Doc Binder Wins World Championship


A urologist from Florida, Michael "Doc" Binder (left) knows how to grab a guy by the balls. Turns out he can cut them off, too.

Binder won the World Diplomacy Championship at Weasel Moot VI in Chicago last weekend with a solo on the top board. He also soloed in the third round. Both were as France.

(For the complete summary, including individual and team standings, all the awards, and all the supply center charts, click here.)

Binder was the third seed in the World Championship Game. Joining him on that board were Don Scheifler of Houston (1); Matt Shields of Portland, Ore. (2); Adam Sigal of State College, Penn. (4); Robert Rousse of Vermont (5); Peter Yeargin of Herndon, Va. (6); and Peter Lokken of Chicago (7).

During the power selection ceremony, the seed order held until Sigal opted to choose fifth. Reverse seed order was the tie-breaker for the top board. Two spots later, Shields took the fifth spot from Sigal. Scheifler, picking last, dropped down to the third position. So, the selection order was Binder, Rousse, Scheifler, Sigal, Shields, Yeargin and Lokken.

Binder picked France, the country he had soloed with, and Rousse chose England. The fact that they chose neighboring powers first and second gave the other players a lot to think about. Not so much for Scheifler, who went with Turkey, the country he had soloed with in the fourth round on Saturday night, but definitely for Sigal and Shields. Neither one wanted Germany, fearing that Binder and Rousse intended to work together.

So, Sigal took Italy and Shields, Austria. Picking sixth, Yeargin jumped at Germany. He and Binder had finished 1-2 at DixieCon last May and achieved a two-way draw as F/G in the first round there.

They worked together here, too, quickly dispatching Rousse in England and marching to a 10-10 shared board top through 1906.

"We knew that if we finished tied, he’d win the world championship, but I’d be the North American champion," Binder said, referencing the split championships at this year’s event. The world championship would be decided on the top board, but the DipCon champion would be the player with the best composite score in three out of five rounds. "I was okay with that," he continued.

But Binder started to pull away the next year, and by the end of 1908, he had a four-center lead at 14-10. Yeargin closed the gap to 14-11 in 1909, but in 1910, with help from the dying Easterners, Binder picked up five centers and the solo, uniting both championships.

A total of 80 players competed on 46 boards over the five rounds. There were six solos. In addition to the players, we also had a number of visitors, including Allan B. Calhamer, Diplomacy’s creator, his wife, Hilda, and their two daughters.

Patience is a Virtue (Shields, Yeargin and Jim O’Kelley) won the team tournament.

The Best Country awards went to:

Austria: Adam Sigal
England: Matt Shields (solo)
France: Doc Binder (solo on the top board but also soloed in the third round)
Germany: Peter Lokken (solo; Robert Rousse also soloed as Germany)
Italy: Christian MacDonald of Seattle, formerly of Chicago but originally a Canadian from, I think, New Brunswick
Russia: John Gramila of Chicago
Turkey: Don Scheifler

The top board was:


  1. Doc Binder
  2. Don Scheifler
  3. Matt Shields
  4. Adam Sigal
  5. Robert Rousse
  6. Edi Birsan
  7. Steve Cooley

The top local player in the tournament was Aash Anand, who posted a huge result as France in the final round to vault Peter Yeargin and Lokken.

For the complete summary, click here.

Thanks for coming and for making the weekend such a great experience. Go, Weasels!

Jim O’Kelley, for Tournament Director Dan Burgess



Join the discussion!

Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jim O'Kelley

    Binder started playing tournament Diplomacy in 2007 at the Vancouver WDC. He finished 58th out of 70 players. He improved to 9th at the 2009 WDC at Origins, and 5th last year in Sydney. (He also played at the Hague in 2010, finishing 29th.)

    Binder has now played in 11 tournaments. This is his first championship. He finished second at Dixie in May and at Husky in 2010.

    You don’t necessarily have to be a world beater to win worlds. If you know what you’re doing, all you need is a chance. I’m glad Doc got his.

  2. Greg Duenow

    Congrats Doc.

    And congrats to the Weasels on a huge WDC. See you in 2016!


  3. Aashirwad Viswanathan Anand

    Thank you all for a great weekend and congrats to all the awardees. If anyone has advice on how to handle WDC withdrawal, I’m all ears!

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