diplomacy   

Updated Nov. 23, 2012

2012 WBC Report    
 2013 Status: pending 2013 GM commitment

Christian Pedone, PA

2012 Champion

Event History
1991      Bruce Reiff        56
1992      Tom Kobrin        65
1993      Stephen Koehler        71
1994      Will Wible        57
1995      Sylvain LaRose        73
1996      Will Wible        50
1997      Steve Cooley        46
1998      David Hood        65
1999      Tom Pasko       55
2000      Simon Bouton     141
2001      Nick Benedict       44
2002      Andy Marsdhall       49
2003      Rick Desper       28
2004      Andy Bartalone        54
2006      Nick Benedict        26
2007      Nick Palmer        25
2008      Tom Haver        22
2012      Christian Pedone        34

 Laurels

Rank  Name            From  Last Total
  1.  Nick Benedict    CA    06   115
  2.  Andy Marshall    MD    02    96
  3.  Tom Pasko        CT    03    76
  4.  Andy Bartalone   MD    04    60
  5.  Alvaro Ugaz      VA    01    60
  6.  Simon Bouton     uk    00    60
  7.  Nick Palmer      uk    08    56
  8.  Rick Desper      MD    04    56
  9.  Tom Kobrin       NC    04    48
 10.  Ric Manns        IN    03    48
 11.  David Hood       NC    02    42
 12.  Tom Haver        OH    08    40
 13.  Melissa Nichlson MA    02    36
 14.  Brian Dennehy    ir    00    36
 15.  Robert Vollman   ab    07    32
 16.  Christian Pedone PA    12    30
 17.  Mike Czajhowski  NJ    02    29
 18.  Eric Grinnell    KY    08    24
 19.  Dennis Mishler   CT    06    24
 20.  Nathan Barnes    WA    04    24
 21.  Doug Faust       MD    02    24
 22.  Matt Shields     OR    00    24
 23.  Conrad Woodring  NY    03    20
 24.  Paul Konka       MD    12    19
 25.  David Anderson   MI    12    18
 26.  Eric Mead        WA    04    18
 27.  Sean Cable       VA    00    18
 28.  Romain Jacques   qc    07    16
 29.  Scott Bowling    IN    06    16
 30.  Robbie Mitchell  VA    12    12
 31.  Brian Shelden    DC    08    12
 32.  Olin Hentz       CT    06    12
 33.  Corey Mason      MD    04    12
 34.  Mike Hall        DC    02    12
 35.  Simon Szykman    MD    01    12
 36.  Jon Evers        MD    00    12
 37.  Harald Henning   CT    12     9
 38.  Daniel Broh-Kahn MD    08     8
 39.  TJ Halberstadt   IN    07     8
 40.  Sylvain LaRose   qc    12     6
 41.  Yarden Livnat    UT    00     6
 42.  Edi Birsan       CA    99     6
 43.  Dave Sidelinger  CT    07     4
 44.  Dan Mathias      MD    06     4

2012 Laurelists                                                Repeating Laurelists: 

David Anderson, MI
2nd

Robbie Mitchell, VA
3rd

Harald Henning, CT
4th

Sylvain LaRose
5th

Paul Konka, MD
6th


Past Winners

Bruce Reiff, OH
1991

Tom Kobrin, NC
1992

Stephen Koehler, NC
1993

Will Wible, VA
1994, 1996

Sylvain LaRose, qc
1995

David Hood, NC
1998

Tom Pasko, CT
1999

Simon Bouton, UK
2000

Nick Benedict, CA
2001, 2006

Andy Marshall, MD
2002

Rick Desper, MD
2003

Andy Bartalone, MD
2004

Nick Palmer, UK
2007

Thomas Haver, OH
2008

Christian Pedone, PA
2012

The group check their positions before breaking into pairs ...

... to discuss strategy for the coming turn in the hallway ...

the prodigal son returns

To Solo or Not to Solo?

After a three year hiatus, Diplomacy returned to WBC. The WBC Diplomacy tournament has been won by such hobby luminaries as David Hood, Tom Kobrin, Tom Pasko, Andy Bartalone, Andy Marshall, Steve Cooley and Rick Desper. After running from 1991-2008, the tournament went away with no GM and declining attendance. It was reborn in 2012 with fresh faces and a renewed interest in stabbing your best friend in the back.

The event was a three-round tournament held over Friday and Saturday of the final weekend. Scoring was best two of three rounds using the convention-friendly Carnage scoring system. The tournament was scheduled to start at 7pm in a separate room from other events to give us space to negotiate and make plenty of noise. Ultimately, the WBC regulars delivered, with 23 committing for the first round. David Hood sat in during the sign-up as an available alternate to fill out a board (thanks!). Two players (Hood and Steve Chapin) opted to sit out the round to provide three full boards of seven.

The most memorable event of the first round was a declined solo on Board 1. Harald Henning (playing Germany) had worked solidly with Canadian Wally Hnatiw (England) through the entire game, with Harald maintaining a multi-center advantage over his ally. They systematically dismantled Russia and crippled the French. In Fall 1908, Harald had Germany at 15, while Wally was at 11 as England. The 18 centers were there for the taking. Harald knew this and so did the remaining powers (England, France, Italy). Instead of taking the solo, Harald proposed to end the game in a draw. A solo would have given him all the points on the board (28034), a huge advantage in the Carnage scoring system. In a three-round tournament, a solo can only be matched with another solo. Harald's reasoning for declining the solo was that it was the first round, and he wanted to play the other two rounds unencumbered. "It was a meta-game decision," Harald said, "I don't want other players coming after me because I won the first game."

