Back to WSC 2009 Live Coverage

WSC 2009 Commentary: Round 1

[ ]

Go to: 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, Round 24.

Welcome to the 2009 World Scrabble Championship in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, across the Causeway from Singapore. Together with the World Youth Scrabble Championship and the Causeway Challenge the WSC makes up the first ever Iskandar Malaysia World Festival of Scrabble, a three-week event where even diehards can get their fill of their favourite game.

The tournament is being held at the Zon Regency Hotel, a large hotel built around a spectacular fifteen-story atrium, so each guest room has atrium access and a view of the ocean. There's an attached shopping mall, and most importantly for some tournament staff, a branch of a popular American cafe chain.

We began round one this morning with a brief welcoming address from organizer Philip Nelkon of Mattel, tips on local security from Major (ret.) Cheah Kim Tarh, senior general manager of event sponsor Tokai Engineering's Security Engineering Division, and words about procedure from renowned tournament director Wilma Vialle. When the last item degenerated into the usual series of player inquiries about rules Wilma announced to great and relieved applause that it was time to begin.

We have three adjudication stations running Anand Buddhdev's official CSWCheck software, with runners affording players the old-fashioned luxury of remaining seated while their words are verified.

I (John Chew) am doing data entry, webcast annotation supervision, IT setup and support, commentary, photography, photo editing and assisting Wilma. If you see anything wrong with the website, please email me to bring it to my attention and I'll correct it ASAP.

I've added a new feature to TSH for this event, the so-called Enhanced Scoreboard, which uses AJAX technology to automatically update itself more smoothly and offer more flexibility of configuration to each user. I still need to clean up its IE rendering, and will work on it between sessions, but recommend for now that it be viewed with mor standard browsers, like Firefox or Safari.

Jocelyn Lor, Liz Fagerlund and Larry Rosin are stationed at Board 1 posting our annotated games.

The first game at that table was between Nigel Richards (Wsc) and Pichai Limprasert (THA). They split the blanks and were only two points apart after ten plays each; the game is well worth a browse.

The first game to finish this round was between Sam Rosin (USA) and Dennis Ikekeregor (NGA); the last was between Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (THA) and Herve Bohbot (FRA). No great surprises there.