vinci [Updated October 2003]  

 2003 WBC Report  

 2004 Status: pending 2004 GM commitment

Mark Neale, RI

2003 Champion

2nd: Joe Pabis, VA

3rd: Gary Carr, VA

4th: Bruce Bernard, PA

5th: Jason Levine, NY

6th: Jason Robar, WA

Event History
2000    Jason Levine     36
2001    John Charbonneau     32
2002    Bob Heinzmann     34
2003    Mark Neale     29


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 Laurels
Rank Name

From

Last
Total
 1. John Charbonneau

MH

01
40
 2. Jason Levine

NY

03
36
 3. Mark Neale

RI

03
30
 4. Bob Heinzmann

FL

02
30
 5. Keith Layton

NJ

01
24
 6. Joe Pabis

VA

03
18
 7. Brian Carr

VA

02
18
 8. Brandon Bernard

PA

00
18
 9. Henry Rice

NM

01
16
10. Gary Carr

VA

03
12
11. Sean Vessey

PA

02
12
12. Frank Cunliffe

PA

01
12
13. Chris McDermott

NY

00
12
14. Bruce Bernard

PA

03
  9
15. Gordon Elgart

CA

02
  9
16. Daniel Karp

MD

00
  9
17. Paul Skrabut

FL

01
  8
18. Paul Murphy

UT

02
  6
19. Roy Gibson

MD

00
  6
20. Frank Schmitt

NJ

01
  4
21. Jason Robar

WA

03
  3
22. Jim Reasoner

OH

02
  3
23. Robert Hooper

NJ

00
  3

Past Winners

Jason Levine - NY
2000

John Charbonneau - NH
2001

Bob Heinzmann - FL
2002
 


Renaissance in half the time

The 2003 Vinci tournament saw 28 different players battle it out in two heats. Six winners advanced to the Final, none of whom played in the 2002 Final. Four 5-player games were played in Heat 1 on Thursday night. Joe Pabis pulled out the win in one very close game that saw four players virtually tied late into the game. Jason Levine made a huge surge to win his heat, scoring 17 points on the last turn to make up an 8-point deficit and win going away. Jason Robar also scored 17 last-turn points to score exactly 100 and squeeze out his win. The last game of Heat 1 was by far the closest, as three players all finished at 104 with a 4th at 103. Using the tie-breakers defined in the tournament rules, Bruce Bernard finished 1st, Paul Murphy 2nd, and your GM got the hard-luck 3rd place finish.

Heat 2 saw three more 5-player games on Friday. Mark Neale beat out Chris Palermo by one point, and Dan Mathias beat out your GM in another game, also by a single point. So your GM earned whining rights by finishing twice with 104 points, a total of one point behind for two games, and all he got to show for it was a 3rd and 2nd. In the final game of Heat 2 Gary Carr ran away from his group on the last turn for a solid win.

The two heats produced seven different winners. As the tournament rules stated, if all seven showed for the semi-final, then runner-ups would be added up to a total of 12 players. But if only six or fewer winners showed, then they would go straight into a Final. As it turned out, all seven showed, but then Dan Mathias decided he would play in another conflicting final he had qualified for, leaving the other six to play the Final.

The Final players were, in order of play, Mark Neale (green), Gary Carr (black), Jason Levine (white), Joe Pabis (red), Bruce Bernard (yellow), and Jason Robar (blue). This recap of the Final is based on my review of the scoresheet plus summaries submitted to me by two of the players. The game started off with the usual jockeying for position with early civilizations. The players all seemed to have learned that the real scoring usually comes by building an empire that can survive in decline, scoring extra points. As is also common, the game saw several phases where one player would go into decline and start a chain reaction of others following suit in order to grab available empires. By Turns 4 - 6 Bruce and Mark were established as leaders, though not by much. They attracted enough extra attention that others made typical surges. Mark got hit harder and found himself in 5th or 6th place for Turns 8 ­ 11. But he positioned himself well for a late rush. Meanwhile, Jason Robar and Joe Pabis moved into strong positions with empires that used Fortifications. Jason Robar followed that with a Field General empire. This deadly combination of a strong declined empire and a powerful active empire allowed Jason to surge from a Turn 8 score of 62 (5th) to a Turn 11 score of 95 and a strong lead. Unfortunately, for Jason, everyone got spooked by his sprint and they crushed his empires into oblivion, leaving him completely wiped off the board with no surviving armies. Typically, the attention on a sudden leader turned out to be overkill and other players were the beneficiaries of the pounding. Joe pushed to 98 points on Turn 12, but could not quite get across the finish line. Gary had quietly built up his strength as well, and moved from 6th place scores of 67 and 77 on Turns 9 and 10 up to a close second with 97 on Turn 12.

Everyone knew that Turn 13 would be the last. Mark Neale actually benefited from going first. His last empire had Revolutionaries, and started in that favorite mountain area in Eastern Europe that is surrounded by seven provinces. He began the turn with 94 points, barely in 3rd place, but in a very strong board position, having been under the radar for a couple of turns. He broke out for 13 points to post the early mark of 107. Then he sat back and watched to see if anyone could catch him. Gary went next but, having attracted some attention of his own the previous turn, he could only scrounge five points for 102. Jason Levine went next, scored respectably, but could only get to 97. Joe came next, but he had also been hit hard during the last turn. No matter how he figured it, Joe could only get eight points, so he settled for 104. Bruce had been the leader off and on throughout the early and mid game, but had taken a pounding on Turns 11 and 12. He scored a solid 10 points on Turn 13, but only got to 100. Jason Robar went last, but since he had seen his entire empire eradicated the previous turn, he had very little left to work with. He scratched out a few points but finished at 97, a disappointing drop from 1st to 6th in just two turns. Jason got the nomination for the Sportsmanship Award because of the class he showed in absorbing the brutal pounding dealt out by his opponents in the late stages of the game.

All in all, it was a hard-fought, well-played Final. Most everyone was in the running for most of the game. The largest difference between first and last place was 12 points on Turn 8, with eventual champ Mark the guy in the hole. Congratulations to Mark for pulling out a great win. He went from 1st (Turn 3) to last (Turn 8) to 1st again when it mattered. And thanks to everyone else for playing a great tournament.

 GM      Brian Carr  [2nd Year]   1624 West Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220 
    carrbs@aol.com   NA

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