Charlotte Scrabble Club
NASPA Club #668
Charlotte :: Myrtle Beach :: Gatlinburg :: The Park
Carolina Cup :: State :: Alpharetta

Charlotte Open on Labor Day

Catch the COLD!

Day one of the c-c-c-COLD is all said and done. I'm no Sherrie Saint John, but here's my weak impersonation in between the pairings, and data entry, and other shenanigans a director must go through but never ever talk about... shhh!

We're off to a slow but steady start in Charlotte, NC. One more last minute cancellation (really, people, it's *Labor Day* for a reason!) no-show makes the group even, allowing me to sit out and watch for once.

A crazy game at table 1 starts us off, as Mark Abadi opens with WIDEOUT, and later phonies with ENCINDERS*. Conrad Bassett-Bouchard leaves it alone, giving him a place for his own bingo, and throws down HANAVER* later on to stay with it, but ends up losing out in a 479-462 barnburner.

Nathan James earned the high win this round with a 532, while James Clark scored 122 for TRAINERS in a losing effort versus Katya Lezin. ---

In round 2 I see Chris Woodard and Randy Hersom at the challenge computer. Chris types in TRIKED* and DOJO, which comes back no good. Good challenge, Chris!

Rebecca Lambert has logged a 600 even game, over Noah Lieberman, who scored 271. Noah tells me 5 turns in, it was 354-197, then she had 31 pt play, GOAD, then linings for 85, aeneous 75 545, rex 40, 59 for vomit.

On Phil Werthmeier's board I see ANTHERIC. Later he gets VAGINATED, a 9, for 92 (no word on what he played through). That was good for this round's high play skin. ---

A real tight one ensues yet again at table one. I see TAXWISE on the board, Conrad's play for 91 earns him the high play skin for this round.

Matthew Hopkins and Ann Vyce must have ELICITE(D) a LUMINARY to help them find those nice plays.

On James Clark and Gerry Greenside's board I see MILLINER, which I've learned is a maker of woman's hats. --

alulas*/saugh is the play challenged off on a board between Conrad and James Clark.

And at lunch, we have Phil Werthmeier ahead of the pack, the only undefeated competitor left at 4-0. Joey Krafchick is right behind him at 3-1, with an impressive +488 spread. These two guys will face off after lunch.


It's almost as fun watching the games unfold as it is playing. Round 5 begins with Pratt playing EXAMINE versus Conrad Bassett-Bouchard. On Nathan James' and Gerry Greenside's board, I hear Gerry count up to 105 before hitting his clock, playing DEePISH* as a 2x2, which I know to be phony 'cause I got away with it last year in Baltimore. We'll see if it holds up for high play this round (it does).

Katya Lezin and Winter have just returned from the challenge computer, her having unsuccessfully challenged DIKEY! Jokes abound, sure, about Katya's alma mater Brown, but I leave it to you to write your own punchline. :)

I pace back and forth to see what else has developed, and a big game has broken out between Marilyn Pomeroy and Matt Hopkins, in which I see (O)LDTImER, (B)REEZE, and from that second E, EQUAlING, for a crapload of points, and then JOI(N)S for a sizable sum too.

Back at table 11, Noah and Hannah Lieberman are all giggles after their game, which has since been squared away. But when asked, Hannah tells me it's only something a 12 or 14 year old girl would get. I don't exactly know what she's implying about her brother. Her way of vengeance after his un-brotherly treatment of her over the board, no doubt.


Pass number one during round 6, I see a very intense game building up between Conrad and Joey, in which PISTONED*, RINSABLE, KANGAROO, and INSECURE are on the board, as is BOWTIES*. Conrad's win after the dust of two phonies has cleared.

And as I pass Bruce Shuman, I see him clearly shocked and excited to have DEFIU??, with which he played DIF(F)UsEd through an open F for a 176-point 3x3. Doubt anything this round will fell that high play accomplishment.

Randy Hersom and Nathan James have a game where one opened with OMENTUM and the next played METOPAE down from that. Later, Nathan plays bUS(H)LAND, which draws the challenge, clinching the game for him. He and Phil Wertheimer now lead the pack, Phil the only undefeated player, Nathan at 5-1. They square off in round 7.


In round 7, a crazy case of deja vu, Susan Blanchard laid down STICKED versus Randy Hersom after Nathan James had it on his rack as a no-go versus Hersom earlier (both natural). He later came back with QUEAZIE(R) for a crapload of points.

