of the Worlds 21st Century Style ...
Nine ladies played Galaxy
and two won laurels. Above Joaane Melton and Stefany Speck contemplate
their next move.
The finalists share a joke while deciding
the fate of worlds. Long suffering GM Mark Mitchell finally won
his own event.
For all you lurkers out there who have been wondering whether
WBC is for ordinary folks too, you can stop. This past August
the stars were indeed in alignment during the WBC. I can unequivocably
say this because the winner of the Galaxy tournament was
yours truly, the beloved GM! I haven't missed a WBC/Avaloncon
since 1993 and this is the first time I've won first place wood!
Move over Stein ... losers of the world unite ... there is hope!
That should convince the last doubters out there hesitant to
play in a tournament, they have nothing to worry about. They
can now say, "hey, if Stein and Mitchell can win it, anybody
Aa total of 23 games were played this year, and
there was plenty to remember. The most amazing fact is in the
category of worlds that remained alive at the end of the games.
There was an even balance and no single world stood out as the
number one choice. Three different worlds were saved ten times
and another three survived nine games. That suggests an excellent
balance in that no one world is so heavily coveted that any of
the planets stands a reasonable chance of survival. Even the
two that survived the least (the Cylor and Myrmidon) lasted through
six games each.
Despite that, there was some favoritism in choosing secret
bases. The Divergence was chosen 16 times and the next highest
world was the Imperial with 11 secret bases. There were only
three players who won despite losing their secret base in the
process. Needless to say, those were some of the lowest scoring
games of the tournament. One of those games produced the hard luck story of the
event, belonging to Steve Cameron. In his semi-final game he lost
nine points at the end of the first round. He had four points
in the first world to be eliminated and it also happened to be
his secret base. Despite scoring only eight points, he finished
second in that game by coming out on the short end of a tiebreaker
in the low scoring affair.
For a change, the Final was bereft of former champions, though there were plenty of players familiar with getting to the last round. It was the second consecutive appearance by Danielle Zack, who learned the game at WBC 2007. It should only be a matter of time before we see her take
home wood. Marty, Jed, and I had met previously in the 2006 Final.
This year's Final was close, as usual. No clear leader emerged until the
final card was played. In the end, the winner had to be determined by tiebreaker, when Jed Shambed and I both had 11 points. (Dave Buchholz only one point behind.) Even
the tiebreaker came down to the wire, as Jed had 47 total points
in his hand and I had 52! That's the closest finish for a Galaxy Final in it's WBC history.
GM Mark Mitchell, otherwise known
as the old fogey to his charges, puts the teens thrrough their
Danielle Zack, #4, who has laurelled
the last two years in Galaxy, was less successful against
younger opposition -- proving that us old folks are too predictable.
The Teen Social Hour drew nine young 'uns for an evening of
intergalactic card play. Pam Gutermuth proved to have the best
career potential as a world conqueror followed by Shannon Keating,
Jorge Arambury, and Brian Pappas. Interestingly, Danielle Zack
who has been faring very well in the main event the last two
years, only placed fifth among her peers.