we the people [Updated August 2001]

wtp   6 prizes Experienced Swiss Elim Continuous 
    Round 2 11 Round 3 13 Round 4 15  Round 5 18  Round 6 Semi 20  Final 22


Brian Mountford, NY

2000-2001 Champion

2nd: John Poniske, PA

3rd: Jim Gutt, TX

4th: Jim Fardette, APO

5th: George Young, VT

6th: Marvin Birnbaum, NJ
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    Andy Lewis      60
1995    Roger Taylor      56
1996    George Seary      54
1997    Thomas Drueding      40
1998    James Pei      40
1999    Marvin Birnbaum     32
2000    Brian Mountford     45
2001    Brian Mountford     32

AREA Ratings:

GM: Terry Coleman

Card Driven Champs

By the time Saturday rolled around, I was inwardly questioning my sanity in running an all-day event. Certainly, the contestants-as happily punch-drunk and appropriately scruffy as any set I've seen at a game convention-were as crazy as I was, showing up at 9 AM for our annual War of Independence.

We stayed with the same format as last year, where players alternate between British and American in the prelim Swiss rounds. Since you can actually play a game of WTP in a little over two hours, it's manageable, if a bit grueling, for those who make it to the "money" rounds.

Perennial contenders George Young, Jim Gutt and John Poniske were joined in the knockout rounds by up-and-comers Bruce Wigdor and Jim Fardette. WTP is unpredictable enough from game to game due to the vagaries of card play, and the addition of new blood made for some wild games. And while some might scoff at allowing draws in a tournament, it actually helps to weed out the hopefuls from the true contenders. I speak from experience, as my draw in the final round of Swiss play knocked both my opponent, Derek Landel, and myself, out of the running.

Former champs performed well, on the whole. Marvin Birnbaum once again marched through a difficult field that included such veterans as Bruno Sinigaglio and George Seary, but the New Jersey Rifle came up short against John Poniske's inspired play in the quarters.

I have a suspicion that defending champion Brian Mountford has secretly made a pact with the goddess of fate. How else does one describe his systematic demolition of a number of very good players, especially when Brian was actually losing in two of his games at one point?

Well, after showing he could win with both British and American during the Swiss rounds, Brian's strategy was to bid heavily for the Americans in the knockout rounds. In the final, he was matched up against John Poniske, who had bucked the odds, winning three games in a row with the British. Brian's aggressive American play helped him successfully defend his title. Some argue that the Americans have an edge. Personally, I think Brian is just that good.

In the Swiss rounds, there were 20 American wins to 17 British (not counting eight draws). In the knockout rounds, American wins led British by only 4-3, including the three American wins by Brian. So, the controversy over which side is "best" is likely to continue. Which means we're probably going to have another nail-biter event in 2002.

Andy Lewis (left) on his way to the semis; Ben Knight (right) on his way to his next event.
 GM      Terry Coleman  [2nd Year]   331 Powell Drive, Bay Point, CA 94565
    tcgamer@home.com   NA

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