The second round began Saturday morning at 9 am. We had another special guest arrive for a round: Philly's own Christian Pedone. Christian had let me know ahead of time he would be stopping by for a round on Saturday to practice before WDC in Chicago the following week. The second round saw the initial influx of French-Canadians to the event. Sylvain LaRose, the 1995 champion, arrived with his friends. Recently taught how to play, our friendly neighbors to the North jumped into the game and acquitted themselves admirably.

I brought some donuts for snacking as players waited around and hashed out Friday night's round. Again we were left with additional players, stuck at 17 with no one else arriving and no one offering to sit out. Therefore, I had to go with the first 14 people to sign in. I hate to turn people away from an event, but we can't make the numbers work and have legitimate full games. The first board eventually turned into a RAT between Robbie Mitchell as Russia, Steve Chapin as Turkey and Francois de Bellefeuille as Austria. Francois had a wonderful first game as Austria. After initially getting pounded by Turkey and Italy, he made good use of an opportunity when Turkey wanted help to stab Italy. Francois used his three armies in 1904 to take Serbia from Turkey, Venice from Italy with Turkish assistance, and Munich from Germany with French assistance. He built three armies and finished the game with seven centers. The game ended with a two-way tie for first between Russia and Turkey.

Christian Pedone drew England on the second board. He picked up two builds from Norway and Belgium in the first year, but was just as quickly knocked down in 1902. Harald Henning, who gave up the solo the prior night, worked the board as Austria. Together with David Anderson as Russia, the two quickly dispatched Turkey. Jean-Francois Gagne, playing as Italy, took great advantage of the discord in the north to slowly pick up centers from France. Eventually, the combined forces from three powers eliminated France from the board. As the game was nearing its time limit, Italy made a stab at his erstwhile ally Austria. Harald was knocked down from top board position to fourth, giving Italy a decisive center advantage and first place on the board at 11 centers. Harald was not pleased with the result, as Italy only needed one more center to top the board, and ended up taking three in the final year. Jean-Francois wanted to assure his place at the top, which ultimately proved a good decision as he tied for Best Italy with another 11-center board top in the third round.

Pedone never got his England past five centers. Planning to originally stay for just one round to prepare for World's, he reconsidered staying for the evening round. After all, how can anyone leave with such an unsatisfying result with so much opportunity on the board?

The final round began at 7 pm on Saturday night. We were slightly delayed by a Britannia semifinal and History of the World Final. Another longtime GM, Dan Mathias, offered his services if we needed to make seven for a board. Fortunately this time, we had just enough for two boards. We quickly set up the games and began the final round. Our eventual champ, Pedone drew Austria on his board. We also had an additional influx of new players this round, but I can't say that was the only reason for one of the most bizarre Spring 1901 season's I have ever seen. Misorders from experienced players. Baffling moves from the newbies. A picture is worth a thousand words (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26210189@N06/7720906892/in/set-72157630921205630). I have never seen any opening like that.

Pedone's Austria paired with Wally Hnitaw's Russia and Sylvain LaRose's Italy to wipe out Turkey. When the time came for the final blow on Turkey, Pedone and Hnitaw denied Italy his promised center and began to stab. Italy only devoted one unit to Turkey, sending the rest west towards France. Austria and Russia lashed out, growing one or two centers every year. Pedone's Austria eliminated Italy in 1905, and was working on Germany at the same time. He was spreading his units out in a semicircle for what would eventually be a game-winning stab. He advanced from 7* to 9* (* means unavailable build) in 1904, then up to 11 in 1905. In 1906, Pedone saw his opportunity as Russia and England patched their differences to work against Germany. Wally Hnitaw's Russia was fine finishing second on the board to Pedone's Austria, but it was too late for such minor concessions. Russia was exposed and Austria stabbed to jump from 11 to 14.

While reading orders for the board during the stabbing turn, Christian misspoke about one of England's orders. "I'm sorry guys, I'm just nervous," Chrisitian said, "I just stabbed my ally to win the game."

"That better have been for the win," said Wally laughing, "otherwise you just wasted our time. I was fine with second." Wally was smiling with the orders, taking the stab better than most would.

After the orders were read, Christian pointed out the remaining centers needed for victory. With Russia badly out of position, Wally proposed a concession to Austria for a solo. I conducted a secret vote, and all surviving players agreed to concede the game to Austria. Well done, Christian. Congratulations to Christian Pedone, who with a stab and a solo earned the title of 2012 WBC Champion!

Complete scoring for the entire tournament, including Best Country honors, can be found in the World Diplomacy Database: http://www.world-diplomacy-database.com/php/results/tournament_class.php?id_tournament=1372

The WBC 2012 Best Country Awards went to:

Christian Pedone

Wally Hnatiw

Ted Drozd

Harald Henning
Jean-Francois Gagne
John Panagotopulos

Robbie Mitchell

Steve
Chapin

Austria

England

France

Germany

Italy

Russia

Turkey

... and then reconvenes to execute their orders and see who has been stabbed out in the hallway.

A well-staffed prize table courtesy of GM Tom Haver featured classy Best Country medals replacing the traditional colored blocks.
 GM      Tom Haver  [1st Year]   NA 
    tjhaver@gmail.com    NA

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