saint petersburg [Updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report  

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Anne Norton, NJ

2006 Champion

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Event History
2005    Arthur Field     125
2006    Anne Norton     106

Euro Quest Event History
2005    Peter Staab     32
2006     Tom McCorry     44


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Anne Norton        NJ    06     40
  2.  Arthur Field       SC    05     40
  3.  Peter Staab        PA    06     38
  4.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    06     31
  5.  Tom McCorry        VA    06     30
  6.  Michael Fox        IL    06     24
  7.  Tom Browne         PA    06     18
  8.  Debbie Davidson    NE    06     16
  9.  David Fox          NY    05     16
 10.  Kathy Stroh        DE    06     12
 11.  Chris Robbins      UT    06     12
 12.  Alan Kaiser        OH    05     12
 13.  Perrianne Lurie    PA    06      9
 14.  Jay Fox            NJ    06      8
 15.  Jeff Mullet        OH    05      8
 16.  Tom Wade           IN    05      8
 17.  Pete Stein         OH    05      6
 18   Blair Morgen       NJ    06      4
 19.  Ted Mullally       NJ    05      4
 20.  Andrew Gerb        MD    05      2

2006 Laurelists

Michael Fox, IL

Debbie Davidson, NE

Chris Robbins, UT

Jay Fox, NJ

Blair Morgen, NJ

Past Winners

Arthur Field, SC

 Scheduling pressures occasionally force a multi-player Euro into 2-player domains for a glimpse at how the other half lives.

 A GM's work is never done! Tom DeMarco seems to be thinking: "Darn those MESE tiebreakers!"

 With more time between games rather than multi-game heats, a repeat of last year's scoring problems was avoided.

Mistress & Observatory

This year, the tournament went fromParadise (last year's location) to the inferno of Conestoga 3; the air conditioning tried to keep up with all the expended brain power, but needed the assistance of a floor fan. This year we played four two-hour heats as opposed to last year's time-saving, but harder to understand format (two games in each of three 3-hour heats). This year also saw the adoption of the standard MESE advancement criteria, which rewards winning one's first game over winning the most games.

The first heat was held on Wednesday afternoon, and drew 48 contestants for 12 full boards. Gerald Lientz had a Mistress of Ceremonies (M), an Observatory (O), and also gathered nine orange (aristocrat) cards for 45 points at game's end to move from last place and just edge out Duane Wagner(M), with 98 points to Duane's 97. This game tied for the highest total scores for all four players with 356. Perrianne Lurie (MOO!) got seven orange cards to also move from fouth to first as she edged out Tom DeMarco. For the second heat, 31 contestants stayed to play again, and 28 new entrants signed up to play at 15 boards. Jason Wagner(M) won his game with a tournament-low 40 points in the lowest total for all scores of 136 points. Brothers Michael(O) and David(M) Fox both won their games on tiebreakers, with David's win also having the tightest bunching; there were only five points separating the four players. Marvin Birnbaum(M) scored the most points in all the four-player games at 107, while David Platnick(MO) gathered ten orange cards on his way to a 120 point victory in the only 3-player game in this year's tournament. Eric Brosius's win was unique in that all three of his opponents lost five points at game's end due to having a card left in their hand. At this point there were four 2-game winners (Gerald, Tim Hall, Blair Morgan, and Anne Norton), 15 other first-try winners, and four 2nd-try winners vying for 16 semi-final slots.

The third heat was held Thursday morning, but 9 AMwas apparently too early for many WBC attendees, as only eight new and 21 returning players appeared. To allow all games to be four-player games, the GM chose to sit out the heat, resulting in seven full boards. David Burkey(MO) and Rob Kilroy(MM) got their second wins, while three others claimed first-try victories. For the fourth, and last, heat there were 60 contestants, 22 of whom were having their first try. Tim(MO) became the only contestant to gain a third win. He and Tom(M) both scored 104 points in their wins, Tom's win was the other game that tied at 356 points for the most points at the entire board, while Tim's lead of 25 points over second place Lisa Gutermuth(M) was the largest gap between 1st to 2nd place. Michael(MO) and David Fox again both won their games.

