ALB & GSB

HC IV

Overview

Hucknall Cup is played along the lines of Intimate Diplomacy, however there are two differences with the first being that the cup is a knock-out competition whereas the other is a league. The second difference is that a D1 player (in the league) can play a D2 player; knowing that if beaten, you are out of the cup!


Players & GMs

Below is the list of players & even though their division for IDVII has no relevance in HCIV, it is shown if they are playing in that part of the tournie.

Name Division
Ally Bain N/A
Fred Bartlett 2
Gary Cash-Harvey N/A
John Doyle 2
Brian Frew 1
Carl Hanich 1
Jon Hucknall 1
Richard Hucknall 1
Geoff Kemp 2
Richard Mansfield N/A
Graeme Murphy 1
James Ogle 1
Greg Pierce 1
Josh Sansom 1
Shane Smith 2
David Wigglesworth 2


The following have given-up their time to GM the games.

GMs
Ally Bain
Brian Frew
Carl Hanich
Steve Hanich
Richard Hucknall
James Ogle
Greg Pierce


Rounds

The tables below show who played against whom together with which country they played. In addition it shows which season the game ended and of course the GM in charge of that game.

1st Round
Home Player Home Country Away Player Away Country GM Winner Season
Richard Hucknall Russia Ally Bain Austria-Hungary Carl Hanich Richard Hucknall A08
David Wigglesworth Austria-Hungary Josh Sansom Turkey Richard Hucknall David Wigglesworth S06
James Ogle Russia Carl Hanich Austria-Hungary Brian Frew Carl Hanich B05
Geoff Kemp England Brian Frew France Richard Hucknall Brian Frew A05
John Doyle Turkey Jon Hucknall Russia Greg Pierce Jon Hucknall A06
Graeme Murphy Russia Shane Smith England James Ogle Graeme Murphy A02
Greg Pierce Italy Richard Mansfield Austria-Hungary Richard Hucknall Richard Mansfield S05
Gary Cash-Harvey Austria-Hungary Fred Bartlett Germany Ally Bain Fred Bartlett S05

No replays needed this year in Round 1!! A record three newbies made it through to the second round. And we only have three established Division One players left!!

There were two blockbuster games; both were Russia against Austria. Russia won one and Austria won one. The defending Victor Carl (Austria) was up against James (Russia). Carl has never lost to either Russia or James and managed to win in the tightest of games by sucking James into Bulgaria and thereby denying James the ability to disband the Turkish fleet. James would otherwise have probably won as he did play quite an excellent game and was just getting the upper hand!!

In the other game, Richard H (Russia) and Ally (Austria) also produced a nail biter with Richard eventually holding out in quite a long game between such close neighbours. Richard had never beaten Ally before so this win was extra satisfying for him. Ally played a strategically excellent game, piling on the pressure in the south through Turkey, but you can't make blunders no matter how minor against a Big Gun like Richard who never gave an inch and kept things very tight, and looks in top form. Ally has only managed one Cup win in 4 seasons, a surprising statistic for such an accomplished player. But he does seem to draw against the heavyweights, so hopefully he will get an easier R1 game next season.

The other Big Gun to make it through was Brian F (France) who was always in control against new boy Geoff (England). Brian got the better of the 1901 mercenary bidding and Geoff was never able to recover.

In a huge upset, new boy David (Austria) was too good for Josh (Turkey), a Division One player. Turkey is tough against Austria and Josh probably was not expecting such a tough and competent opponent. David played it solidly and carefully, keeping Josh pinned down for the whole of the game. David is fearing another tough opponent in Round Two and he will very soon know!

Richard M (Austria) was another newbie to make it to Round Two by accounting for Greg (Italy). Greg had the weaker power, but Richard bid quite skilfully always maintaining a Credit surplus. Greg entered 1902 with a massive 5-24 Credit Deficit and he never really recovered. In Spring 1905, Richard captured Venice.

The final newbie to make it to the next round was Fred (Germany) who was playing a fellow newbie Gary (Austria). Fred managed to understand the nuances of the Bidding more quickly and by the end of 1903, had a commanding 10-6 Centre Count lead. Fred skilfully expanded in the north and west whilst using Russia and Turkey to stop Gary from growing. In Spring 1905, Fred captured the Austrian Capital!

Another one of this year's newbies was not so lucky. John (Turkey) struggled against the very experienced Jon (Russia). Jon had a match winning lead already after 1901 and went from strength to strength every year keeping John pinned in. It was John's first game though and he did learn to next time bid more evenly and bid for some of the neutral powers closer to Russia to keep Russia in check.

