princes of florence [Updated October 2002]

POF   4 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
   21  Rnd1 Heat1 22    Rnd1 Heat2 20
  Rnd1 Heat3 19   Round 2 19  Round 3 Final 21

  Rnd1 Heat1 Rnd1 Heat2 Rnd1 Heat3 Maryland 1  Round 2 Round 3 Maryland 4

Arthur Field, SC

2001-2002 Champion

2nd: Davyd Field, SC

3rd: Doug Smith, PA

4th: Doug Kaufman, MD

5th: David Plotnick, VA

6th: Anne Norton, NJ

Event History
2001    Arthur Field     65
2002    Arthur Field     94

AREA Ratings

GM: John Weber

father over son et al ...

In 2002, the Princes of Florence tournament expanded with the addition of a third preliminary heat. This added some excitement since one win did not guarantee advancement to the 25-player semifinal round; this became a very real possibility as there were 19 different winners in the first two heats. In the third and final preliminary heat, many winners in earlier heats opted not to rest on their laurels and tried to improve their positions for the semifinals. When the dust had cleared, there were five more repeat winners which meant all winners and a few highly placed runnerups advanced. All preliminary round encounters (as well as the semifinal and final games) were five-player contests.

In the first day of preliminary round play, nine winners were paced by defending champ Arthur Field whose 71-point score and 15-point margin of victory was the best of the round. In the second heat, Arthur's score was topped by Harold Siegelman, who won by 23 points with a score of 75, both of which were high marks for the tournament. There were 11 games in the second heat, which saw 55 players competing at once in the high-water mark for participation. Doug Mercer won matches in both the first and second heat, and after the third heat, he was joined by Arthur, Harold, Ewan McNay, David Platnick and Bruce Bernard as the only players to win two preliminary games. David's score of 69 (with a 14-point margin of victory) topped the final preliminary heat which again saw nine games being contested. Last year's runnerup, Doug Smith, qualified for the semifinals with a convincing win in the final heat of qualifying after finishing second to Ewan in an earlier heat.

High scorer in the five semifinal games was Arthur Field, the defending champion, whose 64 bested Stan Hilinski by five points, with Sandy Wible a close third. David Platnick, who, like Arthur, used recruiting cards to produce a total of six works, advanced with a score of 63, good for a seven-point win over Scott Pfeiffer. Doug Smith earned a return trip to the finals when his score of 62 beat Tamara McGraw by seven points. Tamara's second place in the semifinals was the best by any alternate, bettering her earlier results in the preliminary round. The remaining two semifinal games were hotly contested and went down to the wire. Davyd Field produced only four works but two prestige cards enabled him to triumph by five, 60 to 55, over Harold Siegelman and Dan Hoffman (Harold edged Dan for second on the most florins tiebreak). The closest semifinal finish was a one-point win by Doug Kaufman over Anne Norton, 55 to 54, with Doug producing six works to Anne's five. Davyd, Doug and Anne (who was awarded sixth place for the closest second-place finisher in the semifinals) all scored points for their respective teams.

The final pitted son versus father; last year's champion against last year's runner-up; and two finalists seeking to score more points for their respective teams. Arthur Field, the defending champion, bought two jesters for 900 each and two recruiting cards for 800 and 600 with the intention of scoring points for a high number of works. This strategy had worked well for Arthur in last year's final and in this year's semifinals. Doug Smith used a low-cost building and prestige card strategy, offsetting the fact that he would produce fewer works. The game came down to the final turn, with Doug Kaufman being forced to lose six precious prestige points after an expensive bidding war with Arthur over a forest. Three players (Davyd Field, David Platnick and Doug Smith) were unable to play all profession cards as works. Arthur, who won for the second year in a row, benefitted from these miscues as he was the only player able to produce six works, as planned. Davyd, who finished second, later observed that he missed a golden opportunity to seal a likely win by a different bonus card play in the sixth round which could have given him three more victory points relative to his father. While the father-son duo finished one-two, Doug Smith's performance of finishing only four points in arrears with only three of his four works being produced is a noteworthy achievement, showing there are multiple strategies that can be competitive. Doug Kaufman edged David Platnick for the fourth spot.

Statistics collected from 35 games in this year's tournament showed a distinct advantage for the first three seats, in particular the number 2 seat which won 13 games with an average score of 55.4 points;
by contrast, players in the fourth and fifth seats collectively won just six games, and the fourth seat had the lowest scoring average of 50.94. Over 60% of the game winners played six or more works, but two games were won with only four works produced. Bidding statistics showed that jesters, recruiters and builders were once again the most popular items, going for an average of between 400 and 700 florins, depending on which turn (higher prices earlier in the game). As last year, the 25
semifinalists were asked to vote on whether POF should remain a "B" event or not; this year an overwhelming majority voted in favor of continuing the "beginner's welcome" status.

 GM      John Weber  [2nd Year]   NA 
    NA   NA

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