Hopes, dreams go sweeping down the plains

I’ve written almost all of our 205 game summaries, so I know what I’m talking about when I say that opportunites to work show tunes into these things are rare. For that reason, I was pulling hard for a board-topping performance by native Oklahoman Sam Bassett. Alas, the only thing swept down the plains in Game No. 205, played last night at Guthrie’s Tavern in Wrigleyville, were the aspirations of Sam and his fellow Westerners.

The game ended by time limit after the Fall 1906 turn in the following center counts:


Austria (Peter Lokken): 7; 20.763 points.
England (Sam Bassett): 4; 6.780 points.
France (Mike Whitty): 2; 1.695 points.
Germany (Ben DiPaola): 2; 1.695 points.
Italy (Nate Cockerill): 9; 34.322 points.
Russia (Alex Riedel): 9; 34.322 points.
Turkey (Mike Morrison): 1; 0.424 points.

The supply center chart is here. It seems to tell the tale of an AIR in the East and a clusterf@#k in the West. Perhaps the players will shed more light.

Speaking of them, it was good to see Alex Riedel back at the table. Alex played in our club’s first two-board session at my old house way back in March 2006. He was eliminated as Germany in a game that ended in our club’s first solo, posted by Marc Peters, a resident of Madison, Wisc., and the 1992 DipCon champion. Alex redeemed himself on the second board, however, taking over a three-center Turkey and guiding it to an 11-center shared board top.

That’s the last we saw of Alex until January 2010, when he topped a novice board in a Guthrie’s game that marked John Gramila’s debut with the club. Alex then disappeared again. Until last night. At least the timespan between his games is shrinking. That’s an encouraging sign. In a few more years, he may be a regular.

March Madness is nearly upon us. Check the schedule, join the fun, and give me a game worth singing about.

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