tikal   

Updated Nov. 23, 2013

 2013 WBC Report  

 2014 Status: pending December 2013 Membership Trial Vote

Eric Freeman, PA

2013 Champion

Event History
2000    Jason O'Donnell     95
2001    Kevin Garber     80
2002    Brian Jones     72
2003     Barbara Flaxington     53
2004    Harald Henning     77
2005    Davyd Field     75
2006    Davyd Field     45
2007     Harald Henning     56
2008    Eric Freeman     42
2009     Jack Jaeger     41
2010     Harald Henning     43
2011    Jack Jaeger     38
2013    Eric Freeman     37

Euro Quest BPA Event History
2003     Arthur Field     23
2004     Phil Rennert     16

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1. Arthur Field        SC    09    124
  2. Davyd Field         CA    08    101
  3. Jack Jaeger         VA    11     94
  4. Harald Henning      CT    10     80
  5. Barbara Flaxington  NJ    13     70
  6. Eric Freeman        PA    13     67
  7. Kevin Garber        VA    02     52
  8. Daniel Broh-Kahn    MD    10     46
  9. Brian Jones         MD    02     40
 10. Greg Thatcher       CA    11     31
 11. Jason O'Donnell     OH    00     30
 12. Kevin Broh-Kahn     MD    13     28
 13. James Hopkin        CA    02     24
 14. Jason Ley           WA    13     20
 15. Phil Rennert        MD    04     20
 16. Rob Kilroy          PA    00     18
 17. Riku Riekkinen      fi    13     12
 18. Pierre Paquet       qc    07     12
 19. Valerie Putman      OH    05     12
 20. David Wenstrup      SC    03     12
 21. Eric Haas           MD    03     12
 22. Marvin Birnbaum     NJ    00     12
 23. Robert Flowers      MD    09     11
 24. Chris Terrel        VA    05     10
 25. Dominic Blais       qc    13      9
 26. John Min            NJ    11      9
 27. John Kerr           VA    03      9
 28. Steve Cameron       PA    00      9
 29. Charlie Mitchell    VA    08      8
 30. William Duke        MD    03      8
 31. Randy Buehler       WA    11      6
 32. Bill Zurn           CA    10      6
 33. Virginia Colin      VA    09      6
 34. Rodney Davidson     AZ    04      6
 35. Jonathan Fox        IL    04      6
 36. David Fair          MD    03      6
 37. John Wetherell      PA    00      6
 38. James Carvin        PA    03      4
 39. Craig Moffit        NJ    06      3
 40. Tim Kelley          SC    04      3
 41. Mario Lanza         PA    03      3
 42. Mike Backstrom      MN    00      3
 43. Jeff Finkeldey      OH    10      2
 44. Marc-Andre Imbeault qc    08      2
 45. Don Bone            au    03      2

2013 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists:

Riku Riekkinen, fi
2nd

Kevin Broh-Kahn, MD
3rd

Dominic Blais, qc
4th

Barb Flaxington, NJ
5th

Jason Ley, WA
6th

Past Winners

Jason O'Donnell, OH
2000

Kevin Garber, VA
2001

Brian Jones, MD
2002

Barb Flaxington, NJ
2003

Harald Henning, CT
2004, 2007, 2010

Davyd Field, CA
2005-06

Eric Freeman, PA
2008, 2013

Jack Jaeger, VA
2009, 2011
   

Ken Rothstein, Riku Riekkinen, Jason Ley and Ken Samuel

The finalists stand to while GM Broh-Kahn hides hehind his kiosk.

Still Short of the Mark ...

TIKAL celebrated a return to WBC via the ballot box after a one-year hiatus, and although it set a new alltime low with another slight decline in attendance it may have been due to the one-year hiatus, or so the loyal fanbase hopes.

Demonstration and Chess Clocks: As usual, there was an enthusiastic turnout, with almost a dozen or so newbies seeking to learn their ways through the jungles of Central America. Tikal, like many Euros, is easy to learn and difficult to master. It can be taught in 10 minutes, which allows for a sample game to be played up through the first scoring round in the allotted hour.

To play, a player places a tile, and then allocates 10 Action Points (APs) per turn as they wish. Scoring is simple: In a scoring round, (four in the game), each player receives the usual 10 action points, without the tile placement, and then they score. The last scoring round is done in reverse order, so whoever is in last place at the end gets to go first in the last scoring round, often an advantage.

