Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) is no more apparent than in a game of “Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar Game.” The very essence of the game is marking time until the baktun runs out in 27 (or fewer) turns. This year at the WBC, 48 Mayan clock watchers played 14 games in two heats. The top 16 advanced to the semifinals with the four best playing in the Final. Winning scores ranged from 76 to a high of 145! The only game that saw more than one score over 100 was the last one.
With two double winners leaving only 12 qualifiers in the heats, anyone who finished a close second was also slated to advance. Rating runners-up finishes as a percent of the winner’s score meant that players wanted to score as many points as possible, even if they were not going to win. As it turned out, all 16 semifinalists were either winners or close seconds.
For those familiar with the game this might come as a surprise, but in my semifinal match, the eventual winner had minus 12 points at midgame; however, she also had ten gold and 37 food! I know I learned a few things in that match.
This year the heats were extended to three hours. Only six games finished in less than the two hours that was the norm heretofore, so 3-hour rounds seem needed for Tzolk’in.
Some caveats: 1) According to the WBC website “If you don’t bring a copy, you have no right to complain if you are omitted.” We did have to turn people away for lack of enough games. 2) PAY ATTENTION to the GM. While dealing cards for table assignment one person was not paying attention and thereby did not pick a card in a timely fashion.
It was brought up that going first is a big advantage. In the games leading to the Final, the first seat won seven, second seat won three, third seat won seven, and fourth seat won one. I’m not sure those statistics prove the point. Nevertheless, for the Final we instituted a bidding rule for Turn Order. Moon won first choice of seat with a bid of eight VPs, which everyone, including Moon, thought was excessive. Second choice of seat went to Jefferson with a bid of two and third to Keith with a bid of one, and, lo and behold, that was the order of finish for the game! So maybe there is something to seat order. Moon Sultana scored 124 to claim her second title at the 2016 WBC. She was the first woman to win multiple events since 2005, thereby leading a record class of 15 female champions. Jefferson Meyer and Keith Dent also broke 100 with 118 and 116 respectively to finish second and third.
| Daniel W. Farrow [1st Year]