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Round 1 Feature Match: Luigi Alici vs. Claudio Kirchmair

25.09.2010 | 14:47 |

This is it! Round 1 of the YCS Bochum, most likely the biggest European tournament this year! We invited Luigi Alici from Italy and Claudio Kirchmair from Austria to our Feature Match table. Alici is playing X-Sabers today while Kirchmair is feeling lucky with his own version of the Infernity archetype. One thing I noticed while quickly going over Kirchmair’s deck: He’s main decking [upstart]! This is just more proof that the role of the Infernity deck has dramatically changed in the new format. Not many players expect them to go the distance, but Kirchmair’s feeling confident that he can prove them wrong. Let’s see how this match will go!

 

Luigi Alici traveled all the way from Venice to Bochum and had next to no sleep. Not the best odds for a round 1 Feature Match!

Luigi Alici traveled all the way from Venice to Bochum and had next to no sleep. Not the best odds for a round 1 Feature Match!

 

I’ve heard Duelists complaining who had to take a 2 hour ride to the venue, but one thing I can say about Luigi Alici is that he’s not one of them! He arrived in Bochum at 08:30 this morning after a grueling 14 (!) hour car ride from his home town near Venice, Italy! Wow, hopefully this won’t take it’s toll on the young Italian Duelists as he needs to be at the top of his game to beat Kirchmair, one of the most acclaimed players in the game!

Alici won the die roll (5 vs. Kirchmair’s 2) and opted to go first. He had a quick glance at his hand, drew his 6th card, shuffled through his hand again and Set a monster. He thought about his next move for a second and decided to Set 3 Spell or Trap Cards before passing.

Kirchmair activated [duality]. He revealed [mirage], [necromancer] and another copy of the Pot. He added [mirage] to his hand and shuffled the other 2 cards back into his deck. He activated [upstart], drawing a card and increasing Alici’s Life Points by 1000.

He Summoned [grepher] and discarded [inf archfiend] to add [necromancer] to his Graveyard. He continued to go through his deck and activated [sarco], removing [reborn] from the game. He ended his turn with 3 cards left in his hand.

Alici went straight to his Main Phase, he checked his face-down spells or traps and had to think about his next move for a short while. He Flip Summoned [emmersblade], Summoned [fulhelm] and followed it up with [faultroll]! “No response” was all Kirchmair had to say about that. Alici seemed to do some math before Tuning [fulhelm] to [emmersblade] to Special Summon [brionac]. He discarded his last card in his hand ([hole]) for the effect of the Synchro Monster in order to return [grepher] back to Kirchmair’s hand. He brought back both of his X-Saber monsters with Gottoms’ Emergency Call and Tuned both of them to [goyo]. All of a sudden he had 4 monsters on the field!

 

 

All monsters attacked successfully, bringing Kirchmair’s Life Points down to 0 and winning Alici the Duel in only his second turn!

 

Luigi Alici took the first Duel in a rush!

 

Alici left Kirchmair with no chance to defend his Life Points and put himself in a very favorable position. This is one of the most challenging situations of a respected Duelist – imagine yourself sitting in a Feature Match with your back against the wall after only 5 minutes in the round!

 

 

Still, Kirchmair seemed relaxed, considering the circumstances. He calmly announced that he would go first in the second Duel and play proceded after both Duelists were done side decking. Kirchmair extended his hand prior to drawing his 6th card and added “A little less luck this time, please” with a wink.

His hand featured [sarco], [bom], [trap stun], [infinf] and 2 more Monster Cards. He activated [sarco] and searched his deck for [reborn]. “Once again!”, he announced, then he Set a monster and 3 spells or traps and passed his turn. It seemed he had some kind of defense this time.

 

 

Alici drew into his 6th card. “Cold Wave”, Kirchmair guessed. Alici Set a card to each zone and passed.

Kirchmair activated [infinf] which helped him to fill his Graveyard with [archfiend] and [avenger]. He was holding no more cards in his hand. He drew into [road] and opted to Set it. He activated [trap stun] next, Flip Summoned [necromancer] and Alici thought about a response. Kirchmair claimed priority and wanted to get [archfiend] from his Graveyard, but Alici had [crow]! [necromancer] attacked into Alici’s Set [pashuul] and the Austrian didn’t seem too happy with the way this Duel was going…

Play was back to Alici. Would he end the Duel in his second turn again? He activated his Set Spell or Trap Card: [bom]. He Summoned [bogknight] and used its effect to bring out [fulhelm] as well. He followed it up with [faultroll] and Tuned [pashuul] and [bogknight] to [hyunlei]. “Target?”, Kirchmair asked and Alici responded: “All.” This was the first good news for Kirchmair as it allowed him to activate [road]! He Chained [bom] and turned [faultroll] face-down! “Hooray!”, Kirchmair said!

Alici seemed to be a little stunned by this response. He didn’t see [road] coming. “You’re both still on 8000, right?”, a member of our tech staff asked. “Yes, but this is a mind game!”, Kirchmair replied. He couldn’t have been more right, although it seemed to a bystander that nothing’s really happened so far, there were plenty of things going on on the field and in the heads of both players.

 

 

It was time for Kirchmair to come up with a huge play. He Flip Summoned [necromancer], Summoned [patrol] from his hand and brought back [avenger] thanks to the effect of [necromancer]. He Tuned all 3 of his monsters (save [stardust]) to [idd], revealed his Set [reborn] and brought back [hyunlei] from Alici’s Graveyard!

He attacked with [hyunlei] first and [fulhelm] negated the attack. [idd] then attacked over [fulhelm] and [stardust] attacked into the Set [faultroll], leaving Alici with no cards on the field!

