Tournament Game Reports (80)

Monday, 31 May 2010 11:43

Weasels Bring Home Four Awards from Dixie!

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I once attended a dinner where keynote speaker and former Bulls guard Kyle Macy talked about the time he and Michael Jordan lit up the Celtics for 69 points. I'm proud to report that Peter Yeargin and I returned from Dixie with second place, Best England, Best France and the Golden Blade for best stab. However, unlike Kyle Macy, who chipped in six points in that 1986 playoff game, I contributed nothing.

Peter was on fire all weekend. The Best England and Best France both were for 13-center three-way draws. His throwaway game was a 16-center Austria in the first round where Peter went for the solo and was forced to eat a five-way. In DixieCon's draw-based system, that score put him roughly in 10th place after the first round, behind everyone who finished in a three-way.

I was actually in first place after the first round, tied with Tom Kobrin. He was Austria to my Russia, and we finished in a 12-12-10 three-way. The third party was Tyler Mollenkopf, a recent graduate of UNC who started playing Diplomacy at DixieCon in 2002 when he was 12. I stunk up the rest of the tournament and probably finished 14th or so. We haven't seen the final standings.

Our old friend Graham Woodring of Long Island won the tournament with a 14-center two-way (also Best Russia) and a three-way draw with nine or 10 centers, I think. Joining him and Peter on the top board were:

Third Place: Tie, Doug Moore of D.C. and Tom Kobrin of North Carolina.
Fifth Place: Chris Martin of D.C.
Sixth Place: Andy Bartalone of D.C.
Seventh Place: Ed Prem of D.C.
 
Best Austria: Tom Kobrin
Best Germany: Brian Ecton of D.C.
Best Italy: Chris Martin
Best Turkey: Steve Cooley of New England (14-center two-way with Graham as Turkey)
 

Tyler Mollenkopf won the Players' Choice award. And he just got a job in Oak Park, so we're gaining a Weasel.

It was a great tournament, with 10 boards over the three rounds. Peter is on a roll right now. As he'll gladly tell you, he hasn't been eliminated since January. Weasels?

Friday, 23 April 2010 13:42

DipCon 43 Report - Kevin O'Kelly

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As Christian has already pointed out, Dip Con 43 was a rousing success.  Like him, I will overview the weekend from my perspective.  He and I did not play on a single board together.

PRE-TOURNEY

Like Christian said, we landed at about 10am.  I did not know about the ride from Condy until about a day or two before the trip, and a friend of mine gave me some BART transportation passes, so I was glad to take public transit.  I was staying until Monday evening, and had to take transit back to the airport, so I figured I'd learn the system early.  I took the train to AT&T park, and almost snuck onto the field until the security guard asked where I was going.  He was gracious enough to let me take a picture.  I walked to McCovey cove to see where some of the HRs had landed.  Such a beautiful park... wish I could have seen a game.

After making it back from the park, I walked about a mile to pick up a bus.  Sadly the bus made some turns and I had no idea which way I was going.  So, instead of being 2 miles from the hotel I found myself 3 miles from the hotel and getting hungrier by the minute.  I ended up climbing the Mt. Everest of hills to the Fairmont Hotel where I caught a cab to meet up with Christian, Peter and the rest of the gang.

Harry's had good food, a nice waitress and the Cubs on the TV.  Nothing beats Friday afternoon baseball.  A political discussion was brewing on the other side of our group, but the more entertaining part of the group was watching two of our well-known travelers going shot for shot at 3pm.  NICE!

