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WPC 2008 Commentary: Round 13
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.
Nigel Richards (MYS) is the first to return from lunch of all 48 players. He parks himself at "his" seat (the one facing into the room) from the elevated table 1. Wilma Vialle, who clearly had nothing better to do, picked up subs for a few of us and we had a quick lunch while catching up on various event duties. The quiet during lunch is the best time!
John Luebkemann (USA) walks in. He is a new person! He says, "I went to Tar-jay!" He is just being fancy and means Target. His new long-sleeved blue T-shirt looks quite smart. He is happy. He stands at the electronic scoreboard in his snazzy new duds, pulls up his pants and points out his new socks, too. We beg him to "stop right there, please!" He, Theresa Camilleri (MLT), and Phil Robertshaw (Eng), are plotting the overthrow of Nigel Richards (MYS) as they stare at the leader board.
I need to run off to CVS, so scribble "Round 13" atop the commentary notepad, and hand it off to Wilma telling her to get some color this round. When I returned, she handed it back to me, FULL OF STUFF.
I now type her words.
"So, Sherrie hands the reporter's pad to me and I prowl the tables expectantly, desperately seeking the exacting plays she has commanded me to unearth. Lo and behold, the bingos are numerous, most of them anagrams of RETAINS, until I happen upon the game between the mighty Daves. SANNYASI is an outbingo by Dave Wiegand (USA) played to the I of FIVER. Other sevens: BLATTER, TOURISTA, also played by U.S. Dave. (Sherrie inserts for clarity, Dave's opponent this round was David Eldar (AUS), who lost this game, 310-469.)
"Our host extraordinaire, Chris Cree (USA), tells me SANNYASI takes an N. With such word knowledge, why is he in the middle of the pack?
"Interesting boad in the Pete Sampras (sorry, Peter Armstrong (USA)) vs. John Luebkemann (USA) game. Peter played IRONSIDE early in the game, John replied with INKWELLS into the floating S. Peter held ENOSITY, ready to hook onto a V for what he thought would be a winning outplay, but Looby beat him to he punch, bingoing our himself with ORIFICE."
I return from my errand and Wilma hands me my notebook back the second I get near the Internet table. I assure her that I'll put in all her comments. The local CBS affiliate has sent a cameraperson within the few minutes I was gone. High on life, on SCRABBLE, on everything related to elite play, (I mean literally floating about 6 inches off the floor after his win against Nigel Richards (MYS) at board 1), Marty Gabriel (USA) is being interviewed postgame on the empty floor space in front of table 1. I hear him mention being a "world class" player, but got pulled off quickly. At table 3, Amit Chakrabarti (USA) and Adrian Tamas (ROM) assure me that nothing has happened on their board. I steal a quick snapshot anyway.
Michael Early (USA) approaches. Seems that he and Stuart Goldman (USA) have just completed a recount. They both had Mike losing by 11, but after finding 7 underscored points for Mike, he only lost by 4 points.
One of the more emotional moments so far today: I encounter Chris Cree (USA) with a figurative metal fork centimeters from his eyeball. He is mostly incoherent, but I can glean something repeated over and over, "I lost by 18 and could not have played more stupidly." He is pacing, back and forth and back and forth, and then up side aisles as well, working off he bad juju before his next game. I look over the board and John's scoresheet. I see John's two bingos: PENPALS for 78 and RECLOSES for 61. Chris had three bingos: COMElILY for 75, REHEATED for 67, and TWINGES for 73. I still don't know what Chris did that was so bad, but later on John O'Laughlin (USA) confesses that he had one more win than he "deserved" today.
Jim Kramer (USA) is looking like a 15-year-old high school student at this event. He's always has such a boyish look, but for this tourney, his hair is quite long and side parted so that he has an on/off Veronica Lake look when the hair swings down over his eye. He kind of sweeps it back and soemtimes moves his head to do so. Very cute. He's come to talk to me not about his new look, but about having won four games today so far. Earlier today, he opening rack was ADHKJOT. He found and played KHODJA for 58. I notice that with his newfound string of wins, he's moved from the back row in the room to middle of the room with a slight leaning toward the top rows. Way to go, Jim!
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