Always a Crowd
Eugene Hourany, Larry York and Stu
Hendrickson occupy Board #11.
Table Markers help seat a big crowd
Host Saint Petersburg and the people will come (no
matter where you end up playing). Another year of Saint Petersburg
and another attendance increase in all three heats including
a batch of new faces. Even a last-minute, unpublished room change
could not deter players. What is a busy GM to do? The assigned
times and rooms could not have been a better choice for the tournament
... a mix of early and late evening heats gave both the early
birds and late risers a chance to play.
After some number crunching, the field of participants was
whittled down to the top 16 players for the semi-finals and then
the cream of the crop went on to the Final. The last board found
Robert Cranshaw, Arthur Field, Tom DeMarco, and Curt Collins
II in a fast sprint to a winner. Round 1 came and went without
major incident except Tom was able to get an Observatory on the
table. By the end of Round 2, Arthur had the other Observatory,
Tom a Mistress, Robert was working on an early building strategy,
and Curt seemed to be hanging on for the ride. Money problems
seemed to stalk everyone as it was hard to setup an early money
generator which caused expensive but important cards to go into
people's hands to be paid for later.
Coming into Round 5, Robert had a clear lead on the building
strategy, receiving twice as many building points as anyone else
but was falling behind on the nobles. He took one more building
to trigger an early end of the game. Already money poor and with
a fist full of cards, the players only saw three nobles come
out. Curt was able to buy the only affordable noble leaving the
other players to stew on their inability to afford expensive
nobles, like the judge. Curt had just enough cash to swipe a
final judge to put him into a tight lead for nobles. Poor remainder
cash caused some cards in hand not to be purchased by the end
of the game. Noble bonuses caused everyone to sprint to the finish
but some to fall back as a -5 point penalty was applied to each
card in hand not purchased.
A nervous finish found Curt with 53 points, Tom 50, Arthur
47, and Robert 37. Curt's victory was all the more surprising
for being the only alternate to make it into the semi-finals.
Beware those given a second chance.
I regret that I will be unable to GM this event next year
so volunteers are solicited.
Chris Palermo takes a break from Superstar
Baseball at Board #14.
The finalists do their thing in the
hunt for big laurels.
Euro Quest Laurelists
Ted Bohaczuk, PA
Cliff Ackman, PA
Richard Shay, MA
Lee Mewshaw, MD
Eric Brosius, MA