ROUND 1

I was given Italy to start my tournament.  Excellent I thought.  I love playing Italy, especially when I want to work my way slowly into a game.  The only bad part is when I have an aggressive Austria or in this case, an Austria who had only played the game once or twice.  Combine that with having two of Seattle's best as Russia and Turkey (Matt Shields and Dip Con Champ, Eric Mead), I was dead meat.  Peter was France and he and Germany began to work on England.  England made some good guesses and fell around 1905 or 1906, but was effectively dead in '02 or '03.  It was about that time that I began my descent.  France and Germany were getting ready to push up to meet the Juggernaut, but Germany dove south into me in Spring 1904 rather than defend against the east.  I asked him in the Fall negotiations why he'd attacked, and he smirked back that I was trying to mislead him that Turkey wanted France and Russia to squash him.  I dropped from 4 to 3 to 0 in two years, giving France 1 or 2 centers and not being able to hold any of them.  (Note: Germany was at 11 and feeling quite confident when he made his move.  He finished at 5, while R/T shared a board top at 13.)

ROUND 2

I was given France to start Round 2, playing against last year's Grad Prix champ Adam Siegal in Russia and mostly locals over the rest of the board.  I figured with my disappointment from round 1 I could make up some points on this board.  Don del Grande in Germany played on my board in round 1 and I knew him to know his tactics, so I quickly asked him to work with me.  He seemed to be a loyal player and I needed to have a line pushing into Siegal quickly.  England seemed to know the game as well, but I'd pick him to be a newer player, or at least a player who hadn't traveled before.  I proposed to both of them separately that we open with a Western Triple, but I had my sights on eliminating England quickly.  I did the standard Sundstrom opening, convoying my army to POR, giving me the option to move to IRI in the Spring, which I did.  England was SO mad that I was bordering his one center that he lost ALL concentration of the game, and turned his 5 units backwards instead of following up his attack on Germany.  Siegal did a great job trying to show him that he'd gain more by continuing the attack, which showed me how good of a player he truly is.  England was gone shortly thereafter, and Don was pushing Russia hard.  Turkey got sandwiched by A/I/R, but did a great job defending, leaving me with no enemies for a long/long time.

There were 3 decisions that led to the end of this game.  First was Germany not executing an attack on Russia correctly in Fall 1905.  If Don would have grabbed NWY or SWE correctly, Siegal can't rebuild in the north which would have crumbled his northern position.  Germany misfired and Siegal maintained strength.  Then, in the south during Fall 1906, Turkey, who had clawed back, and Austria had Russia surrounded in RUM and BUL.  Each one could have taken one of those centers, but Siegal must have done a great job convincing Austria that it wasn't in his best interest to attack him.  A/T did not attack, Russia stabbed Turkey the same turn.  Russia went from a 9 centers to 12 instead of falling to 8.  On the same turn, I stabbed Germany to move from 8 to 10 and would have had 5 more in my sights.  The last major failing was mine.  R/A/F made a deal to finish it off early with a 3-way, but we had to eliminate Italy first.  Italy, seeing he was going to be out of a draw, supported Russia past Austria and into his chance for a solo in the south.  While doing so, Russia pushed up his units in the north, while I just maintained position.  If I would have put pressure on Russia up north, he most likely wouldn't have been able to hold all of his dots in Scandanavia for long enough.  But he did and he solo'ed. 

I learned a lot in that game, my first solo again me where I had a chance to stop it. (Maletsky solo'ed on my board last year at WAC, but I was on the back of the line and couldn't do much about it.  This one was different.)  I swore I would sleep on that one for a while, going from a possible 250 points, down to 9.  OUCH.

On a side note, as we were finishing the order writing on his way to the solo, we teased Adam that he'd have to buy if he solo'ed.  We went for pizza and beer afterwards, and to his credit, he did offer to buy.  We turned him down, as he had earned his pizza and beer.  I grew to like Adam a lot more at Dip Con.  I'd never really chatted with him, and I think I had only played on one board previously.