A close game between Greenside and Bassett-Bouchard turns crazy as Gary challenges TACRINE, allowing Conrad to run away with it.


Final round, a battle of the titans ensues between veteran Dan Pratt and up-and-comer Phil Wertheimer. It's a slow game, each player throwing jabs, trying to build a rack while not much else develops. Halfway into the round, Pratt finally lays down CREWeLS for 90+ points (missing an even higher scoring CuRLEWS), locking down the board, ultimately handing Phil his first loss.

Winter's thrown down EMB(R)UTE? versus Don Vovakes. Nice.

On Conrad's and Randy's board, I see the exotic LEMPIRA (IMPALER, IMPEARL, PALMIER), as well as DEWIEST and ROSEATE.

As I walk past Hannah's and Chris Woodard's game, Hannah catches my eye and slashes across her throat making a choking sound as Chris lays down IODIZES for 100+ points. Good to see a sense of humor about these things.

Back at table 11, not at all discouraged, are James Clark and Ann Vyce having a stylish game. A bingo leads to ZIRCON through the R con for 74, slotting the N in the triple for a return of UNJAM.


We end the day with Dan Pratt at 7-1, +548. Phil Wertheimer is only 130 spread points behind him. We have another online up-and-comer Nathan James at 6 wins along with Conrad Bassett-Bouchard, and a whole mess (5, being the technical definition of a "mess") at 5 wins.

Round 8 Ratings
1    7.0-1.0    +548     1843    1853    +10    PRATT, DAN (#2)
2    7.0-1.0    +418     1463    1568    +105    WERTHEIMER, PHIL (#10)
3    6.0-2.0    +783     1412    1466    +54    JAMES, NATHAN (#11)
4    6.0-2.0    +457     1868    1855    -13    BASSETT-BOUCHARD, CONRAD
5    5.0-3.0    +824     1737    1707    -30    ZXQKJ, WINTER (#3)
6    5.0-3.0    +469     1750    1708    -42    KEITH, BARRY (#4)
7    5.0-3.0    +353     1490    1494    +4    HARRIS, CHAD (#9)
8    5.0-3.0    +73     1703    1676    -27    HERSOM, RANDY (#5)
9    5.0-3.0    -91     1178    1275    +97    SHUMAN, BRUCE (#14)
10    4.0-4.0    +235     1557    1541    -16    KRAFCHICK, JOEY (#8)
11    4.0-4.0    +41     1209    1206    -3    GOTTLIN, LIZ (#13)
12    4.0-4.0    -130     1157    1184    +27    VOVAKES, DON (#15)
13    4.0-4.0    -231     1616    1581    -35    GREENSIDE, GERRY (#6)
14    4.0-4.0    -489     1032    1065    +33    ABADI, MARK (#20)
15    3.0-5.0    +260     1578    1528    -50    LAMBERT, REBECCA (#7)
16    3.0-5.0    -43     903    955    +52    BLANCHARD, SUSAN (#23)
17    3.0-5.0    -61     1124    1122    -2    WOODARD, CHRISTOPHER
18    3.0-5.0    -236     1228    1205    -23    CLARK, JAMES (#12)
19    3.0-5.0    -353     1123    1111    -12    HOPKINS, MATTHEW (#18)
20    3.0-5.0    -458     1084    1080    -4    POMEROY, MARILYN (#19)
21    3.0-5.0    -588     1154    1154    +0    LEZIN, KATYA (#16)
22    2.0-6.0    -405     908    905    -3    VYCE, ANN (#22)
23    2.0-6.0    -667     917    908    -9    LIEBERMAN, NOAH (#21)
24    0.0-8.0    -709     641    630    -11    LIEBERMAN, HANNAH (#24)


Oh yeah, right, the Nite Bird:

Phil Wertheimer leads Div A at 3-1, but Winter is right behind him, trailing by 114 spread points. A couple ghosts are duking it out in the fictitious Div B, and Div C has Noah Lieberman as the only undefeated player at 4-0, with 3 people at 3-1, including new blood Ann Vyce, Susan Blanchard, and Joan Randolph (David Gibson's sister, making her tournament debut).

I've been at it since 6:20, and I've gotta do it again tomorrow. But it's been one of my most rewarding days in a while seeing this all come together. Thanks for reading. Zzzzz.