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Updated 11/30/2009

2009 WBC Report   

 2010 Status: pending 2010 GM commitment

Jeff Spaner, MD

2009 Champion

Offsite Links

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Event History

Mark Cohen


Maria Hawthorne


Bruce Young


Bruce Young


Herbert Gratz


William Edwards


John Emery


John Emery


Larry Davidson


John Emery


Bruce Wigdor


John Emery


Ray Stakenas II


John Emery     30

Bruce Young     33

Paul Wright     30

Ray Stakenas II     27

Ed Kendrick     22

Jeff Spaner     23

PBeM Event History
2000    Jeff Matthews      32
2003     Jeff Matthews     24

Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
  1.  John Emery         SC    09    161
  2.  Bruce Young        SC    07    141
  3.  Ray Stakenas II    MI    07    106
  4.  Bruce Wigdor       NJ    07     68
  5.  Paul Wright        PA    09     52
  6.  Ed Kendrick        uk    09     51
  7.  Ray Stakenas Sr    MI    08     46
  8.  Larry Davidson     CA    02     46
  9.  Herbert Gratz      aa    09     34
 10.  Jeff Spaner        MD    09     30
 11.  Jeff Matthews      CA    04     30
 12.  Bari Wigdor        NJ    04     26
 13.  Bill Edwards       VA    05     24
 14.  Stefan Hess        NY    01     24
 15.  Ralph Gleaton      SC    08     18
 16.  George Young       VT    06     18
 17.  Wade Fowble        MD    06     16
 18.  David Wong         NJ    05     16
 19.  Lance Ribeiro      NH    05     16
 20.  Ken Katano         MD    01     16
 21.  Richard Irving     CA    08     12
 22.  Eric Taylor        NM    05     12
 23.  Mike Stachowski    NY    03     12
 24.  Jeff Paull         OH    00     12
 25.  Dale Martin        MI    04     10
 26.  Kevin Emery        SC    09      9
 27.  Michael Johnson    MA    03      9
 28.  Nick Vlahos        IL    00      9
 29.  Jean-Luc Brouillet on    05      8
 30.  Erick Young        SC    01      8
 31.  Andrew Maly        MD    08      6
 32.  Scott Russell      MI    00      6
 33.  Alan Arvold        IL    00      3
 34.  Don Greenwood      MD    00      3
 35.  Frank Arndt        MD    99      3
 36.  Brian Carr         VA    04      2
 37.  Brian Devitt       CA    00      2
 38.  Robert Mull        CO    00      1

2009 Laurelists                                             Repeating Laurelists:

Herbert Gratz,aa

Paul Wright, PA

Kevin Emery, SC

Ed Kendrick, uk

John Emery, SC

Past Winners

'91: Mark Cohen, NJ
'92: Maria Hawthorne, VA

Bruce Young, SC
1993-94, 2005

Herbert Gratz, AUS

Bill Edwards, VA

John Emery, SC
'97-'98, '00, '02, '04

Larry Davidson, CA

Bruce Wigdor, NJ

Ray Stakenas Jr, MI
2003, 2007

Paul Wright, PA

Ed Kendrick, UK

Jeff Spaner makes a down payment on his first title with a win over Bill Alderman.

Ralph Gantt and Rich Irving trade patrols in what may be one of the last Up Front tournaments as attendance dwindles to new lows.

Eight Rounds of Glory ...