ROUND 3

OK, so I had been eliminated and been solo'ed on.  Not the way to start the tournament.  So I was placed in Germany to start Round 3.  Matt Shields was in England.  Thomas Haver was in Italy.  Buzz Eddy, who knew me as Kevin O'Kelly (no relation), was Russia.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Everyone else was unknown.  Haver offered VIE on the first turn, as Austria was one of the soloists from Round 2.  I opened to BOH, but didn't take the offer as I thought the offer was too good to be true.  Haver did write the support, so I guessed wrong there.  From that point, Turkey and Italy gobbled Austria while England and I took the northern Russian centers.  France was stuck in the middle, and the opposing alliances split up his centers too.  It ended with a 4-way because England couldn't stab me, or Turkey would have soloed.  Italy had offered Turkey the centers, but it ended early.

ROUND 4

This was my board of death.  I was placed in England.  Tournament leader at the time, Chris Brand was in Russia.  Buffalo was in France.  Maletzsky was Austria.  Mark (Washington) Zoffel was Italy and Edi Birsan was Turkey.  And of all of those players, Germany set the tone.  He was a local player who got bored with standard openings.  So he ordered to PUR, SIL and DEN... only to not bounce Russia in SWE.  Brand was swallowed up pretty hard, as was Germany who did a great job of defending himself.  Austria and Turkey pushed hard into Germany and Italy.  France got most of Italy's dots.  I had Scandanavia, StP and BER.  Because this was a timed round, the play was a little bit different.  I had an opportunity to really nail Buffalo, picking up 3.  But there was no way to solo and the points for all 7 players didn't matter that much.  Chris had 3 solid rounds.  Buffalo, Maletzsky, Zoffel and I didn't have enough rounds to qualify for anything.  Edi might have been the only one who could have improved, but he finished in the top 7, so I guess it worked out.

TRAVEL TOURNEYS and DIP CON

I had a great time at the tournament.  Just like when we host Moot, it's great to find so many people who love the game and love the different styles of play.  Undoubtedly, a scoring system debate broke out and other games were played.  But like Christian said, if you ever want to improve your game or just play a whole bunch of Dip against other players, a travel tournament is the way to go.  Over the next couple of months, here are a few tournaments and locations.

Memorial Day - DixieCon - Chapel Hill, NC
Early June - Massacre - Boston, MA
Late June - Origins - Columbus, OH
Mid July - Husky Con - Long Island, NY
Early August - Gen Con - Indianapolis, IN

Always feel free to ask about traveling to Tournaments or helping with our own Weasel Moot.

-kevin

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 23:53

DipCon 43 Report - Christian MacDonald

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I wanted to get a recap of this past weekend submitted before some of the details started to slip away (or before my wife gives birth, and I become too swamped to write anything!). First of all, if anybody in the club gets a chance to travel to a Dip tournament (it doesn't have to be a DipCon, but they are special), they should take advantage of it and go. I would wager that not only will you have a great time, but your game will undoubtedly improve by being on boards with some of the best players in North America. It really is the best way to get better (if that's important to you).

Pre-Round Stuff

I arrived in S.F. around 10:00am Friday on the same flight as Kevin. I had arranged an airport pick-up with Condy Creek, a local player and one of the organizers of the DipCon. Also being picked up were Mike Hall from Vancouver, Andy Bartalone and Dave Maletsky, both from the D.C. area. Unfortunately there wasn't enough room in Condy's vehicle for Kevin, so he opted for public transportation. My first stab of the weekend.

Got to the hotel and immediately headed out for a bite to eat. When we returned to the hotel, more travellers had arrived, including Peter who was already in the city, and Kevin. A large group of us went out for some afternoon cocktails prior to the start of the tourny. The hotel's in a great area, and we found a good spot called Harry's, where a lot of the players spent time between and after rounds. Looking around the group on Friday afternoon, I was reminded that it was moments like this why I really enjoy the hobby and travelling in particular. Good times.

