making a comeback?
The addition of another heat on Tuesday night proved popular
as 27 people showed, requiring six games! Overall, 15 Preliminary
games were played over the three heats - raising participation
overall by more than third over the previous year. A number of
entrants played multiple times. Peter Debenittis, a new WBC attendee,
won his first heat but kept coming back for more, although he
was unable to repeat his performance in later heats. Mike Hazel
showed that persistence pays off, finally getting a win in his
third heat after prior finishes of third and fourth.
biggest win in the Preliminaries went to Jay Fox, who led by
26 points at game end (with a three-way tie for second place).
As for the closest wins, there were three games that tied for
first place. Tie-breaking rules were used, but the runner-ups
still easily secured a spot in the semis.
Most of the qualifiers showed up for the semi-finals with
only four no-shows, and enough alternates available to fill all
five boards. I apologize for the lack of game details at this
stage, but yours truly, the GM was in the closest semi-final
game, edging out one of his assistants, Greg Thatcher, by a mere
three points. (Greg has sworn revenge for next year.) Defending
champion Mark Guttag also made it to the semis, but had to settle
for second behind Eric Brosius.
The five semi winners were Eric, myself, Mario Lanza, Davyd
Field, and Josh Campbell. All advanced to the Final where Mario
bid 12 on the first turn and took the "dial a region to
score" card. (I really hate that card.) Rob guessed wrong
and ended up six points in the hole as everyone else scored their
home region. Josh bid low in the first round, then high, so Mario,
being to his left, took advantage to play his 1-13 combo for
turns 2 and 3. After the first scoring round, Mario had 48 points
while his nearest contender was at 32.
The next few turns were a series of mostly successful attempts
to close the gap while keeping Mario's score down. First, Josh
joined Mario as a leader, then Rob. Davyd finally pulled in striking
range with a couple of scores of his home region, but Eric got
left behind and couldn't catch up. (Don't worry, he got revenge
in the POF semis when he showed this GM how that game is really
Near the end of the game, Josh lost track of the Caballeros
in the Castillo and scored it. That revealed Rob as having the
most with Josh and Mario close behind. When the final "paradrop"
occured, all the choices went Rob's way and exaggerated the margin
of victory. Davyd took Valencia, but three other players (including
Rob) attacked Davyd's home province in Granada, denying him any
points there. Mario defended his 8/4/0 Aragon, and nobody went
to Rob's region in Old Castile which was defended by a fairly
meager number of pieces. When the dust settled Rob had an 18
point victory over Josh in second place.
Thanks to all the players for participating and making my
first GM experience a rewarding one. Next year I hope to have
things tightened up a bit (some confusions on tie-breakers, conflicting
rules in different versions of the game, and amount of table
talk that will be tolerated) to make next year's tournament even