August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 14

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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: Panupol Sujjayakorn vs. Brian Cappelletto.

Round 14

Our last round of the afternoon and Joe Edley (Coram, NY) got his mojo back, defeating Nawapadol Sayavesa (Thailand), 533-428. They started this game immediately after their last game ended while others in their division were still milling around, being quite loud around them. They were oblivious to it, so focused. So, their game was one of the first completed in room, freeing them for late afternoon activities (however, they chose to hang around instead and see how the rest of the division fared). On their board, I see HERNIATE to the E, LOUNGER, sTERNAL, REMISINg to the g, and REhOUSE. If I'm not mistaken, the last four were Joe's.

I walk by Alyssa Faria (Washington, DC) vs. Jeremy Cahnmann (Chicago, IL) and he holds up the Holy Bible as I pass by and I chuckle at the gesture as does Alyssa. Salvation, confession, and top-caliber SCRABBLE® all at the very same time! Time to remind readers that Jeremy arrived today in total priest robes, complete with leather-bound bible and a large wooden bead rosary (with a nod toward that 13th century monk look). However, the fashion sense was obsfucated by the metric ton of Crispy Creme donuts and coffee he had to roll in on a pallet this morning. The staff loves and hates him for this for they are like an addictive drug. You can't have just one.....

Div 2's top table features Wallace Schultz (Las Vegas, NM) vs. Mark Edelson (Toronto ON). I see Mark's PENAlISE and Wallace's iNURNING (a double-double that Mark held for a bit), GUINEAS, and BRANDISH. I later find out that it was a 469-359 Wallace win.

On a board between Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) and Jean McArthur (Austin, TX), I spot NONEQUaL.

Channel 7, the local CBS affiliate, WHIO, is here this round. The camera operator tells me the 11pm news will feature a piece on the event. CBS plans to send this guy back on Wednesday to get more footage. I give a short explanation about what is going on division-wise in the room and how play style and vocabulary differ. He seems astonished that we have "expert" SCRABBLE® players and that anyone can find a 9-letter-word through disconnected tiles. I invite him to take a gander down the front row in division 1 to see it for himself. Last I saw, he was shaking his head in disbelief, promising to return soon.

The farthest division from the Internet table is div 5, so I make an effort to check out the scene there this round. Table 1 is featuring a Betzy Collins (Thornhill ON) vs. Ron Barker (Boise, ID) game. Board 2 is Eileen Johnson (Freeport, NY) vs. Victor Li (Columbia, SC) game. Players in this division are less used to being observed and as a result are a bit more ruffled to have any interest taken in their game play, sometimes even after they are finished. I find this funny as there are great players in all divisions and in some respects, more casual players find the division 5 games of more interest. The plays are less "out there." It was real battle at board 1, with Ron defeating Betzy, 422-401. Eileen defeated Victor, 384-349.

Tina Cur (Lockport, NY) vs. Jeremy Jeffers (Milford, CT) was all Tina, 432-285. Four bingos, hers: InSECURE, ANTIREd, LENDING, and INITIATE. A small crowd gathers as they finish their paperwork and someone calls Jeremy "Jeff" and I realize I'm not the only one to make that mistake. They were playing on a board owned by Sue Gable (Mt. Vernon, NY) and once she saw the last I dotted she moved it to pick it up.

Katya Lezin (Charlotte, NC) grins ear to ear as I go by. She says, "It was a three-point game! I managed to win!" I want to talk about their game, the score, the plays, but am distracted by a clip in the hair of Angela Dancho (Thornton, CO), her opponent. Turns out the group around Angela was similiarly interested, so she took it out and showed us how it worked (a combination of combs and sparkly bits connected in a complex filigree. Audible ooohs and ahhhs and then, just like old buddies, Katya asked if she could try it out, and off it flew across the table! Very pretty, but I suddenly realized I was at a SCRABBLE® tournament and left them to the assessory conversation.

I spot a father-son team, one I hadn't seen until now: Tim Michaels (Knoxville, TN) and Thomas Michaels (Chuckey, TN). They pose for a quick photo and then Tom, the dad, sits down to finish his endgame paperwork. Son Tim is playing in division 2.

Sammy Okosagah (Baltimore, MD) had a winning 452-429 game against Jesse Matthews (Calgary AB) this round. Jesse points out a 48-point Sammy play of HATABLE/PEH/ODA which nestled in perfectly and was probably the game-winning play. He smiles at me and says, "Hey, I have won every game against former or current NSC/WSC players here." Overhearing this, Joe Edley (Coram, NY) quipped, "So far...." They both laughed and Jesse said he hoped he got a chance to play Joe before it was all over. The game's bingos: COALIEST, LENITION, OUtRIDE, and STEAMED.

