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Ingenious (ING) WBC 2023 Event Report
Updated December 1, 2023
150 Players Ewan McNay Event History
2023 Champion & Laurels

McNay Wins Another Ingenious Title!

It was a good year for WBC Ingenious! After a down year in 2022, attendance surged this year to the second-highest in all of the event’s fifteen runs at WBC. Ingenious’ Heats once again allowed folks to finish out a day with some tile-laying fun. Attendance was also up at the demo—good to have more folks learning this modern classic!

The Heats ran fairly smoothly, with no one being turned away for lack of games. It was sometimes a close call, though, so this is the yearly plea to bring a copy next year! In the Heats we had some perfect 18 scores as usual, and some near misses. Shout-out to Tyler Houle for four Ingeniouses in one turn in Heat 2!

Major kudos go to our three triple-winners in the heats: Joseph Birnbaum, Ewan McNay, and Holly Saccenti. Kudos as well to the four more folks who racked up two wins and a second: Andrew Freeman, Shannon Keating, Bruce Rae, and Samantha Raszewski. The new tiebreak system which rewards attending more heats, and the higher total attendance, really mattered for the Semifinal, though. Usually, a win and a close second is enough to qualify, but this year, with 21 double winners, some double winners were turned away. This was a distressing result, so hopefully the higher attendance will be enough to secure a Quarterfinal round for next year.

Nonetheless, the Semifinal still boasted an array of Ingenious veterans and rising stars. Ewan McNay won his Semifinal by a whopping three points. Meanwhile, Bailey Burdett, Bruce Rae, and Aaron Kaltman all won their Semifinal on tiebreakers, which meant the laurels for fifth and sixth place were decided by razor-thin margins. Shout-out to Zacary Morris, who was so close to extending his fifth-or-sixth-place streak to a third year but ended up in seventh place.

The Final was set, then, with Bailey, Ewan, Aaron, and Bruce, an intergenerational crew of skilled gamers. As usual, the Final was extremely tight and exciting. Ewan jumped out to an early lead and remained strong, eventually closing off an orange block when Aaron and Bruce still needed it. But while others were getting Ingeniouses, Bailey built four colors to the 13-15 range and just needed to bump up two more, though without great options for doing so. Bruce was somewhere in the middle, with few low colors but not as many high, and Aaron was weaker on red but otherwise similarly strong. Bailey and Aaron got to three Ingeniouses one after another. As the game drew to a close, Aaron and Bailey needed red and yellow, Bruce needed red and orange, and Ewan needed blue and red, though Ewan remained slightly ahead of the others on red. Bruce exchanged tiles for orange right after Aaron put back a bunch of orange, but Bruce drew no orange, which prevented him from bringing up his lowest color and took him from first place to fourth. Ewan was able to maintain a slight lead to take his second Ingenious shield, while Aaron slid into second. Ewan and Aaron tied with a final score of 9, but Ewan’s next lowest was 10 while Aaron’s next lowest was 9. Bailey and Bruce were close behind with final scores of 8.

Last year was the first time ever that there was a repeat winner for Ingenious, and now it’s happened two years in a row! Who knows what’ll happen next year…

2023 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Aaron Kaltman Bailey Burdett Bruce Rae Lauren Bohaczuk Matt Calkins
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Matt Calkins on way to earning laurels. A large crowd for Ingenious.
Scott Saccenti in Heat action. Finalists with GM Max DuBoff.
GM  Max DuBoff [3rd Year]