origins of wwii [Updated October 2002]

OW2   Trial Beginners Single Elim Continuous 
   12   14  Round 2 16 Final


Johnny Hasay, PA

2002 Champion

2nd: David Rynkowski, NY

3rd: Gene Pappas, MD

4th: Brad Jones, FL

5th: -

6th: -

Event History
1997    Bruce Reiff      16
1998    John Emery      16
1999    Phil Rennert     24
2000    Robert Kircher     16
2001    Phil Rennert     16
2002    Johnny Hasay     12

AREA Ratings

GM: Martin Svennson

Past Winners

Bruce Reiff - OH

John Emery - SC

Phil Rennert - MD
1999, 2001

Robert Kircher - MA

Resurrecting an old Chestnut ...

The competition was stiff both inside the Polo Room and outside this venue from competing WBC offerings. As a result, attendance for OW2 dipped to twelve hearty souls from last year's field of 16. However, what was missing in quantity was compensated by quality play and fun.

The 2002 tournament was noteworthy for the defeat of previous champions, and the ascendancy of newcomers. In the initial round, both Phil Rennert (Britain), the 2001 champion shown at right, and Rob Kircher (Germany), the 2000 recipient of the plaque were defeated and eliminated quickly. The winner at their table was Johnny Hasay, a previous WBC champion noted for his PanzerBlitz play. Johnny decided to enter OW2 this year after having not played the game for many years. Johnny not only defeated two past champions and Jason Brown (USSR) in the initial round at his table, but did so as the French.

The second table was dominated by the participation of newcomers. Mark Rasich, Alan Hayes and Gene Pappas attended my 12 noon demo at Jay's Café and apparently decided to take the plunge along with first time tournament player, David Rynkowski. The proceedings were quite animated at their table. I was glad to see that they took to the spirit of the game and played well.

The last table of four featured Brad Jones, Ed Kendrick, Bill Burch and John Emery engaged in what turned out to be a very taut contest. Advancement to the finals was based upon the winner from each table moving forward. The final player was determined by the participant with the most points would get the nod. Based upon this system, the finals featured Johnny Hasay, Brad Jones, Gene Pappas and David Rynkowski.

The final turned out to be a simply great game. It was a mixture of smart play, suspense, humor featuring the use of French accents, a surprise finish and dashed expectations. David Rynkowski bid 2.5 points to represent Germany and played masterfully throughout the match. Eugene Pappas, our demo attendee who advanced to the final game bid 2 points for Britain and played like a veteran. Mr. Pappas showed his skills as a diplomat from the outset. Brad Jones acting as Foreign Minister Molotov had a difficult time establishing the USSR as a dominant diplomatic aggressor, therefore, he took a defensive posture and played a key role on the last turn. Johnny Hasay lost Alsace-Lorraine very early in the proceedings and was thought by the others as out of the picture. Unfortunately, OW2 can be deceptive, for not only was Johnny still in the picture, he turned out to be the champ!

It appeared that Germany would eek out a close victory, but cunning French play won out by a mere half point. 2002 was the year of the French. The French player won two of the three preliminary games and the championship. The results were pleasantly surprising and illustrates the parity of OW2 using Bruce Reiff's four-player variant. Hopefully there will be enough votes to continue Origins of World War II at the WBC. If it returns, hopefully we can swell the ranks back to 24 players. If 2002 was the game's last gasp, I can report that it went out in style!

 GM      Martin Svennson  [1st Year]   NA  
    NA   NA

View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page