thurn & taxis  

Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report  

   2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Andy Latto, MA

2007-09 Champion

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Event History
2006    Anne Norton       37
2007     Andy Latto     104
2008     Andy Latto     100
2009     Andy Latto      68

Euro Quest Event History
2006    Rod Spade     41
2007    Rob Kircher     33
2008    Raphael Lehrer     42
2009    Cliff Ackman     47

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Andy Latto         MA    09    100
  2.  Anne Norton        NJ    08     57
  3.  Tom DeMarco        NJ    09     40
  4.  Rob Kircher        RI    09     34
  5.  Raphael Lehrer     MD    08     32
  6.  Rod Spade          MD    06     30
  7.  David Meyaard      CT    07     24
  8.  Cliff Ackman       PA    09     20
  9.  Amy Rule           MD    09     20
 10.  Karl Henning       VT    09     18
 11.  Nick Henning       CT    08     18
 12.  Eric Brosius       MA    06     18
 13.  Phil Rennert       MD    06     18
 14.  Michael Thompson   PA    09     16
 15.  Sarah Beach        MD    09     12
 16.  Jim Castonguay     PA    08     12
 17.  Bill Murdock       NY    08     12
 18.  Daniel Eppolito    NV    09      9
 19.  Charlie Kersten    OH    06      9
 20.  Phil Taylor        NJ    06      9
 21.  Ray Pfeifer        MD    07      8
 22.  Tom Stokes         NJ    08      6
 23.  Tom Dunning        NY    08      6
 24.  Larry Loiacono     PA    07      6
 25.  Thomas Browne      PA    06      6
 26.  Sara Hagen         VA    06      6
 27.  Sean Vessey        VA    08      4
 28.  Ted Bohaczuk       PA    07      4
 29.  Skip Maloney       NY    07      4
 30.  Ivan Lawson        MD    09      3
 31.  Jon Gemmell        CT    08      3
 32.  David Gagne        qc    06      3
 33.  Tom McCorry        VA    06      3
 34.  Lee Mewshaw        MD    09      2

2009 Laurelists                                              Repeating Laurelists:

Karl Henning, VT

Sarah Beach, MD

Daniel Eppolito, NV

Tom DeMarco, NJ

Ivan Lawson, MD

Past Champions

Anne Norton, NJ

Andy Latto, MA

All 16 semi-finalists at work on the next step to wood. Attendance took a big dip in one of those unexplained quirks of scheduling.

Lyman Moquin, Sara Beach, and Tom Demarco strike a pose before Sara finishes them off to punch her ticket for the Final.

Trifecta ...

In prior years, attendance was large enough that a single win wasn't necessarily enough to qualify for the Thurn & Taxis Final; two wins or one big win was required. This year, with attendance down 32%, only 19 games were played in the heats. Ivan Lawson won two heats, so there were 18 winners. With one no-show at the semis, 16 of the 17 winners qualified for the semi-finals, so all that was necessary to qualify was a win by one point, rather than a win on tiebreak.

The 2009 games gave little support to those who claim either a first or a last turn advantage: The player who went first won seven times, second in turn order had eight wins, and third and fourth won six each. Not surprisingly, the player who triggered the endgame won in 17 of the 27 games played. Winning scores ranged from 12 to 33.

Exciting competitive play was seen at all four semi-final tables. Tom De Marco, a semi-finalist last year and finalist the year before that, had bad luck at the start, and had to discard his first 2-card route on Turn 3 when he could not find a third card to add to it. Despite this setback, he finished strongly, in a game marked by constant use of the Administrator to turn up six new cards. Sarah Beach edged Tom on the tiebreak to qualify for the Final.

Karl Henning realized he would need to take a chance to win his semi-final game, and extended a route to five cards while leaving himself with no cards in hand. With the ability to use the Postmaster denied him by having no cards, he would need to either see a route-extending card on the table, or draw one in two draws, or his route would be discarded. He had to sweat, since when the player before him started his turn, no useful card was available. But that player used the Administrator, the card Karl needed appeared, and he used the cartwright to end the game for the win.

Kevin Wojtaszczyk and Tom Dunning both had to discard a route without scoring it in their semi-final game. Henry Rice went for fast carriages, while Daniel pursued a long-route strategy, including a 10-city route that scored much of Bavaria. This enabled Daniel to score Bavaria first, and while Kevin made a strong comeback, it was too little too late, and Daniel edged Kevin by three points to reach the Final.

The fourth semi saw Paul Bean start with a 8-card route, scoring all of Bavaria on his first route! But he couldn't keep up the pace after this strong start, and double heat winner Ivan Lawson lost to defending champ Andy Latto by a single point.

The Final saw Sarah Beach and Daniel Eppolito pursuing a long-route strategy, while Andy Latto and Karl Henning went for fast carriages. Karl had a strong start, drawing Lodz and Pilsen on Turn 1. But he couldn't find Regensburg or Nurnberg to extend the route to three, and almost had to throw them away. A Turn-3 administrator didn't find either of the needed cards, but he drew the needed card from the top of the deck, so disaster was averted. Daniel could not find the cards he wanted, clearing three times in the first four turns, and often thereafter. The Turn-4 clear showed him six useless cards, and he would have had to discard his route, but a blind draw from the deck produced the card he wanted.

On his second route, Daniel duplicated Paul's feat from the semi-final, scoring all eight Bavarian cities in a single route.

Andy went straight for the 7 carriage, using the cartwright on his second, third, and fourth routes. With four cards in his next route, Andy was set up to cartwright a fourth time and end the game on Turn 15, only one turn longer than the theoretical minimum. Karl, who went 4th, saw that once again he would need to gamble, and left himself with a 4-card route and no cards in hand. Andy, who went first, used the cartwright to get his 7 carriage and trigger the endgame, proving that Karl's gamble was necessary. After Sarah's turn, no card Karl could use was visible, so he was in danger of discarding his final route. But Daniel, who had completed a route the previous turn, elected to clear, leaving the card Karl needed to complete his route, complete the greens, and cartwright for the 7 carriage. But this strong finish was not strong enough. Andy still outscored Karl 18 to 17, ending the game and extending his winning streak to three years.

Third-place Sarah Beach attributed her third-place plaque to the strategy hints she received during the demo. So if you haven't played Thurn and Taxis for a while, come to the demo next year for a refresher and some pointers, and help boost the attendance to the 100-plus it's been in previous years.

2009 Euro Quest Laurelists

Cliff Ackman, PA

Amy Rule, MD

Tom DeMarco, NJ

Rob Kircher, RI

Michael Thompson, PA

 GM      Andy Latto (1st Year)  22 Creighton Ave, Foxborough, MA 02035   508-369-4170

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