Masters Tournament, May 31st
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Posted by Reporter on June 01, 2003 at 07:44:06:


Laffman won this final tournament of May by 9 minutes from vishna in a thrilling contest. The games were an unusual mix of 11 and 12 sums only, with only four deep-well-belonging 6x5s to be really concerned about, at least in theory, and 5 consecutive level lls in the middle which turned out to be harmless. The field was fairly strong with many previous masters winners present - notable absentees being two-hour tournament regulars mabbn goatee, EMU, jbranick3, Beowulf and davidxz300.

How the tournament unfolded:

20:01 - bluerose gets away to a flying start with the #2 10x2 solved in 1:06. Soon after WRAC and greggory joined her, one of them solving the *3 6x6 in under 90 seconds.

20:04 - vishna and Crunch sprint to 3 wins and there are now 19 players in the race with Laffman 15th and mick126 18th, both having solved their first game in

over three and a half minutes. No sight of mickyiw yet. Someone has already solved #30 6x5.

20:08 - Crunch moves to the lead with 5 wins, followed

by vishna and greggory on 4 and BentleyBear, FerretZone and bluerose on 3. WRAC and marcia7 drop back, still on 1 game. Statistical colleague tyleary has joined the race with his first win in 6:28.

20:12 - Crunch completes the first lap with 8 wins, with vishna tucked in behind on 7 and FerretZone, Burtle and bluerose maintaining contact on 6. Laffman has moved into the top 10 with a fifth win, while mick126 and WRAC are dragging their heels on only 3 wins apiece. The crowd gasps as mickyiw hobbles onto the track, still putting on one shoe while chalking up a couple of wins to take 23rd spot. Meanwhile your reporter takes a refreshment break and sneaks in his

first game.

20:23 - Crunch had surged to double figures in 17 minutes with vishna, Laffman (looking ominous) and bluerose on 9 and Burtle on 8. Suddenly vishna gulps

her magic potion and sprints to 13, towing along Crunch and Burtle (12 each), bluerose and greggory (11 each), with Laffman falling back to 10 joined by mickyiw who seems to have settled down. Quacker, Mitsuko, edv, mickl26, bigeds, FerretZone, mik_kir and WRAC (on 6) comprise the remainder of top 15 at this stage. There are only two unsolved games now, both 6x5s #4 and #15.

20:28 - the halfway mark has been reached by vishna, 16 wins in 28:12, with Burtle on 15 and greggory,

bluerose, Laffman and Crunch, having a breather, all on 14. mickyiw is on 13 and mickl26 on 12. Further back

marcia7, aechang and FerretZone are just outside the 15 with 8 wins while early pacesetter BentleyBear is 23rd. Near the tail of the field tyleary was "accidently"

tripped up (he he) by your reporter (31st place) and is on only 3 wins in 33rd spot. Meanwhile someone solved the #15 6x5, leaving only one big fat zero remaining.

20:35 - vishna smashes through the coveted 20 game barrier in 35:19 while aechang moves up to 12th spot and tyleary, now patched up by the first aid people,

races to 24th with 7 wins. There are now 39 players on the track.

20:44 - At the bell there is a sensation as Burtle

snatches the lead from vishna, both reaching 24 wins in 44:20. vishna made the mistake of looking over her right shoulder and Burtle went through on the inside. Meanwhile Laffman is pacing himself steadily in 3rd

spot on 21 wins and mickyiw leads a bunch of players on 20 wins. Your reporter, having been lapped twice in a 4 lap race, took the opportunity to play a few more games and maintained 31st spot with 6 wins.

20:45 - Burtle takes a clear lead with a 25th win in 45:20 while bluerose moves up the 4th place. Game #4

6x5 is still unsolved and #18 6x5 is proving to be the other toughie with only 3 players having solved it.

20:52 - vishna has shifted into overdrive and suddenly gone to a three game lead with 28 wins and in another sensation, the #4 6x5 has been solved, but NOT by vishna.

20:55 - Laffman moves to second with 26 wins from Burtle also on 26 and bluerose fourth on 25.

20:57 - vishna reaches 30 wins in 56:58, with Laffman on 27 in 56:45.

21:00 - at the hour mark Laffman has gained another win to be on 28, bluerose has taken 3rd spot with 27, just three seconds ahead of Burtle also on 27. greggory, mickl26 and Mitsuko follow on 26 and mickyiw (25) has apparently paused to look at some hefty shot-putters.

Early pace setter Crunch (24) and recent debut Masters winner mik kir round out the top 10. Rumor has it that WRAC was knocked into the water jump at the

steeplechase while being lapped, but he was undeterred and was still plugging away in 12th place on 22 wins. Further back tyleary (18th) is caught between a bear and a ferret.

21:02 - Laffman joins vishna on 30 in the home straight and asks the question. The #4 6x5 remains at 1 win. The #5 7x4 is proving to be another stumbling block, with only 7 wins recorded while #18 6x5 has 6 wins.

21:04 Laffman answered the question by taking the

lead by apparently solving the #4 6x5 to move to 31

wins in 64:16. vishna has not solved a game for over 7 minutes, and bluerose is clear in third place with 29 wins.

21:06 - vishna challenges Laffman at 31 wins, but appears to be facing the daunting #4 6x5.

21:07 - Laffman breaks the tape by completing his 32nd win in 67:18, having taken less than 3 minutes to solve the final game. mickyiw has refocused and moved to 4th place on 29 wins, just ahead of mickl26 also on 29.

21:09 - mickyiw moves to third and appears to be challenging for the runner-up spot.

21:11 - Crunch moves up to 5th place with 30 wins and WRAC enters the top 10.

21:17 - vishna solves the 6x5 to take second place in 76:22 and soon after mickl26 does the same to take third in 77:27.

21:25 - Crunch finishes in 80:04 for fourth place,

followed soon after by fast finishing WRAC in 82:11. There is a minor sensation as Burtle and mickyiw tie for 6th place with 84:04 apiece and micky is later heard to be muttering something about being

disadvantaged by the Atlantic ocean.

21:30 - FerretZone and tyleary are finishing strongly and enter the top 15.

22:00 - greggory, FerretZone and mik_kir finish all 32 games and make up the top 10, while tyleary recovered well from the early mishap to take 11th spot from marcia7, both on 31 wins and bluerose (30 wins) stumbled home in 13th place after a great early

challenge with Mitsuko and aechang making up the top 15 with 29 wins.


This was an exciting contest to watch and it was difficult to play any games for fear of missing something. I decided to take notes and print out the scores at various stages rather than creating lots of

Windows for fear of a power failure or computer crash, both of which seem to happen with unnerving regularity! 1 may try Laffman's suggested "operatic approach" at some stage.

I managed a few more games in the last half hour and

tackled the #4 6x5 which, while tricky, was not so hard after all. No doubt Laffman will give his views but in my limited experience it was one of the easier masters.

I look forward to covering the event again in a few weeks. In the meantime, are there any volunteers to take on the task?


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