The WBC version of Tikal uses the bidding rules in the game in which players bid on the right to choose the tile they place, some tiles having more perceived value to one player than another. Bidding provides a bit more strategy to the game, and also prevents the ubiquitous whining about poor tile selection. Bidding also allows a player to go last in one round, and then first in the next, allowing them, in effect, 20 action points in a row, something that happens quite frequently. Don't forget in bidding: A bid of "0", or a pass, while potentially allowing a player the right to choose and play a tile, prevents a player from re-entering the bidding in this round. (In other words, you cannot bid 0, and then jump back into the current bid.)

Reintroduced again this year for the second time were multiplayer chess clocks, designed in Europe for use with Euros. One of the strong criticisms with Tikal is the analysis paralysis problem, whereby a player, or players, spends far too much time analyzing the board searching for the perfect move. Determined to meet this problem head on, the GM introduced chess clocks (chess cubes, actually!), which while intimidating at first, are remarkable easy to use. If you'd like information about these fantastic 6-player chess cubes, feel free to contact the GM or search The DGT Cube on-line.

Initial Heats and Scheduling: As usual, there were three heats scheduled, and the general rule is win one heat and you're in the semis. Social Tikal should be a 90-minute game, and through the use of clocks, the GM allowed exactly two hours for each of the three rounds. As a result, all of the games were finished in less than two hours, with pressure applied in the proper places.

The Thursday heat had five games, the Friday heat four, and the Saturday heat but three. 4-player games were employed if possible. Heats were scored on cards, with each individual disclosing their score in the last round, the final score, finish place, and reserve pieces for a tiebreaker. This information would normally be used to move on in the semis, but it proved to be unnecessary.

The Semifinals: With only ten individual preliminary winners, the potential for alternate advancement was high. However, since only seven qualifiers appeared for the semis on time, it was agreed to limit the semis to two games, (with the highest scoring alternate included). The winners and runners-up from each game would advance. Since everyone was by now familiar with the chess clocks, there was no need to explain their use. From a scoring perspective, none of the semifinals was that close, with both winners and runners-up at least 20 points ahead of the third and fourth place finishers, validating the selection criteria. Advancing to the Final were Dominic Blais and Kevin Broh-Kahn, from Table 1, and Riku Riekkinen and Eric Freeman, from Table 2. By virtue of their third place finishes, perennial contenders Barb Flaxington and Jason Ley took fifth and sixth place laurels, respectively.

The Final: At the first scoring mark it was a close game with Dominic leading with 29, followed by Eric 28, Kevin 25 and Riku 24. That order changed before the second scoring session. Dominic was still in first at 26, Kevin at 25, Riku close at 24, but Eric had bid himself down to 13.

However, Eric scored 24 points on the second volcano, compared to low teens for the leaders. So surprisingly, after the second scoring, the players were remarkably close: 37; 37; 37 and 39 for Riku, the new leader. After that, Eric's obvious investment started to pay off handsomely, as he scored 37 points for the third volcano, simultaneously moving from last to first with 68 points, while Riku dropped to 65, Kevin to 62, and Dominic to 59. After that, it was academic accounting; as the new leader Eric nailed an astounding 44 points on the last round, scoring 111 points, well over the runner-up, Riku with 102. Kevin once again came in third with 101 and Dominic, the original leader, trailed with 90 points. It seems that getting out to an early lead is a kiss of death, as the same thing happened in 2011. It is also clearly apparent that to win at this level, you have to bid aggressively to get the tiles you need, get your guys on the board to control the temples, and reap what you sow.

2013 should hopefully be judged a success, based on the field size, quality of the competition (intense, as usual) and the reintroduction of the chess clocks, which generated mostly positive comments, although there were a few detractors. Happily, for a tournament that started at 9 pm on Saturday night, chess clocks allowed the last two rounds to be finished in just over three hours ... quite an accomplishment. Perhaps next year, with the anxiety of the chess clocks now firmly out of the way, the tournament will attract over 50 players again, if it gets voted back. Hope springs eternal.

 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn [9th Year]   NA
    Daribuck@Verizon.net    NA 

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