August 14–16, 2010
Dallas, TX


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WPC 2010 Commentary: Round 23

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Go to: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, 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 23

Chris Cree (USA) has his crack at annotated board 1 with Nigel Richards (MYS) this round. They are both concentrating and politely announcing scows, etc. I expect Chris to say something funny pretty soon. After round 24 today, before we headed off to lunch, Chris grabbed Nigel's can of Pringles, opened them, and started snacking. I said, "Chris, that is his lunch!" He said, "I think he can afford to share." This made me giggle. Pringles don't normally go for more than 10,000! Wilma walks by my desk, guess we are wondering the same things about that game. Chris is currently up 100 points! Wowsa! She walks past again and says, but Nigel now holds INJUR?D. No place to put it.

I visit Mary Rhoades at her desk in this room's entry and see the challenge machine rule on MISGRAFT, it is acceptable. Bob Lipton (USA) says, "Good play," to Nathan Benedict (USA). We'll hear more from them perhaps.

Jean McArthur (USA) plays Chris May (AUS) this round. I see her CORDATE and STRIDER and his BECaUSE and LEnSMAN. Other fun words: FONLY, NINJAS, and DZO. A few folks walk by an compliment LEnsMAN. Chris' win, 466-381. She defeated Chris Cree (USA) last round, 439-339, so this is revenge of the Chris!

Okay, who played DOODADSs? Fun! Geoff Thevenot (USA) vs. Mark Kenas (USA). I ask Geoff if he beat up on Mark and he looked alarmed. As a form of interpretation, Mark said, "she wants to know if you won." Geoff seemed to still be pondering an answer, so Mark said, "yes!" But, hey, what's 102 points between friends, right? A 495-392 win for the guy from San Antonio who doesn't wear overalls! In addition to DOODADs, I see VITIATE, WAGERED, jESTEES, BEDOUIN, INHAULS, and ORALIsT.

Like everyone before him, Steve Polatnick (USA) enjoyed his game with Stuart Goldman (USA) this round. I think it is fair to say that the tile gods picked a favorite this round and it wasn't Stu. One game highlight, holding EUPOEAS, he prayed for an N. Stu helped out and hung an N out. Down came EUPNOEAS. Steve's other plays: INWOvEN, MITIeST, NEEZE for 75, and REALIST/FITS. A 611-284 win for Steve.

Back to Chris Cree (USA) and Nigel Richards (MYS). The game is over and Chris isn't one bit unhappy and either is Nigel. It was a Chris win, 485-393. I see METABAGS and TRIPOLIS. At one point, Chris tried to open both triples by playing CHOLO, keeping EN and he lucked into the next rack of NIOBITE. Well, it all just fell together! He had annotator Kate Watson running some anagram racks to help him figure out possible better openings.

A smiling duo: Judy Newhouse (USA) and Nick Ball (CAN). This game was all about Nick and he complimented Judy on her ongoing enthusiasm despite the tiles that didn't go her way. He played DEFLuENT, REARISE, CENTARE, and I see mention of POUPT. Of the game, she said, "that was fun! I love these words!" Nick said it was "nice to play new folks to show them Collins." I explain that Judy is a club director as well as a director of tournaments. If she tells just 10 people about the fun she's had: who knows? About trying to squeeze in Collins events, John Chew speaks of Tony Leah, a top tournament player and director in Toronto, ON. He wanted to work a Collins event in to an existing TWL event, so he made the early bird a Collins event. A short one-day event like that might just be the answer to turning folks on!

I met Mark Kenas (USA) many years ago and then I stopped seeing him. He says the dictionary differences killed his interest in the game. And then, one day, a local kid wanted to play some games. That kid was John O'Laughlin. So, Mark played with John, often, and with the Collins dictionary. He grew to enjoy the sessions so much he asked John if he minded if Mark vied in a WSC qualifier alongside him. John encouraged him and they both qualified for the WSC that year. Since then, Mark has done 4 WSCs. Way to go, Mark!

A mere two-point win for Brian Bowman (USA), 441-439, vs. Robert Linn (USA). I see Bob's FOAmLIKE and GHERAOED through the H (which looks to be his response to Brian's opening play). Brian played LITERATO , ETESIAN, and BETAINES.

I catch site of a Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (THA) rack. One way to avoid using any of those precious endgame seconds is having one's play ready to put down, upside down on the rack!

Jill Robbins, mom to that School SCRABBLE champ, Bradley Robbins (USA), is delighted with how well he's doing in this event, despite not winning many games. Bradley runs to their room (located just one floor from here, so close access!) and fills her in on his games. Often, he's lost by a lot, but he's been happy to play with so many luminaries and see how it's done. She refers to herself as an average living room player. Bradley said she might win 2-3 games in division 6 were she to try the nationals. I think she might win more than that! After all, she has Bradley at home for some practice!