Palaces R Us
This was the first year for Alhambra at WBC. We had 20 tables
during the two preliminary heats with every winner advancing
to the semi-final round. The winning scores in the preliminary
rounds were as low as 92 (Jennifer Drozd) and as high as 160
The first heat saw ten tables of gamers attempting to build
the biggest and best palace.
At the first table, Lisa Gutermuth built an early lead and
then held on for a victory over Rhonda Reiff. Rumor has it that
Rhonda, the better half of the Reiff family, has undergone the
change - turned into a true gamer and will be attending WBC on
a regular basis with the intention of taking home more wood than
her famous husband. Now there's some bragging rights a lot of
people would like to see.
The second game saw David Fritsch and Eric Brosius battle
the entire game with David coming out on top in the end.
Bud Sauer and Chris Greenfield proved to the GM that her foresight
in setting up tiebreakers in advance was not wasted as Bud won
the tiebreaker over Chris in this dead even match.
Laurel Stokes monopolized the middle value buildings to cruise
to victory at her table.
Dan Henry, forgetting about the walls and monopolizing colors,
was victorious in a close fought match over Doug Williamson.
Aaron Fuegi built 15 wall segments in the final round to outdistance
Bruce Reiff, in a game with no defense, led the field with
a 160 point score while the other players at the table also broke
100 points. This sounds like the same strategy Bruce uses in
Football Strategy, all offense, no defense.
Alan Kaiser, another CABBIE, tried to give Bruce a run for
his money as he posted 152 points in his blowout victory.
Lee Presser led in three different colors as he handily defeated
his opponents to advance.
In the last table of the first heat, Liz DiSandro showed Debbie
Gutermuth how hard it is to GM and play in your own event as
she easily bested the GM and her fellow players.
The second heat once again produced ten tables of builders.
In a close game from top to bottom, Tom Wojke became the first
person from the second heat to advance.
Laurie Wojtaszczyk showed she had learned a lot about construction
from her boys as she built a 22-segment wall to propel her into
the next round.
Ted Mawyer also used the wall strategy to move on to the semis
despite not leading in a single color in the third scoring round.
In one of three games decided by one point, Nick Anner edged
out Jim Carvin with Jim Vroom only three points behind.
In another of the heats' one point games, Eric Lenhart defeated
Reiko Brooks to advance.
Perrianne Laurie led in three colors and wall segments to
advance to the next round.
In the final one-point game of the heat, Thomas Robinson edged
out Andy Lewis to secure a spot in the semis.
Josh Cooper began his strong showing on Friday as he outdistanced
his table to easily move on to the next round.
In the lowest scoring game of the tournament, Jennifer Drozd
scored points in five of the six colors to advance.
In a game that would come down to the final draws for all
the players, Aaron Buchanan defeated Bruce Bernard, Ken Gutermuth,
and Paul Haynes. The difference between first and last would
be a mere nine points.
With both preliminary heats complete, 19 of the 20 winners
arrived to compete in the semi-finals which would feature four
tables with the winners of each table advancing to the final
On the first table, Tom Wojke and Thomas Robinson were tied
for the lead after the first scoring round. Tom took the lead
after the second scoring round but Josh Cooper came through with
a great last scoring round and edged him out by one point.
On the second table, Aaron Fuegi and Bud Sauer were tied at
the first scoring round. After the second scoring round, Bud
took a lead with the longest wall and the lead in two building
types with a shared lead in two other building types. In the
third round, Bud sealed his win by locking in the lead in three
building types and a shared lead in two others along with the
On the third table, young Lisa Gutermuth, the only one to
make the semis - having left the old folks in her wake, had the
lead through the first two scoring rounds. In the last scoring
round, Laurel Stokes held a lead in three building types and
also pulled out a 16-count wall to lead at the end. .
On the fourth and final table, Bruce Reiff and Lee Presser
battled neck and neck for three rounds until the end when Bruce
pulled out the win by one point.
The finals were now set with Bruce Reiff (showing signs of nervousness
since it was Friday and he still hadn't won wood and had already
been eliminated in Football Strategy), Bud Sauer, Laurel
Stokes, and Josh Cooper vying for the first ever WBC Alhambra
championship. After the first scoring round, Bruce had a slight
lead. During the second scoring round, Bruce had staked his territory
which would make it an uphill battle for the others to overcome.
Bruce was the only one with a big lead in two different building
types. The other building types were in hot competition which
meant points were being equally spread among the other finalists.
During the third scoring round, Bud, determined to try and knock
off Bruce, made a great recovery by achieving the longest wall
and the majority in two building types. Unfortunately for Bud,
it wasn't quite enough to catch Bruce. Bruce by this time had
kept his lead in the same two building types from the first two
scoring rounds and picked up a third building type majority along
with a shared majority in another. Bruce's score of 137 allowed
him to relax as his amazing streak of winning wood all 14 years