for the people  

Updated 11/30/2008

2008 WBC Report    

 2009 Status: pending 2009 GM commitment

Riku Reikkinen, Finland

2008 Champion


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Event History
1999    James Pei     22
2000    Trevor Bender     21
2001    James Pei     22
2002    James Pei     29
2003    James Pei     32
2004     James Pei     35
2005    James Pei     24
2006     James Pei     27
2007     James Pei     30
2008     Riku Reikkinen     32

PBeM Event History
1999    James Pei     24
2002    Stefan Mecay     46

WAM Event History
2003    James Pei      8
2004     James Pei     12
2005    James Pei     17
2006    James Pei     11

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  James Pei          VA    08    496
  2.  David Dockter      MN    08    162
  3.  Mark Giddings      NY    08    127
  4.  Trevor Bender      CA    03     62
  5.  Stefan Mecay       TX    02     60
  6.  Riku Reikkinen Finland   08     50
  7.  Mike Mitchell      GA    05     47
  8.  Tim Miller         GA    07     40
  9.  Nicholas Pei       CA    06     38
 10.  Baron August       PA    02     36
 11.  Chris Byrd         CT    08     31
 12.  Peter Reese        VA    04     28
 13.  Rob Winslow        NY    05     21
 14.  Dan Hoffman        NC    02     19
 15.  Hank Burkhalter    GA    02     18
 16.  Doug Whatley       MD    00     18
 17.  Tom Drueding       TX    99     18
 18.  Tom Thornsen       NY    07     16
 19.  Bill Pettus        NJ    05     16
 20.  Bob Sohn           PA    07     15
 21.  Tim Miller         GA    05     12
 22.  George Young       VT    03     12
 23.  Paul Risner        TN    02     12
 24.  Tim Hughes         UK    02     12
 25.  Taylor Golding     ON    04     12
 26.  Bill Thoet         VA    03     10
 27.  Steve Bucey        OH    99      9
 28.  Chris Byrd         CT    06      8
 29.  Doug Mercer        MD    05      7
 30.  Kevin McCarthy     OH    99      6
 31.  Michael Ussery     MD    08      5
 32.  Keith Butler       CA    03      5
 33.  Henry Russell      PA    06      4
 34.  Don Chappell       TX    05      4
 35.  John Firer         WI    01      4
 36.  Mike Welker        OH    99      3
 37.  Jon Gautier        NY    06      2

2008 Laurelists                                          Repeating Laurelists:

James Pei, VA

Chris Byrd, CT

Dave Dockter, MN

Mark Giddings, NY

Michael Ussery, MD

Past Winners

James Pei, TX
1999, 2001-2007

Trevor Bender, CA

Riku Reikkinen, Finland

Chris Withers (left), whose GCA eight-year winning streak just came to an end, tries to start a new one in FTP against Chris Byrd. Tough sleddin ...

Dave Dockter (left) en route to his annual showdown with Master Pei against Keith Schoose. However, someone else would beat him to the Pei scalp.

Gasp ... Pei Loses ...

In what will be one of the most talked about Finals in WBC tournament play, James Pei (USA), eight times FTP champion lost the Final to Riku Riekkinen (CSA) on Turn 8 when the Union was doubled in SW. And so ended the seven-year winning streak of Master Pei. I would like to acknowledge the 'Master', who was gracious in his congratulations to the new champion. For those who do not know Riku, he is a force to be reckoned with in the wargaming room where he is 8-0 in FTP and has never lost with the Union.

The tournament has continued to resurge in attendance over the last few years. This year we had a full field of 32 players with some amazing play. I cannot wait to see how next year develops as Riku has promised to try to return form his native Finland to defend his title.

Riku's winning CSA strategy is to not defend Richmond, but move all of his forces into the West or through West VA. His goal is to block the five rail lines that enter the map in the west. The idea is to give up SW and shut down 10 Union SPs of reinforcements for a turn or two. As the South gains the SP edge they begin to score some raids, which recover the SW given up by the loss of Richmond and double up the Union in the mid-game. His innovation is he does not worry about converting the rail spaces as it is easy for the Union to cut off an early excursion, but just places SPs on them (and several Union State capitals) to accomplish his initial objective.

David Dockter and James both apply a similar strategy when they play the CSA, but they have focused on cutting off DC for two turns, which has the additional benefit of protecting Richmond. The 'Riku gambit' leaves Richmond vulnerable ... enticing the Union player to take it, giving him the time to move across the Ohio in the West and accomplishing the same objective (cutting down Union SP reinforcements to gain a strength advantage), but he does it in the West and foregoes the East entirely. A Union player confronted with no opposition in the East can shift almost all of his forces West to counter the South and leave DC fairly unprotected, while still having sufficient force to exploit a CC to take Richmond. Even if the South takes DC, the trading of 'Queen's Opening' (trading DC for Richmond) is well known.

All in all, it is great to see creativity and innovation still raising its head after a decade on the market. Already FTP players are devising new counter strategies to the Riku Gambit. Its very heartening to see a design that gets played enough that strategy can continue to evolve over years of repeat play. I look forward to next year's tournament to see where things go from here as Master Pei plots his return.

THE match of the convention for most people pit James Pei's seven-year winning streak vs the unstoppable Finn in the Final.

Nest of Spies slayer Riku Reikkinen poses with his double trophies and the vanquished team whose three-year winning streak he halted.

2002 PBeM Tournament

Stefan Mecay of Texas proved the best of a field of 46 in winning the second BPA PBeM tournament of For The People. Other laurelists were:

2nd: Baron August, PA

3rd: James Pei, VA

4th: Mark Giddings, NY

5th: Tim Hughes, UK

6th: Paul Risner, FL

 GM      Mark Herman  [6th Year]   NA
    NA    NA

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