Best CUYAHOGA Word - Doug Szymkowiak - COUGAR (5 letters in Cuyahoga) - $10
High Loss - Karen Smith (427 - 432) - $10
High Win - Pat Hardwick (519 - 223) - $10
2nd Place - Greg Feldkamp - 6-2 +69 - $100
1st Place - Michael Bassett - 6-2 +445 - $175
High Loss - Elaine Glowniak (444 - 446) - $10
High Win - Doug Szymkowiak (545 - 326) - $10
2nd Place - Dorcas Alexander - 6-2 +266 - $100
1st Place - Scott Pianowski - 8-0 +830 - $175
Complete standings information can be accessed from the Pairings and Standings link at left.
Special thanks to Pam Cass for donating two tile bags to the door prizes, to Nancy Incorvati for bringing delicious snacks and helping out all day with food service, and to Sue Grogan-Johnson for catering the event. And, thanks to all the players who came out and made the event a success!
Play is underway for the final round of the tournament.
In Division A, Scott Pianowski held off Dorcas Alexander, with a narrow win that means that Dorcas must win by 97 or more spread points to claim the top prize in the tournament. Whatever happens, the two of them are Gibsonized in first and second.
The four Division B players going into the final round with 5-2 records are Tony Incorvati (+424), Michael Bassett (+342), Greg Feldkamp (+43), and Karen Smith (-76). Tony is playing Michael, and Greg is playing Karen, so the winners of those matches will finish in first and second place. In all likelihood, the winner of the Tony-Michael game will wind up in first, and the winner of the Greg-Karen game will finish in second.
Apart from a sometimes overzealous air conditioning unit, the playing room has been comodious, and everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves. There are a lot of leftover snacks from lunch, and players have enjoyed munching between rounds this afternoon.
Dorcas and Scott, sitting at 6-0 each, are battling it out in the penultimate round, and will almost certainly play again in the final KOTH match. It's simple chance (or perhaps an intentional programming decision by John Chew) that they faced each other last in our round robin pairings, but it makes for some excitement as we draw to the close of the tournament.
With Scott edging Dorcas on spread, +619 to +477, he could technically be Gibsonized if he wins with a 180 point or larger margin of victory. But, things will get very interesting if Dorcas wins, as the margin of victory Scott would need in a final round victory would be much more manageable than what Dorcas will face if Scott wins.
Doug Szymkowiak and Sam Town each have 3-3 records, but they, and everyone below them, are eliminated from contention for the money spots.
It's a battle royale in Division B, however, with 2/3 of the field having a record of 4-2. It will be interesting to see how round 6 sorts the players out, but it's very likely (and perhaps a mathematical certaintly, but this English major won't extend that far) that this division will come down to spread to decide the place prizes.
Sam Towne's friend, Pablo, accompanied him to the tournament today. I have enjoyed getting to know Pablo a little bit, as we have had the chance to chat here and there while the players were embroiled in their games.
Pablo is from Columbia, and is a classical oboist (would you believe it was just in the last week that I learned that you have to drop the e from oboe when you pluralize it? I'm fighting the urge to check and make sure I remember that right. I'm going forward with this post, but I'll likely double check myself after I send it). Pablo is working on his 2nd graduate degree at Oberlin, and aspires to play in an orchestra, or perhaps teach at a university. In addition to classical oboe, he also plays the baroque oboe (and no, Dan Stock, it's not "baroque" because he dropped it).
Pablo enjoys playing SCRABBLE with Sam, and would like to improve and join the club and tournament scene. With Spanish as his first language, he is at a disadvantage. But, of course, bilingual individuals typically have a better understanding of grammar, word roots and pluralization rules, so he has a benefit in that regard.
Pablo and Sam built their own SCRABBLE board, which Pablo showed to me. It is quite becoming, and Pablo clearly spent a lot of time and energy to make a board that was both beautiful and functional.
Hopefully, Pablo will continue to play SCRABBLE with Sam, and will come to the place where he feels comfortable entering a tournament (I pressed him slightly to join in today and even up the bottom division, but I'm glad in part that he declined, as it was nice to have a side conversation here and there).
We are underway with round 6, and the battle lines are starting to shape up.
In Division A, Dorcas Alexander and Scott Pianowski remain undefeated through round 5. Sam Towne is the only other player with positive cume, and he stands 2 games back at 3-2. He can claw his way back into it by beating Scott in his round 6 game. But, based on his expression at a recent visit to the challenge computer, it looks like he has his work cut out for him.
Division B remains really tight. With some standings in, we have 4 players with 4 victories, while Pat Hardwick could edge out a slight lead, going to 5-1, if she wins in her game against Pam Cass. While I was typing this, Karen Smith came up and asked me to write "Karen hates Michael." She said it in jest, but I think she was still feeling the sting of the 508-260 beat down that he put her through.
Round 4 finally brought a director's call, and it was a doozy.
Player A played ?UIETENS (I forget through which letter), and properly designated the blank as a Q. Player B said "OK" but then after several seconds, said "I think I'm going to challenge the play."
Player A was adamant that the fact that Player B said "OK" evidenced verbal acceptance of the play, and foreclosed Player B's right to challenge. Player B did not recall saying "OK" but conceded that if Player A said that he said it, then he did. But, Player B maintained that he only said "OK" to acknowledge that blank designation as a Q, and not to accept the play.
This matter was made a little more complex because the blank had previously been designated a V, and challenged off apparently, so that the blank designation line had both a Q and V circled. However, the players agreed that they understood the blank designation, and with no unclarity, I moved on to rule on whether or not to allow the challenge.
The crux of the decision rested on this portion of Rule IV.I.I.:
"But verbal acceptance of a play — such as saying “OK” or “I accept” — is binding (as is revealing your tiles or their point value after the final play of the game), and you may no longer hold or challenge. However, the Director may allow a hold or challenge if acceptance was clearly not meant. A verbal challenge, whether or not it occurs during a holding period, is always binding."
Because the player did not say "OK" following a hold, or otherwise to acknowledge acceptance of the play, and especially because the player specifically stated that acceptance of the play was not his intention when he said "OK," I ruled that the play could be challenged.
The players followed me up to the director's table, where the challenge computer is located, and as they adjudicated the challenge, Player A said to me, "I think you're really wrong." I replied, "Well, you're about to win the challenge." He did win the challenge, and seemed to feel a bit better about the ruling.
Ironically enough, as I was typing this post, the players returned to my table. The same situation occurred again, except that Player A was the one who said "OK" without meaning to accept the play. Player B allowed the challenge, which was why they had come up again.
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