taj mahal [Updated October 2006]  

 2006 WBC Report  

 2006 Status: pending 2006 GM commitment

Ian MacInnes, NY

2005 Champion

Offsite links:

AREA Ratings


Event History
2001    Tom Dunning     32
2002    Mark Guttag     46
2003    Greg Thatcher     36
2004    Nick Anner     46
2005    Ian MacInnes     54


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Tom Dunning        NY    05     69
  2.  Nicholas Anner     NY    05     54
  3.  Greg Thatcher      FL    05     42
  4.  Ian MacInnes       NY    05     30
  5.  Mark Guttag        VA    02     30
  6.  Travis St Denis    ON    04     18
  7.  Dan Henry          IL    03     18
  8.  Kevin Wojtasczyk   NY    01     18
  9.  Andrew Greene      VA    04     12
 10.  Thomas Saal        MI    02     12
 11.  Marty Hoff         TX    01     12
 12.  Charlie Kersten    OH    05      9
 13.  Anne Norton        NJ    03      9
 14.  Charles Eastman    VA    02      9
 15.  Rodney Somerstein  PA    01      9
 16.  Alex Bove          PA    04      6
 17.  Joe Nemet          PA    04      6
 18.  Doug Smith         PA    03      6
 19.  Shawn Metcalf      MD    02      6
 20.  Brian Stallings    MD    01      6
 21.  Eric Brosius       MA    05      3
 22.  Winton Lemoine     CA    03      3


2005 Laurelists

Tom Dunning, NY

Greg Thatcher, FL

Charles Kersten, OH

Nick Anner, NY

Eric Brosius, MA

Past Winners

Tom Dunning, NJ

Mark Guttag, VA

Greg Thatcher, FL

Nick Anner, NY

shazzaam ...

The 2005 tournament saw the largest attendance in the history of the event at 54 with a17% icrease despite a reduction in the number of heats from three to only two this year. I attribute the increase to the Cooperative Euro Scheduling Initiative. In addition to being the largest Taj Mahal field yet, this GM believes this year's field was the most skilled with all four previous champions returning along with an array of Euro Sharks looking for their first Taj Mahal wood.

The first heat had seven tables and the second heat ten. That left me with 17 winners for a 16-player semifinal potential problem. Fortunately, Anne Norton won two heats including a tournament high score of 64 so I wouldn't have to turn away any heat winners even if all them were to appear for the semis. As so often happens, only 13 of the 16 chose to attend the semis. Heat winners who bowed out included Joel Tamburo who had to GM a heat of Medieval, and both Chris Gnech and Chris Johnson along with one of my alternates who chose to play in the Power Grid semis.

The Final was looking to be a battle of past champions as Nick Anner, Greg Thatcher and Tom Dunning made it through the semis along with newcomer Charlie Kersten. Unfortunately, Nick had to choose between concurrently scheduled Finals and opted for Sword of Rome. Nick's withdrawal opened the door for Ian MacInnes, who lost his semifinal on a tie breaker to perennial Tie Breaker Boy Greg Thatcher. This year, Greg not only won his heat on a tie breaker but took his semifinal the same way.

The Final was well played with close scores, great camaraderie and trash table talk. Greg went large with the commodity strategy. Charlie chose the connectivity route while Greg and Tom went with more balanced strategies. It came down to the final two provinces. If Charlie could connect the last two provinces he would be hard to beat. Likewise, if Greg could win the final two elephant battles and claim those commodities he would rule. Charlie connected province 11 while Greg bowed out of the province to gather more elephants for the final battle. Ian grabbed the province 11 commodities to take the lead. Greg vowed to wage an epic battle in province 12, promising to deny Charlie his connections and Ian the province 12 commodities.

Unfortunately for Greg, Ian chose not to contest the province 12 commodities. Ian grabbed Agra and got out early. Tom also left early with his small chain. Greg did get his epic battle and prevented Charlie from connecting province 12 to his chain. In doing so, Greg seriously depleted both his and Charlie's long suits. Ian had stockpiled nine green and four white cards to help him claim victory. Tom had a four length suit and five white cards to sneak into second place. Greg secured third with the province 12 commodities and sent Charlie into fourth by denying him his province 12 connectivity.

While I've been an Assistant GM a few times, this was my first GM experience. It's different when you're responsible for the success of the event. I have a newfound respect for all WBC GMs. In hindsight I see there are things I could've done better. Next time I will. I wouldn't have had nearly as successful an event without the help of Assistant GMs Brian Stallings and Jennifer Thomas.

 GM      Tom Dunning  [1st Year]  246 Bryamt St #3, Buffalo, NY
    vze3ntbm@verizon.net   (NA)

2005 Preview Page | View the Icon Key | Return to main BPA page