August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 21

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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: Ron Tiekert vs. Panupol Sujjayakorn.

Round 21

A division 4 twin began walking toward me and thankfully his nametag was peanut butter side up. I said, "Hi Charles, how is it going?" He smiled probably because he thought I made a lucky guess! He confessed that the afternoon had been rough and that he'd lost all three. In each of the games, his opponents had played three bingos each. It was beginning to sound like a bad version of the Groundhog's Day movie. He is now 10-11. He thinks his brother is faring better. I check, he is 12-8 going into this round.

Zev Kaufman (Toronto ON) kindly comes and gets me from the back of the room to see his game with Nawapadol Sayavesa (Thailand). The thing that first jumps out is Nawapadol's double-double PARITIES through the first I for 90, and then DEROGaTE from the D for 80. Zev played QUAIS for 48, HELIX/OX for 64, and the fun OTIOSITY through the first I for 71. "The play drew a challenge from a Thai!" he said. Later he played HEEZE for 34. Then luck would kick in and Nawapadol played SCARLET for 74 and SWERVE for 34, which won him the game, 458-431.

I check outside and it isn't freezing, the heatwave is still going strong. This means that hell hath not frozen over, but Mike Whiteoak (United Kingdom) has somehow managed to win another game! And not only this one, but two others today! In round 17, he defeated Steve Tier (New York, NY), 501-285, and in round 18 he defeated Thacha Koowirat (Thailand), 416-361. This round it was Frank Tangredi (West Babylon, NY) who fell to the brave Brit. I see Mike's BROWnIES through the W for 74 and BRIEFING thorugh the first I for 78. He "straight away" picked up X and Q and made OX for 39 and QI for 30. Frank got down VARIERS for 88 and rESOLUTE through the S for 58, but Mike's HUMP for 35 sewed up the victory for him. Despite the lack of wins, Mike seems to be having a good time and is said to be enjoyable to play against.

Another board 1, div 2 game for Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA), this time against Robert Crowe (Fort Wayne, IN), who went the way of Rafi's last opponent, losing 355-464. This is Rafi's sixth win in a row, wow. The first play was KOPPA by Robert. Then there were four bingos in a row: Rafi's LEAVING for 65, Robert's MERITED for 67, then Rafi's JITTErING through the first I and second T for 84 (WOWZA!), and GLISTENS through the N for 72. Rafi later got down SHORtEN for 71.

Teresa Schaeffer (Potomac, MD) walks by and mentions, with a huge smile on her face, that she'd played BEAKIEST for 107 points today. She was most proud!

Joel Horn (Reading, MA) was playing Jeff Clark (Linden, MI) today and he played SEVeNTY for 83. Jeff lamented that it was too bad he didn't get 70 for his SEVeNTY. And what do you think happened next? Sure enough, Joel played GREATNESS for 70 points!

A totally sweet and true story. During registration, James Leong (Vancouver BC) had the chance to meet Lillian Zoller (Dayton, OH), who was here at her first tournament. She expressed trepidation to him about deciding to come and how nervous she was about the games to come. He sat down with her and gave her a pep talk, including some basic strategy points, etc. Throughout the event, they have continued to touch base, checking in on each other's progress. Even as this round wound up, I see them together. The total kicker? He is in first place in div 1 and she is in last place in div 5. i'd like to take credit for this story, but Jesse Day (New Haven, CT) was the one to share it. Made my eyes smart, too!

Some experts focus so much on their games, I hesitate to bug them with photos and questions if I don't have to. So, I did a double-take when Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL) asked me if I'd taken a photo of his board yet. I hadn't, mostly because he had a few others around him doing that Jack Handy "deep thinking" stuff. I padded my way over to see a great game, and one where Lisa Odom (St. Louis Park, MN) had eked out a two-point win over him, 465-463. Worth noting, Lisa has won 9 of her last 10 games. Her only loss coming last round to James Leong (Vancouver BC) at table 1. On this board, I see Brian's PASTILs, GUANASE, and HANGFIRE. I see her NAUTILI and ANDESITE.

We end today with Joey Krafchick (Roswell, GA) 1.5 games ahead of the pack in div 5. Robert Fenske (San Antonio, TX) and Will Scott (Versailles, KY) are at 16 wins, so it still is anyone's game. In div 4, Mark Garrod (East Lansing, MI) and Jeremy Jeffers (Milford, CT) share the 15-6 slot. A mere half game behind are Kelly McKenzie (Newport, KY) and Phil Wertheimer (Short Hills, NJ). Five more are at 14-7, so many people with a shot! Michael Wolfberg (Westford, MA) at 19-2 is 1.5 games ahead of Carlene Wallis (Sparks, NV) and 2 games ahead of Chad Hopper (Austin, TX). Not surprisingly, Rafi Stern (Seattle, WA) is the sole 16-5 player in div 2. Seth Lipkin (Hopkinton, MA), Mark Edelson (Toronto ON), and Ben Harrison (Cambridge, MA) are just one game behind. Similarly, in div 1, James Leong (Vancouver BC) is the sole 16-5 player. Three are right behind, one game away: Panupol Sujjayakorn (Thailand), Ron Tiekert (Melbourne, FL), and Lisa Odom (St. Louis Park, MN).

Tomorrow here we come!