naval war [Updated August 2001]

NVW  2 prizes Beginners Single Elim Continuous 
   Demo 9   11  Round 2 15 Final     

    Maryland 3

John Ellsworth, IL

2001 Champion

2nd: Roy Pettis, VA

3rd: Jonathan Lockwood, VA

4th: Tim Evinger, PA

5th: Robert Hahn, NY

6th: Ken Rothstein, NY
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    Kenneth Shunk      30
1993    James Endness      18
1994    Jim Fleckenstein      30
1995    Greg Mayer      49
1996    Michael Hart      24
1997    Lauren Hickok      47
1998    Dan Schulman      32
1999    Tim Miller     31
2000    Susan Ellsworth     19
2001    John Ellsworth     25

AREA Ratings:

GM: John Ellsworth

all in the family ...

Naval War moved to Saturday and was rewarded with improved attendance as 25 admirals prowled the high seas. This allowed us to have four tables of six or seven players, a good number for this game. In the first round, Jonathan Lockwood surged to a huge early lead, only to become the prime target in the second hand. He fell back into an evenly-matched pack, dropping to third place at the end of the third hand. Andrew Fedin made his run here but came up five points short of the 75 needed to win. Stewart Sahl, who had toiled in last all game, made a great run at the end but came up a little short and finished third. Suffering from a concentrated "get the leader" effort, Andrew added only four points to his score and was passed by Jonathan, who finished with another big hand. If the records are to be believed, Jonathan received six destroyer flotillas - always a good strategy!

At the second table, Tim Evinger also grabbed a large lead early, only to be one of three players eliminated in the second hand. This left him in fourth place behind leader Tim Shultz, who scored 24 that hand despite also suffering elimination. For his efforts, Mr. Shultz was again wiped out by destroyers in the third and final hand, though he still scored enough to finish second to Tim Evinger's winning fleet. Nick Kleber used the second biggest hand of the table to come in a close third.

Table 3 saw Greg Crowe nearly double the score of his closest competitor at the end of the first hand. Naturally, this development alarmed the rest of the table, who responded by sinking Greg's entire fleet in the second hand. By the end of the third hand, Greg was mired in last place, as the others apparently were unable to forgive and forget. Meanwhile, Matt Hamel made his big play on the second hand, scoring 48 points in what proved to be the single best hand of the entire tournament. He was wiped out in the last two hands, though still managed to score another 21 points after the subtraction for losing his fleets. Bob Hahn and Roy Pettis started out at the bottom of the pack and then rode some above-average hands to 2nd and 3rd place going into the last hand. Bob started out with a six-point advantage over Roy and managed to hold on despite losing three ships to a massive minefield attack. Clifford Smith, the leader going into the last hand, was shut out. This allowed Bob to claim the victory, two ponts ahead of hard-charging Roy. Greg was another two points back, followed by Matt who was another pair behind - with only six points separating first from fourth.

Things were to prove even tighter at table 4. Carolyn DeMarco got off to the early lead, but not so far ahead as to make her the sole target. Beaten down in the middle of the game, she recorded another large gain at the end to finish in third. Nick Evinger suffered through three weak hands before scoring 37 at the end, good enough for fourth. While this was going on, GM John Ellsworth and Ken Rothstein clung to the safety of the middle of the pack. Ken made his move in the third hand, scoring 43 and ending the hand with 71 - just four points short of a victory. At that point he was well ahead of everyone else. He still managed to score five points on the last hand, despite everyone training their guns on him. John saved his best for last and scored 31 on the final hand - producing a tie for the victory with Ken. This game saw eleven ships sent to the bottom by carriers, as the dice accomplished what the cards could not.

The four tables thus produced five winners and the closest runner-up (Roy Pettis) for the final. The game was even throughout, with players showing both card-playing and diplomatic skills in equally good measure. Early leader Bob Hahn lost three ships to carriers and was unable to recover his momentum. Tim Evinger languished near the bottom for three rounds before a big hand put him back into contention. Jonathan Lockwood started out with a negative score, but gamely (and quietly) battled back to finish third. At the end of the fourth hand, only 11 points separated first from last. With the leader (John Ellsworth) having 68 points, it was certain that someone would go over the top on the fifth hand, and the close score ensured that everyone had a pretty decent chance. Strategy changed somewhat as "get the leader" became "score what I can" - there wasn't much to be gained in taking fewer points by attacking a leader than in scoring big off of a follower who was only a couple of points back. Jonathan, John and Roy all had big hands at the end, with the latter two both scoring in the forties. As the cards dwindled down, John was reduced to a lone carrier, damaged by a minefield and needing only a single hit to sink. Smoke and lack of the proper ammunition saved the carrier and gave John a six-point victory over Roy. Contemplating the victory afterwards, I decided it was partially due to one piece of brilliant strategy - leaving last year's winner (wife Susan) back home!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the appreciation that I have for the players. Good sportsmanship abounded, particularly in the final. Tim passed up a semi-final in another tournament despite having no chance at victory with less than five minutes remaining. Convention policy, but done without complaint. Jonathan played through a minefield attack which made him a prime target, despite his last-place position at the time. Roy accepted without complaint an early mistake by the GM. A heavy work schedule had reduced my preparation below what I would have liked, but the players worked around me and my shortcomings. I'm glad to say that one of the early hallmarks of Avaloncon - the sportsmanship and consideration of others - is still alive and well at today's WBC.

 GM      John Ellsworth  [2nd Year]   1117 Kiersted St, Morris, IL 60450   NA

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