It seems like these days the Shonen Jump circuit is all about surprises, and we’re starting off with a big one here today — Claudio Kirchmair has made a surprise appearance here at Shonen Jump Championship Seattle! For those of you unfamiliar with his name, Kirchmair took second place at the European Championships this past summer, and went on to take fourth place at the World Championships — he’s inarguably Austria’s most recognized duelist, and today the twenty-one year-old star is here in the US playing TeleDAD. The reason for his visit to the US? This tournament. Kirchmair came with nothing but competition on his mind.
His opponent is Jim Nelson, a 28 year-old professional poker player working local casinos here in the Seattle area. Hailing from Yakima, Washington, he’s packing Lightsworn here today, and doesn’t quite seem to realize who he’s up against. Still, this was an explosive matchup, and one big hand from Nelson or one false step from Kirchmair could result in a big upset.
Kirchmair would start the match, and opened with a pretty good hand: Destiny Draw, Snipe Hunter, Krebons, Mystic Tomato, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, and Sangan. He set Sangan and Wind Blast to get things started; as long as Sangan was destroyed before the Wind Blast, Kirchmair would be able to search out Destiny Hero – Malicious, then discard him with his trap card or Destiny Draw. Choices like those are always sweet to have!
Nelson considered his moves for a few moments and then summoned Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner. He activated Charge of the Light Brigade, sending Beckoning Light, Celestia, Lightsworn Angel, and Cold Wave to his graveyard to search for Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior, but still didn’t have a suitable Lightsworn in the graveyard with which to use Lumina’s effect. He really jumped the gun summoning Lumina before activating Charge. He attacked with Lumina, hit Sangan, and Kirchmair searched for Destiny Hero – Malicious with Sangan’s effect. In the end phase Lumina sent another Celestia, another Cold Wave, and Solar Recharge to Nelson’s graveyard.
“Two Cold Waves, already gone,” mused Kirchmair. “Okay.” He activated Destiny Draw, discarded Malicious, and drew into Reinforcement of the Army and Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude, adding them to the Allure of Darkness he’d drawn to begin his turn. “Remove him,” he stated politely, removing Malicious to summon another from his deck. He followed up with Krebons, Synchro summoned Colossal Fighter, and activated Allure of Darkness. The Allure got him another Malicious and Dark Grepher — he removed the third Malicious to complete Allure’s effect.
“Declare an attack.” Colossal Fighter smashed over Lumina, and Jim dropped to 6100 life points. “Your turn.” Nelson could do nothing but set a monster.
Kirchmair drew Crush Card Virus, a huge card in this matchup! It was highly likely that Nelson’s face-down card was Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, a threat to Colossal Fighter, so Kirchmair activated Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to spin the set monster away, discarding Dark Grepher to pay for it. He summoned Mystic Tomato, attacked with both of his monsters for direct damage, and Nelson was down to 1700 life points. He conceded the duel moments later.
Claudio Kirchmair claims his first duel of the day in mere heartbeats! Jim Nelson would be hard pressed to pull this one out. Both competitors side decked at a leisurely pace, with Kirchmair finishing and presenting his deck first.
Nelson immediately opened the game by setting two cards to his back row. He summoned Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior and ended. In Kirchmair’s draw phase he flipped Anti-Spell Fragrance!
Kirchmair was holding two Necro Gardna, Emergency Teleport, Reinforcement of the Army, Dark Armed Dragon, and Allure of Darkness. Spell Fragrance was bad news. “Let me think if I chain a card . . .” Kirchmair did: Emergency Teleport. He special summoned Krebons from his deck, and Nelson responded with Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. Kirchmair summoned Necro Gardna, Synchro summoned Magical Android, and ran it into Garoth — Nelson battled back with Honest! Kirchmair set two cards to his back row and ended.
Nelson tributed Garoth for Celestia, Lightsworn Angel, losing Judgment Dragon, Lumina, and two Solar Recharge to destroy Kirchmair’s face-down Allure of Darkness and Reinforcement of the Army! Celestia made a direct attack, and Kirchmair set a card to each zone next turn. With one card left in hand, Kirchmair was in trouble. This might be a fast game 2.