Round 1

I won't go into too much detail regarding each board I played, but I'll give the highlights. In Round 1, I drew Russia. I hate Russia. Andy Hull, a good local player was England, Edi Birsan was France, hobby veteran Don Williams in Italy and Condy Creek in Turkey. Andy and I battled hard in Scandanavia, but I just couldn't get him to turn on Edi. He was content to remain at 4 for several game years, eventually finishing with 6. One of my goals coming to S.F. was to play more aggressively in the mid-game and be comitted to grounding out top results on each board rather than opting for favourable, though early, draw votes. With this in mind, I eliminated Condy and simultaneously stabbed Don for 2 sometime around 1906, growing from 8 to 11 (I think). I had hoped that the growth would finally scare either Andy or Don into working with me and growing themselves (particularly Andy), but instead it just drove them closer to Edi, who was sitting with 9 and hadn't been attacked by anyone all game. Unfortunately, my calculations were disasterously wrong, and the 3 of them ganged up on me until I was dust in 1909. The best I could do was try and engineer who got the dots, and I opted for Don since I believed Edi was more of a threat to win the tournament. End result, a 3-way with Italy board topping with 15, and France in second with 11.

Round 2

I drew Frace on my second board and things were looking much better early on. I found an experienced player in Tom Kobrin in England and we worked well to move steadily on Germany. Mike Hall was Turkey, Josh Shank was Austria, and Matt Shields from Seattle was Italy. Germany and Russia were local players. Things started to shape up well, since after 1901 there was an Italian unit in Trieste and an Austrian unit in Venice. In addition, Tom was having a rough time in Scandanavia, so visions of solos were dancing in my head. I believe I dove into the Med in 1903 and after takng Tunis, things ground to a halt as the remaining Italian units became Austrian proxies, and a second fleet was built in Trieste. To make matters worse, most of the Austrian growth was coming at Russia and Turkey's expense and the Tsar was pulling his units in the north, allowing Tom to right the ship and embark on rapid growth. I finally broke through to Tyrolia, and the Austrian position began to crumble. By this time I ws starting to feel slightly exposed to my ally, so my 11th unit was F BRE. This was Tom's Causus Belli, and he stabbed me for 3 (BEL, HOL, MUN) in Spring 1906 or 1907. I was able to retake MUN in Fall, and I had grabbed 2 Austrian centers as well, so staying even at 11. Tom shot to 13, and I was concerned that my position would crumble, probably aided by my precipitous fall from 11 to 0 the night before. Austria and a resurgent Turkey were now the wildcards, and while Tom had position on me in the West, there were plenty of dots for me in the Balkans. We were both nervous, and thus both voted for the draw. Tom board topping a 4 way with a 13 center England and me in second with an 11 center France.

Round 3

I drew Italy. Austria was played by tournament champion Eric Mead from Seattle, hobby vets Conrad Woodring and Andy Bartalone in France and England respectively, and local, relatively inexperienced players in Turkey, Russia, and Germany. Diplomatically, this was probably my best game, though it ended in an Austrian solo, but I'll get to that later. I was concerned that Conrad and Andy would talk Germany into a triple then maul him from behind, so I went to work on the Kaiser right away. I eventually persuaded him not to bounce Russia in Sweden and to unexpectedly bounce England out of Bel. Meanwhile I forged a solid alliance with Eric in Austria, and we proceeded to dismantle Turkey with a text-book Lepanto. When it was time to turn West, I put a lot of work into convincing Conrad that I was about to stab Eric. He went for it and turned his fleets north (Bartalone was not pleased). At the same time, I reneged on my promise of support to France to take Kiel. I moved into PIE and TYR with nary a French fleet or unit within sight. Unfortunately, Conrad unexpectedly picked up an alternate center in HOL and was able to build a fleet in MAR. This didn't save him, but it did slow me down enough where my Austrian ally grew much more rapidly than I. Toward the end of the mid-game, Austria was 12 but stopped before he could enter St P and I was 7 with SPA and POR within my grasp, though GRE and SMY were vulnerable to Austria. The only thing keeping Austria from stabbing me was the rock solid certainty that he would not be able to solo based on France's and Russia's positions. Unfortunately, the bickering between Conrad and Bartalone reached a fever pitch and Conrad approached Eric offereing to throw the solo. He positioned a fleet in NWG to tap NWY and pulled his armies from Germany opening the door for the Austrian solo the next year. Eric went from 12 to 18 in 2 game years, and eventually won the tournament on the strength of that victory.

