The Australian Diplomacy Championchip
January 1998, Canberra.

As remembered (sic.) by Dugal Ure
with editorial comments by Brandon Clarke, mainly for the benefit of those readers to whom the 'down-under dialect' might be a bit mystifying

Brandon wondered:
> So??????????
> How did the ADC go?

Doubtless others will produce a more fact-based summary, but I can fill you in on a bit of gossip and innuendo if you like. Hmm.  I'd love to hear you *say* innuendo.

Oddysey began with Bill, Jason and myself heading off in Bill's car on Friday morning.  Got McDonalds and petrol in Albury (you have to wash it down with something) and got to Canberra at about 4:30. At this stage South Africa after plundering the attack early were slowing down a bit. [The first of many references to the cricket in this article. Cricket is not a sport, it is a religion in this part of the world.]

Went to Cancon headquarters to enrol.  Insulted by two Convention Organisers (not just me, hobby at large).  Told we'd been relocated from the main building to somewhere else entirely. [The ADC is held as part of CANCON, a large games convention held in Canberra every Australia Day long weekend.]

Went back to Toad Hall to find half the hobby playing Junta in  40 degree heat and drinking heavily. [That's 40 degrees Celcius, which is over 100 degrees in Yankeespeak.]  Australia batting by this stage, Ponting is a legend.[cricket again...]  Ken and I go looking for pizza. Canberra doesn't seem to have any idea about pizza.  They sell it from the back of a video arcade and don't know what Cappriciosa means. The "not very hungry" Rohan Keane makes his first stab of the weekend and eats four of the six pizzas.

Moved downstairs to slightly cooler TV room.  Australia snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Rob Stephenson owes almost everybody a slab of beer. [SLAB: n. 1. A tray of beer, consisting of two dozen cans. 2. Enough beer for two people for an afternoon.] Complete evening with a game of Shark.

Day One

Bright and early start after an appalling night trying to sleep in a Toad Hall bed in heat and noise and bright light.  GM Ken looking worse for wear but relatively good for him.  He is wearing a blue vest with a big red S on the front.  SuperKen is born.  Off to venue via McDonalds.

Venue eventually found.  Very hot outside, very cold inside.  Ill-advised idea to base game names on pizza varieties (possibly my fault).  4 boards redrawn as 5 boards when a few stragglers wander in. 30 players and 5 GM positions.  I am happy with England. On another board, Rohan is much happier with Italy.  Likewise on a third for Craig and Germany.  Two wins narrowly averted. Low rumblings about scoring system begin. [A new scoring system is making it's debut on the Australian Tournament scene...]

Mid afternoon we find out that our amusing Convention organisers have not booked us in for the whole day.  Forced to move to a corridor with no air-conditiong for round two.  Dinner at McDonalds on the way.  I am happy with Turkey but unhappy with Harry. Rohan is on a roll and again has to be stopped from a win with Russia.  33 centres in 2 games.  The day goes late, with the last game time drawing at almost 11pm.  Round included a (non-playing) cameo appearance by Neil and Marion Ashworth, hobby legends at large. Everybody too tired by this time to complain about the scoring system.

Back at Toad Hall we play Shark and learn about the effects of Sambucca on the devout.  Several of us pronounced "terrible". Possibly true. A game of Junta begins at 3am.  I decline.  Not much easier to sleep, the heat noise and light being joined by little plastic pieces dancing around behind my eyelids.

Day Two

A much appreciated late start.  We began with the DAA AGM at 11ish. [DAA = Diplomacy Association of Australia.]  In with the old, out with the new.  Anticipated appearance by Friends of the DAA guerilla group fails to eventuate.  Our esteemed figurehead retains his figure but the functional positions are landed on new suckers.

Round three sees me unhappy with Austria and even less happy with the direction of the game.  I am reminded that only 3 of the 4 games count to your final score and proclaim this one Numero Quattro. Rohan Flavelle is incomprehesibly put on the Novice Board and is narrowly prevented from a win as Austria.  Andrew Goff's 16 as France is found to score less than Harry's 13 as France, and this decides the Best France trophy. Protests about the scoring system start in earnest.

