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Subject: 2015 WBC Event Report rss

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Max DuBoff
United States
New Haven
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"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Ingenious bounced back after an off year to tie 2009’s attendance total, the second-highest in the event’s history. Fortunately, there were enough copies of the game this year! I’d personally like to thank everyone who brought a set for helping to maintain the event and keep it accessible. I’d especially like to thank Andy Latto and Laurie Wojtaszczyk, who lent their sets even though they weren’t sure if they could attend.

The tournament continued to only have three heats, but new this year was a demo. Six people attended, either to learn the game or for a refresher. The card system with seat numbers got everyone playing within a few moments despite a slight delay. The first heat had 18 tables of four for a total of 72 players. Unfortunately, a game had to be adjudicated, but all other games in the tournament finished on time, and Ingenious will continue to run in a one-hour slot. Also new this year was a heat on Wednesday, which filled up Ballroom A with 96 players at 24 tables. The heat on Thursday drew a solid 68 players, who were divided into 17 tables. The lowest winning score in the heats was 10, which did the trick in five different games. On the other hand, six players in the heats managed to achieve a perfect score of 18. Interestingly, such scoring disparities continued into the advanced rounds…

The three heats produced nine double winners, who automatically advanced. Special congratulations go to former Juniors champion Aidan McNay, the only person to achieve three heat wins. Thirteen people finished with a win and a second, so their margins of victory and defeat were calculated to produce 16 qualifiers for the semifinals. Tiebreakers turned out to be irrelevant, however, since exactly enough qualifiers and alternates showed up that everyone with a win and a second who wished to advance could. Marietta was a bit chaotic, so the semifinals took place in Ballroom B. Huge thanks go to Rich Meyer, who graciously offered to take over as an eliminator when a different final called away a semifinalist just as the games were beginning.

In one of the most exciting moments of the tournament, Adina Weiss ingenioused three colors in a single turn, eventually scoring a perfect 18 to triumph at a semifinal table that included last year’s champion Meghan Friedmann. Shannon Keating earned sixth place laurels for her 17-point second. Ben Carter scored 13 at his table to defeat Yoel Weiss on a tiebreaker, but Yoel earned fifth place laurels for his close second. David Metzger bested former champion Joe Yaure and top-seeded Aidan McNay with a score of 15 to Joe’s 14. Ewan McNay narrowly missed a perfect score and finished with 16 to Doug Galullo’s 14 to win his game, which included former champion Andy Latto.

The final commenced shortly after the semifinals concluded. The players largely developed blue first. A mass of blue appeared near the side of the board and soon everyone had between nine and 11 in the color. Suddenly, Ben made a blocking move to close off the blue section, and blue became scarce for the rest of the game. Adina opted for more dual-color plays in the early going while Ewan focused mostly on blue and orange. He soon developed a large lead in orange, reaching 13 when the other players hadn’t much focused on it yet. The next colors to receive some attention were yellow and purple. Purple didn’t become very popular, but red did and was developed simultaneously with yellow. Ben and David shot up in orange and were only slightly behind Ewan. Green was extremely scarce at this point. In one of the game’s key moments, Ewan passed up a defensive opportunity in yellow to instead ingenious yellow and block off a small clump of green. A huge line of yellows remained after this first ingenious, allowing the other players to catch up in yellow. Red development had largely stalled; Ben was weak in red although the others were mediocre in it. Green opened back up, and David scored the game’s second ingenious in green. Adina led in purple but was first to discard and redraw because she desperately needed orange. Purple was the last color to receive major focus. Ewan made a key play to gain a couple points in blue, which looked like it was going to be a decisive color despite its early popularity. Adina ingenioused green and yellow in the same turn but faced big issues in red. Ben attained the lone orange ingenious; no one else ever exceeded 13 in orange. With blues still rare, Ewan exchanged tiles. Adina ingenioused purple and made a key play in the purple block to pick up some blue and orange. Meanwhile, Ewan ingenioused purple and scored a couple points in blue to take the overall lead on his last turn. With the final play of the game, Adina blocked Ben from getting red. When the board filled, Ewan stood victorious with 12 points. He ingenioused two colors and scored 13 in the other three colors. David took second with 11, Adina took third with 10, and Ben took fourth with eight. Red was the lowest color for all but Ewan, whose lowest was green. The close final was definitely a testament to the players’ skill. Congratulations to Ewan on a well-deserved victory!
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