el grande [Updated August 2000]

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Anthony Burke, NJ

2000 Champion

2nd: Rob Seulowitz, NY

3rd: Rob Flowers, NC

4th: James Pei, TX

5th: Stu Hendrickson, VA

6th: Scott Buckwalter, MD
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999     Stu Hendrickson     47
2000     Anthony Burke      40
AREA Ratings
 1    Sean Vessey      1561
 2    Paul Hakken      1560
 3    Stuart Hendrickson      1559
 4    Michael Fischer      1536
 5    Robert Seulowitz      1536
 6    Daniel Broh-Kahn      1527
 7    Paul Ridout      1527
 8    Scott Smith      1527
 9    Dennis Disney      1527
10    James Hopkin      1527

Never Admit You Won ...

There were 40 gamers vying for the El Grande championship. Fun was the focus of the tournament with the GM wearing a purple top hat with gold stars. The new single elimination format this year brought the total number of players down from 48 last year. Many interested players showed up after the first heat and had to be turned away. The top scores varied from a high of 106 to a low of 75 among the eight top finishers of the first heat. There was a tie for first place in the low scoring game with both first and second place scoring 75. The most notable scoring effort was managed by Sean Vessey who scored 28 points in the non-scoring round 2 of his first game. The eight winners and the top four runnerups advanced to three four-player games in the second heat.

Top scores were naturally higher in the second heat due to the four-player fields. The second heat game with the
number two finishers form the first heat had a one point difference of 115 to 114 between James Pei and Mark Guttag for first and second place. There was a two-point scoring difference of 114 to 112 between Anthony Burke and Stu Hendrickson in one of the other second-round games.

The final began with James Pei clearing the opponents courts with the Decay of Authority card. Defending champion Stu Hendrickson played to bring the scoring down on Anthony Burke by playing the four-zero mobile score board on his home region of Valencia. During the second round, James Pei made an inquiry as to wheher the El Grande defending champion was playing. I reluctantly pointed out Stu Hendrickson and a target appeared on his shirt.

After some scoring in Rounds 1 and 2, Rob Seulowitz with twelve had a slight lead over James Pei with nine and Anthony Burke with seven. After the first general scoring in round 3, Rob Seulowitz with 44 had a substantial lead over his closest competitor Anthony Burke at 30. Stu held a disappointing fifth place with 21 points. Through Rounds 4 to 6, the field continued to target Stu Henrickson to keep his scoring down. The opponents did not fight for Anthony Burke's home region of Valencia, since first place scoring there was only four points and second place was zero. The mobile four score board on Anthony's home region was working to his advantage rather than lowering his score. Anthony scored all four regions, giving him a slight lead by the end of Round 6. By the end of the second general scoring round, the score was tied with Anthony Burke and Rob Seulowitz at 67 each.

Seulowtiz battled to stay in contention but got some fierce competition from Rob Flowers and James Pei who were both within four points of him. Anthony continued to score heavily with Valencia in Rounds 7 and 8, pulling ahead to 80 points. Stu Hendrickson's game position remained hopeless due to constant battering from his opponents. Anthony Burke kept a comfortable lead and easily took first place in the third and final general scoring round. Final scores were Anthony Burke: 94, Rob Seulowitz: 85, Rob Flowers: 83, James Pei: 81, and Stu Henrickson: 58.

Many suggestions were made to improve the tournament for next year. The most interesting idea, made in jest, was to toss caballeros on the board. Wherever they land they would be played. If any landed in the ocean they would sink. Arguments were made for both Swiss Elimination and Single Elimination formats. In order to allow for more entrants and strengthen the competition, El Grande will be run as two Swiss Elimination heats scheduled on different days for WBC 2001.

 GM      Keith Levy  [2nd Year]  9 Augusta Court, Reisterstown, MD 21136
    GamesofMD@aol.com   (410) 833-4395

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