It's raining in Sydney, and nobody is playing cricket.  The tournament retires to Goff Mansion to enjoy the remarkable hospitality of Andrew and Chris' mum.  Family Business is played, much food and alcohol consumed, The Piano is watched with the sound down and Ken commentating. Ken and Rob dance to Peter Allen, as performed by Ken.

Later in the evening after a pitstop at Toad Hall the revelry sets out to conquer Greater Canberra.  Dance floors take a beating, policemen take a pounding, and good sense takes a holiday.  Rob Stephenson and James "You're TERRIBLE" Bounsall narrowly avoid going home in the back of a divvy van [For an explanation of what a 'divvy van' is, click here to go to my article reviewing my recent trip to Australia to play Diplomacy and watch cricket which was published in the winter adjustments issue of The Pouch.] (by in fact *asking* a policeman if they could, while punching him...).  Bottles of the World's Cheapest Sambucca are bought and consumed.  Back at Toad Hall it is discovered that there are slightly more people than rooms.  The fish-gutting Sambucca-chugging tournament-leading Keane is assigned the common-room floor.

Day Three (Australia Day)

I awake at about 8:30, surprised at the lack of noise (the round is supposed to start at 9 sharp [hoho]).

I step over Rohan and knock on a few doors to see if in fact the tournament is still on.  Ken doesn't look sure but says, probably, yes. He steps over Rohan and goes to get ready.  Rob who is theoretically driving to the venue and back to Melbourne that day wanders in with his eyes apparently unable to open.  He steps on Rohan.

Rob's car has apparently been hitting the piss all night as well.  It refuses to start.  After much cajoling and more swearing it finally relents and we head off.  SuperKen has by this time lost the draw and has to redo it.  At the venue we discover enough players for an extra board.  SuperKen does the draw again.

I am unhappy with Italy, even less happy with the alliance which had squashed me the day before reappearing as Russia and Turkey, but my mood is somewhat improved by their apparent desire to kill eachother. Harry's England receives a Frenchman in the Channel and a German in the North Sea.  Harry is narrowly prevented from an 18.  Seriously.

Calculations take a little while, during wich people amuse themselves by criticising the scoring system.  The final places will doubtless be published, but Rohan Keane is the new National Champion, quite  comfortably ahead of last year's winner Harry Kolotas.

Most people depart after the tournament is finished.  See you all in Melbourne at Easter guys.  A few of us with a bit more time on our hands go back to Toad Hall to watch Australia keep South Africa to a reasonable total. [More cricket.] Another trip to McDonald's for tea is followed by a walk around Canberra in anticipation of the big Australia Day celebrations.  Our nation's capital seems to have other ideas, as the people are substantially outnumbered by tumbleweeds and the footpaths have all been rolled up.  Typically, the fireworks start when we aren't watching and finish just as we find out where they were. Meanwhile Australia are successfully chasing the South African total. Gillo and Ponting are legends. [Gillo & Ponting are Australian cricket players...obviously doing well at this Dugal's humble (humble?) opinion.]

The next day Jason, Andrew Goff and I join Bill for the trip home.  Once again we stop for McDonalds and petrol at Albury. Unfortunately our attempts to listen to the deciding cricket final just outside of Euroa seem to anger the car gods and the timing gear in Bill's engine spontaneously rusts.  My opinion of mobile phones is somewhat improved as Andrew's allows us to call for a tow. Luckily the problem only required a few hours work so we spent the afternoon playing cards and pool and watching the cricket in Euroa's pub.  Home by 10, just in time to watch the last two overs of AUSTRALIA'S MAGNIFICENT WIN IN THE CARLTON AND UNITED ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL SERIES!



Click here to see the championship results, courtesy of Bill Brown (

Click here for information about upcoming tournaments in Australia.

Dugal Ure

If you wish to e-mail feedback on this article to the author, and clicking on the envelope above does not work for you, feel free to use the "Dear DP..." mail interface.