tikal [Updated October 2007]  

 2007 WBC Report  

 2008 Status: pending 2008 GM commitment

Harald Henning, CT

2007 Champion

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Event History
2000    Jason O'Donnell     95
2001    Kevin Garber     80
2002    Brian Jones     72
2003     Barbara Flaxington     53
2004    Harald Henning     77
2005    Davyd Field     75
2006    Davyd Field     45
2007     Harald Henning     56

Euro Quest Event History
2003     Arthur Field     23
2004     Phil Rennert     16


Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  Arthur Field       SC    06    107
  2.  Davyd Field        CA    07     97
  3.  Harald Henning     CT    07     60
  4.  Kevin Garber       VA    02     52
  5.  Barbara Flaxington NJ    06     50
  6.  Jack Jaeger        VA    05     44
  7.  Brian Jones        MD    02     40
  8.  Jason O'Donnell    OH    00     30
  9.  Eric Freeman       PA    07     27
 10.  James Hopkin       CA    02     24
 11.  Daniel Broh-Kahn   MD    06     22
 12.  Phil Rennert       MD    04     20
 13.  Jason Ley          WA    07     18
 14.  Rob Kilroy         PA    00     18
 15.  Pierre Paquet      QC    07     12
 16.  Valerie Stanton    OH    05     12
 17.  David Wenstrup     SC    03     12
 18.  Eric Haas          MD    03     12
 19.  Marvin Birnbaum    NJ    00     12
 20.  Chris Terrel       VA    05     10
 21.  Robert Flowers     MD    06      9
 22.  John Kerr          VA    03      9
 23.  Steve Cameron      PA    00      9
 24.  William Duke       MD    03      8
 25.  Rodney Davidson    MD    04      6
 26.  Jonathan Fox       IL    04      6
 27.  David Fair         MD    03      6
 28.  John Wetherell     PA    00      6
 29.  James Carvin       PA    03      4
 30.  Greg Thatcher      FL    07      3
 31.  Craig Moffit       NJ    06      3
 32.  Tim Kelley         SC    04      3
 33.  Mario Lanza        PA    03      3
 34.  Mike Backstrom     MN    00      3
 35.  Don Bone         AUSTRAL 03      2

2007 Laurelists

Jason Ley, WA

Pierre Paquet, QC

Davyd Field, SC

Eric Freeman, PA

Greg Thatcher, FL

Past Winners

Jason O'Donnell, OH

Kevin Garber, VA

Brian Jones, MD

Barb Flaxington, NJ

Harald Henning, CT

Davyd Field, CA

Like nearly all Euro events, Tikal gained attendance this year.

Out finalists pause for a picture opportunity.

Deep in the Slowest Jungles ...

For those keeping score, Tikal celebrated its eighth anniversary as a Century event at WBC 2007, and unfortunately, once again, there was some controversy.  As before, the controversies tend to lean towards sportsmanship issues, play time issues, or some combination of the two. But the controversies get smaller each year And perhaps next year there won't be any! Here's hoping

In 2007, there were 22 discrete games of Tikal played, 18 in the three heats, three semi-finals, and a Final. All but three games had the full complement of four players, and there were a total of 56 different players.  Read on to discover which of perennial finalists Harald Henning, Barbara Flaxington, Arthur Field, or Davyd Field won the tournament, or was it a relative newcomer?

The demonstration, right before the first heat, was once again well attended. Tikal is easy to learn, and comes with a player cheat sheet, which shows everything a player can do on a simple 3 by 4.5 inch card. No language skills are required, as there are no words whatsoever on the player card or the map. In a nutshell, a player places a tile, and then allocates 10 action points in their turn as they see fit on the mapboard. Scoring is also simple: In a scoring round and there are four of them in the game, each player receives the usual 10 action points, without the tile placement, and then they score. The last scoring round is done in reverse score order, meaning whoever is in last place at the final scoring round gets to go first in the last scoring round, often an advantage.

