Andy Gardner, "Queen" Lexi
Shea, Jim Savarick and Daniel Speyer
Raisins for the Road ...
Dave Metzger, Steve Raszewski, Faith
Wobbeking and Brad Raszewski try unsuccessfully to stop Doug
Faust from advancing.
It's last chance to win as WBC 2013
comes to a close for Chanan Rothenberg, Lola Reynolds, Megan
Mossman and Bobbi Warczak.
2013 Marked the eighth straight return of WBC TransAmerica
as a trial event where it fills a nice niche as a quick playing
getaway event on the conventions final morning. This year, the
event had a new caretaker GM, with the ever-busy Gutermuth clan
stepping aside after many years of excellent service.
players appeared for the preliminary round, which was a decrease
from the preceding five years, but nevertheless filled ten tables.
Once again, no table elected to play TransEuropa as an
alternative. Things seemed to be going smoothly until halfway
through the heat, when the GM realized that no tie-breaker had
been specified. This could have been a serious problem, as Trans
America is a classic "family" euro, in which tied
players are expected to "rejoice in shared victory".
This sentiment, while heartwarming, is inappropriate in a tournament
setting. Fortunately, former GM Ken Gutermuth was present, and
he shared his past wisdom. The tie-breaker (best score when going
first in a round) was implemented on-the-fly, and controversy
was thus averted.
All winners and runners-up were declared eligible for the
next round, and after two dropouts departed to start on the way
hom,e, 18 players were seated at four tables. This recipe produced
a decidedly female flavor to the stew in the form of four finalists:
Doug Faust, Debbie Gutermuth, Bobbi Warczak, and defending champion
Carolyn Strock. It should be noted that Bobbi qualified after
going from last to first in the last round of her exciting semifinal
As the finalists gathered, the GM surprised them with an impromptu
incentive -- a full six-pack of Sunmaid raisins was offered as
a prize to whoever won the game for what was - if not the best
incentive to win, surely one of the most unusual. The Final started
unusually, with the first question to the GM of the entire tournament.
This occurred when Doug decided to connect the last of Debbie's
cities on his round. His logic was that he would actually lose
one less point this way, since he saw that the round would end
before his next turn anyway. After consulting the rulebook, it
was determined that the round ended immediately, not on Debbie's
turn, so Doug's move turned out to be both legal and successful.
The game was tight, with three contenders within one point
of each other going into the last round. Even Carolyn, who had
trailed badly in the early rounds, had begun to rally. All players
played conservatively with each player's starting piece being
placed within two spaces of Kansas City. However, the end result
was not as close. Doug ended with a score of 4 to best Debbie
9, Bobbie 10, and Carolyn 11 and thereby restore a measure of
respect for the male of the species. Doug walked away with the
only plaque - and all the raisins for his trip home - having
doubled his titles on the way to the car by adding to his Vegas
Showdown loot! Semifinal runners-up John Pack and Patrick Shea
were awarded the remaining laurel places.
Lola Reynolds, John Pack, Adina Weiss,
Debbie Gutermuth and Gordon Stewart in the semifinal game that
The finalists vie for the raisins.
Doug fought off a wave of estrogen to close WBC on a high note
for the guys.
Junior GM Ewan McNay oversees
his young finalists.
The lineup of junior travellers
in the Final.
Trans America Junior
There were 23 little train travellers this year for GM Ewan
McNay's Junior tournament. 11-year-old Tessa Lytle successfully
defended her title to remain the queen of the rails among the
junor set. Other accomplished train riders were:
2nd: Sophia Bels
3rd: Emma Weintraub
4th: Ben Waterhouse
5th: Mandy Mossman
6th: Nazare Podvysotsky