the Brosius nemesis ...
There's nothing quite like a row of
games stretching off into the horizon to signify the start of
Since Ivan Lawson took the GM reins,
Lost Cities has become the largest two-player event at
WBC. MESE rule changes should improve his event even more next
Lost Cities, an ironic title for a popular card game
that evoked images of the forgotten, MapQuestless, or mythical,
was "found" by far and away the largest group ever
to play the game at the WBC. 171 players decided that 2007 was
the year to play, and 92 of them appeared for the 1st heat of
Round 1. As this horde gathered in Paradise, the GM was eagerly
conducting the scheduled demo for a full table of neophytes (two
of whom had just purchased the game) and gathered spectators.
About a quarter to Heat, Greg Crowe appeared and offered to
finish the demo, wryly suggesting that the GM might want to begin
registration. I'm still laughing. (Note to self: Next year,
the demo will not immediately precede the 1st Heat.) Thankfully,
Kaarin Englemann and Greg pitched in, changing the registration
scenario from Death of the Moravian Guard to A. P. Hill at Antietam.
A better method for registration and pairings is already planned
for next year. During the qualifying Heats, 165 games were played.
Unlike the last two years, there wasn't one tie game requiring
a fourth hand; there were two! The reduced conflict in the Euro
schedule (Thank you, Eric Freeman) did result in 28 of the 32
qualifiers appearing for the second Round. The remarkable feature
of the single elimination rounds was the opponents bested by
the eventual champion, Jarett Weintraub. For a personal perspective
of the action, I have excerpted and edited Eric Brosius' personal
No WBC tournament was more eagerly anticipated in the Brosius
household this year than the Lost Cities tournament. We've
been playing this game regularly for many years, but after I
took 5th place in 2005 and my wife Claire took 6th place in 2006,
the level of interest rose to a new level. My son Sam plays the
game with us at home, and he's just as strong as either of us.
He may even be a little better than his parents. Our friend Andy
Latto is also a big fan of the game, and, given the fact that
the four of us would be driving home in the same car, we joked
that, if things broke right, we might be able to play the Final
in the car!
With Sam, Claire, Andy and I all in the round of 32, our dream
of all making it to the semis was still possible! In the first
elimination round Sam, Andy and I all won. Claire lost her game
to Jarett Weintraub, a confident young man with a solid game.
Jarett plays quickly and well, but he's also a lot of fun to
play with---he doesn't take himself or the game too seriously.
The round of 16 turned up roses for Sam, Andy and me, and for
Jarett as well, putting the four of us into the round of 8.
Sam was matched against Jarett in this round, and he scored big
in the first two hands, leading by 65 points with just a hand
to go. Then the roof caved in. Jarett drew a fistful of green
and yellow cards, and he came back in dramatic fashion from a
huge deficit, scoring 140 points in the last hand and knocking
Sam out of the tournament.
Unfortunately for me, I was the next prospective victim in
Jarett's Lost Cities roll. We joked about Jarett being the Brosius
killer, and that's how it turned out. Andy Latto won his semi-final
game to earn his way into the Final, against Jarett Weintraub.
Jarett continued his bone-crushing run, knocking Andy out to
win the wood in a spectacular performance. After the tournament,
we congratulated Jarett and assured him that we'd be making up
anti-Jarett songs in the car all the way home.
Thanks, Eric. Last thoughts: Thanks again to all who played,
and again, extra games were needed, so please bring your copy
next year. Results have been sent for AREA ratings. Hope to
see most of you in 2008 when rumored changes to the tie-breaker
rules will make things even more interesting for the dedicated