The Alternate Better Half Prevails
We were glad to see 1991 champ Chuck
Foster back from faraway Idaho this year.
Assistant GM Paul Van Bloem keeps
an eye on the ladies. The event abandoned its A rating and welcomed
several new players this year.
first 1st-round-heat was held in Host A. It was crowded, hot,
and noisy and had to have been the reason six of nine games couldn't
be finished in time, and they had to be adjudicated - the first
time I ever had to adjudicate. I apologize if you were close
to victory, but didn't win. Most everyone was good-natured about
In our second 1st-round-heat in that same room, the temperature
was even worse. Fortunately, we were able to change location,
and, in spite of the delay in getting started, only one game
went a few minutes over and did not need to be adjudicated. We
still are faced with the dilemma that some RBN games need almost
the full four hours that are scheduled. Therefore, next year,
if I am still Gamemaster, I intend to schedule the games for
a five-hour time slot instead of four.
After experiencing a steady decline in the number of RBN players,
I am pleased to report we had nine more players this year. A
very nice group of new people attended the demo, and many played
in the tournament. One was Gary Chamblee, who entered the semi-finals
as the third alternate and won a seat at the Final.
Speaking of the Final, history repeated itself this year.
In 2006, a husband and wife (Inger and Harald Henning) both were
seated at the Final, and, Inger won. This year, it was my wife
Eve and I. Well, congratulations to my better half! In another
twist of fate, my wife was first alternate to get into the semi-final,
and I was second, and we replaced two no-show players - and we
both won our semi-final games!
Congratulations also to Chuck Foster, who won all three 1st-round
games and his semi-final, Ass't GM Chester Lanham, who won two
1st-round-heats and his semi-final, and Donna Balkan, who also
won two 1st-round-heats.
Some other interesting observations:
The Casey Jones award: I couldn't decide whether
it should go to the person who had the most hostile destinations
(Mike Brophy, who in Heat 3 had 12 hostile out of 21 destinations)
or to the highest rate of hostile destinations (Mark Kennel,
who in the Semi had 10 hostile out of 15 destinations). Then
there's Eyal Mozes, who in Heat 2 had 21 destinations, none of
which were hostile.
Winning RR's: It should come as no surprise that the
PA was the top NE RR - being held by 12 winners out of 29 (the
rest split among the remaining three RRs). (In the Final,
Eve got the PA also). Of the next "big four," winners
held the ATSF most of the time (15), followed by the SP (7),
the UP (4), and the CRIP (4). The RR getting the least respect
was the IC: It was held by only two winners, followed by the
T & P, which was held by only three winners. One last surprise:
In the SE, the SAL was held by 8 winners, but the L & N was
held by 12! The ACL - 8, and the SOU - 7.
The Final: One other note: There were five different
auctions, which made for a very interesting game, but no one
bankrupted out of the game. The Final will be discussed in detail at
Thanks again to my assistant GM's, Paul Van Bloem and Chester
Lanham for their assistance.
Donna Balkan stands to get a better
view. She won two preliminary games but finished sixth when she
lost her semi-final.
The finalists go for the wood as As't
GM Paul Van Bloem, in the background, records the game for posterity.