Suddenly it was Alici, sitting with his back against the wall. All he could do was Set a Monster Card and pass for his turn. [idd]’s effect was used to destroy the set [consec], attacks from [hyunlei] and [stardust] followed, leaving Alici with only 1500 Life Points.

Alici Set a monster again, but it wasn’t enough to stop Kirchmair’s monsters in the following turn.

 

Kirchmair equals the score thanks to Starlight Road!

 

“Seems like the random [road] were the game winner this time!”, Kirchmair smiled. He was only playing 1 copy, but it’s a card that can make all the difference as proven by the last Duel. “His [bom] showed me that this turn was coming.”, Kirchmair remarked while shuffling his deck. “If he would have only selected one of my face-down Spell or Trap Cards, I wouldn’t have had a chance to win the duel. I guess he was playing around [barrier].”

Better players are continuously thinking of these chances, so pay attention if somebody like Claudio Kirchmair’s is telling you what he’s going through over the course of a Duel!

Alici started with [consec] in Attack Position, he Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.

[duality] was Kirchmair’s opening move. It revealed [gorz], [infinf] and [infbreak]. Kirchmair picked [gorz], happy about the option to stop his opponent from pulling off another quick win. He Summoned [rai oh] and from the way Alici looked, he didn’t like what he saw. The Thunder monster attacked over [consec], Kirchmair activated [sarco] and searched out [reborn] once more, he Set a Spell or Trap Card and was done with his turn.

 

 

Alici’s [bogknight] entered the field. Its effect was used to Special Summon [airbellum]. Alici entered his Battle Phase and declared an attack with [bogknight] on [rai oh]. Kirchmair simply revealed [mf]! I haven’t seen him more relaxed at any point in this Duel, he couldn’t have looked more confident!

3 cards left in Alici’s hand and you could sense that Kirchmair was already thinking about his next turn. He asked if he could draw for his turn and after checking his face-down Spell or Trap Card once more, Alici said Kirchmair was good to go.

[rai oh] attacked directly. Kirchmair Set a Spell or Trap Card in Main Phase 2 and he passed.

 

 

Alici was back on 4 cards and you can see them in the picture above. He Summoned [fulhelm] and Kirchmair had no response. [mind] tried to grant Alici the control over [rai oh] and Kirchmair said it was fine after asking about the number of cards Alici was holding once more (2). Both monsters were Tuned to [urbellum]. Alici called for a judge to ask if [rai oh] could negate the Special Summon of [gorz] (no). Then he activated [reborn] to return [consec] back to his field, but Kirchmair had [sj]. [urbellum] attacked directly and that was the turn for Alici.

Play was back to Kirchmair. Time was called, so there were only 4 more turns to be played.

Kirchmair activated [duality], revealing [hole], [barrier] and [necromancer]. “That’s an easy choice!”, Kirchmair remarked and he picked [hole] before shuffling the other cards back into his deck. He activated [hole] to destroy [urbellum], Summoned [rai oh] and attacked directly. Alici was left with 2300 Life Points and things weren’t looking too good for him.

 

 

It didn’t seem to be the best time to go for a strong defense, but all Alici could do was Set a monster and pass.

Kirchmair simply had to survive the last turn of Alici to take home the win. He was on 4000 Life Points, while Alici was left with 2300 and there was still [gorz] in Kirchmair’s hand that would it make that much more difficult for Alici to force through a lot of damage.

For the second time in this Duel, Kirchmair went into the tank. He considered his next move very carefully, but ultimately decided to Summon [patrol] before activating [reborn] on [fulhelm]. [patrol] attacked into [emmersblade], resulting in Alici losing 300 Life Points (if [patrol] destroys a monster as a result of battle, the opponent loses Life Points according to the level of the monster x 100). [pashuul] was Special Summoned and Kirchmair had no more attacks. He Set a Spell or Trap Card and passed.

 

 

[emmersblade] was Summoned on Alici’s side of the field. [faultroll] followed, but Kirchmair used the effect of [rai oh] to negate the Summon. However, Alici had a second copy of [faultroll], drawing a cheer from the crowd, watching the game on the big screen.

Alici called over a judge and asked if [fulhelm] can negate the attack of [catastor]. Kirchmair explained that it was possible to save some time (the judge would have to talk “game mechanics” in order to not coach the player, but Kirchmair wanted to finish this Duel) and the judge agreed. Alici thought for a long time and considered his options. After a minute of thinking, he declared that he would use the effect of [faultroll] to return [bogknight] to his side of the field. He Tuned [pashuul] and [faultroll] to [scrap dragon]. He used the effect of the Synchro Monster and destroyed [fulhelm], destroying Kirchmair’s [fulhelm]. Kirchmair knew that this Duel was over ([scrap dragon] could attack over [patrol] and [bogknight] could attack directly, dealing enough damage to reduce Kirchmair’s Life Points to 900) and extended his hand.

 

Luigi Alici wins the match!

 

There was nothing Kirchmair could do against the second copy of [faultroll], setting up a huge last turn for Alici and allowing him to claim the win in this exciting Duel!

Alici thought that this Duel was over; he was holding 2 copies of [emmersblade] at an earlier point in the last Duel. He then drew into the 2 copies of [faultroll] that allowed him to claim the win and said that it was very hard for him not to give away the excitement that he felt while drawing into those cards.

Well, this is what makes Yu-Gi-Oh! the great game it is! You always have some outs in your deck and if you’re drawing into them against all the bad odds, you can’t help but feel amazing!