tikal   

Updated 11/17/2011

 2011 WBC Report  

 2012 Status: pending December Membership Trial Vote

Jack Jaeger, VA

2011 Champion

Links

  

Event History
2000    Jason O'Donnell     95
2001    Kevin Garber     80
2002    Brian Jones     72
2003    Barbara Flaxington     53
2004    Harald Henning     77
2005    Davyd Field     75
2006    Davyd Field     45
2007    Harald Henning     56
2008    Eric Freeman     42
2009    Jack Jaeger     41
2010    Harald Henning     43
2011    Jack Jaeger     38

Euro Quest Event History
2003     Arthur Field     23
2004     Phil Rennert     16
 Laurels

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1. Arthur Field        SC    09    124
  2. Davyd Field         CA    08    101
  3. Jack Jaeger         VA    11     94
  4. Harald Henning      CT    10     80
  5. Barbara Flaxington  NJ    09     66
  6. Kevin Garber        VA    02     52
  7. Eric Freeman        PA    08     47
  8. Daniel Broh-Kahn    MD    10     46
  9. Brian Jones         MD    02     40
 10. Greg Thatcher       CA    11     31
 11. Jason O'Donnell     OH    00     30
 12. James Hopkin        CA    02     24
 13. Kevin Broh-Kahn     MD    11     20
 14. Phil Rennert        MD    04     20
 15. Jason Ley           WA    07     18
 16. Rob Kilroy          PA    00     18
 17. Pierre Paquet       qc    07     12
 18. Valerie Putman      OH    05     12
 19. David Wenstrup      SC    03     12
 20. Eric Haas           MD    03     12
 21. Marvin Birnbaum     NJ    00     12
 22. Robert Flowers      MD    09     11
 23. Chris Terrel        VA    05     10
 24. John Min            NJ    11      9
 25. John Kerr           VA    03      9
 26. Steve Cameron       PA    00      9
 27. Charlie Mitchell    VA    08      8
 28. William Duke        MD    03      8
 29. Randy Buehler       WA    11      6
 30. Bill Zurn           CA    10      6
 31. Virginia Colin      VA    09      6
 32. Rodney Davidson     AZ    04      6
 33. Jonathan Fox        IL    04      6
 34. David Fair          MD    03      6
 35. John Wetherell      PA    00      6
 36. James Carvin        PA    03      4
 37. Dominic Blais       qc    11      3
 38. Craig Moffit        NJ    06      3
 39. Tim Kelley          SC    04      3
 40. Mario Lanza         PA    03      3
 41. Mike Backstrom      MN    00      3
 42. Jeff Finkeldey      OH    10      2
 43. Marc-Andre Imbeault qc    08      2
 44. Don Bone            au    03      2

2011 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists:

Greg Thatcher, CA
2nd

Kevin Broh-Kahn, MD
3rd

John Min, NJ
4th

Randy Buehler, WA
5th

Dominic Blais, qc
6th

Past Winners

Jason O'Donnell, OH
2000

Kevin Garber, VA
2001

Brian Jones, MD
2002

Barb Flaxington, NJ
2003

Harald Henning, CT
2004, 2007, 2010

Davyd Field, CA
2005-06

Eric Freeman, PA
2008

Jack Jaeger, VA
2009, 2011
   

 Nicola Bradford and Eric Cheatham

 A clever multi-player chess clock does wonders.

Still Short of the Mark ...

Admittedly, Tikal reached a new low in attendance in 2011, probably due to the introduction of chess clocks. But more on that later. This official write-up of TIKAL, this GM's eighth, will be broken down into four distinct areas: Demonstration and Chess Clocks, Initial Heats and Scheduling, the semi-finals, and the Final, complete with strategy tips.

Demonstration and Chess Clocks: Let us start off with the Demonstration activity, scheduled right before the first heat at 1 o'clock on a Friday. As usual, there was an enthusiastic turnout despite the game's age, with about a dozen newbies seeking to learn their ways through the jungles of Central America. Tikal, like many Euros, is easy to learn and difficult to master. It can be taught in ten minutes, which allows for a sample game to be played up through the first scoring round in the allotted time.

