2010 WBC Sportsmanship Award
Feb. 12, 2011

The Sportsmanship Award is our most prized honor since it is something we can all aspire to and is within our reach regardless of how many hours we spend honing our skills. It reminds us that there is no fun to be had with these games without an affable opponent with which to cross vicarious swords. Who among us has not had a moment when we were too caught up in the quest for "wood"? Our Sportsman of the Year always subscribes to a higher standard and offers a shining example of sportsmanship that we should all do our best to emulate.

Our winner was selected from among many nominees put forth by GMs and other interested commentators whose recommendations were considered and reduced to a field of 21 worthies included on our annual Membership Drive ballot for selection by the membership at large. You don't have to be a GM or Board member to nominate someone. Anyone who takes the time to email the Convention Director in the weeks following WBC can make a "citizen's arrest" and report an act of sportsmanship with their critique of the convention; good or bad. The members' choice is rewarded for their sportsmanship with a free room at the next WBC. 

The old adage of "every vote counts" was never truer than in this election where no dominant favorite emerged, and the lead changed hands several times before voting was over. I grew ever more fearful of having to cast the deciding vote to break a tie. When the last ballot was tabulated, the matter was decided by a single vote's difference among not the top two, but the top three, contenders.  

Winning with slightly less than 10% of the 261 votes cast was John Emery. The dean of the Greenville Mafia and a major dasher of Up Front title aspirations, John has long been known as one of WBC's classiest gentlemen in the top contender ranks. This year, he backed into not only his sixth Up Front title but a Sportsmanship nomination, as well, when it was discovered after the fact that he had played the Final with the wrong OB for that scenario. Duly embarrassed, John quickly offered his forfeiture of the title just won. Fortunately for all concerned, his opponent, Ray Stakenas Sr matched one act of sportsmanship with another, by declining and the two set about replaying the match with the correct OBs. 

Susan Cornett and Ed Menzel tied for second, just one vote behind. Also prominent in the tightly grouped leader pack were Joanna Melton, in fourth, followed by Ray Freeman and Jason Levine at 8%, 7% and 6% of the vote respectively.

Past Sportsmanship Winners

Chuck Stapp
1992 - NJ

Tiger Von Pagel
1993 - FL

Rob Kilroy
1994 - PA

Ian Lange
1995 - AE

Jim Matt
1996 - MI

Ed Connery
1997 - NJ

Frank Sinigaglio
1999- NJ

Robert Sacks
2000 - NY

Bret Hildebran
2001 - OH

Kaarin Engelmann
2002, 2008 - VA

James Jordan
2003 - MD

Steve Okonski
2004 - MD
Bruno Sinigaglio
2005 - AK
Phil Barcafer
2006 - PA
Rebecca Hebner
2007 - CO
Mark Yoshikawa
2009 - CA
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