18XX [Updated October 2002]

8xx   5 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
   10   Rnd1 Heat1 11 [1856]   Rnd1 Heat2  18 [1870]
  Rnd1 Heat3 18 [1830]   Round 2 11
  Final 18

  Rnd1 Heat1  Salon EF  Rnd1 Heat2 Round 2 Polo   Rnd1 Heat3  MD 4    Final Club

Jon Kwiatkowski, NC

2002 Champion

2nd: Jim McDanold, TN

3rd: Pierre LeBoeuf, MD

4th: John Chung, CA

5th: Anthony Daw, UT

6th: Johnny Hasay, PA

Event History
1991    Mark Giddings      34
1992    Dave Harshbarger      46
1993    Robin Barbehenn      84
1994    Todd Vander Pluym      84
1995    Mark Giddings      51
1996    Christian Goetz      45
1997    Dan Vice      50
1998    Jon Kwiatkowski      45
1999    Barrington Beavis     32
2000    Barrington Beavis     28
2001    David Fritsch     33
2002    Jon Kwiatkowski     36

AREA Ratings

GM: Pierre LeBoeuf

Past Winners

Mark Giddings - NY
1991, 1995

1992: David Harshbarger - NC
1993: Robin Barbehenn - MD

Todd Vander Pluym - CA

Christian Goetze - CA

Dan Vice - VA

Jon Kwiatkowski - NC

Barrington Beavis - UK
1999, 2000

David Fritsch - VA

Event Inflation ... 1830 ... 1856 .... 1870

36 railroad managers turned out for this year's WBC 18xx tournament. 19 of 32 players from last year returned, joined by 17 newcomers. New players had an impact, as five won preliminary round games, with two others also qualifying for the semi-finals, and one making it all the way to the final. Each preliminary session drew well, with 16 at Heat 1, 18 at Heat 2, and 24 at Heat 3. Most players attended more than once, with two playing in all five sessions). The tourney featured 1830, 1856, and 1870 again, with all the preliminary winners (and enough runner-ups to complete the field) advancing to a 16-player semi-final. 1830 remained the most popular game, with fifteen choosing 1856 and only nine opting for 1870 at some point.

The first heat featured two four-player 1856 games and two four-player 1830 games. A player bankruptcy ended only one of the 1830 games. In that game, Paul Skrabut won despite never having played 1830 before. Obviously, his attendance at the demonstration session earlier that morning paid off! Another newcomer, Steve Simmons, overcame his start with the Welland Railroad and Pierre LeBoeuf's "can't lose" start (both the shipping and tunnel privates and the Great Western Railroad) to edge him out by $347 in one of the 1856 games. Assistant GM Barrington Beavis (1856) and returning player Mark Neale (1830) won the other two games.

The second preliminary heat on Wednesday evening was designated for 1870, with a longer period (nine hours) allotted to complete the longest of these three 18xx games. Eighteen players attended, and split evenly into four- and five-player games of both 1870 and 1830. In the four-player 1870 game, Paul Koenig benefited greatly from stock sales of his Santa Fe railroad to end up with 90% of the second-best priced stock, leading to an easy win in a crisply played, six hour game. In the five-player 1870 set, newcomer Lee Kendter prevailed in an eight-hour game. In the two 1830 games, Anthony Daw returned after a year's absence to grab the win in the four-player game in just three hours, with no bankruptcies! The five-player 1830 match went to assistant GM Jon Kwiatkowski.

The last preliminary heat on Thursday night was designated for 1830, with 16 players in four games, and eight more playing two four-player 1856 games. Gerald Dudley returned from a year's sabbatical to claim a narrow $67 victory over newcomer Mike Brazinski in an 1830 game which never saw diesel trains. Returning players Craig Reece, John Chung, and Johnny Hasay won the other 1830 games. In the Hasay victory, 23 shares ended up in the bank pool at one point. Winners in the 1856 games were Jon Kwiatkowski and returning player Elliott Segal.