This year, the GM had plenty of time to "crunch the numbers" against the new MESE advancement criteria and determined the 16 qualifiers and 25 alternates for the semi-final by Friday afternoon. Saturday morning at 9 AM saw about 25 hopefuls, bleary-eyed by the fifth day of WBC, gathering again in Conestoga 3 (by now the room had recovered its temperature equilibrium) for the semi-final and Final rounds. Five of the 16 qualifiers didn't (or couldn't) make it, allowing the GM to go nine names deep into the list of alternates to get the 16 players to fill the semi-final. Alas, I was the 22nd alternate, and didn't advance. In the semi-finals Chris Robbins(M) beat out Matthew Miller(OO), Alan Sudy(M) and Steven Quade; Debbie Davidson got past Larry York(M), Rob(O) and Perrianne(MO); Michael(MO) outscored Jay Fox(O, and no relation), Luke Koleszar, and David Burkey(M); while Anne Norton vanquished Blair(M), Tim(OO), and Barry Barnes(M). The four finalists then set up and began right away.

Chris, first in the blue phase on Turn 1, grabbed an Observatory and used it to get an orange card. Debbie got a Pub, but bought no points with it then. Anne was first in the orange phase and was delighted to find a Mistress of Ceremonies as one of the cards available. On Turn 2, Chris used the Observatory to take another orange card, while the others all played blue and/or orange upgrade cards. Turn 3 saw Michael gather a Pub and a Mistress into his hand, Anne picked up a Judge and Debbie the Senator upgrade. On Turn 4, Michael got the other Observatory during the blue phase and played the Mistress, while Debbie and Anne played their Judges. At the end of Turn 4, Anne was way ahead at 30 points to Debbie's 13, Michael's 12 and Chris's 7 points. During the green phase of Turn 5, Anne bought enough blue cards from the discount row to ensure that that would be the last turn by exhausting the blue card stack. Debbie and Michael used their Pubs to buy some extra points, but at the end of the final upgrade phase, Anne was leading with 53 points. No one gained any end-of-game points for having more than 10 rubles left, no one lost points for having cards left in their hand, and only Michael had more orange cards (six for 21 points) than Anne (five for 15 points). Anne became the second WBC Saint Petersburg champion with 68 points, over Michael in second place with 50 points, Debbie in third place with 42 and Chris with 24. This was Anne's sixth year attending WBC, and the first year she took home wood. Six is her new lucky number as she also gained victories in the Cleopatra (and the Society of Architects) and Thurn and Taxis, giving her household bragging rights over the Saint Petersburg GM, who hasn't won wood since 1998.

Stats: For the second year, the player who started first in the Orange Phase on the first turn won the most often at just over 30% of the games. The player who won had a Mistress in nearly 75% of the games (40 out of 54, and way up from last year's 54%), including two winners with both Mistresses and at least seven of those Mistresses played on the first turn. The players who won ended with an average of 6.1 orange cards, for an average of 23 points, while the fourth place finisher averaged 4.9 orange cards for an average of 15 points. Out of the 70 points players lost at game's end from cards left in hand, 40 points were lost to a player with an Observatory, while none were lost by the winner of a game. In 31 of the 54 games played the player who won was in the lead before adding in the points from unique orange cards, eight games the eventual winner was trailing in second before adding in the orange cards points, ten times in third, and five times a player moved from last to first after including the points from orange cards. Nearly all of the games lasted either five or six turns, averaging 5.48 turns per game. The average score for all players was 59 points; for the winners, it was 71 points.

Possible change for next year: The Mistress of Ceremonies seems too powerful, especially on the first turn. Should its power be lessened? Perhaps it should not earn income on the first turn.

 GM Tom DeMarco overlooks the Final with Chris Robbins

 Debbie Davidson of Nebraska watches Michael Fox
of Illinois make his play.

2006 Euro Quest Laurelists

Tom McCorry, VA

Peter Staab, PA

Kathy Stroh, DE

Perrianne Lurie, PA

Tom Browne, PA

 GM      Tom DeMarco [2nd Year]   720 Wood lane, Cinaminson, NJ 08077-3976   NA

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