John Chew walks up to me with a result slip that says, 481-452, Doug Brockmeier (Yorba Linda, CA) defeating John OLaughlin (Cambridge, MA). He asks me to go get the story. I get there and the board has been picked up and the players are laughing and in casual mode. They see me and insist I've missed nothing. I suggest that John isn't to be deterred so John remembers a 94-point WRONGEST play he made and Doug remember AUREOLED.

Lisa Odom (St. Louis Park, MN) tells me that she has proof positive that she isn't much of a morning person. She has swept all her games the past two afternoons. We just need to get those pesky morning games switched to evening, perhaps! She is 9-5 and happy with her performance and the event.

Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR) vs. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand), 482-408, Dave's win. They talk about life in the universe and anagrams of POLYPEPTIDE while I slip David's scoresheet aside: HAIRLINE 82 and DELATION 72 for Pakorn; OStEOID 82, FALlOUTS 87, and TREMORS 93 for Dave.

A playful Steve Grob (Fenton, MI) points to a board I ask about and says, "Jesse Day (New Haven, CT) and some bozo played there." I see RERADIATE for the fifth time today and mention it. Steve explains, "Well, RADIATE is pretty common and ERADIATE is good, so RERADIATE is just a natural next stop on the front hook frenzy." I nod, this makes sense. Steve admits that unfamiliarity with the word PECTEN, which he challenged, probably cost him the game. Jesse's win, 481-379.

At table 1 in div 1, Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) and Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) are in such an intense endgame chat, that their heads nearly touch at the top as they bend over the board. Longtime Brian fan Mike Baron (Corrales, NM) stands over Brian's left shoulder and soon the Thai contingency does the same behind Panupol. A low-scoring win for Panupol, 347-338. It came down to time and tiles in the endgame. Doesn't it always? Brian was up by 37 going in the final racks. Panupol held REDDEX? while Brian held TIEOFIU. The last tiles are off the board and the players are constructing different scenarios of where DEX could have gone, etc. The annotators believe that the players had about 5 minutes each at this point, but it turned out to not be enough time to contemplate all the options, claims Panupol. The proof is in the pudding. The endgame clock reads: 4 sec left for Brian and 9 sec left for Panupol. I see only one bingo on the board, Brian's SURVEyS for 79. From the first exchange of plays in this game, Brian led in score every time, until the last play. What a tough loss.

Webster Phillips (Montclair, NJ) explains why he has been so "around" the past hour or so, helping Karen Lee with her data entry and delivering various piles of slips here and there. He got a bye in round 14, which he thinks is a good thing since he's lost 7 in a row and needs a "change in his fortune." And, frankly, we needed his help! He is now 4-10, which he contends is not impossible to rectify, but it is a "hard hole to dig oneself out of."

John Chew's cousin and his wife visited this afternoon, sharing lunch with John, while he tapped away furiously (ever the multitasker, that John). During a quick tour around the room, Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON), unaware of an existing conversation going on between the three of them, asked John the anamonic for JANITOR. John stopped and contemplated and said, CNSVW. Zev then said, "Oh yes! Wisconsin VW, got it!" And off he went. John's cousin said in Zev's wake, "I understood the words that man said, but I couldn't understand the sentences." We've heard that one before--SCRABBLE® speak can be so foreign sounding!

We end today with div 5's Robert Fenske (San Antonio, TX) 1.5 games ahead of Joey Krafchick (Roswell, GA), who is half a game ahead of 7 others. As always, anything can happen there! Div 4's young Phil Wertheimer (Short Hills, NJ) has been riding the wave of first place in his division for several rounds now and remains one game ahead of three others: Tina Cur (Lockport, NY), Jeremy Jeffers (Milford, CT), and Mark Garrod (East Lansing, MI). Not surprisingly, Michael Wolfberg (Westford, MA) is 1.5 games ahead of the pack in div C. Carlene Wallis (Sparks, NV) is the sold 11.5 player, and two are at 11 wins. Wallace Schultz (Las Vegas, NM) is the sole 12-2 player in div 2, young Sam Rosin (Bernardsville, NJ) the only 11-3, and six others at 10-4 ready to beginning nipping at their tails! The battle continues in div 1, too. Fromer WSC Champ Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand) and "hello seed #33" James Leong (Vancouver BC) share the 11-3 spot. Six others are breathing down their necks at 10-4: Dave Wiegand (Portland, OR), Nawapadol Sayavesa (Thailand), Sammy Okosagah (Baltimore, MD), Joe Edley (Coram, NY), Nathan Benedict (Tucson, AZ), and Ron Hoekstra (Kentwood, MI).

Tomorrow is going to be so much fun!