To play, a player places a tile, and then allocates ten Action Points (APs) in his turn as he sees fit on the map board. Scoring is also simple: In a scoring round, (four in the game), each player receives the usual ten action points, without the tile placement, and then they score. The last scoring round is done in reverse order, meaning whoever is in last place at the final scoring round gets to go first in the last scoring round, often an advantage.

The WBC version uses the bidding rules of the game in which players bid on the right to choose the tile they place, some tiles having more perceived value to one player than another. Bidding provides more strategy to the game, and also prevents the ubiquitous whining about poor tile selection. Bidding also allows a player to go last in one round, and then first in the next, allowing them, in effect, 20 action points in a row, something that actually happened in the Final. Don't forget in bidding: A bid of "0", or a pass, while potentially allowing a player the right to choose and play a tile, prevents a player from re-entering the bidding in this round. (In other words, you cannot bid 0, and then jump back into the current bid.)

Introduced this year for the first time were multi-player chess clocks, designed in Europe for use with Euros. One of the strong criticisms of Tikal is the analysis paralysis problem, whereby a player, or players, spends far too much time analyzing the board searching for the perfect move. Determined to meet this problem, the GM introduced the chess clocks (cubes, actually!), which while intimidating at first, are remarkable easy to use. If you'd like information about these fantastic 6-player chess cubes, feel free to contact the GM or search The DGT Cube on-line. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_NWuj7G-8I ... its worth a look.

Initial Heats and Scheduling: There were three heats scheduled for the game, and the general rule is win one and you're in! Social Tikal should be a 90-minute game, and through the use of clocks, the GM allowed exactly two hours for each round. As a result, all of the games were finished in less than two hours.

The Friday morning heat had five games, the afternoon heat had six, and the Saturday evening heat had only three games. Most heats used 4-player games if possible. Heats were scored on cards, with each individual disclosing his final score, finish place, and reserve pieces for a tie-breaker. This information would be used to move on to the semis.

The semi-finals: With 14 individual heat winners, the potential arose for semis scheduling that definitely included some alternates. Exactly 16 people appeared for the semis on time, including two alternates. Since everyone was by this time familiar with the chess clocks, there was no need to explain their use. From a scoring perspective, none of the semi-finals was that close, with John Min winning the first table, Greg Thatcher the second, Randy Buehler the third, and Jack Jaeger taking the fourth. Due to a prior scheduling conflict, Randy was unable to attend the Final, so the runner-up at his table, Kevin Broh-Kahn, took his place.

The Final: The qualifiers all appeared on time Sunday morning at 9. After the first volcano, it was still a close game, with John in the lead at 27, followed by Kevin at 26, Jack at 23 and Greg at 22. Could John hold on to his precarious lead? Before the second volcano, something strange happened: Kevin was now in first at 22, John at 20, Greg down to 17, but Jack had bid himself down to 9. In all his history, this GM has never seen a score that low! How could Jack dig himself out of such a hole?

Well, quite easily, as it turned out. Jack scored 26 points on the second volcano, compared to 16 for the two leaders and 21 for Greg. So surprisingly, after the second volcano, the scores were remarkably close: 38; 38; 38 and 35. After that, Jack's obvious investment started to pay off handsomely, as he scored 34 points for the third volcano, simultaneously moving from last to first with 68 points. After that, it was academic accounting; as new leader Jack nailed an astounding 48 points on the last round, scoring 113 points, well over the runner-up, Greg with 100. Kevin came in third with 95 and poor John, the original leader, brought up the rear with 74 points.

All in all, Tikal 2011 can be judged a success, based on the number of players (although slightly lower than recent years), the quality of the competition (intense, as usual) and the introduction of the chess clocks, which have to be called a success. The quality of play if not bidding at the Final was as crazy as any game I have ever seen, but when it was over, the four finalists shook hands, knowing full well that they would probably meet again at some future tournament. Next year, with the anxiety of the chess clocks out of the way, the tournament easily has the potential to attract over 50 participants again. So we'll see you at Tikal 2012, if it gets voted back in! Vote early!

Andrew Emerick, Ian Streeb and Roni Breza

 Jack Jaeger, Barb Flaxington, Rob Flowers and Jarett Weintraub
 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn [8th Year]   NA
    Daribuck@Verizon.net   NA

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