puerto rico [Updated October 2002]

PRO  Trial Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
   Rnd1 Heat1 15
  Rnd1 Heat2 15     Round 2 9 Semi  Round 3 12 Final   

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

Arthur Field, SC

2002 Champion

2nd: Theodore Mullally, NJ

3rd: Steve Simmons, NJ

4th: Rachel McGinley, SC

5th: Tom Browne, PA

6th: Bill Murdock, VA

Event History
2002    Arthur Field     152

AREA Ratings

GM: John Weber

The newest hit from Rio Grande ...

Puerto Rico made a definite impact as a debut event with over 100 participants in each of two preliminary heats to be the largest event at WBC 2000. Because of the large turnout, the format -- which guaranteed advancement for all preliminary round winners -- was altered to allow for an unscheduled, additional elimination round. This fit within the scheduled time frame because most games finished in less than two hours
rather than the announced three hours. Sunday's elimination round format featured ten four-player games with the top two in each advancing
to five four-player semifinal matches, followed by a five-player final. For 2002, Puerto Rico was classified as a Class C "coached" event, and
one of the "coached" players, Jim Fry, actually won an elimination round game against more experienced opponents.

Three players - Luke Koleszar, Gerald Lientz and Bill Duke - won games in both preliminary heats, but only Luke survived to the semifinal round, where he suffered a narrow one-point defeat to eventual champ Arthur Field. Rachel McGinley advanced to the finals having the
distinction of both the highest (65) and lowest (36) winning score in any of the elimination round games. Most of the games were won with a
balanced approach to gaining victory points by either shipping or buildings, with the builders holding a slight edge. In one game, the victor (Ilon Woll) had only one VP from shipping and all the rest from buildings!

All five finalists had scored wins in at least two and, in some cases, three earlier games and, prior to the finals, none had finished worse than second. Two of the five finalists (Steve Simmons and Rachel McGinley) earned points for their respective teams. Steve won in the semis by five points over alternate Jim McDonald in a game where only three of the eight quarries were selected. Ted Mullally's semifinal win was by the closest possible margin, on a tiebreak of having most doubloons, over Bill Murdock; Bill was classified sixth for coming closest to making the finals. Tom Browne reached the final with two wins in the elimination rounds after filling one of the precious alternate berths by virtue of a narrow loss in one of the preliminary games.

The final round game saw Rachel race to an early lead, shipping corn and sugar as well as buying buildings for VPs. Tom focused on corn
and tobacco production, earning lots of VPs from shipping but also being forced to dump valuable tobacco because of lack of a warehouse. Arhur was the first player to produce the highly-valued coffee commodity, and he leveraged his coffee monopoly into a strong position as the game progressed. Ted took advantage from an early purchase of a hospice building that enabled him to colonize his plantations more rapidly.
Arthur made repeated trips to the Trading House, and the revenue earned from sales of coffee at the trading house enabled him to purchase the
powerful harbor/wharf combination early enough in the game to generate additional shipping victory points. This, and the failure of other
players to challenge Arthur's coffee monopoly earlier in the game, proved decisive. Late in the game, Arthur switched to a VP-generating
strategy that enabled him to outpace Ted, who finished second. Ted developed production capability for all five goods (corn, indigo, sugar, tobacco and coffee) and bought a factory that generated additional cash which, along with his three quarries, enabled him to buy many of the higher-priced VP-generating buildings. Steve was able to purchase the second harbor and garner enough victory points to finish third, ahead of Rachel and Tom (Rachel finishing fourth on a tiebreaker for having more goods plus doubloons).

Statistics compiled from the tournament showed no distinct advantage for any particular seat in the 4-player games, with scores for all four positions averaging in the 40-to-41 point range. In 5-player games, the results showed an edge for both the third and fifth seats, with average scores in the 42-to-43 point range, compared to average scores
in the 39-to-40 point range for the first two seats. Running out of colonists was by far the most prevalent of the game-ending conditions (occurring in about 50% of all games), but four of the five semifinal games ended when one player filled San Juan with buildings, while the final concluded with VP chits running out. The most popular
non-production buildings found in game-winning displays were (in order) the factory, small market, harbor, fortress and construction hut. Over half (30 games) were decided by less than five points, with nine games
being decided by a tiebreaker.

 GM      John Weber  [1st Year]   NA
    NA   NA

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