August 3–8, 2007
Dayton, OH

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PC 2007 Commentary: Round 4

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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: Dean Saldanha vs. Alyssa Faria.

Round 4

One of the first games to finish this round was a round 1 matchup between Lisa Odom (St. Louis Park, MN) and Webster Phillips (Montclair, NJ). She said breathlessly, "What do you think of CODELESS?" I told her I liked it, and she admitted that in an endgame move of desperation, she slapped it down CoDELESS for 83. She didn't even think it was good and she was shocked when it came back acceptable and gave her the game. Only 1 tile was left in the bag. She is now 2-2 in a very tough field.

Smiling ear to ear, Mike Frentz (Seattle, WA) found me across the room and brought me to his completed game against Jon Shreve (Denver, CO). It was a real barn burner of plays flying back and forth. Jon opened with NITRATE for 66 and Mike replied with OVATIONS through the A for 62. Jon then played ADHESION through the I for 74 and Mike replied with INNATELY through the A for 82. To bring home a point, the game has six plays at this point, four of them bingos! A bit later on, Mike played HARDIER/NITRATED for 103. Jon replied wtih RECItING to the G for 83. Mike played QUOtA for 71. The 87-point AGEISTS/YETI went down for Jon followed by EX/HE/EX for 55. Mike managed to stick Jon with ZV and won, 444-342. This is Mike's first win and he told me that if this is what it takes to win a game, he doesn't think he'll win many more!

I walk by a completed Joe Edley (Coram, NY) vs. Scott Appel (Trenton, NJ) board. I see Joe's KNAVERY and overhear that he won, 448-365. I think Scott was over their game, because at one point, he stood up and started stretching during the endgame chat.

Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN) soundly defeated Jesse Day (New Haven, CT) this round, 531-348. The board, like most of Jim's, was bingo strewn and spidery words reached to the farthest corners. Jim's bingos were AUdITEE for 72, HOLdOUT for 78, and SULTRIER for 70 (with one more coming). Jesse got down CARIBES for 91 and in the endgame, tracked Jim to have DAILIES on his rack. Smartly (or so he thought), Jesse blocked the place he saw for that word. Without missing a beat, Jim played SEDILIA for 93 beneath CARIBES, creating AS/RE/ID/BI/EL/SI. Jesse was flabbergasted. They sat and chatted a bit after the game and Jim regaled Jesse with a few SCRABBLE® anecdotes. Later on, Jesse told me "I like that guy, I like his stories." We all do.

Jim Geary (Phoenix, AZ) is one of our div 1 characters. He is also a pretty successful professional poker player and some of those techniques spill over into his SCRABBLE® play. For instance you can NEVER read what he is thinking or what is happening on his side of the table: call it his "poker" face. ha ha. He often wears hats pulled way down over his eyes and he slumps in his chair. The final touch is, he wears earplugs all the time, so incidental stuff like "Hi Jim" or "How are you doing?" fly right by unheard. This round, there was one play left in his game with Jan Dixon (Newark, DE). I think he had tired of his earplugs and right after Jan made her outplay, he got up from their table and walked away to throw them out. Jan and I were trying to figure out the game score, not sure at that point if he was coming back or not. He did, smiling, and congratulated Jan. It was a tough game for him. The only two bingos I saw, DINGLES for 70 and GENITAlS for 79 were played by Jan. It was her win, 426-321. Any time a player as good as Jim loses by that much, you know it was a hard game!

Chris Cree (Dallas, TX) and Michael Early (Fort Worth, TX) were noodling over their completed game. I see SHORTEr, RERADIATE, REFACES, and STONINg. The board was tight and in the end, each player was stuck with one unplayable tile: an E and a T.

Orry Swift (Dayton, TX) finds me and brings me to his completed game against Lester Schonbrun (Oakland, CA). I see Orry's KIDDO and Lester's PROBERS. Orry lost this game, but he brought me over to show about how stupidity can lead to loss. He held AAINNRT, and he knows ANTIARIN. How he remembers it is he says ANTIRAIN*. Through an open I, he said he did his little ritual, played his word, and then hit the clock. Lester held him, he looked down in horror to see that HE'D PLAYED the memory trick ANTIRAIN* and NOT the word he intended. He lost the challenge and then the game by about 80. So the lesson is: pay attention!

Jesse Matthews (Calgary AB) is receiving a few back claps from Tony Claitor (Orlando, FL). He's been able to take down two former National Champions so far. First it was Jim Kramer (Roseville, MN) and this round, it was Ron Tiekert (Melbourne, FL), 363-334.

Both very quiet guys, I see a game finishing between Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (Thailand) and Brian Cappelletto (Chicago, IL). Not only are they quiet, they have incomprehensible scoresheets, as in, if you weren't there watching it happen, you got bupka on how it went down just looking. I ask a few questions between their analysis. Pakorn played PATOOTIEs. I see RETINES, JORUM, TERRANEs, UTRICLES, and DAIMYOS played through the M. Pakorn tells me it was was a non-bingo play by Brian and when it went down, he was wowed. It was Brian's win, 487-335.

Worth remembering to note, Sam Kantimathi provided round board, tiles, racks, and tile bags to the top six boards in div 1. Very generous, thanks Sam.