Round 4

I was a little checked out for this round. By this time there had been 4 solos in the tournament, and with Sunday being a timed round, I had little chance of soloing, thus little chance of making the top board.  Actually winning the tournament was a mathematical impossibility. Throw in that my wife was starting to have contractions back in Chicago (she's 37 weeks pregnant), and the fact that I drew Austria, and I figured it was time to throw caution to the wind. I invited Italy, played by a very experienced (and DipCon 43 TD) Adam Silverman, in for a Key Lepanto. Turkey was played by a local named Daniel, who had one of the solos in Round 2 (although it was of a dubious nature since Dave Maletsky threw 6 dots to him in one game year). I was on the razors edge for awhile with Austrian units in my homeland and through the Balkans for most of the game. Fortunately there was an exploding EF and Adam knew he needed me in the game to shore up the center and the Russian dots in MOS and STP. I stayed patient and through some brilliant tactical play by Adam around TYN and the boot, we were able to stave off the onslaught and eventually I was rewarded with fertile dots in Russia and Germany. We were getting close to the board call and a 4 way passed with me topping the board with an 11 center Austria. Two Italian dots were there for the taking, but I felt it was unnecessary to grab them, particularly since I owed my very survival to Adam. Consequently, I never regained Trieste for the entire game! A great learning experience regarding board position and alliance play versus how many dots do I have and do I own my home centers.

I finished 13th, which I'm not too disapointed with. Frankly, I felt I played better than that result would indicate. I think I improved my game in a couple of key areas, though I've finally realized that I need a lot of tactical work, particularly around the key areas of the Balkans, the Tyrrhenian and Germany. I think there may be a good Dipworld article in there somewhere on these areas.

After the tournament ended, Kevin and I went for dinner down by the harbour. By this time I was pretty drained and had a 3:30 am wake up call Monday morning to catch my flight so I hit the sack early on Sunday night. I'll let Kevin and Peter share their experiences and results, but I had a great time in SF. I'll be on the shelf for awhile with the new baby coming, but I hope to attend at least a board at WMIV and I can't wait to travel to another tournament as soon as I can.

 

Christian

Monday, 12 April 2010 21:56

2010 CODCon Open Results

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Here are the final results of the 2010 CODCon Open.

Place

Player

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total

1

Christopher M. Davis

12.564

100.000

0.000

112.564

2

Thom Comstock

100.000

0.000

0.000

100.000

3

Peter Yeargin

65.641

3.571

17.112

82.753

4

Andrew Bartlein

0.000

19.444

60.160

79.605

5

Jim O`Kelley

20.769

0.000

46.429

67.198

6

Grant Smith

1.026

0.000

46.429

47.454

7

Tony Prokes

0.000

43.557

0.000

43.557

7

Mike French

0.000

43.557

0.000

43.557

9

Christian Kline

39.063

0.000

DNP

39.063

10

Bert Schoose

0.000

32.143

DNP

32.143

11

Ray Setzer

0.000

25.397

DNP

25.397

12

Amanda Baumgartner

3.516

0.000

21.658

25.173

13

May Ling Chong

19.141

0.258

2.473

21.613

14

Ted McClelland

DNP

19.444

DNP

19.444

15

Kurt Kugelberg

19.141

DNP

DNP

19.141

15

Dan Burgess

19.141

DNP

0.000

19.141

17

Adam Berey

0.000

0.000

1.070

1.070

18

Don Glass

DNP

DNP

0.275

0.275

19

John Gramila

0.000

0.000

DNP

0.000

19

Nathan Cockerill

0.000

0.000

DNP

0.000

19

Mike Morrison

DNP

0.000

DNP

0.000

19

John Duca

0.000

DNP

DNP

0.000

19

Greg Duenow

0.000

0.000

DNP

0.000

INEL

Kevin O`Kelly

0.000

12.629/0

4.396

17.025

Amanda Baumgartner was the Players' Choice. Note that Mike French was awarded seventh place by tiebreaker.

