up front [updated October 2006]  

2006 WBC Report   

 2007 Status: pending 2007 GM commitment

Paul Wright, PA

2006 Champion

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Event History
1991

  
Mark Cohen

  
44
1992

  
Maria Hawthorne

  
43
1993

  
Bruce Young

  
53
1994

  
Bruce Young

  
53
1995

  
Herbert Gratz

  
48
1996

  
William Edwards

  
46
1997

  
John Emery

  
42
1998

  
John Emery

  
55
1999

  
Larry Davidson

  
42
2000

  
John Emery

  
34
2001

  
Bruce Wigdor

  
39
2002

  
John Emery

  
50
2003 

  
Ray Stakenas II

  
38
2004 

  
John Emery     30
2005

  
Bruce Young     33
2006

  
Paul Wright     30

PBeM Event History
2000    Jeff Matthews      32
2003     Jeff Matthews     24

 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Emery         SC    06    131
  2.  Bruce Young        SC    06    129
  3.  Ray Stakenas II    MI    04     66
  4.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    05     60
  5.  Larry Davidson     CA    02     46
  6.  Paul Wright        PA    06     40
  7.  Ray Stakenas Sr    MI    06     33
  8.  Jeff Matthews      CA    04     30
  9.  Bari Herman        NJ    04     26
 10.  Bill Edwards       VA    05     24
 11.  Stefan Hess        NY    01     24
 12.  George Young       VT    06     18
 13.  Wade Fowble        MD    06     16
 14.  David Wong         NJ    05     16
 15.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     16
 16.  Ken Katano         MD    01     16
 17.  Ed Kendrick        UK    00     15
 18.  Mike Stachowski    NY    03     12
 19.  Jeff Paull         OH    00     12
 20.  Dale Martin        MI    04     10
 21.  Michael Johnson    MA    03      9
 22.  Nick Vlahos        IL    00      9
 23.  Erick Young        SC    01      8
 24.  Scott Russell      MI    00      6
 25.  Alan Arvold        IL    00      3
 26.  Don Greenwood      MD    00      3
 27.  Frank Arndt        MD    99      3
 28.  Brian Carr         VA    04      2
 29.  Brian Devitt       CA    00      2
 30.  Robert Mull        CO    00      1

2006 Laurelists

Ray Stakenas, MI
2nd

John Emery, SC
3rd

George Young, VT
4th

Wade Fowble, MD
5th

Bruce Young, SC
6th


Past Winners

'91: Mark Cohen, NJ
'92: Maria Hawthorne, VA

Bruce Young, SC
1993-1994, 2005

Herbert Gratz, AUS
1995

Bill Edwards, VA
1996

John Emery, SC
'97-'98, '00, '02, '04

Larry Davidson, CA
1999

Bruce Wigdor, NJ
2001

Ray Stakenas Jr, MI
2003


 Young Kevin Emery, a chip off the old block for sure,
gives Andy Maly all he can handle.

 Ray Stakenas (left) and Paul Wright battle it out for the title,
as past GM Jerome Billones observes.

Nine Rounds of Glory ...

Five former champions with a total of 11 of the 15 previous titles joined 25 other hopefuls in the pursuit of Up Front "wood". A five-round Swiss preliminary cut the field to 14 for the single elimination portion. Of those five previous champs, three were able to make the cut with a record of at least three wins. For 2003 and 2005 champs Ray Stakenas II and Bruce Young, the elimination rounds came early. They faced each other in the penultimate round of the Swiss session with the eliminating third loss at stake. Bruce hung on in a close game and then won his next match to squeak into the elimination round. Twelve-year-old Kevin Emery took on the big boys and barely missed advancing in a close loss in the fifth Swiss session to finish at 2-3. He has obviously picked up a lot of skills from his dad, five-time winner John, and is a looming future threat. We hope this is a portent of younger players entering the pool.

Previous champs Emery, Young, and Bruce Wigdor promoted to the elimination. Emery at 5-0 and Paul Wright, who took his only loss to John in the fifth round, drew the byes as the competition ratcheted up a notch. Noted were sweaty palms and shaky hands among several contestants belying their outward calm. Emery, Wright, Ray Stakenas Sr, and Young (George, not Bruce) survived the opening rounds of elimination to make it to the semi-finals.

After 13 hours of play, the moment of truth finally arrived. The contest featured perennial contender Ray Stakenas's German defenders taking on Paul Wright's American attackers in Scenario F. The US AFV was stunned early but recovered only to run into a stream. Even with this loss of effectiveness for the early part of the game, Paul managed to destroy the German firebase to put Ray into massive difficulty. The game was almost finished in Deck 2 as both sides were badly injured but Ray held on stubbornly with half a squad until Paul was finally able to eliminate one more man to seal the deal in the third deck and claim his first title. John Emery played with his usual efficiency as the Japanese in Scenario L to best George's Americans in the consolation match for third.

There were 80 total matches played over five rounds of Swiss and four rounds of elimination. Scenarios A, B, E, F, and L were fairly equally selected for almost 75% of the 80. A scattering of others filled out the list. In the scenarios with Attacker/Defender choices, victory was about evenly divided between the two, at least in those instances where the players reported their choices.

The Germans were chosen 62 times by the Axis player and the Americans and Russians picked 37 times each for the Allies. Seventeen Japanese and an Italian filled out the Axis with six British plays for the Allies. The French/Vichy found no takers. A German success rate of 55% meant that the US and Soviet troops were less than stellar in their efforts. This was exacerbated by the fact that the British were able to triumph in five of their six meetings. This is obviously a point to be considered when it is time to pick sides next year. If the one game that was erroneously reported as both sides playing Japanese was actually an Allied victory, then there was a true 50/50 split between the sides. This is a good commentary on the overall balance of the game. Again, the British were responsible for covering the shortcomings of their allies.

With the agreement of all players, we packed an extra Single elimination round above that advertised in the program onto the evening portion of the tournament to give all players with winning records a shot at the Final. This was apparently well received as there were no arbitrary selections of the players to promote and all those with positive won-loss records were able to play in the elimination rounds. We still finished by 2315. This was mainly a tribute to the players who, for the most part, kept up with the schedule of 90-minute rounds. Due to this promptness, we had time for a short lunch break between Swiss rounds 2 and 3 and an hour for dinner before beginning the elimination rounds at 1800. This was a tough all-day tournament with up to nine games over the 14+ hours for the successful. I still believe this is the way to go and hold the players to a one-day event. Those who do not survive the Swiss are done by 1700 and are able to search other venues.

There were three drops after the first round of Swiss by players who had not read their program book and did not realize that the tournament was to be an all-day affair. I don't know how this can be made any clearer but, for the sake of all, we need to ensure that all players understand the format of all tournaments. Another drop happened after the third Swiss by a player who, out of hope, transferred to another tournament. The fourth round saw one more drop by an eliminated player who offered to take the bye remaining to allow all the 2-2's to play for a shot at gaining the last victory to promote to the elimination rounds.

Greg Schmittgens was kind enough to provide special WBC 2006 Up Front buttons for all our players. A vote of thanks is due to Greg from all players.

I look forward to using the same format for next year with a few changes possible. I have also solicited input from several of the players with years of Up Front tournament experience for their ideas for improvements in the format. Hopefully this will allow us to continue with the tradition of a strong tournament for many WBC's to come.

 GM      Jim Burnett  1st Year]   122 Tamara Lane, Oak Ridge, TN 37830-6680
   jimallene@comcast.net   865-483-3331

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