August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 23

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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: James Leong vs. Laurie Cohen.

Round 23

There is a certain excitement in the air. We are on the downward part of event, getting ever closer to the last games, to the winners, to the almost winners. There is more interest across the rooms in others' games, more congregating, more analysis. And not just in the top divisions, it is happening in all of them, including 5. The room, for some inexplicable reason, does not carry noise. I'm not sure if the concrete floor acts as a huge sponge or if the white noise of the air system is the reason, but we've all been able to let our bad habits run wild here (the talking when others are playing). I've only heard one call for quiet from a player to others nearby. But then again, maybe I'm just so hard of hearing that I'm missing the calls for quiet. :)

Michael Wolfberg (Westford, MA) is finally getting some sort of challenge in division 3. This round, Lynda Finn (Madison, WI) defeated him, 400-389. Mike played a pretty CARAVAN down the triple, hooking to create ALONER* for 95. Lynda held him, but let it go. Linda's bingos were rETINUE for 70 and SPItTER for 94.

The game of note, however, this round in division 3 took place between identical twin sisters, Carlynn Mayer (Sparks, NV) and Carlene Wallis (Sparks, NV). It turned out to be a lopsided affair (why won't sisters just share?!), with Carlynn on top, 506-362. A neat fact: Carlynn started with a bingo, DEEdING for 70, and bingoed out at the end, PINGERS for 80. They are a playful pair, so I think it was mock indignation when Carlene protested me being told about her phoney, but she did toss up her hands and say alright to me knowing. She tried OEDIPEAL* and Carlynn called it off. They have vacillated between them which is the higher rated one, but for most of their SCRABBLE® years, they've been near to each other ratings-wise. A total unimportant aside, the twins often travel to tournaments with their good friend Gigi Miller (Sparks, NV). There couldn't be a more attractive trio, and when they are together, they tend to catch a lot of eyes.

Also in div 3, I walk by a Ryan Fischer (Charlotte, NC) vs. Andrew Gaertner (Glenwood City, WI). The board is quite pretty. I see Ryan's NItERIE as an opening play, CHATTERY for 60 as a dlb-dlb played through the AT, OCTAGONS through the C for 72, and MALTIEST from the M for 83. Andrew played BRIDGES for 66. It was Ryan's win, 498-331.

I miss the board, but on her way out of the room, Angela Dancho (Thornton, CO) tells me that she just beat Joey Krafchick (Roswell, GA) at board 1 in div 5. Good on you, Angela!

I catch Mark Edelson (Toronto ON) smiling and shaking his head. And, I think he was muttering, too, or if he was speaking to me, I wasn't in hearing range. I ask how it went, and as if he was still muttering, he started in the middle to explain how "it always happens, he has my number, I never win.." I glean that he's just played Glenn Dunlop (Brantford ON) and both of them are from the Toronto area and both play together often enough. And, as he's done before, Glenn beat up on Mark, 427-328. As a form of a challenge, Glenn walked up and asked me to find the phoney. I was struggling. Mark made a move to help me when Glenn said, "She's been around long enough, Mark, let her find it." Inside my head, I'm thinking, what is this a pop SCRABBLE® quiz? Anyway, after about 8 guesses and I'm not even saying that for effect, I guessed it: FOOEY*. It was Mark's phoney.

Importantly in a battle of the sexes sense, another female player made it to the annotated board 1 in div 1. This round it was Laurie Cohen (Tempe, AZ). It turns out that the good tiles are stuck to the fingers of James Leong (Vancouver BC) and he won, this his fourth game in a row, 417-382. Laurie played EROTIZE for 99 on her second turn and maintained a steady lead until 8th turn. It was 274-172, in her favor. Then James played REALIGNS through the A for 76, IRONY for 42, FEH for 29, and then bingoed out with UNmARRED for 74, pulling out the win, 415-382.