Andrew Bichard has been named Sportsman of the Year for 2023 by appearing on 28% of the 476 ballots and receiving 27% of the votes cast in the annual membership vote. Andrew earned praise in 878 Vikings and Memoir '44. In 878 Vikings Andrew started a game and was in an advantageous position early in the game. His opponent realized he had not put on a number of starting pieces at the beginning of the game. Andrew agreed to restart the game and ended up losing the game and being knocked out of the tournament. Nominated by the GM.
In Memoir '44, the GM had this to say about Andrew's play in his game: Most Sportsmanship nominations are based on a player pointing out an opponent’s error or missed rule and sacrificing their own self-interest. This one is about a different aspect of Sportsmanship: Heartfelt enthusiasm for the game. Andrew Bichard is still in his teens. Thursday evening at our Mulligan, he was full of questions, especially about the multi-player “Overlord” version, and especially the four remaining scheduled Overlord battles. After he won his match in the Mulligan, he also offered to come back in the morning and play as an eliminator in Round 1 if needed – and indeed, he showed up before 9 am, we had an odd number, and I used him as an eliminator.
Andrew’s curiosity continued during spare time Friday and Saturday. He participated in our Friday late-night Overlord (as a commander-in-chief, which I didn’t expect him to volunteer for), plus our Saturday morning, afternoon, and evening ones. He had been especially curious about the scenario we had scheduled for Saturday afternoon, which is a “kitchen sink” battle with lots of special units and rules, looking for a way to be able to be part of it. (I did find a role for him, but as it turned out, we had enough players for two games, and he wound up in the other scenario, where he commanded one side.)
At the end of the weekend, one of my AGMs told me, “Yeah, Andrew asked me a lot of questions, too. And the amazing thing is, he never repeated a question.” I’ve been GMing at WBC 12 years, and I’ve never seen anybody show even 1/10 as much curiosity and desire to learn. I view this as a part of Sportsmanship, and I would feel remiss if I didn’t recognize it with this nomination. Nominated by the GM.
His competition was David Rynowsli with 21% of the votes. Tim was nominated by the GM of Diplomacy. Every year he provides donuts and coffee during the morning Round 2. He also volunteers to be the “odd man out”, sitting out rounds to make the multiple of 7 for full games. He does this every year, sacrificing a chance to win so new and inexperienced players get an opportunity to play a full game of Diplomacy.
The remaining top six nominees were Rolinda Collinson with 14%, George Bott with 10%, Jeromey Martin with 9%, and Jay Matthews with 8%.