And Graeme (Russia) convincingly beat the 6th newbie in this year's Cup, Shane (England). Shane's performance was also affected by a very busy real life period so he conceded after only two years. But Graeme had already eliminated Turkey and was quite strong in the north, so Shane had little hope in any event.


Quarter-Final
Home Player Home Country Away Player Away Country GM Winner Season
Richard Hucknall France Jon Hucknall Italy Steve Hanich Richard Hucknall B04
David Wigglesworth Russia Fred Bartlett Italy Richard Hucknall David Wigglesworth A02
Carl Hanich France Graeme Murphy Turkey Richard Hucknall Carl Hanich S05
Richard Mansfield Germany Brian Frew Russia Steve Hanich Brian Frew A03

So we have four left now as we head into the Semi-finals. Three current and former Champs, and David who is in his first season and has won every game he has completed so far. He will now have to beat an ID Champ if he is to maintain his impressive record and make it into the Hucknall Cup Final. He has already made history by being the first rookie to make it into a Hucknall Cup Semi-final.

David (Russia) swaned into the Semi-final with an impressive victory over Fred (Italy), also a newbie but also proving to be no slouch! David got Austria and Turkey in 1901 and got himself into a position he could not lose from.

The Hucknalls were pitted against each other ensuring that at least one Hucknall would make it through to Semi-finals as has happened every single year thus far. Hucknall senior (France) triumphed over the younger one (Italy) getting into a strong position already in 1901. With his massive 22-7 Credit advantage after 1901, Richard dominated the mercenaries in 1902 and 1903 and besides grovelling, there was nothing Jon could then do.

Carl (France) did not look in danger against Graeme (Turkey). Carl had a large Credit advantage after 1901 despite ending 1901 with Centre count parity. That enabled him to gain four mercenaries in 1902 and make it to the strategically important Italian provinces and into a match winning position. Graeme never controlled Italy and only controlled Austria once which frustrated his efforts to push westwards.

Brian F (Russia) accounted for the third newbie to make it to the second round. Richard M (Germany) did start aggressively as one needs to with this combination putting on a very good showing against a former Champ no less. But Brian defended well in the north whilst expanding in the south, increasing his Centre Count lead each year. Richard went hard in 1903 for the win by targeting St Petersburg, but Brian retreated into the vacant Baltic Sea and captured the German Capital in the Autumn. Had Richard had a second fleet, things may have ended differently, but Germany against Russia is a tough ask for an experienced campaigner let alone a newbie!


Semi-Final
Home Player Home Country Away Player Away Country GM Winner Season
Richard Hucknall Austria-Hungary Carl Hanich Russia Brian Frew Carl Hanich B06
David Wigglesworth France Brian Frew Italy Richard Hucknall David Wigglesworth B03

Two cracking semis featuring three previous ID Champs and a rookie who is taking IDVII by storm! Both games were very tight affairs.

In quite a thrilling game, Carl (Russia) managed to eventually get the better of Richard (Austria). Things were looking quite rosy for Richard after 1901, with Richard being two centres behind after 1901 but having a massive Credit lead. This enabled Richard to get to a Centre lead by the end of 1903 but Carl kept the pressure up from Galicia resulting in Richard being two Build Centres short. With a small Credit lead, Carl controlled three mercenaries in 1904 as Richard went hard for England and Carl lost his Capital. With now a large Centre and Credit deficit, things were looking bleakish for Richard and Carl played it safe in 1905 to encircle Richard's Austrians.

In a rather quick game, David (France) prevailed over the highly fancied Brian (Italy). In another tight game, David always maintained a Credit advantage. With David clearly having the upper hand, Brian went for a reasonably modest overbid and got caught out! Game over!

Can Carl secure a fourth consecutive Hucknall Cup? He is up against David Wigglesworth, by now an experienced rookie, who has had some great wins this season and is proving to be an excellent player. It is not unprecedented that a Division Two player has made it to the Final (Brain O'Farrell made it two seasons ago), but never before has a rookie made it!!


Final
Home Player Home Country Away Player Away Country GM Winner Season
Carl Hanich Italy David Wigglesworth Turkey Richard Hucknall Carl Hanich A05

And that concludes another Hucknall Cup - the 4th one. Another Cup win for Carl! Surely his luck will run out for HCV! And despite not winning, it was a tremendous effort from David to make it this far in his very first ID season. And his road to the Final was not a walk in the park. He beat Josh (a Division One player), Fred (who is leading Division Two after 6 rounds), and then incredibly Brian (the IDV Champ!).

Turkey was a surprising choice from David. As both players stated, the game was almost decided after Carl gained Austria in 1901. Carl then got Germany in 1902, which basically snuffed out any hope David had left. With Carl's massive Centre Count lead after 1902 and anchored deep into Austrian territory, the modest Credit lead that David had was never going to be enough.


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