Pete Gathman and Rod Davidson
The finalists dump on Bruce!
In 2011, the closest Bruce Reiff came to a title was second
in Union Pacific. His goal in 2012 was to improve on that.
Curt Collins II, the defending champ, had other ideas.
Attendance took a 20% hit this year with more Monday events,
but we had ten boards in the opening round. Union Pacific
is a rarity among euro events in that it's a true swiss format
and you play continuously until a winner emerges. I wish that
more events would use this format. It would lessen the amount
of no-shows and schedule conflicts caused by multiple heats.
winners from Round 1 were Jon Anderson, Owen Kyrollos, Jason
Ley, Christin Kolstad, Sean McCulloch, Curt Collins II, the afore-mentioned
villain Bruce Reiff, Barb Flaxington, Kathy Stroh, and Sam Packwood.
Players with like scores were paired in Round 2 and nine boards
were played. Brandon Bernard, Sam Packwood, and Curt Collins
II emerged as double winners. Several Round 1 winners got second
places. Round 3 then began with all those still in contention
Bernard became the last unbeaten, defeating Collins (who took
second and advanced) and Packwood whose last place finish kept
him out of the Final. Barb Flaxington and Reiff (hiss, boo) both
won to advance with two firsts and a second.
Allow me a moment of introspection. One of the great things
about this convention is watching young folks turn into well-rounded
adults. I've enjoyed watching Brandon (and his sister Beth) grow
into adulthood over the years and not only prosper on the gameboard,
but as people. It's a real treat seeing some of these kids year
after year. The only problem is that they start handing you your
butt on the gameboard. Next year the Reiff family unleashes child
#2 on the WBC and it's one of the reasons that I am involved
and care so much about the convention. You guys will have the
opportunity to watch my family grow. Anyway, onto the Final!
The seats were randomized with me in the first chair, Brandon
second, Curt third and Barb last. It was a Final worthy of the
name if you've ever played a game with these three. The game
started by Brandon deciding from the second seat NOT to invest
in the UP. He used this strategy in Round 3 to destroy his board.
The three of us would not cave on the UP and Brandon bought the
last one to even the distribution between Curt, Barb and myself.
Curt ended the second round whining about his position, Barb
was sneakily building the yellow in the corner and I was working
the red and white lines. Sadly for me (and happily for everyone
else) every time I'd draw I drew white or red effectively ending
my game. Brandon meanwhile was in every line but blue and fighting
with Curt for several controlling shares. Barb slowly and quietly
continued building her empire.
Unfortunately for Barb, the game ended one round too early
and right on time for Curt. Brandon had suffered from taking
an early lead and having everyone pick at his holdings. The final
result was that Curt defended his title successfully with 108
points to Barb's 106, Brandon's 98 and my 96. It was a well-played
game and everyone got a plaque but me. Somewhere Don was smiling
and contemplating how he would edit this report. See if you can
figure out what parts are his.