Updated Nov. 30, 2015

2015 WBC Report

2016 Status: pending 2016 GM commitment

James Pei, VA

2014-15 Champion

Event History

2012 Daniel Hoffman 42
2013 Daniel Hoffman 36
2014 James Pei 40
2015 James Pei 32


 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  James Pei          VA    15     88
   2.  Daniel Hoffman     NC    15     84
   3.  Tom Drueding       MA    15     40
   4.  Lyman Moquin       DC    14     28
   5.  Dennis Mishler     TX    15     24
   6.  James DuBose       NY    14     24
   7.  Ewan McNay         NY    13     24
   8.  Rob Winslow        NY    12     24
   9.  Alex Kraska        MD    15     16
  10.  David Metzger      NY    13     16
  11.  Scott Burns        uk    13     12
  12.  Lachlan Salter     on    12     12
  13.  Brian Hanechak     MA    15      8
  14.  Todd Treadway      VA    14      8
  15.  Jeff Burdett       NY    14      4
  16.  Graeme Tate        uk    13      4
2015 Laurelists Returning Laurelists: 2

Dennis Mishler, TX

Alex Kraska, MD

Tom Drueding, MA

Brian Hanechak, MA

Daniel Hoffman, NC

Past Winners

Daniel Hoffman, NC

James Pei, VA

Nobody outdoes Matt Calkins when it comes to offering supplementary period prizes.

A couple GMs moonlight long enough to get some playing of their own in; Greg Schmittgens and Steve Scott.

the Master Starts Another Streak ...

Statistics can be deceiving. Although the field was the smallest yet in the four-year history of the event, the number of games played was the highest. In 2015 more than 66 matches were played, more than 15 winners took home a prize, and the event crowned its second two-time champion.

In years past it was common to see a small bid for Tokugawa. That 'Tokugawa premium' seems to be disappearing. More bids were resolved at zero blocks, and more top players expressed indifference between the sides.

Sekigahara was a one-day tournament, beginning at 10 Monday morning and finishing in five rounds. The Final featured Dennis Mishler versus returning champion James Pei. Both had played exceptionally well on their way to the last board, winning tough matches against perennial contenders like past champion Dan Hoffman, Tom Drueding, and Brian Hanechak.

Dennis began aggressively, bidding 2 for Tokugawa and racing towards the front with his Date and Maeda armies. James built Ishida forces at Kyoto.

The first serious clash happened when James' Kyoto force smashed the Fukushima contingent for 35 impact, with perfect alignment of blocks and cards, completely eliminating the army. This led to an early rout in the western region of the board—at one point in Turn 3 there were no Tokugawa blocks west of Hakone.

If anything, this setback made Tokugawa play even more aggressively. Now he had a card advantage, on account of those lost blocks, and he pressed the attack at Gifu and at Aizu castle with a suited Date army. The latter attack was refuted, however, and the losses mounted. After three weeks, Tokugawa had lost 14 blocks to Ishida's seven.

It would take a remarkable move to bring Tokugawa back into the game, but in Week 4 Dennis delivered it. A double march (end of Turn 3, start of Turn 4) brought an army of eight down the Nakasendo into Kyoto, to face eight Ishida defenders. Tokugawa's impact was spectacular, and by the end of the battle only one defending block survived.

Afterwards both armies reformed, each 10+ blocks strong, Tokugawa at Gifu castle and Ishida at Osaka. Turn 6 appeared to be the time for a confrontation, but both sides refused to initiate it, perhaps due to weak card alignment.

In the seventh and final week, Tokugawa was ready to strike. Dennis bid a loyalty challenge to go first, then brought 11 blocks into Kyoto against Tokugawa's eight. The attack was a desperate one, since there was no longer time to take Osaka castle, but in the end it was refuted anyway and the Tokugawa army lost most of its pieces. The game closed with Ishida in firm control of the board, even the east where Uesugi had triumphed over Date, but Tokugawa reigning in Kyoto. Even had one not watched the game, the narrative was clear from the board: Tokugawa had thrown everything at Ishida, and the gold blocks had managed to break them all.

Jams Pei finished the tournament with a perfect record, defeating in the process all but two of the laurel-winning players. He joins Dan Hoffman as twice-champion of Sekigahara and one wonders if he has started another streak to rival his long held mastery of For the People.

Mike Stanley vs Rahul Chandra

GM and designer Matt Calkins
oversees his finalists.
GM Matt Calkins [4th Year] NA NA

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