up front

Updated Nov. 16, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

Ed Kendrick, uk

2015 Champion

Event History


Mark Cohen


Maria Hawthorne


Bruce Young


Bruce Young


Herbert Gratz


William Edwards


John Emery


John Emery


Larry Davidson


John Emery


Bruce Wigdor


John Emery


Ray Stakenas II


John Emery 30

Bruce Young 33

Paul Wright 30

Ray Stakenas II 27

Ed Kendrick 22

Jeff Spaner 23

John Emery 25

Bruce Wigdor 27

Richard Irving 25

Ed Kendrick 31

John Emery 28

Ed Kendrick 29

PBeM Event History
2000 Jeff Matthews 32
2003 Jeff Matthews 24


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Emery         SC    14    227
  2.  Bruce Young        SC    15    186
  3.  Ed Kendrick        uk    15    130
  4.  Ray Stakenas II    MI    12    118
  5.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    13    112
  6.  Richard Irving     CA    15     84
  7.  Ray Stakenas Sr    MI    13     74
  8.  Jeff Spaner        MD    14     52
  9.  Paul Wright        PA    09     52
 10.  Ralph Gleaton      SC    11     48
 11.  Larry Davidson     CA    02     46
 12.  Herbert Gratz      at    09     34
 13.  Jeff Matthews      CA    04     30
 14.  Bari Wigdor        NJ    04     26
 15.  Jeremy Billones    VA    15     24
 16.  Bill Edwards       VA    05     24
 17.  Stefan Hess        NY    01     24
 18.  Wade Fowble        MD    14     22
 19.  Andrew Maly        MD    15     21
 20.  David Wong         NJ    10     19
 21.  Robert Malcomson   MN    14     18
 22.  William Kendrick   uk    12     18
 23.  George Young       VT    06     18
 24.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     16
 25.  Ken Katano         MD    01     16
 26.  Eric Taylor        NM    05     12
 27.  Mike Stachowski    NY    03     12
 28.  Jeff Paull         OH    00     12
 29.  Dale Martin        MI    04     10
 30.  Bill Alderman      VA    11      9
 31.  Kevin Emery        SC    09      9
 32.  Michael Johnson    MA    03      9
 33.  Nick Vlahos        IL    00      9
 34.  Jean-Luc Brouillet on    05      8
 35.  Erick Young        SC    01      8
 36.  Scott Russell      MI    00      6
 37.  Ken Whitesell      PA    15      3
 38.  Alan Arvold        IL    00      3
 39.  Don Greenwood      MD    00      3
 40.  Frank Arndt        MD    99      3
 41.  Brian Carr         VA    04      2
 42.  Brian Devitt       CA    00      2
 43.  Robert Mull        CO    00      1
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 2

Richard Irving, CA

Jeremy Billones, VA

Bruce Young, SC

Andrew Maly, TX

Ken Whitesell, PA

Past Winners

Maria Hawthorne, VA

Bruce Young, SC
1993-94, 2005

Herbert Gratz, at

Bill Edwards, VA

John Emery, SC
97-98, 00, 02, 04, 10, 14

Bruce Wigdor, NJ
2001, 2011

Ray Stakenas Jr, MI
2003, 2007

Paul Wright, PA

Ed Kendrick, uk
2008, 2013, 2015

Jeff Spaner, MD

Richard Irving, CA

Richard Irving vs Ray Stakenas for probably the umpteenth time

Nathan Wagner vs Raymond Stakenas II

Dan Lawall vs Ken Whitesell

GM Jim Burnett with the last two standing in his gauntlet.

7-0 is Not Enough ...

One of the bedrocks of the WBC schedule has always been Thursday’s Up Front marathon. This game has had a loyal following since the inception of the con and those players continue to return year after year to vie for the title of best of the best. The 29 player field for this year included six former champions representing ten shields. Notable by his absence was defending champion John Emery and his seven shields. Could it be that the godfather of UPF has abandoned us for lesser pursuits? To keep the field fresh and add players to the group, we had four new attendees and two returnees off hiatus in the field.

The initial five rounds of Swiss gaming featured quite a few “upsets”. The term is used in quotes because of the overall quality of the field. While some are naturally considered better than others, the old saying that anyone beat anyone else on a given day is truly applicable here.

After the casualties had been removed, the only man still standing with a perfect 5-0 record was 2012 champ Richard Irving. Richard repeated his 2014 feat of navigating the Swiss rounds undefeated. Joining Richard in the elimination rounds with one loss were regulars Ken Whitesell, Ed Kendrick, Andy Maly, Bruce and George Young. The eight-man field was completed by the two strongest 3-2 players, Jeremy Billones and Ray Stakenas, who fared best among the five 3-2 records as measured by a strength of schedule tiebreaker.

These eight were seeded by record and the elimination rounds began. The quarter-finals awarded wins to both higher and lower seeds with Irving’s American Defenders recording their sixth win of the day vs Stakenas’ Japanese in Scenario “L”; Billones’ German Defenders beating Maly’s Americans in “L”; Kendrick as the American Attacker over Whitesell’s Germans, also in ”L”; and, in the battle of the Youngs, Bruce with the Russians taking George’s Germans in “E”.

The semifinals had Irving choosing Russian Defenders to best Young’s German Attackers once again in Scenario “L”, Outpost Line. The game was easily the best played of this year’s tournament. The game was on the line until the last card with Richard running out the deck before Bruce could land a riposte. In the other bracket, Ed’s Germans broke Jeremy’s British in Scenario “A”.

This set the stage for a classic matchup between former champions for the 2015 title. The players chose Scenario “E”, with Ed’s German Attackers taking on Richard’s Russians. Ed was definitely the fresher of the two players, with his half of the bracket finishing a half hour earlier. Richard started a Russian eight-man fire group C of M3s and 4s in a Wood and quickly entrenched at R0, while his five toughest men in group B entrenched in the open. Ed’s MMG halftrack loosed some long-range fire and got a couple of lucky hits over three turns to kill the SL and one of the M5s. He moved both the halftrack and the six-man infantry group to R1 and Richard closed the range by moving group C forward, hoping he could out-shoot the MG at RR2. Ed put the infantry behind a Wall and the halftrack in the open while Richard occupied a Hill, posing a real threat with some 11FP at +1.

At this point, Ed had a Stream, Wire and two Movement cards plus a Flank card, so he decided on a risky maneuver and made both the halftrack and the infantry shift groups to their right. He was afraid of devastating fire from the big group on the Hill so dropped the Wire on it, also reckoning that if Richard had a Movement card he would use it to remove the Wire. It turned out he had none, and discarded most of his hand while Ed put the halftrack at group D, then found Brush for the infantry at group C and played the Flank on the halftrack. Getting rid of another Movement card on his weak group A, Ed drew a second high Fire card, and with Richard still frantically looking for Movement, he was able to use most of the 20FP to pin the group. Although Richard rallied several of them, Ed pinned them again and there ensued a tense few turns of searching for Rally or Fire cards by both sides. Unluckily for Richard, Ed won the race and hid overwhelming FP destroyed the rest of Richard’s group to break him early in the second deck.

Ed had played well to earn his third UPF shield to carry back across the pond and Richard showed why he is considered one of the best by falling just short in his only loss of the tournament. Seven straight wins is not enough when running the WBC UPF gauntlet.

GM Jim Burnett [10th Year] NA
jimallene@comcast.net NA

2015 Previews | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page