titan [Updated August 2001]

TTN  6 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Cont Heats 
  Demo 20


   9-23      9-22

  Round 2 9-14  Semi  Round 3  18-23 Final


Steve Koleszar, VA

2001 Champion

2nd: Chuck Nail, GA

3rd: David Finberg, MA

4th: Dan Strock, PA

5th: Andrew Gross, WA

6th: Rich Atwater. WA
Event History
1991    Steve Rareshide      43
1992    Kevin Quirk      48
1993    Brian Sutton      58
1994    Chuck Kaplan      67
1995    Steve Koleszar      65
1996    Ben Foy      66
1997    Dave Finberg      72
1998    Jung Yueh      78
1999    Dave des Jardins     51
2000    Rich Atwater     60
2001    Steve Koleszar     55

AREA Ratings:

GM: Bruno Wolff

Best GM Award 1999

2 Top-Six GM Nominations

Always a Titanic Struggle ...

This year there were several notable statistical flukes.

The first was that this year, for the second time in the past 11 years, Steve Koleszar both won Titan and didn't pick it as his team event. (Steve is the first two-ime Titan winner.) The other nine years he picked it as his team event, but, although often doing quite well, never won in those years.

There was a second statistical fluke involving Steve this year. In his semi-final game, Andrew Gross (this year's two-player Titan champ) attacked Steve with a titan (10-4), two serpents, two angels, two gorgons, with an angel to summon. Steve was defending in a tower with titan (8-4), two guardians, a ranger, and an angel. Andrew was a huge favorite, but the dice gods were
smiling on Steve, and Andrew's chance to be the first person to win both events in the same year ended.

The third statistical fluke was that out of 51 official games, six ended with two of the last three players remaining mutually eliminating each other to leave a winner by default who didn't get the chance to personally defeat his opponents. Normally this only happens once or twice through the course of the event.

I changed a few procedural things from last year and want to report on the results.

One thing I have done over the years is try to make the multi-player tournament suitable for a variety of people, including those that just wanted to play drop-in games, play lots of Titan or just play to win. This year I made a change to allow people who wanted to play a lot of Titan, to get a better chance to do so. The change was to allow players to play as an eliminator after playing six games that counted. Several players took advantage of that. The most notable player to do so was Dan Strock who played in 11 (six normal, three as eliminator, semi-finals and finals) official games, several official two-player games, and
several unofficial games that I noticed (including teaching new recruits). He deserves the Titan Marathon Player award for extensive play this year.

After one of the semi-final games ran over the (generous) time allotment last year and how the game ended didn't make anyone involved happy, I made of a couple of changes. One was to institute a rule for using timed turns if a semi-final or final game was running long. The other was to use an objective formula for producing a winner if, despite time controls, a semi-final or final game went over the time limit. However, this year none of those games went anywhere near their time limits. The time limit on the final game was new, but I felt that there needed to be some limit, as I didn't want someone to have to quit because their plane was leaving on Sunday. So, I used a cutoff of 6am Sunday, which gave 12 hours to play the finals (which is about three times the normal time needed).

Another change was in response to a suggestion that players start fresh in the semi-finals. Previously, in the case of a mutual score between the last two players in a semi-final or final game, the higher seed would advance. This year I instituted a roll off between any players that mutualled in the semi-finals or finals. However, no mutuals occurred this year.

Even though it didn't come into play, people liked the roll off method of settling mutuals. Next year I will be using this rule for preliminary play, as well as for the semi-finals and finals.

One big topic was seeding. I have been using an objective formula for seeding because it is hard to fairly place everyone for their semi-final matches. Two problems with this system have been pointed out. One is that it may (did) cause players to play extra preliminary games to modify who got to play who in the semi-finals, even though they were sure to be in the semi-finals and would have preferred to have done something else with that time. The other thing it didn't do was separate people who didn't want to play each other (typically people from the same geographic area).

The discussion was very fruitful, and already I almost have a complete system set up for next year. The preliminary results will still be used to decide who plays in the semi-finals, and act as a tie breaker between semi-final participants who don't make the finals and finish in the same position in their semi-final game. However, the seeding will be done by random draw with some extra constraints.

The extra constraints are a system that might be useful for other people running multi-player events. When a player registers for Titan, they will be allowed to name a group of up to four players (including themselves) that don't wish to meet each other in the semi-finals. These other players must also list the same group when they sign up to play. This allows groups of up to four players to be split up if they all make the semi-finals. (If, when signing up, players list inconsistent groups, there is a simple system for resolving conflicts in a fair manner.)

Some people were concerned that a group of four "good" players might try to take advantage of this to arrange not to play each other. However, since the whole idea of seeding was to split up the "good" players, this seemed like it could only be a good thing. (Especially since the current seeding system wasn't doing that great of a job at this.) We decided to not force people that are part of a team to take advantage of this system. I will be prohibiting teammates of a player with Titan as their team event from playing in the same semi-final game. This won't break the splitting up of groups, but I do have a little work to do with figuring out how to select the match-ups randomly. I would like each possible match-up to be equally likely.

In spite of the success of this year's event, I am looking forward to an even better one next year!

 GM     Bruno Wolff III  (7th year)   1615 E. Fairmount Ave., Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
   bruno@uwm.edu   (414) 961-7055 Home    (414) 229-5646 Work

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