August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 11

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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: Nathan Benedict vs. Panupol Sujjayakorn.

Round 11

After winning his first three games at the webcam-ed and annotated board 1 in div 1 today, Nathan Benedict (Tucson, AZ) fell to Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) today, 406-413. Nathan got down the game's first bingo, MOvIOLAS for 68. A few turns later, he played ARTISTE for 79. Panupol got down ALLUrING for 74 in the midgame, but it was really toward the end that the game got interesting. As Panupol explained it to me, he was down by a solid 50 points when he played QI for 42 and then ADOPTER for 102. This put Panupol ahead by 33. Nathan responded with YACK for 39, which gave him a 6-point lead. Holding FGWRTDI, Panupol opted to play FIGWORT through the O for 20, which yielded a 14-point lead. Holding AEEENRT, Nathan couldn't really do anything to make a lot of points or to play off a lot of tiles, so he played RETE/EF from the triple for 21. Panupol picked the last tile in bag, an L, and went out with LED for 8, giving him a 1-point lead. Getting the 6 points from Nathan's rack led to the end scores. Don't feel bad for Nathan, he won his first three games today against Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL), Orry Swift (Dayton, TX), and Joe Edley (Coram, NY).

I noticed an upside-down challenge slip on Nathan's side of the table, and reached over to get it and toss it out (gotta keep that #1 table clean now, don't you know?), and I turned it over to see a message from Nathan. It said, "HI MOM." He'd been waving it into the web camera during his game. How totally cute!

Mike Frentz (Seattle, WA) is always smiling at me as I go by and occassionally he has a quip. Today he said, "I played LITIGATED through the IT for 86 points in my game against Marlon Hill (Baltimore, MD). I lost, but I'm happy. I'm 2-2 today!"

On an in-progress board 1 in div 2 between Mark Fidler (Waltham, MA) and Mark Edelson (Toronto ON), I see VAuLTINGS, STROWED, and COMFREY.

I stop by the div 2 director's table and Judy Newhouse tells me to seek out Andrew Solomon (Houston, TX), as she is sure he had a 5-bingo, 600+ game today. She points to him at table 11 and I write a note to him and slip it by his scoresheet. It said, "Hey Mr. 600, please visit me before you head out to lunch." I waited to see if he would.

My next stop came when I walked by Verna Berg Richards (New York, NY) and she grabbed my arm. She said, "Sherrie, darling, you must come here and see how wonderfully Elana Lehrer (City Withheld, NJ) has played!" I'm told that it has not been Elana's tournament and she has had dreadful tiles, even worse luck, and her cup has been less than half full for a bit of time. Well, all that was reversed this game when she got the tiles! Verna proudly and dramatically pointed out every play Elana made: ANOREXiA for 87, ROBATOS for 77, ANTISNOB for 78, TAJ for 59, AZOLES for 75. Verna managed to eke out two bingos herself: INEDiTA and GUIDERS. I saw four Is on the side and asked whose they were. Verna looked at me and deadpanned, "Now Sherrie, you guess!" What an icky last rack! Elana explained that she has been studying her 8s and is deep into them and she is sorta saddened that the only 8 she has been able to play thus far has been ANTISNOB. I want to tell her that all experts say the same thing, but that at some point they all reap the rewards from their hard work, but I figure she knows this on some level.

Okay, I am a sometimes attendee of the Lexington SCRABBLE® club in Lexington, MA, and our club statistician is playing at this event in division 3. He is an expert! He explains, and I know it is true, that he always plays in the division for which he qualfies. He had such a bad performance at his last event (the one I ran this spring) that he qualfied to play in div 3. However, his rating took a super big dive and he could be winning div 2 right now, so I'm ribbing him. This round he played Ryan Fischer (Charlotte, NC), and won, 436-407. It was an interesting game on many levels. First off, Ryan played SURRIES* and Mike accepted it. Turns out, Mike was low on time and wasn't even looking at the plays quite right in the endgame. He went over on his clock and lost 20 points off his score. Ryan found the lovely 131-point triple-triple TETANIES played through the I and Mike played TiLLAGE. In a wicked case of "bingo revenge," Ryan shows me his scoresheet. After he played the triple-triple, he drew MNSWXZN, so he traded four. Then he drew BKQSZYZ. So, he played off BY. Then he held NQSKXZD and was forced to block a triple lane by playing a single D. Then his rack was NQFKSXZ after which he exchanged 4 and the game began to make sense again (as in, vowels finally entered his life).

Cheryl Tyler (Lubbock, TX) finds me at Mike & Ryan's board and invites me over to her game against Paul Avrin (New York, NY). She got down a bingo, bango, bongo, which led to 438-412 win, and left her all atingle! She was down by 35 when she found gUIDING for 66. She didn't get to enjoy her lead for even a full minute because Paul replied immediately with MISRATED to the D for 86. A nice find on part, was her next bingo: BASELINE to the E for 62. Not giving up, Paul played KOA for 37. Then she got down the last bingo: sORRIEsT for 68.

In the spirit of "everyone on staff is a captain, cook, and bottle washer," Sue Hoehn amazed us all by finding the janitor's closet this round. She wheeled a whole bucket/mop contraption into the middle of div 1. Someone had filled a defective pointy cup and had somehow not noticed that it had leaked all the way to table 10 and while he or she stood there, emptied out entirely on the floor. It was a pretty big puddle, too! Sue swabbed and before long everything was dry and the players went on to play (as luck would have it, one of the players assigned to the puddle table was Chris Cree (Dallas, TX).

Jan Dixon (Newark, DE) played Thacha Koowirat (Thailand) this round and won, 500-228. She got to play TIMEWORK through the W for 96 and it drew a challenge, too! She also got down TROLLIEs from the T, ISOGENIC, and ARTISAN. Thacha opened with EYRY, which Jan thought was a nice play.

Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) played Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) this round and her string of bad luck is continuing. She assures me and others that she isn't playing bad, it is just that things are not coming together properly. In this game with Pakorn, it came down to a 50-50 thing. With two tiles left in the bag, if she got the right one, she would win, if got the wrong one, she would lose.