Palaces R Us
Ok, so if that's our hard working
photographer and her camera, how'd she take this shot? And GM
the event too? I knew one person couldn't take all these pictures!
The stakes increase as the Final table
gets underway. All six Laurelists were new to the rarified atmosphere
of Alhambra laurels.
We had 22 5-player tables during the two preliminary heats
with every winner qualifying for the semi-final round. There
were five 4-player games in the semis advancing the five winners
to a 5-player Final.
The results during the first heat were as followed:
* Jennifer Drozd won the bragging rights over the defending
chmpion, Mike Mullins, in his first abortive attempt to defend
his title in a close game with Jennifer winning by only 2 points.
* Davyd Field claimed similar glory by downing 2005 champion
Nate Hoam by an even slimmer margin - a single point.
* Rob Kircher had to settle for beating Chris Moffa, a 2006
laurelist, but was glad to advance nonetheless.
* Laurel Stokes won her table edging out Andy Latta in a contest
that also included 2006 laurelist Matt Calkins.
* Malinda Kyrkos won her table against Debbie Gutermuth, the
Alhambra GM, and Jeff Mullet another 2006 laurelist. Needless
to say, none of the 2006 winners fared well this year.
* Anthony Daw won his table with the biggest spread in scores
with his 110 dwarfing the lowest of 49.
* Perrianne Lurie had the closest game by beating Alfred Smith
on a tiebreaker. Alfred was the first alternate for the
semi-finals and would have advanced had he been present.
* Karen McCulloch relieved her stress levels while on break
from Monitor duty in the Juniors room to win her table.
* Brian Jones won his table by beating Sean McCulloch and
dooming the latter to a year of spousal bragging rights as wife
Karen became the only McCulloch to advance.
* Matt Amitrano, won his table to advance to the Semis for
the second straight year.
* Lyle Wenger became the last of the first heat qualifiers
by winning his table.
The second heat used a like number of tables and provided
one last chance to advance with a win and saw the following make
good on the opportunity:
* Faisal Kassam not only won the right to advance but he denied
defending champ Mike Mullins' last attempt to defend his title.
* Brian Kowal punched his ticket to the semis by denying 2005
champ Nate Hoam in his second attempt. Vassili Kyrkos finished
a close second and his two-point loss made him a possible high
alternate. Vassili would eventually advance as the second and
last alternate to make the semi-final.
* Luke Koleszar was victorious at his table beating Chris
Moffa, and ending the latter's attempt for back-to-bck laurels.
* Peter Stein continued his new winning ways in the "Year
of the Stein" by defeating Matt Calkins. Peter, however,
was a victim of his own success and was unable to attend the
semi-final to attempt further advancement.
* Eric Lenhart won his table by beating the reigning Caesar,
Jeff Mullet, and thereby guaranteed that all of the 2006 laurelists
were out of the mix for 2007.
* Fran Hall had the closest game in the second round beating
Jean-Francois Gagne by a single point. This close loss qualified
Jean-Francois to advance as first alternate.
* Michelle Barger schooled her table, which included
* Andrew Maly, Nicholas Henning and Lrry York each won their
respective tables but chose not to advance, opening alternate
slots for one of the runner-ups.
* Mike Backstrom became the last qualifier with his win.
With the two preliminary heats complete, 18 winners - and
two alternates - manned five 4-player games for the Semi-Final
* Vassili Kyrkos who advanced as an alternate had the closest
call, beating Rob Kircher by a single point with Perrianne Lurie
* Brian Kowal had the next closest game with a 4-point win
over Davyd Field.
* Faisal Kassam pulled ahead of Mike Backstom to win his table.
* Luke Koleszar won his table by the biggest spread with 131
dwarving the 73 of Michelle Barger.
* Matthew Amitrano topped Anthony Daw for the last seat at
The Final commenced immediately following the Semis.. All
five were new visitors to the hallowed third round.. After
the first scoring round, Vassili enjoyed a slight lead with 13
points to 10 each by Luke Koleszar and Faisal Kassam. By
the second scoring round, Brian Kowal had made up ground to be
a contender with Luke and Vassili. Brian accomplished this
by taking the lead in two of the six color buildings and seconds
in two others. In the last scoring round, it came down to
just Luke and Vassili. In the end, the difference between
them ended up being just five points. In looking at all
the rounds, Vassili had earned six points more than Luke in the
wall points, which made all the difference. Vassili won
to become the 2007 Alhambra Champion without winning a