|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Rating||Games||Rating|
The biggest news from this year's tournament is that Jacob Davenport, the four-time and current IIT champion did not attend Origins, and so did not compete in the tournament. This left the finals slate wide open, and represented my personal best chance to acquire the only type of IIT medallion I did not possess (the yellow finalist medallion) without having to snatch it from Jacob.
Ten players showed up to compete, but we were able to recruit Liam Bryan and Jesse Welton to round out the schedule to an even dozen. Thanks again, Liam and Jesse! A multiple of four players meant we only had to play 4 rounds in the ice-offs, and there would be no waiting around or dropped scores. Twelve players is a little below the average attendance of 13.5, but it makes for such a nice tournament.
Most players were returning competitors, but we had two new players in Ross Andrews and Marc Hartstein. Thanks for jumping in, and I hope you return next year!
Without Jacob, there was much more snowballing, and a significant fall in pure shotgunning. Most people played a hybrid of the two styles, getting into the snowball for a fortress, and building a shotgun pattern for stability.
It's interesting to note that there were no tie games in the entire tournament, and only two correct Icehouse calls. I chalk this up to a lot more people counting points during the game. I heard a lot of scores being bandied about during games, and it was rare for somebody to leave the table without a good idea of their score.
As usual, many losses were due to errors. Points left on the stash pad at the end of the game sucked down many a score. Crashes and "last piece" plays ended several restructuring tries. I personally could have done much better in the finals if I hadn't had so many pieces squandered by the timer expiring.
I played out early in the first finals game, and won; I'm surprised that lesson didn't sink in. I ended the second game with a very good table position, but about ten points still on my pad.
The last game in the finals was basically a run-off between Julian Lighton and Josh Kronengold. Julian had to beat Josh by six points to win outright. Five points would have tied the finals, leading to a tie that would have been resolved with a full tournament rating. This would also have been a win for Julian since his scores from the ice-offs were superior, but he still had to get that finals win.
In the end, Julian called Josh into the Icehouse, locking down the win. While there were a couple of things I could have done to take Julian down a point or two, I don't think I had enough firepower to change the ultimate outcome. Congratulations, Julian!
Julian was kind enough to remind me that I'd taught him Icehouse many years ago while we were in college together. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I remember that game, even though it was about a dozen years ago. That was then, this is now. The student has become the master!
Congratulations to Josh "Orange" Drobina, who took time out from being Rabbit coordinator to show us how laid-back and cool he can be, while still pulling of some good scores and a win.
Big thanks again to referees Eric Zuckerman and Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin, who had to split the three tournament tables between them. Thanks also to Craig Forbes for clerking (getting all the scores into the spreadsheet). Without you three doing 90% of the work, I would not be able to "run" the tournament.