The Distant View
Stuck in Texas while this year's tournament passed me by,
I eagerly soaked up any and all feedback. So in the finest traditions
of both war news reporting and generations of historians, I'm
ready to pontificate on what occurred despite my lack of any
Wigdor graciously took over for me as GM on very short notice.
By all accounts, his first experience as a GM was a bit more
successful than typical. But it had it's moments as well; most
of them the result of policies that I set but that he (to his
regret no doubt) had to live with.
The survivors of the four Swiss rounds, those that entered
the single elimination quarterfinals, were a nice, eclectic mix
of the usual top performers, long time participants and new faces:
Marvin Birnbaum, Paul Barrett, George Seary, Bill Peeck, Keith
Wixson, Jim Gutt, Paul Gaberson and John Poniske. In a battle
of the "good-guys", last year's WTP Sportsman nominee,
Paul was edged out by John Poniske who is a perennial sportsman
nominee in his own right. His victory also gave John bragging
rights within his "Polish Lancers" team for bringing
home some serious bacon. And it's about time! This was John's
second wood and the first since the inaugural Avaloncon 13 years
The back story for this year's tournament has two elements.
The first is the surprising (and very welcome!) entry of eight
new players for the coached event. Many strong competitors offered
to help bring these rookies along, including last year's winner,
George Young. For this, his other services, and his long record
of gentlemanly play, George was this year's WTP nomination as
Sportsman of the Year. As is our tradition, the GM awarded George
a special prize; this year an Illustrated History of the American
However, the GM and player field found it difficult to maintain
the aggressive schedule necessary to finish the tournament in
a single day. This article celebrates a still very successful
tournament, but it also serves as an opportunity for me (as GM
presumptive) to state that I'm committed to two things: First
that WTP will continue to attract a strong constituency in terms
of both top talent and adequate numbers. Secondly, this tournament
will run in a single day. Congratulations and thanks to all who
participated in 2004. And for 2005. all ideas and suggestions
as to how to accomplish these twin goals are welcome.
The final round of the 2003 PBeM Tournament started on November
9th and concludes by March 1st. The six-round Swiss format began
in April 2003 with 46 participants. The "championship"
game is between James ("The Master") Pei, with a perfect
score of five points, and Paul Gaberson (2004 WBC runner-up)
, with 4.5 points. Others still vying for Laurels are Tom Drueding,
Mike Pacheco, Jim Gutt, Anthony Daw (each with four points) and
Paul Barrett (3.5 points).