Emerick Wins Close Final!
The attendance for Azul grew from 190 in its inaugural year to a total of 205 unique players this year. There were a total of 448 player starts (376 in Heats and 72 in elimination rounds) in 112 games (94 in Heats and 18 in elimination rounds).
As always, an event with high attendance cannot be accomplished without the Assistant GM’s. Many thanks go to Henry Allen, Eric Meader and especially Maxim Allen.
Seat order is randomized each game. In looking at the stats for the 211 games of Azul played at WBC in the last two years, seat order seems to have a little difference but not definitive. The seat distribution of winners has been:
- Seat 1 31%
- Seat 2 20%
- Seat 3 28%
- Seat 4 21%
In the elimination rounds alone (smaller sample size) the seat distribution of winners has been:
- Seat 1 15%
- Seat 2 24%
- Seat 3 24%
- Seat 4 37%
Heat 1: 136 players were divided into 34 4-player games. Three games went 6 rounds and all the others went 5 rounds. The high individual score was 106 by Roger Jarrett. In his 6-round game, Roger scored 2 horizontal rows, 2 vertical columns and 2 same color bonuses. Ray Wolff had the high score in a 5-round game with 88.
Heat 2: 144 players were divided into 36 4-player games. Five games went 6 rounds and the rest were 5 rounds. The high individual score was 118 by Michael Cochran. In his 6-round game, Michael also scored 2 of each of the three bonuses. Amy Rule had the high score in a 5-round game with 97.
Heat 3: 96 players were divided into 24 4-player games. Four games went 6 rounds and the rest were 5 rounds. The high individual score was 107 by Luca Allaria. In his 6-round game, Luca scored 3 vertical columns and 1 same color bonus. Henry Allen had the high score in a 5-round game with 94.
Quarterfinal: 54 of the 70 winners appeared for the Quarterfinals. The top 2 players (Hung Nguyen and Eric Speaker) each had three wins in the Heats and were given Byes to the Semifinal. The remaining players played thirteen 4-player games, with the 13 winners and the closest 2nd place finisher advancing to the Semifinal. All of the Quarterfinal games went 5 rounds. Chris Gnech had the highest score of 86. One of the games was most unusual in that the opening draw of tiles landed four different sets of three tiles with the same color (3 sets were black and 1 set was red). This game ended up in a three-way tie for first place with Carl Chauvin winning on the first tiebreaker and Amy Rule taking 2nd place on the third tiebreaker over Evan Cagwin. Needless to say, Amy advanced to the Semifinal by being the closest 2nd place finisher.
Semifinal: There were no Semifinalist this year that were also Semifinalists last year. The four tables were seeded based on player rankings during the Heats. All of the games went 5 rounds. Clifford Flachsenhar edged out Hung Nguyen on a tiebreaker, each with 69. Bailey Angstadt had the highest score of 71. The lower winning scores may be indicative of the more defensive style of play in the advanced rounds. Five of the sixteen players scored the same color bonus, and only two players scored two vertical columns.
Final: The overall scores indicate again that this was a very defensive game, with no one willing to let their opponents get the tiles they desired. Clifford took the lead in the second round, having a cumulative 16 points to Bailey’s 12. Clifford maintained the lead after three rounds with a cumulative 28, with Roger having a nice round to edge up to 2nd with 25 points. Andrew lagged behind after three rounds with only 14 points but had paved the way for an outstanding fourth round of 23 points, putting him within 3 points of Clifford’s total of 40. Clifford could not maintain his pace in the last round and also only scored a 2-point end-game bonus. Roger had the best end-game bonus points of 2 vertical columns, but it was not enough to overcome Andrew’s base score lead. Ending scores were Andrew (59), Roger (57), Bailey (49), and Clifford (47).
|Ladies enjoying a game of Azul.
||Opening Heat action at Azul.
|Younger crowd looking over their options.
||Finalists with GM Paul Klayder.