richards (New York, NY), as always dressed to impress today in a black ensemble with many modest slits up the bottom of her skirt, exposing a big of leg and boot. She is always beaming and energetic. And, I'm fond of her because her penmanship is superb.

Lucky Jean Carol (Cincinnati, OH) drew Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) for round 1. It was the first live annotation and live streaming video of board 1 and it was Pakorn's win, 458-413. Jean got down DEERlIKE for 70, HOMELeSS for 72 in a bingo bongo in turns 2 and 3 and then later played RESTATE for 64. Pakorn played BUTANOLS for 68 and GENERATE for 86. Other nice small plays: ZA for 64, WEDEL for 36, and MOTIF for 47. The game was more odd than it might have seemed, since the players finished the game and paperwork before realizing that they'd left a tile in the bag. Things progressed as they had before the tile was found, but it made for a difficult annotator moment (how to finish a game that isn't finished!).

Division 1's Jeremy Cahnmann (Chicago, IL) is playing Jesse Day (New Haven, CT) this round. He is done up to the nines in an ensemble that is a cross between a Blues Brother member and a pimp. I overheard someone say that all he needs is the fedora with the feather! He played his entire game with way cool sunglasses on, so.... he is committed to this look!

Darrell Day (Richardson, TX) had a pretty dreadful first game, the first to wind up in the room, falling to Ted Rosen (Rochester, NY), 387-465. I glance at their board and see ESCAPING, INDICATER, EUPHORiA, BEDDINGS, and LOBSTER (I searched for ROCK, but had to settle for humming that B-52 song instead, hopefully not for the rest of the day!).

Also in division 1 was a 488-372 win for Aaron Bader (Cambridge, MA) vs. Cesar Del Solar (Pasadena, CA). I see Cesar's COnFUSTER for 89 and Aaron's BRAZiNG for 75, VERISMOS down the triple for 89, and SCORIAE for 77. Their game was played with very pretty WCC 2007 tiles (West Coast Championship) special ordered in limited supplies and made by Bob Schoenman (protiles.net) for the event run by Jeff Widergren in Reno, Nevada. Jeff, with the help of Rick Wong, runs a couple annual events. FUN!

Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) approaches me, about a full foot taller than the last time I saw him. He had a big 207-point win this round. Like a true champion, he just recounted some of his favorite plays: TEABaGS, MANACLES through the C, GESTUrAL, UNREFORM* (which he knew was bad but got away with anyway!), and the fun nonbingo of ACTIVITY thorugh the IT for a mere 19, but style points, for sure!

I will try to figure out who all these folks are, but the room is full of people like Matthew Hodge (Moore, OK) who have lent their laptops, to be used for word adjudication, around the room. Matthew's Mac is running Zyzzyva (thanks Michael Thelen!) on the Division 2 director's table.

Our technical help says that at least 9 people are watching the live streaming board 1 video feed, but for some reason, the feed cannot be seen thorugh the web site itself. The feed can be opened by a user's personal software, which some have figured out, but we hope to get that working better soon!