On Trax


On Trax
The New Zealand Trax Association Newsletter. Issue: 3

Candidate's Biographies

The qualifying players listed on the previous page won the right to participate in the Candidate's Tournament, the purpose of which is to find a challenger for the World Championship Challenge Match. The 1994 Candidate's Tournament was hosted by the Canterbury Trax Club and was held in Christchurch, NZ on the weekend of 13, 14 August. (This was a week later than previously advertised to allow Mel Nicholson to participate). Baozhen Fan withdrew from the tournament leaving 6 players. The two international players (Mel Nicholson and Dan Pless) participated via a live computer connection.

The Candidate's Tournament consisted of a double round robin, with each player playing each of the other players twice, once as white and once as black. This meant that each person played a total of 10 games.

To let you know a little more about the top players, each of the qualifiers has provided a short description of themselves.

Mel Nicholson

I am a twenty-five year old northern Californian with a wife and a one year old son. By profession, I am a computer programmer in the past working as a contractor for NASA (the United States Space Program). I am now working for Newspager, an American information broadcast system. I was introduced to Trax over the Internet by Tom Siegenthaler in 1992, and soon thereafter wrote a play-by-email server for the game. Since that time I have founded the Bay Area Trax Club, and I am trying to foster enough interest in the game locally to have people to play live games with (postal play is never quite the same). After winning the Bay Area tournament in 1994, going undefeated for the day, I'm looking forward to live play against the best of the world in the upcoming Candidates' Match.

Tom Siegenthaler

I have always been interested in games and puzzles, preferring games with simple rules - role playing games are not for me. Nor do I have the speed (or inclination) for arcade games. I discovered Trax eight years ago but didn't start playing until I met Donald Bailey (three years ago). Since then Trax has risen to being my favourite game, and has led me to the position of secretary of the New Zealand Trax Association and president of the Manawatu Trax Club. In order to sustain my Trax affliction, I work at Massey University, New Zealand as a computer technician. The rest of my spare time is spent away from civilisation - tramping in the hills.

Guy Mortlock

I have been a member of the Canterbury Trax Club since 1985. I have graduated from Canterbury University with LLB (Hons) and a BCom, I am now practicing law in Christchurch. In my spare time, I am a keen skier.

Tim Jefferies

I was one of the founding members of the Canterbury Trax Club in 1984. In 1988, I won the NZ Candidate's Tournament, but lost the Candidate's playoff. In 1989, I succeeded in becoming the challenger, but lost the Challenge Match to Andrew Butterfield by 3 games to 6. I am currently a fifth year medical student at the Christchurch School of Medicine. I also enjoy choral singing, playing the violin, chess, and many sporting activities.

Andrew Jefferies

I too joined the Canterbury Trax Club in 1984 as a founding member. In 1987, I won the Candidate's Tournament, but lost the Challenge Match to Andrew Butterfield by 3 games to 6. I have graduated with a economics degree, and am currently completing a law degree at the University of Canterbury. Some of my other interests are choral singing, playing the violin, and cricket.

Dan Pless

I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1966 and now live in North Wales Pennsylvania (about twenty miles north of Philadelphia). Ever since I was quite young, I have had a strong interest in games, especially perfect information games. I have at various times tried to find or invent the perfect game. Trax is the closest to my ideal that I have found. Occasionally my game playing is interrupted by my work at the Rohm and Haas Company where I am a programmer / analyst in the computational chemistry group.

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