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Subject: 2006 Michigan Azacru Open rss

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Clark Rodeffer
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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The first Michigan Azacru Open tournament was held on the evening of November 17, 2006 as an event at the U-Con Gaming Convention in Ann Arbor, MI. Sadly, despite wide advertisement and offering a new copy of the game as a prize (a US$50 value), only one person (Stewart T. of Ypsilanti, MI) registered to compete. As tournament host, it was my responsibility to sit in and play if there were an odd number of players. Neither of us had played Azacru before, but the rules are easy enough to pick up that someone can be playing within about five minutes. After waiting a few more minutes to see if anyone else would show up to compete, Stewart and I sat down to play. I played black, and Stewart, playing yellow, went first.

The game began a bit slowly, not only because it was the first Azacru game for each of us, but also because, at the beginning of the game, no one has any extra movement points in any of the nine borderlands. Stewart began by creating a line of yellow markers along one edge of the board, while I moved toward the center with a mind to surround territory there and squeeze Stewart against the edges. Unfortunately for me, my neglect of the outer borderlands, and in particular the very outer edges, soon allowed Stewart to gain a great deal of mobility there. With a few long connection jumps, my central territory was cut to ribbons, and I lost mobility of one of my four black chevrons. Nevertheless, making good use of borderland twists to set up a few connection jumps of my own, I managed to hold out for about a dozen more turns, and even regained some territory in one corner borderland and along an edge. But it wasn't enough. Before I knew it, all four of my black chevrons were immobilized, either up against a corner or facing an impenetrable wall of yellow markers, and I was staring out across a veritable sea of yellow.

With that overwhelming victory, Stewart T. of Ypsilanti, MI won the 2006 Michigan Azacru Open, and took home a copy of the 302 edition of Pacru / Azacru / Shacru as his prize.

Even though 2006 was the first year for the Michigan Azacru Open, the low turnout was discouraging. If I knew for sure that at least four players wanted to compete, I wouldn't hesitate to host another tournament in 2007. But as it is, the future of the Michigan Azacru Open is questionable. If you want to compete, or if you know someone who does, please send me a GeekMail saying so.
 
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