The regulars were heartened to see the numbers holding steady this year after a decline for the past few years.  A total of seven former champions (nearly a third of the field) showed up to once again make the challenge.  Don Greenwood, the game's developer, came down to even out the field at the start and gave former champ Bruce Wigdor an opening round game - albeit one that lasted about five minutes.  Round 1 also featured another champion's challenge with Bruce Young taking on John Emery in The Infantry's Iron Fist.  The game was easily the most exciting of the tournament with the game hinging on the last card and Bruce's Russians missing the win by one number on the draw.
After this the tournament settled down in the Swiss portion.  Just when we thought we had a first with a French versus Italian match in the second round, it was matched by yet another game in the fourth.  After the third round, all the 3-0's were former champions with several other former winners such as Bill Edwards at 2-1.  The fourth round continued to whittle down the field as several of those with no hope ventured off to other tournaments.  (We wish there were some way to alleviate the problem but can't come up with one.)  In the last Swiss round, Last year's champ, Ed Kendrick, bested the man with the most laurels, John Emery, in Scenario D.  There were many tight games with close results, especially for those needing to get a win to finish 3-2 and have a chance at the elimination rounds.
The field was then set for the playoffs.  Former champs Emery, Kendrick, Herbert Gratz, and Paul Wright had beaten the obstacle course once again and were back for another try at wood against contenders with experience but no titles, Kevin Emery, William Kendrick, Wade Fowble, and Jeff Spaner.  If a couple of the names seem repetitious, it is because a couple of our former champions are also bringing their sons and have evidently taught them well.  The list also has quite a European flavor; the Kendricks are from the UK and Gratz is Austrian.
The quarter finals were set from the order of finish in the Swiss and coincidently matched all former champs against the wanna-bes.  When the last shots had died down, there was an even split between the two groups with Gratz and Wright holding onto their hope for a repeat and Emery (Kevin, not his famous dad) and Spaner set to challenge for the Final round.  Once again champions were matched against newbies.  Gratz's Germans assaulted Emery's Russian fortification (Scenario C) and Wright's American patrol met Spaner's Germans (Scenario A).  The games ran very close but both ended in wins for the German squads as the trend to have half the field as former champions held to the end with Gratz holding up the fortunes of both the former winners and the Europeans while Spaner carried the flag for the unchristened.
The Final was contested in City Fight (Scenario B).  Gratz selected the Germans and Spaner the Russians to bring a reminder of Stalingrad to the table.  There being no beneficial terrain at the start, Jeff tried movement and ran into wire.  Gratz was also aggressive but was fortunate to find some buildings.  The first deck ended with the Germans slightly ahead.  Both players continued to move in the second deck.  One of Jeff's groups ran into difficulty and the others found it nearly impossible to entrench when they couldn't reach buildings but, as more than compensation, he managed to knockout Herbert's squad leader with a well timed Black 6 check.  This ended Deck 2 with the advantage now held by the Russians and the Germans flirting with a card loss from lack of leadership even though the relative range had closed to 3 and the Germans had the victory point lead with more men in better buildings.
The start of Deck 3 was no kinder to Herbert.  Another (un)fortunate shot killed his ASL and he was placed at a permanent disadvantage with a four-card hand.  He also lost the ability to transfer men, a tactic he was using to good advantage in the second deck to waste cards when he had a point lead and the onus of forcing action was on Jeff.  Jeff continued to chip away at the German squad and the lack of cards Herbert was able to move through his hand made it difficult to close out the game even with a slight advantage in points.  Eventually the Russian firepower superiority made itself felt and enough Germans fell to reduce their squad past the breaking point with only a third of the deck to go.  Up Front 2009 crowned a new champion, Jeff Spaner.  The battle was certainly closely fought with both sides having opportunities to take the win but, as in the real contest, Russian manpower eventually wore away the early German superiority.
There were many positives in this year's tournament.  First, our numbers held steady.  Second, with seven returning champions, the core group is solid.  Third, there are new (and young) faces coming up to not just participate, but to challenge the veterans.  And last, but probably more important, there is a wealth of data on past games to ensure that relatively even matches will happen, resulting in close contests that are not only entertaining, but even.  We hope these things allow us to keep Up Front as a strong and viable tournament in the future.

The Battle of Past Champs: John Emery and Ed Kendricks.

Champ Future Kevin Emery meets Champ Past Paul Wright.
 GM      Jim Burnett  4thd Year]   NA
   jimallene@comcast.net   NA

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