The 14 preliminary round games (up from eleven last year) produced only one double winner (Jon Kwiatkowski), and when two other winners didn't post for the semi-final, the top five runnerups also qualified. The players were seeded into the semifinals based on the results of preliminary round play, with the double winner seeded first. The winners were ranked according to the percentage of their second place player's score to their own in their preliminary round. All other players received percentages based on the ratio of their best score with the winning score in that game, with all second place finishes placed ahead of third place scores, etc.

Placement in the semifinal round used the formula 1st - 8th - 9th - 16th seeds in game 1, 2nd - 7th -10th -15th in game 2, 3rd - 6th - 11th -14th in game 3, and 4th -5th -12th -13th in game 4. Five alternates moved up, yielding four 4-player 1830 games. Three of the semifinals were close, with games decided by margins of $40, $70, and $84. In the fourth, Jon Kwiatkowski maintained his winning streak, forcing another semi-finalist into bankruptcy. The closest semi-final game featured the most amazing stock swindle I have ever seen. While dumping the higher-valued of two railroads onto an opponent (after buying its permanent train away, of course) is not that uncommon, I have never seen it done with the bottom-valued railroad. With three railroads in the third operating round, Elliott Segal had the top railroad buy the middle railroad's train away. He bought the middle railroad a train with his own cash, and sold enough stock in the bottom railroad to transfer ownership of the bottom-ranked C&O (with $1 in the treasury) to Anthony Daw. As the last railroad operating that round, Anthony dutifully bought the C&O a diesel with $1099 of his own money. Immediately afterwards came a stock round, with Elliott having the priority deal. With the C&O selling for $10 a share, Elliott bought back the five shares in the bank pool he had just sold all at once, seizing the C&O back, with its shiny new diesel! Unfortunately, the style points earned did not get Elliott out of last, but the swindle relegated Anthony to second place.

The final was a four-player 1830, featuring the four semifinal winners, Jon Kwiatkowski, Pierre LeBoeuf, Jim McDanold, and John Chung. Jon rode a three game win streak into the finals, but Pierre and Jim had won only their semifinal. While Jon and John had not yet faced any of the other finalists, Jim and Pierre had already played in a prelim that neither won.

The initial private company bidding had John Chung, drawing first position, taking two companies, the Schulkyll at cost and the Mohawk & Hudson at auction. Pierre, drawing second, got the B&O private company at cost, with Jon (third) winning the Camden & Amboy auction, and Jim getting the Champlain and the Delaware & Hudson at auction. Jon brought in the Penn at $76 a share, followed by Jim with the C&O at $67, and John starting the NYNH at $67. Pierre set the B&O public stock price at $100, but did not have enough cash left to open it on the first round. The early trains split 2-2-3 to the B&O, 2-3 for the Penn, 2-3 for the C&O, and 2-2-3 for the NYNH. The game accelerated rapidly in the third stock round when Jim dropped four shares of his C&O to start the NYC at $100. When Jon saw this, he dropped four shares of the Penn to open the B&M at $100. John Chung seized three $40 C&O shares, taking it over. Jim followed by abandoning his NYC and grabbing three $60 Penn shares, taking control of it from Jon. Neither of the stolen railroads had much more than $100 in their treasury, making them dubious acquisitions at this point in the game, with their trains about to go away. Jon bought a 3 and a 4 train, eliminating the 2 trains before the B&O and NYNH were able to do a three-train run. Several stock rounds later, Jon opened the Erie, and Jim began the Can Pac, still leaving the NYC started, but not open. Pierre began the endgame when he bought the first (5) permanent train, but once again, his second train was gone before he got to run multiple trains. Jon had the Erie buy the other two 5's. Jim's Can Pac was forced to buy the first 6, removing all trains from the NYNH. John was able to get one 6 for the NYNH, but went bankrupt trying to put a diesel into the C&O, ending the game. Jon won easily, and Jim's better stock position was good enough for second place, though his NYC (though finally open) still lacked a train. Once again, Jon schooled the competition, but this time he dismissed class early, winning the final in only two hours.

Thanks again to all of the participants for an entertaining tournament. I was glad to see more players and more participation this year. I hope we can continue to grow the event next year.

 GM      Pierre LeBoeuf  [3rd Year]   3043 Telegraph Rd, Elkton, MD 21921-2333
    PierreMLeBoeuf@excite.com   (410) 392-3094

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