We are pleased to award the Best GM honor for 2009 to Jim Jordan who bested the Here I Stand GM, Ed Beach, by a single point, 72-71, despite getting no first place votes to Ed's three. His winning score of 72 was based on a strong overall performance in the view of all eight voters with three 2nds, two fourths, a 5th, a 6th and a 7th. Overall, scores ranged from Jim's 72 to a low of 13. This was Jim's fourth Top Six GM performance. He has long been active at WBC as a GM and has served eleven straight years as the Britannia GM.
Jim's recognition as GM of the Year probably has more to do with a long history of consistency than anything new he did differently in 2009. As he has done nearly every year, Jim has always been punctual, neat and complete with paperwork requirements. He is one of a very few GMs to submit his schedule requests in carte blanche format, allowing the Convention Director to schedule the event as facilities allow in accordance with other events at the cost of his own personal convenience. He also always contributes "Best Side" awards for players scoring best with each of the game's four colors as well as an award for the lowest score (Ethelred the Unready). And as was recognized earlier when he won the Sportsmanship Award, he continues to put his own playing opportunities last by playing only when necessary to round out each heat's total entrants with even multiples of four players. In addition, he has provided additional prizes such as books at his own expense and has the engraving updated for the traditional silver tray donated by original GM Scott Pfeiffer.
Above all he is calm, clear and not easily ruffled—commanding and getting the respect of his participants. He also was instrumental in welcoming game designer Lou Pulsipher to WBC and making him a regular part of the Britannia WBC community with the result that the newly published 2nd edition of Britannia was designed with comments from WBC players playing a major role. Through Jim's good offices the game was playtested at WBC—having an effect on the hobby beyond the boundaries of our own WBC enjoyment.
The Board's eight 1st votes were split among five nominees. Finishing second in the voting to take his third Top Six nomination with three of those 1st place votes was Ed Beach, who garnered a score of 71 for hosting Here I Stand with extra consideration for his work in the Juniors room and the Great Campaigns event. Tom Gregorio garnered his first Top Six honors to finish third with 62 points for hosting The Russian Campaign. Rounding out the remainder of our Top Six GMs were Richard Irving (Merchant of Venus) with a score of 61, Stuart Tucker (Hannibal) at 58, and Eric Brosius (Princes of Florence) with a score of 56. Well done all. Our sincere thanks to you and all others like you who try to make WBC a little more special every year.