Since 2004 the bidding rules of the game have been used at WBC.  In the bidding variant, players bid on the tile they choose to place, some tiles having more perceived value to one player than another. Bidding injects a lot more strategy into the game, and also prevents the ubiquitous whining about poor tile selection due to bad luck. Bidding also allows a player to go last in one round, and then first in the next, allowing them, in effect, 20 action points in a row. The obvious advantage of bidding is that it removes a luck element from the game, but the disadvantage is that it increases the playing time.

There were three heats scheduled for Tikal, set for different times and different days. With the new Euro scheduling format, led by Eric Freeman, anyone who truly wanted to play a game could likely gmanage a heat at some point during the busy WBC week. Social Tikal should be a 90-minute game, and the GM allowed two hours for tournament play of each of the heats and Semis. With very few exceptions, all games were finished in less than two hours. In a couple of instances, the games were adjudicated by the GM to prevent runovers from interfering with other games on the Euro Scheduling Initiative.

The Wednesday afternoon heat had eight games, Friday had six and the Saturday morning heat added four games. At each table, a scorecard was provided showing Player Name, Final Score, Reserve Pieces and the Last Scoring round points.  All heats were scored in the GMs notebook with each individual disclosing their final score, reserve pieces, total points in the last round, and finish place. This information was entered into a computer, with the ratio to the winner used as a tiebreaker for runner-ups to advance to the semis.

With 17 individual heat winners in the 18 preliminary games (Barb Flaxington won twice in the heats), there were optimistic hopes for a full complement of 16 to attend the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon. Alas, as usual, exactly 12 qualifiers appeared for the semis on time. Although Tikal works best as a four-player game, it was decided that only the three semi-final winners would advance, to a single, three-person Final, which is also what happened last year.

The Final was dominated by former champ Harald Henning, although newcomers Pierre Paquet and Jason Ley gave him a run for his money. Harald bid conservatively, and played deliberately, to grab a slim lead at the second volcano that he would not relinquish.  Although the scores were still close at the third volcano, with Harald narrowly ahead of Jason and Pierre 74­71-61, a closing score of 46-46-47 ensured that Harald would walk away with his second crown. The final score was 120-117-108.

All in all, Tikal 2007 must be judged another success, without the major controversies that plagued the 2005 event. There is still the concern that an individual player's analysis paralysis, which Tikal is (in)famous for, leads to games that are longer than they need to be. Next year, perhaps with the introduction of four-player chess clocks, the tournament can be run easily and all games completed in a timely manner. Stay tuned, and we'll see you at Tikal 2008!

Summary Tables: For those statistics nuts, the following table discloses the results of all Tikal games played at WBC 2007. The table is sorted in descending order of the winner's percentage of total points. Excluding the three player games at the top of the list, it can be seen that the winner's percentage of the total ranged from a wide 30% to a very narrow 26%. In addition, it is worth noting that in five games, the second place finisher had 99% or better of the winner's final score, implying that every point is crucial.

Games Sorted by Win %
#     Winner           1st   2nd   3rd  4th   Total 
3.4   Harald Henning   131   105   100        336
3.3   Daniel Broh-Kahn 155   132   122	       409
Final Harald Henning   120   117   108        345
1.3   Rob Flowers      126   102   094  086   408
1.7   Boaz Gura        116   115   089  079   399
SF    Jason Ley        117   101   099  089   406
1.1   Eric Freeman     122   113   100  090   425
1.8   Raphael Lehrer   117   105   102  085   409
2.5   Barb Flaxington  130   120   120  087   457
2.2   Jason Ley        067   059   058  052   236
1.2   Bill Ashbaugh    107   102   085  085   379
1.6   W. Schmittberger 118   113   103  089  	423
SF    Harald Henning   099   094   085  079  	357
1.4   Mike Kaltman     122   117   105  104   448
2.6   Greg Thatcher    071   070   061  060   262
2.1   Bret Mingo       094   088   086 	081  	349
3.2   Marc Imbault     103   102   093  085   383
SF    Pierre Paquet   	098   090   089  088   365
2.3   Pierre Paquet    114   107   104  104   429
1.5   Barb Flaxington  113   112   110  091   426
3.1   Arthur Field     111  	107   105  103   426
2.4   Megan Wilkes    	066  	066  	063  059   254
 GM      Daniel Broh-Kahn [4th Year]   NA
    Daribuck1@comcast.net   NA

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