Laughing at the Cold War ...
It took 17 years but Kremlin
attendance has finally slipped into Trial status.
Linda Pattison and James Jordan check
out the inner workings of the Politburo.
The GM followed in Pete Stein's tradition by playing in all
heats but never finishing better than second. His best shot at
a win was in Heat 3, where on Turn 7 he controlled the Party
Chief, the Foreign Minister and the Defense Minister. To prevent
any problems, however unlikely, the GM played a first purge card
on Rob Seulowitz's 95-year-old KGB head. Paul Weintraub then
played the Bee Pollen Cure to de-age the KGB head, and he proceeded
to purge all of the other top slots plus two more before his
forced retirement. The game ended that turn with a half-empty
politburo and Rob as the winner. This was one of three heat games
that ended this way; six were won on waves, and only one lasted
the full 10.5 turns.
Eleven qualified players showed for the semi-finals, which
according to the tournament rules would lead to an immediate
six-player Final. By unanimous consent, the players chose to
ignore this rule - Pete Stein was given a bye and two tables
of five played for the remaining four slots in the Final. (The
ruling will be changed next year to allow the GM more flexibility
in arranging the semi-finals.) At the first table, Ewan McNay
won on Turn 6 with three straight waves, with second place going
to Philip Yaure with two failed waves on Turns 2 and 3. The other
table had a more fiercely fought battle. Eric Hymowitz started
strong with a wave on Turn 1, but his party chief was convicted
of an assassination on Turn 2 after the replacement phase, leading
to no wave attempt that turn. Jim Jordan and Roy Pettis spent
the next four turns trading control, each having one successful
and one failed wave, until at Turn 7 Nick Smith gained the Party
Chief slot and never let go, getting his third wave on turn 10.
A die roll tiebreaker sent Jim to the Final and gave Roy 6th
The Final began with Ewan getting the first wave on Turn 1.
After a bad health die roll put Nestor away, some negotiation
put Jim's candidate in the Party Chief slot. Much to everyone's
regret, Jim expressed his happiness through a Happy Dance. He
got two waves on the next two turns, and was ready to try for
the third when the assassin card was played. Jim failed to remember
that he had the alibi card and allowed his Politician to be convicted,
leaving the fourth turn waveless. On Turn 5, Pete repeated his
winning play from yesteryear, busting the Foreign Minister to
the people to ensure his candidate became Party Chief. While
he never managed to wave, he did get control of the KGB head
and went on a purging spree, causing the game to end in the replacement
phase of Turn 7 when the Politburo could not be filled. Pete
took the 1st place wood due to his use of the Add Influence phase
on Turn 6 - although he didn't realize it at first, he had 10+
points of influence on the final Party Chief, beating Philip's
10 points. So, after 15 years of failure, Pete has won two in
a row. Methinks the chances of him being GM again are slim.