Punch Your Masters Ticket at CODCon!
Based on the numerous posts on Facebook and Twitter, the 21 folks who attended the third biennial NADF Masters Invitational last weekend on the Gulf Shores of Alabama had a blast. In addition to three rounds of high-quality Diplomacy, the event included home-cooked communal meals, great camaraderie, and even a trip to a karaoke bar that featured an alarming number of Confederate hymns on the playlist.
Although the Masters is an invitation-only tournament, the invitation process is completely transparent. To score your bid to the 2017 event, all you have to do is finish in the top seven at any Grand Prix event this year or next. (By the way, the location of the 2017 event has not yet been determined, but if the first three are any indication -- Austin, New Orleans, Gulf Shores -- it's certain to be somewhere warm and fun. The Masters always occurs over MLK weekend.)
And more good news. Both CODCon and Weasel Moot are Grand Prix events, so you have two chances to qualify right here in your backyard. The first is coming up in less than three months. Make your plans to join us April 11-12 at the Student Resource Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. As always, we'll play two rounds on Saturday with a hard ending at midnight, and one on Sunday. The tournament will end no later than 4 p.m. Lots of prizes, plus the usual after-parties in Oak Brook and/or Downers Grove, and the top seven finishers all will be invited to vie to be the next NADF Master.
Hope to see you at CODCon!
And speaking of the Masters, the 2015 champion is Robert Premus of New York. Premus joined the face-to-face Diplomacy scene back in 2011 when he discovered DiplomacyCast and was inspired to forge a local hobby in New York City. In 2012, he attended WAC as well as the WDC here in Chicago, won the Boston Massacre, and even got a New York City tournament off the ground.
Last year, he attended the DipCon at #UltimateWAC, soloed in the third round, and competed for the North American Championship on the top board in the final round. His win at the Masters puts him in lofty company. The first two champions were Edi Birsan and Adam Sigal.
Tournament Director Matt Shields said it best in a tweet earlier today: "Couple years ago most of us only knew Rob as a guy who kept writing to a Diplomacy podcast. Fantastic to see new players succeeding!"
We field two local tournaments each year, so that means up to 28 bids for the Masters (which occurs every other year). We really ought to try to do a better job of supporting this great event. Peter Yeargin, Matt Sundstrom and I all attended the inaugural event in Austin in 2011, but only Aash Anand represented the Weasels in New Orleans in 2013, and he was already an ex-pat by then. This year, 12 of us received invitations, but only Paul Pignotti attended.
Let's go out and earn some bids at CODCon and Weasel Moot (as well as at out-of-town events), and then let's travel as a group to the 2017 Masters. The first three all have been nine-board tournaments, I believe. With our support, the Masters can grow.
Shout-Out to the Weasels
And speaking of Diplomacy Cast, episode 33 is out, and we get a couple of shout-outs in it. First host Nathan Barnes advises an e-mailer from Indiana to look up the Weasels if he wants to play face to face, and then later on, he talks about how active we are and commends us for pumping new blood into the traveling hobby. It's nice to have fans in high places. Now let's back him up. We need a few more of you to sign up for our current slate of open games...
You can subscribe to DiplomacyCast on iTunes or download it at the show's website.
- February 7 at John Gramila's home in Humboldt Park, beginning at 11 a.m. Have one.
- February 11 at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, beginning at 6:30 p.m. until no later than 11. Have one.
- March 7 at Dan Burgess' home in Downers Grove, beginning at 11 a.m. Have four.
- Remember, the second Wednesday of every month is Red Wednesday at the Red Lion. These games are scheduled through December and will always start at 6:30 p.m. and go until no later than 11, so get 'em on your calendar. The next one is February 11!
- April 11-12: The 2015 CODCon Open!
Up Next on the Tournament Circuit
- TempleCon: Feb. 6-8 in Providence, R.I. (http://templecon.org/15)
- 2015 WDC: May 1-3 in Milan. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1500292310187264/)
That's all for this week.