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Thurn & taxis (T&T) WBC 2016 Report
Updated Nov. 26, 2016 Icon Key
148 Players Rob Murray, NJ 2016 Status 2017 Status History/Laurels
2016 Champion Click box for details. Click box for details.

Much Ado about Bids

For the first time since I started keeping records, going first was not an advantage in the preliminary games. 25 of them were won by the player moving second, with only 19 won by the player going first, 16 by the player going last, and only eight by the player going third. Combining this with the data from previous years yields a 30.6% by the player going first, 26.8% by the second seat, and 21.2% for each of third and fourth.

In the elimination rounds Turn Order appeared to make no difference at all, with three games won by the player going third, and each of the other seats yielding four wins (ignoring the two 3-player quarterfinal games).  Bidding by players in the elimination rounds indicated a slight preference for first, with 11 players spending to go first, four to go third, and two each bidding for second and third position. Four players bid a full point to go first, while all other non-zero bids were only half a point. Before the Final, the bids had no apparent effect on advancement. Although three quarterfinal games were tied, two had no non-zero bids. The third had a half point bid for first only to lose by that half point, but would have lost anyway on tiebreakers.

While the 17-17-30-22 Final score might suggest that the bidding (one point for first by Scott, and half a point by Rob for third) had no effect, the bidding actually had a substantial effect. The Final for the first time saw two former champions, Rob Murray and Kyle Smith, squaring off, and the bids for seating order were influenced as much by relative seating order as absolute order; neither former champion wanted to go immediately behind the other. Kyle got his preferred fourth seat, but Rob bid half a point for third to play immediately before him, so as to be able to take cards Kyle
needed. The game went poorly from the start for Winton Lemoine, who couldn’t draw cards to make efficient routes. Kyle could not find a Pilsen to
connect to Lodz for the world traveller bonus, and administrating five times in a row searching for the elusive Pilsen put him out of contention early. So it came down to a duel between Scott Saccenti and Rob. Scott had the lead in carriages, and an opportunity to cartwright the 7 carriage to trigger the endgame. But he calculated that this would end the game with him tied with Rob. While normally triggering the endgame would result in his winning the tiebreaker, he had bid a point to go first, which would have left him one point behind Rob, so he continued without cartwrighting. However, had Scott realized that the one-point chit for a length-5 route still remained for the taking, he could have ended the game, tying Rob after subtracting his bid point and winning on the tiebreaker. Scott continued in an effort to place a house in Wurzberg, getting the bonus for completing Bavaria. But one Wurzberg card was on the table in Kyle's route, one was in Rob’s hand, and when the third appeared on Rob's turn, he grabbed it to deny it to Scott. Rob was then able to trigger the endgame while he held a decisive lead, becoming the second multi-year winner in Thurn and Taxis, as well as the second winner to bid for the "privilege" of third seat.

After tweaking the tournament format a bit in each of the last few years, I've now arrived at a format that seems to work well. If you have any suggestions for modifications to the format, please let me know before the previews for next year are posted.

2016 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 0
Kyle Smith, PA Winton LeMoine, NV Scott Saccenti, MD Tim Horne, PA Eugene Yee. MD
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Rob Murray in the process of winning his semifinal.

Winton LeMoine punching his ticket in his semifinal.
GM Andy Latto (standing left) and his four finalists.
GM  Andy Latto [8th Year]  22 Creighton Ave., Foxboro, MA 02035 
 andy.latto@pobox.com  508-369-4170