A New Champ
2004 WBC Tournament was won by Michael Kaye. Mike topped 44 entrants
to win, boasting a 6-1 record after seven grueling rounds. Playing
through a Swiss tournament of seven five-hour rounds over the
better part of three days can wear down even the hardiest players.
Mike's skill allowed him to top then-undefeated Dan Henry in
the 6th round late Saturday evening. Since Dan had the only other
6-1 record at the end of the tournament, the head-to-head tiebreaker
gave Mike the championship. In addition, Mike's four wins as
the Japanese gave him the WBC VIP Nagumo Award for most Japanese
wins. Congratulations, Mike!
Second place went to Dan Henry. Dan went undefeated until
the sixth round. In addition, all seven of Dan's games were as
the Allies, so his six wins easily garners him the Halsey Award
for most Allied wins.
Ray Freeman took third with a 5-2 tournament record. Even
the random matching for the first round hit Ray hard as he drew
John Pack for his first game. No easy ones this year, Ray!
Top-AREA-ranked competitor and defending champ Ed Menzel finished
fourth with a 4-3 record. The target T-shirt probably helped
Ed's opponents take careful aim at his lofty position atop the
best players in VIP.
Alan Applebaum placed 5th; Charlie Drozd 6th; Bob Hamel 7th;
Darren Kilfara came all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to
place 8th. Rob Drozd 9th, and John Pack rounded out our top ten
finishers. Darren, THAT'S dedication to the game!
The 2004 Tournament started off with a bang, featuring a departure
from previous years with a random first round pairing of opponents.
All previous years saw seeding for the top players by AREA rankings,
and a matching system which pitted top players against each other
right away. Since players may only play each other once, this
tended to concentrate top-level players against each other in
the early rounds. In an effort to spread the excitement further
throughout the competition, a random drawing of Player Records
matched players of many different skill levels for the first
Matching in the subsequent six rounds also departed from earlier
tournaments. Players were matched within their win/loss category,
top half to bottom half. This also helped distribute the top-player-matches
more evenly throughout the tournament.
The scoring system tried at the Midwest Open in March passed
its test again. Game winners scored ten points, draws garnered
four, and losses each earned one point. At the end of the tournament,
earned points were totaled, and ties resolved with these tiebreakers:
1) head-to-head play; 2) number of rounds played; 3) pre-tournament
Special thanks to my assistants Bob Hamel and Ken Nied, who
volunteered to take the load off me in a variety of crucial tasks,
and who put up with all the stuff I did for which we criticized
Glenn in past years. Thanks to Ed Menzel, who filled in posting
matches when we needed the help. Thanks also to John Sharp III,
Pete Ticola and Howard Hughes, for their help in getting me to
the WBC and for keeping me fed and watered.
Most of all, thanks to all of the players who made this tournament
so easy to run. Long hours, but great rewards. Next year, we
continue the evolution of VIP at WBC by abandoning our traditional
Friday-Sunday slot and move to a pre-con slot. It is hoped this
will attract more players who have had to pass on VIP in the
past due to conflicts with other favorites. At the very least,
we expect the total number of games played to increase with less
competition from other events to draw off players in the later
rounds. Playing seven rounds, win or lose, has its own rewards.
Join us and measure your personal best in seven rounds. How many
can you win?