Wednesday, 9 September 2009

My Grandparents Play Battleships - Or, How Commentating Spices Things Up

Commentator 1: Hello, and welcome back to Battleships Live. We'll soon be tuning in to Nancy Giles v Reginald Giles - and you know what Geoff, this could be one heck of a contest.
Commentator 2: That's right Clive. This is the 29th time the players have met, in a rivalry stretching back to Dartmouth '94. Nancy took that first encounter, and then made some disparaging comments about Reginald in her post-match talk. Since then, he's had the upper hand, leading her 17-11 in their head-to-head.
Commentator 1: But am I right in thinking that Nancy has won all of their games that have taken place on a Thursday? That could be ominous for today.
Commentator 2: Yes - a telling statistic, Clive, and one that Reginald will want to put behind him today, going into this match. I think we'll see Reginald come out and really play an aggressive game straight away. He'll want to really take it to his wife in the early stages, sink a ship early on and put her on the back foot.
Commentator 1: I can't wait. And here come the players. Nancy looks very focused out there, I must say, whereas Reginald... what's Reginald doing here? Oh, he's looking for his glasses. There they are! That's classic Reginald. Any sense today that Reginald might be up to his old tricks, Geoff? Nancy's complained about time-wasting on numerous occasions in the past.
Commentator 2: Nancy won't be thinking about that right now. She's concentrating on her game. And moving to our board cam, we can see her laying out her flotilla. Oh, this is a smart move! She's gone for an intelligent line-up here, with neighbouring plane-carriers and small boats. Reginald is going to have to be very, very focused here.
Commentator 1: But his line-up is none too shabby either. Good ships on a B2-B5 combination, and excellent stretches of empty board. This is fascinating.
Commentator 2: Care to call it, Clive?
Commentator 1: Oh, this could go either way. I think the player who strikes first will certainly be favourite.
Commentator 2: Fence-sitting as usual! I don't blame you. And Nancy makes her first call. Well, this is incredible. First blood to the 83-year-old, and on her very first call! And it's his aircraft carrier! Unbelievable play. Careful for her next move. Oh, and she called J5 - another hit! She could do some real damage now. Reginald seems to be taking it in his stride, but he'll be reeling from this attack.
Commentator 1: Yes, this is a huge blow to his chances, and right now you've got to fancy Nancy to take it. He's got to find a way back from here. But how? He needs to change his game-plan, and fast. Nancy is one shot from sinking his best piece. He calls F7 - oh, this is interesting. It's a good play because Nancy traditionally likes to occupy the top right quarter of the board, but it fails on this occasion. Good attacking play though.
Commentator 2: Difficult times for Reginald Giles, who's often quick to get riled. He'll need to rein in his emotions today, Clive. This could be a long match. This might go all the way.
Commentator 1: Nancy's call. And what's this? She's turning on the television! Countdown's on! This is incredible. How is Reginald going to react to this? I would never have seen that coming, would you Geoff?
Commentator 2: Well, this isn't unheard of in their matches, but I wasn't expecting it so early in the game, Clive. This could change everything.
Commentator 1: And - yes, yes - I'm hearing that play has been suspended momentarily! Extraordinary scenes in Yeovil here as we head into a quick break - it's tantalisingly poised at one-nil to Nancy. We'll be right back.

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