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WSC 2009 Commentary: Round 20

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This is the last round before our last lunch break. Pakorn Nemitrmansuk (THA) is playing Panupol Sujjayakorn (THA) at board 1, just like at the WSC 2003 finals. He's hoping for better luck this time though, as he wants to score his 13th consecutive win. Things are looking pretty good for him as I write this. He's spending precious time double-checking his tracking to make sure his endgame play that puts him up by about a hundred points doesn't give Panupol a comeback bingo.

Apologies to anyone who might have fooled by the brief appearance of two 999-100 game scores earlier this round. I was demoing the electronic scoreboard for the BBC crew, and entered a fake score to get some motion on the board.

Challenged by Rik Kennedy (NIr) this round: Mark Nyman's (Eng) PULSOJET.

After four bingoes for Pakorn to two for Panupol, the score stood at 487-454 in Pakorn's favour going into the endgame. Fortunately for Pakorn, he had an out-in-two scoring 58-27+25+2, more than enough to win. Pakorn has now matched Matt Graham's WSC winning streak record.

Dave Wiegand (USA) also won his game, 442-337 against Nathan Benedict (USA), as did Nigel Richards (Wsc), 455-398 vs. Marut Siriwangso (THA).

Pakorn is alone at 16-4, Wiegand the only 15-5, and at 14-6 are Richards, Naween Fernando (AUS) and David Boys (CAN).

Pakorn still has to win two games out of three to be assured of a place in the finals, though he has a good chance even with 1-2. The ten players at 13-7 have a long shot at it too, but the 16, 15 and 14s would be heavily favoured.

We break for lunch at the Thai restaurant, then we return to have Pakorn play fourth-ranked Naween Fernando (AUS), the highest-ranked player who can still catch up to him.