Access & Allies ... Not
The 2000 WBC Axis
& Allies Tournament (sic) - unlike the "Access &
Allied" game cited in the local newspaper's coverage of
the WBC, featured 43 players competing in a swiss-style, six-round
format. 65 (yes, count 'em, 65) games were played during the
grueling two days. Each round was 4.5 hours long, with a 30 minute
break to facilitate scoring by the GMs. Play started at 10:00
AM Wednesday and went through 11:30 PM Thursday - two tough days!
The average bid to get the Allies was 9.554 points. Bids ranged
from a low of 0 to a high of 23.The Axis won 23 matches, the
Play was competetive, with many hard lessons learned. Bids
tended to rise as the tournament progressed. With the ratio of
Axis to Allied wins, it appears that bidding may have to be a
bit more aggressive next year to balance sides. A few new moves
were seen at the tables, including the Karelia Gambit. Axis players
beware - you can get stung badly by this neat maneuver! Watch
for the Russian player to RETREAT from Karelia - including the
anti-aircraft gun! Next round (or during any Allied player turn),
British/American heavy bombers strike Karelia with devastating
effect, and NO losses!
Few games were adjudicated. During the initial organization
period (right after I "volunteered" to run the A&A
tournament), discussions about how to adjudicate games were heated.
I am against adjudication, because as GM, I must bear the wrath
of those adjudicated against. We all come to the WBC to have
a good time, even GM's! If you want to experience stress, adjudicate
a game between two good players who have just played for 4.5
hours! Fortunately, wise heads helped me formulate a system for
adjudication that worked very well. I thank all players whose
gamesmanship allowed them to gracefully yield a lost cause, rather
than subject their harried, overworked, underpaid, under-rested
GMs to the rigors of yet another adjudication. And for those
of you whose games were just too close to yield, bravo! We (I
and my two trusty assistants, Kevin Keller and Glenn Petroski,
whom I thank again now) adjudicated perhaps ten games out of
65 matches. In all cases but one, we could see a clear winner.
In the one contest where a clear winner was NOT apparent, I,
as GM, rolled a die. Odd was an Axis win, even an Allied win.
The die roll decision went against long-time friend and mentor
(and assistant GM) Glenn Petroski, who never flinched or blinked.
Thank you, Glenn.
Next year, expect a Rules Clarification published prior to
the tournament. It will be available by e-mail long before the
next WBC (June 26-July 1, 2001), and will also be available in
print at the tournament. A number of issues were raised, and
will be resolved before the next WBC. Once again, thanks to all
43 players for a great tournament.