By Tournament Director Michael Rodgers
On September 18, fourteen ASL players gathered in Winnipeg for the Jim McLeod Memorial ASL Open. Players came from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. We renamed the Canadian ASL Open this year, in a tribute to the late Jim McLeod, who founded this tournament well over ten years ago. Following the Canadian ASL Open tradition, we started the event with a toast of single malt scotch. We toasted to the memory of Jim, of course, and Bill Bird shared his memories of meeting Jim, and how Jim initiated the Winnipeg ASL Club, their tournament, and later expanded the concept to the Canadian ASL Association and the Canadian ASL Open. Darren Kovacs prepared an album of photos of Jim taken at ASL events as far back as the middle nineties. The album has been given to Jim’s wife. She, along with her children, visited us on Saturday evening. Nick Hoekstra, who was unfortunately unable to attend the event, sent a nice memorial piece of woodwork to us. It is a wooden ASL British (read Canadian) 10-3 leader counter, about one square foot, with the name McLeod. We hope to bring this Major McLeod counter to every CASLO, so Jim will always be with us in spirit.
There was one upset during the first round: newbie player Brad Hunter from Calgary, attending his first tournament, defeated veteran local player Jack Dionne. Jack would have revenge later on Sunday, when both Brad and Jack made it to the mini-tournament final. Jack won their re-match. At the end of Friday, the undefeated players were Bill Bird, George Kelln and Darren Kovacs.
On Saturday, two more players joined the event to take part in the mini-tournament, which had a full slate of eight players at its start. In the third round of the main tournament, Michael Rodgers was picked from the 1-1 players to play against George Kelln, while Bill and Darren paired up. At the end of round three, Darren was the only undefeated player, but we had two rounds left to try to take him down. George Kelln tried in round four without success. Marcus Leja, who was 3-1 after four rounds, tried to defeat Darren in round five, also without success.
With five victories, Darren was far away from the rest of the pack in points. Surprisingly, no one had a 4-1 performance. We had many 3-2 records. Fortunately, we have a have a good system of tie breakers. The final player ranks are shown below. The top three players in the main tournament, and the winner of the mini-tournament received plaques from the Canadian ASL Association. Many thanks to Burnie Hegdahl (Heat Of Battle), and George Kelln (Lone Canuck) for providing scenario packs as additional prizes. Ron Levreault donated a 1/72 scale diorama of a Sherman Firefly for the top player.
For having the least points with five rounds played, Robert Oler wins the Sportsmanship prize of free registration to his next CASLO.