Updated 11/21/2010

2011 WBC Report  

 2011 Status: pending 2011 GM commitment

Bruce Hodgins, on

2010 Champion

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Event History
2010    Bruce Hodgins     32

 Rank  Name              From  Last  Total
   1.  Bruce Hodgins      on    10     30
   2.  Tom McCorry        VA    10     18
   3.  Chris Skuce        on    10     12
   4.  David Platnick     VA    10      9
   5.  Paul Sampson       OH    10      6
   6.  Philip Shea        FL    10      3

2010 Laurelists                                             

Tom McCorry, VA

Chris Skuce, on

David Platnick, VA

Paul Sampson, OH

Philip Shea, FL

Ed Kendrick, David Platnick, Daniel Speyer and Bruce Hodgins

John Dextraze, Mike Backstrom, Pei-Hsin Lin and Phil Shea

Martin Wallace on the rise ...

The inaugural WBC Brass tournament was surprisingly well attended with 32 players from four countries. Akihisi Tabei came all the way from Japan, won two heats but could not play in the semis. 14 preliminary games yielded 13 unique winners, ten of whom attended the semis, so two seconds (based on percentage of their winner's score) were added to provide three 4-player games.

Of the three semi winners, one couldn't play the Final, so the two best seconds also progressed. At the last minute one of these was yanked away by family commitments, so the third second, Bruce Hodgins of Ottawa, was rousted out of his Acquire semi to join the table, proving the adage "80% of life is just showing up"!

The Final progressed in a tense silence broken only by the cracking of the GM's rawhide whip. Platnick and Hodgins built and shipped mills in the Oldham/Rochdale area, while Skuce built T2 ports and proceeded to link them to a chain of up-country mills and McCorry built T2 coal and iron. By Turn 6 McCorry had built and flipped all four iron works while the others had most of their T2 mills out. McCorry ended the canal phase by dropping a shipyard in Liverpool and then a flurry of loans prepared players for the start of the rail phase. At this point McCorry with 38VP had a lead of nine, with all of his 33 industry VPs set to score again.

The rail phase opened with Skuce and McCorry claiming the high-value rail links, while Platnick capitalised on the demand for coal. By Turn 11 most of the links were built, and unusually Hodgins had opened up a link to Barrow without preparing for a shipyard build. Skuce continued to build and flip mills while McCorry built out his rails.

The banking system creaked under the strain as players "loaned up" for the final quarter of the game. Skuce developed away I1 and I2 to lay an I3 in Bolton while McCorry cleared away his T1 mills, then used a double card play to place a shipyard in Liverpool. Hodgins built ports and Skuce used the empty iron track to overbuild McCorry's I3 in Manchester. Skuce shipped two mills while Platnick built out his coal and links and enjoyed an income of £21. McCorry built M2 and risked a distant ship, drawing a -2 to squeak it home while Hodgins shipped a couple more mills through his own ports. As the players hovered around picking off the last rail links McCorry dropped his second shipyard in Barrow with another 2-card play and with the last play of the game Skuce overbuilt his own port to ship his last M3.

When the VP were counted McCorry and Hodgins were tied on 132 (the only tie of the tournament). The first tiebreak is income level and Hodgins' £15 comfortably exceeded McCorry's loan-depleted income to make him the first WBC Brass champion. Skuce's balanced play was 3 VP behind while Platnick's coal/rail strategy gave him a large income but left him trailing on VPs for fourth.

Over the 18 games the average score was 121 and the highest was assistant GM William Kendrick's 161 (215 in the only 3-player game, corrected for comparison with the 4-player scores). Despite his best attempts, the other assistant GM Roy Gibson did not achieve the lowest score, this dubious tin - or brass - spoon distinction going to Chris Hancock.

Mike Backstrom, John Dextraze, Akihisa Tabei vie in a heat.

GM Ed Kendrick shepherds his finalists thru the first Brass Final.
 GM      Edward Kendrick  [1st Year] NA   NA

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