“Card Destruction,” announced Nelson, playing the old-school spell card to the field. Kirchmair lost his Dark Armed Dragon, while Nelson got two more cards. Celestia took down Kirchmair’s second Necro Gardna, and Nelson set a third spell or trap. Kirchmair drew — he had Destiny Draw and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast in hand with one more card set. “Go.”
Celestia made another direct attack, and Kirchmair was down to 1550 life points. Nelson ended, and Kirchmair was in a bad way, unable to topdeck a monster. Celestia attacked next turn, Kirchmair removed Necro Gardna not quite realizing he wouldn’t get its effect, then chained his own Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, discarding Destiny Draw to spin away Celestia. Nelson ended.
Next turn Kirchmair drew Dark Grepher, and flipped his face-down Allure of Darkness to trade it for two more cards: still no monsters. Nelson summoned Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner next turn, discarded for her effect, and Kirchmair immediately scooped.
Jim Nelson battles back, pushing this match to Game 3! Could the gambler from Yakima really beat out one of Europe’s greatest duelists!? We were about to find out.
Kirchmair opened with Reinforcement of the Army, searching his deck for Elemental Hero Stratos and summoning him to get Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude. He added Diamond Dude to his hand of Malicious, Allure of Darkness, Destiny Hero - Doom Lord, Wind Blast, and Krebons. He activated Allure, paying for it with Doom Lord, and activated another copy next, removing Snipe Hunter. He discarded Malicious for Destiny Draw next, but lost his Malicious to D.D. Crow! That left him with a Crow of his own, plus Mystical Space Typhoon, Diamond Dude, Wind Blast, Krebons, and Crush Card Virus! He set Wind Blast and ended his turn.
Charge of the Light Brigade sent Beckoning Light, Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress, and Honest off the top of Nelson’s deck next turn, letting him fetch Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner. Nelson then discarded Celestia, Lightsworn Angel for Solar Recharge, drew two, and sent Cold Wave and Lumina to the graveyard. He then activated Giant Trunade! Kirchmair’s Wind Blast was sent back to his hand.
Nelson had four cards left. He summoned Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner, and discarded Asura Priest to try and special summon Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress: Kirchmair weighed the choices. He could ditch D.D. Crow to cut off the special summon, or he could keep it for Crush Card Virus. After a few seconds’ thought he opted for the latter, and Lyla hit the field.
Monster Reborn fell from Nelson’s hand, targeting Celestia, Lightsworn Angel! “One card left in the hand? That’s fine.” Nelson attacked with Celestia, Stratos went down, and Lyla and Lumina each made a direct attack. Kirchmair was down to 4800 life points, a relatively comfortable number given the fact that he was going to assume complete control of the game next turn. Lumina and Lyla sent six cards to the graveyard in the end phase, including Wulf, Lightsworn Beast – Nelson special summoned it.
Kirchmair topped Brain Control, then set Crush Card Virus and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast. He set D.D. Crow. “Go.” Nelson activated Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress’ effect to target Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, and Kirchmair chained it, discarding Mystical Space Typhoon to send Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner back to Nelson’s deck — the one monster his Crush Card Virus wouldn’t destroy. Nelson summoned Ehren, Lightsworn Monk, attacked with her, and Kirchmair flipped the Virus! Nelson lost everything. “Go.”
Kirchmair summoned Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude, and sent Allure of Darkness off the top of his deck with its effect! He attacked for 1400 damage, and Nelson drew his useless Lumina next turn. Diamond Dude sent Breaker the Magical Warrior off the deck next turn, and Kirchmair claimed his free Allure, removing Necro Gardna for it. That got him Destiny Hero – Malicious, which he discarded with Destiny Draw, and he removed him to special summoned his third. He normal summoned Krebons, brought out Colossal Fighter, and it hit the field with 3200 ATK! The Fighter attacked, then Diamond Dude, dropping Nelson to 2000 life points. He had no outs, and next turn his topdecked Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror was reason enough to concede.
Austria’s Claudio Kirchmair pulls off a massive Crush Card Virus, wrecking Jim Nelson and moving on with his first win of the day!