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WPC 2008 Commentary: Round 12
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.
Not heard from much so far, Jim Kramer (USA) makes the half-mile walk up to the Internet table from the back row of tables. He laughs about this and is quite philosophical about the win/loss thing, reminding us that it is only a game. Speaking of which, in round 11, he held DGNST?? and EXTRA was on the board, seven spaces from the TWS. So, his conundrum, does he try EXTRADiTiNGS*? He opts not to, but isn't sure he wasn't being too conservative. He is now 5-7 and has 3 wins today.
Stop the presses, Nigel Richards (MYS) is not at table 1, as matter of fact, he's not at table 2 or 3 either. He's at table 4. Turns out that tsh tries to keep winners at their boards, so it kinda moves players around a bit to accommodate winners, which would lead us to believe that....
FLORIDEST for 64 drew a challenge from Peter Armstrong (USA). Can't say as I blame him. But he did this despite having a reply of BLiGHTED through the L in that play. He was playing our young phenom this round, David Eldar (AUS). I see David's ESTIVAL for 78 and Peter's ARRANGES for 140 through the G, and GRIEVANT for 76. Peter admits he challenged David thrice in this game and lost all challenges. This was Peter's win, 572-432. David smiles and tells me that he's seen 6 of the 24 blanks so far and has won only one game today so far.
Wilma and I have spent some time talking about some of our favorite players and plays. One of her stories involved one of each. Holding AEEIMRS in a tense endgame with a tight board, Thailand's own Pakron found through CHIN, MACHINERIES. WOW!
I knew that David Eldar (AUS) was a pretty fantastic player, because I'm on some of the foreign SCRABBLE-related mailing lists and his name often appears as a winner here and there. Today, I asked him to flesh out his 19-year-old self. He started playing SCRABBLE at age 14. At just at few days into age 17, he won the World Youth SCRABBLE Championship, which garnered him a berth to the Worlds. He then went on to win the 2007 Australian nationals, which also earned him a berth to the Worlds. As a consequence, the next-highest-rated Australian got to go that year. He's played in two WSCs and at each he earned an 11th place finish. He's won some money, one oversized trophy, and a SamBoard once that he shared with another player (since he didn't need another board). The Youth Championship he won was organized by Karen Richards (who is the Youth Coordinator of WESPA--World English-language SCRABBLE Players Association) and took place in Wollongong, AU. On a side note, our WPC director, Wilma Vialle, also directed that event. She's seen David at his best a few times. I'm told that Wollongong is an Aboriginal word that means "where the mountain meets the sea." Beautiful. The 3nd World Youth SCRABBLE Championship will take place the second week of December in Penang, Malaysia. If you want more information, visit http://www.youthscrabble.org/wysc2008/.
I find a still set up but playerless game between Jim Kramer (USA) and Travis Chaney (USA). At turn 6, the score was 254-254. Three turns later, it was 450-332. I see Jim's CONTINUE for 62, PRERINsE for 71, and sODIUMS for 85. Travis' played BOWELED for 89, but lost to Jim, 356-509.
I see E?JIT on a board. Adrian Tamas (ROM), playing at that board, senses that of the full board that was the word I had in mind. He turned back at me and said, "It is an E, it means idiot." Sure enough, EEJIT# means idiot!
At the aforementioned table 4, Nigel Richards (MYS) has defeated Howard Warner (NZL), 465-408. The board is quite pretty and dense like a crossword puzzle in the middle with the overlapping plays. i see Nigel's PARAMENT for 72, LAWSUIT for 81, and DALLIEd for 81. Howard played NEUStON for 72 and claims to have made two successful challenges during the game.
Marty Gabriel (USA) waves me over to see his game-winning play. Down by a certain amount of points (he and Nick Ball (USA) can't seem to agree on what amount that is), he place HOVE through the O, hooking the H to create HESSONITE for 46 points, which became 51 with the challenge that Nick gave it! I see YODlERS, BrOMINES, TRAILING, and NAPERIES on that board. A 453-435 win for Marty.
ASTHORES earned Sanmi Odelana (Eng) 95 + 5 after Trevor Halsall (AUS) challenged him. This was a very close game. Sanmi also played sOREDIA and barely eked out a win, 381-373. This hurt, a lot, because Trevor lost due to two things: 1. his rack, CBRTLN, and 2. he went over on his clock by 1 minute, losing 10 points. When I exclaimed an "ouch," he said he really needed those seconds and they were not wasted at all.
As we head off to lunch, Nigel Richards (MYS) is once again in the lead, our sole 10-2. Theresa Camilleri (MLT), Amit Chakrabarti (USA), and Peter Armstrong (USA) are only one game behind and are combining to create some heavy breath on the back of Nigel's neck!
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