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WPC 2008 Commentary: Round 20
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.
Nawapadol Sayavesa (THA) vs. Nick Ball (USA). It started off so promising for Nick with back to back bingos: ANNEALEr for 74 and ORANGIEr for 80, but after that, no play scored more than 25 points. I see Nawa's RESHiNE for 82 and NEURITIS for 70. A pretty nonbingo rack cleaner: MIKVOTH to the H by Nick.
It was another heartbreaker for Chris Cree (USA) this round vs. David Eldar (AUS), 453-358, David's win. Gesturing toward one of David's bingos, ANTBIRD for 67, Chris quipped, "we could stand to have this in our book." I also see URUSHIOL for 76 and rESEASON through the first S for 78. David said this was the first game all tournament long where he got both blanks. He is still 13-40 on them. Chris did get down SEASIDE for 69. He walked to the nearby challenge machine and typed in CUDDY, which was acceptable. He said, this was in my opening rack, didn't dare play it, mistake #1.
John Chew approaches me to alert me to THE NEWS! Louis Reed (USA) has WON A GAME! I run down to his end of the room and he's smiling. He said, "I'm starting to get better and this stuff is clicking. I'm able to hook onto 'their' words and it is beginning to make more sense. I almost won my last game, too!" This was a 416-375 win versus Shakir Reshamwala (KWT). Lou's favorite play was REPORTER in honor of Shakir, who is a reporter.
One of the last games to wrap up is Peter Armstrong (USA) vs. Phil Robertshaw (Eng). Peter eked out the win, 432-428. Phil opened the game with ANNEX and a turn or two later played ADOPTER/ANNEXE for a bunch o' points. He also played PEATLAND. Peter played ReNEWALS for 90 and was able to keep Phil reigned in.
The players have run off for lunch and John and I reflect on a the 3-game lead Nigel Richards (MYS) has on the field. It is probable that he'll win this event. And, with this win comes a beautiful customized board made by Kelly Smith. Since Nigel doesn't own a board, this may be the perfect prize!
A reporter from the local NBC affiliate, channel 5, arrived just as the players were heading to lunch, so he missed them all. Nigel Richards (MYS), sitting out in the lobby on a couch, had to "wash his hair" when the reporter approached him, so we tracked down Chris Cree (USA), who was eating at Subway with his wife Carla Cree and their daughter, Faith. He rushed back, cleaning sub out of his teeth and gave a good ol' Texas interview. I look forward to seeing him on the news.
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