kremlin [Updated August 2001]

KRM  3 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
 Demo 17  Rnd1 Heat1  18  Rnd1 Heat2 21
 Rnd1 Heat3  9 Rnd1 Heat4 13 Round 2 18  Round 3  21  Final      


David Buchholz, MI

2001 Champion

2nd: Nick Smith, UK

3rd: Sean Cousins, ME

4th: Steve Cameron, PA

 5th: Tom McCorry, VA

 6th: Zach Fietsch, NC
Event History
1991    Jim Fuqua      25
1992    Sean Cousins      20
1993    Jim Fuqua      49
1994    Caleb Cousins      42
1995    Sean Cousins      36
1996    Sean Cousins      20
1997    Tracy Graf      46
1998    Chris Geggus      46
1999    Bruce Glassco     38
2000    Tom McCorry     45
2001    David Buchholz     51

AREA Ratings:

GM: Peter Stein

Laughing at the Cold War ...

For some reason, people root for a loser. Soap star Susan Lucci had scores of fans while getting numerous Emmy nominations without winning. The Boston Red Sox and both Chicago teams have plenty of fans even though they all have gone over 80 years without a World Series victory. At the WBC, we have the plight of the Kremlin GM. Going into this year's tournament I had not won a game in three years. A record 51 players showed up to see if this year would be any different.

Tradition held in the first game as young Zachary Fietsch won this year's "I Beat the GM in My First Game Award." I had decided to try for an early win in this game and put six points on Nestor Aparatschik. Unfortunately Zachary had spent seven. As the game dragged on it looked like Zachary had lost his steam, but he cleverly bided his time and at game's end his man was on top.

The second heat was a heartbreaker. Most of the game I was able to do little or nothing as my guys dropped like flies. However, my 8 pointer was able to sneak his way to the top spot just as the game ran out of Candidates for the Politburo. It appeared the streak was over. However, just like Bill Buckner thought he had that ground ball, victory was not to be as John "I CAN Win Games that I Don't GM" Coussis revealed 9 points on that character and took my win.

Thursday's first heat went quick as I must have been recovering from the game the night before. Steve Cameron stormed his way to an early three-wave win as I sat in a daze working up the strength for the final heat.

Game Four looked bleak before it even started as I drew three-time champion Sean Cousins at my table. I've seen enough of Sean through the years to know that he likes playing the "deep" game-putting points on characters that are among the People and waiting. My counter was to put my 8 on the Foreign Minister and use him to work my other people up the ranks. Unfortunately, he was killed on the first health roll, forcing me to play the deep game too.

Sean and I watched as the other players controlled the action most of the game. However, as the game went on my 10 pointer turned up in the Politburo-only to soon discov er that also was Sean's 10 pointer (DUH!). I only had control of him long enough to age him dramatically by emptying out Siberia, giving Sean a 90 year old KGB Chief. Well, needless to say, I didn't win, as Sean's 5 pointer (who was also my 5 pointer) was Party Chief at game's end.

Other highlights of the heats include:

- Jeff Ladd and Jason O'Donnell (who has had his share of bad luck in Kremlin) sharing the GM's pain by going 0 for 4 heats.
- Tom McCorry became the first defending champion in three years to play in the tournament the following year. He won a game but lost in the finals.
- Sean Cousins and Nick Smith were the only two-heat winners. Nick had also just been taught the game by the GM, giving new credence to the old saying, "Those that can't, teach."

The story of the semi-finals and finals was David Buchholz, who was able to get a quick win in both with three waves in three turns, giving him the championship. This left the GM to roam the gaming halls rather early on a Thursday night, wondering what went wrong again.

I'd like to thank everyone who played in the tournament this year. Despite my tale of woe above, I have a great time every year teaching and playing one of my favorite games. Best of all, the people who play make it easy for me to GM to the point I feel almost spoiled. If you've never played it, give it a try next year.

 GM      Peter Stein  [7th Year]   199-30 28th Ave., Flushing, NY 11358   (NA)

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