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Kubla Con Diplomacy Tournament Results
San Francisco, May 2004
by Edi Birsan

This tournament was great fun and had very good turnout with two mentor boards and eight regular tournament boards. Allocating 10 minutes for negotiations before writing orders allowed many of the regular games to reach 1908 in a five- to six-hour playing period, even with extended breaks for dinner and what-not.

DiplomacyForty-five individual players competed in the tournament and mentor rounds, with 36 of those scoring in the tournament. About 20 more people were taught to play onsite after signing up for information on regional groups in the Bay Area or elsewhere or, so almost 65 people were involved one way or another in the event.

Thanks go to Buz Eddy, who heads up the North American Diplomacy Federation and runs two ranking systems as well as providing the NADF website, which is a central point for information on the North American hobby. Buz traveled down from Seattle and was very helpful, acting as a fill-in player as well as backing me up as Tournament Director, which allowed me to have a low-stress time.

The players were lively and there was much laughter at the tables amongst the spilling of copious amounts of blood and gore. I'm certain the confessionals were busy Sunday night, but all is forgiven because the players stuck to the gamer’s premise: ‘Have Fun and Make It Fun For Others.’

For the first time we had a three way tie for Champion at 21 points using our simplified scoring system. This system counts the best two tournament games at 1 point per center + 1 point for survival past 1905, with a bonus of +1 for every center that the leader has beyond the second-place position. Tiebreakers were based on who came the farthest and who performed best in their third game, if any. In both tiebreakers the nod went to Greg Davis of Illinois, whose final game was an elimination in 1906.

There was an outstanding debut by Nathaniel Holzgraffe, who at 13 was our youngest player. He learned how to play at the tournament. As Turkey, he was jumped on by two to three powers at a time in his first game yet he still managed to end the game with four centers on the board and a smile on his face. In his second game with six veterans, his France suffered through losing Brest to England in Spring 01, numerous German invasions, and the final insult of Italy taking Marseilles at the end of the game to wind up with a three-way tie in 1908 (7 centers apiece). Had Italy not taken Marseilles at the end, Nathaniel would have topped the board in a wild game that saw Turkey finish in control of Edinburgh and Liverpool!

Lionel Levine was awarded the Outstanding Play for determined, dogged play that earned him 21 points. His final game was an elimination, as a nearly universally-attacked Russia ended its exile with Army Berlin falling to the English-Austrian forces that dominated the game’s diplomacy.

Jack (a.k.a. John) Twilley, who is moving to the Bay Area from Boston, also got special notice for his wandering army/fleet episodes. He is the proud possessor of a prize refrigerator magnet displaying his new catch phrase, "All who wander are not lost."

Two noticeable individual efforts deserve recognition: one by Chris Langland-shula who gained the single highest game score of 17 as England in Game 5 and our former youngest champion Shiobhan Granvold (now 17, she won in her debut at 15) who topped her board as Italy with 13 centers.

The countries faired very differently from last year, with Italy being the powerhouse of the tournament. Italy topped three of the eight tournament games and was never eliminated from any of the ten games played. Germany and Russia had no wins, France had two, and everyone else gathered one apiece. It was a hard day for the Tzar, with Russia getting beaten up everywhere. The sum of the supply centers for each of the countries over the ten games were:

Italy 68
France 59
Turkey 59
England 44
Germany 41
Austria 38
Russia 22

Congratulations go to everyone for demonstrating a great game to a great bunch of your fellow gamers.

As an aside, a retailer in the trade area was selling the latest set at $20 each. Six to eight sets were sold, helping to get more games out there in the hands of new players.

The Tournament Standings:

Finish Player Points
1 Greg Davis 21
2 Lionel Levine 21
3 Ean Houts 21
4 Brian Frick 18
5 Chris Langland-Shula 17
5 Ron Youngquist 17
7 Shiobahn Granvold 15
8 Jonathan Hays 14
9 Sonja Struben 13
9 Larry Grein 13
9 Nathaniel Holzgrafe 13
9 Laurel Eddy 13
13 Scott Baker 12
14 Tom Hilton 10
14 Josh Arnold 10
16 Kevin Yin 9
17 Dan Perceival 8
17 Ray Bosco 8
17 Jared Boyce 8
17 Harold Jenkins 8
21 Keith Phemister 7
21 Steve Ross 7
23 Alissa Lahorn 6
23 Tim Rollins 6
25 Hugh Nelson 5
25 Chris Young 5
25 Joesph Palmer 5
25 Jack Twilley 5
29 Autumn Jenkins 3
29 David Marwood 3
31 Ceaser Alvarez 1
31 Buz Eddy 1
31 Chris Holzgraffe 1
34 Brad Leaser 0
34 Wolf Stiles 0

Edi BirsanEdi Birsan is considered the first Diplomacy world champion for his win in 1971BC, the first championship invitational game. He has won numerous championship games since then in North America and worldwide and is universally considered one of the game's top players. More importantly, he has striven tirelessly for over three decades to promote Diplomacy play in all its forms, at all levels, all around the world.

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