Check out the supply center charts here.

 

Sunday, 11 April 2010 23:22

Local Diplomat wins 2010 CODCon Title

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After three stellar rounds and eight boards of Diplomacy over the past two days, the 2010 CODCon Open Tournament was settled today after two more boards finished around 3:30.  The two soloists ran into a rough road today as the rest of the field tried to catch up.  But it wasn't enough.

Christopher M. Davis took this year's title with a draw in round one and one of the English solos in round two.  Thom Comstock took second place with his solo and Peter Yeargin took third place with a strong Best France on Saturday and another good round today.

The rest of the top board, in random order, includes three of our out-of-state travelers: Andrew Bartlein, Grant Smith, and Mike French and our own Jim O'Kelley.  Tony Prokes finished tied for seventh but lost out on the top board due to the tie-breaker.  Congratulations to all of our prize winners for excellent Diplomacy play over the weekend.

The full results will be posted early this week.  I encourage everyone who played to post a few comments to the site and share some of the experiences you had.  I was extremely pleased to have been the TD for a tournament that ran so smoothly.  Most games started on time, there were no complaints about timing or rules and we had the most boards at COD that we have had since our first 4 years ago.  

Thanks to all that attended.  The countdown is on to CODCon 2011 a year from now.

 

-kevin

 

Sunday, 27 October 2013 18:56

There came a demon from the East

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According to Wikipedia, the name Heffernan comes from a Gaelic word meaning demon. Our Josh Heffernan certainly played like a man possessed in yesterday's Weasel Royale club championship game. Also, that beard of his does sort of make him look like the devil. Perhaps we should ask more questions about the time Heffernan spent in the Orient.

Anyway, despite Heffernan's apparent supernatural aid, this game belonged to Nate "Beefy" Cockerill in the early going. And by "early," I mean through 1910. Yes, 1910!

Monday, 14 October 2013 13:58

Beefy is the new Beefcake

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When he was a younger man doing sketch comedy in Cleveland, a local arts critic never failed to describe him as beefy, to the point where he became known to friends as Beefy Nate Cockerill. I wonder how she feels about him now that he's the North American Diplomacy Champion.

I hope Beefy will share his thoughts on the weekend. What follows are mine.

Thursday, 05 September 2013 09:09

Brawl Star!

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At about five minutes till 6 on Wednesday night, exactly six of the players were seated around the table at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, ready to start. That was the first sign that this bar game would be different than the 82 others we had played since March 2007.

Indeed, this game was the championship of our inaugural Bar Room Brawl Series, a subset of the league where we tracked each player's best three bar games over the course of Season Eight. And at five till 6, only our War Weasel, Nate Cockerill, the game's second seed, was missing. 

Monday, 24 June 2013 21:44

Potter's magic falls short

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Two-time champion Chris Martin posted the only solo from the first day of play at Weasel Moot VII and carried a hefty lead into the final round. But an unlikely challenger emerged on the former world champ's own board and rolled to a solo of his own.

Peter McNamara, the native of Perth in West Australia (not to be confused with our own Pete McNamara) prevailed in this weekend's tournament at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

Peter had the result all but sewn up after soloing as Austria in the first round. Our own Tony Prokes won two Best Country awards with strong play in both rounds on Saturday, offered to sit out on Sunday, and took second. Russ Dennis, playing in his first game with our club and his first FtF tournament, surged into third place with a strong result in Sunday's game.

Here are the final scores:

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