This is not a blog about CyberKev, though given the number of mentions he gets you might think this was his unauthorised biography. Nevertheless, let me tell you about how he got lucky with my girlfriend...
Since the kid's mum chose earlier this year to go join a different game group (see April's posts), the quest has been on to find a new gaming partner: in particular, the mythical Hot Chick That Plays GIPF. CyberKev graciously reserved a spot in his game group for her. However after my July trip to ConVic4 where I played Tichu with Fraser and Shaun Low, and my ordering of a copy of Tichu in August, CyberKev has been subtly hinting that The Hot Chick That Plays GIPF might actually turn out to be The Fourth For Tichu. In CyberKev's view, the selection of a life partner is subsidiary to finding another player for your next game.
To be fair, he had a point. A good cards partner is not easy to find, so when I updated my profile on RSVP (the singles site), I mentioned that I needed a Tichu partner. Despite having no idea what Tichu was, Scrabblette suggested that she'd try anything once and so from the moment we established contact Scrabblette was pencilled in to be The Fourth For Tichu.
Regular readers of this blog will understand that from the number of mentions of Scrabblette that things have turned out pretty well, and during the week we hosted a dinner party / Tichu evening where we played Carrom (Scrabblette kicked ass), had a slap-up feast, and settled down to figure out Tichu. It has a lot of rules. I remember when I first played that the dog and the phoenix confused the heck out of me. And I'm still not very good at trick-taking games - my card counting skills are rudimentary at best (I don't even use all my fingers!) and I'm still developing a feel for what I'll be able to get away with.
The game started badly for my team, with CyberKev and Mrs CyberKev recording a 1-2 for 200 points. Never fear, "first game's a learning game"! In the second hand, CyberKev called a Grand Tichu which he made for 200 points, and the score was 455 to 45. There's still a long way to go in the game. The third hand was very civilised, with no Tichus called, and we caught up to trail 490 to 110. Then came a curious hand - Mrs CyberKev called Tichu. I thought I had a good hand so I called Tichu as well. As it played out, CyberKev was able to go out first but to do so would have cost his team 100 points, so he held off and I went out first instead. Scores were now 460 to 240.
Now sorry if you think this story is going to have a thrilling denouement... after a couple more hands Mrs CyberKev had to go home to sleep and we didn't manage to finish the game. The scores when stumps was called was 590 to 210 - in the missing part of the story the Kevs scored another 1-2 and both teams lost on a Tichu call. Clearly we need a lot of practice! I'm hoping that getting beaten by CyberKev at Tichu can become a regular occurrence - after all, I have organised my entire life around it.