Was it an ideal WDC? No. Was it the best WDC to date? Yes. After the excellent WDC VII hosted by GOTHCON in Goteborg, Sweden in 1997 I really didn't expect the Belgian Diplomacy hobby and Namur, Belgium to outdo the Swedes in 1999, but they did. And there is no doubt in my mind that the Namur event was superior to WDC VIII held in Chapel Hill, USA in 1998. Namur has set a very high standard that the Hunt Valley, USA event in 2000 and the Paris, France event in 2001 will have a difficult time equaling, let alone surpassing.
Why was WDC IX so successful? Here are just some of the reasons: a great venue; an inspiring site; a supportive local hobby and host organization; a dedicated and hardworking staff; and perhaps most important, a bossy tournament director and caring host, Jean-Louis Delattre! I could spend pages elaborating on those reasons, but I'll do that on my own web site.
From the pre-event publicity, to the actual running of the event, and through the post-event reports, Namur did an outstanding job. Perhaps there were some grumbles about the tournament format and scoring system; but those are inevitable, especially among the losers. I was particularly impressed with the way Namur managed to mobilize their national media to promote their event. That will pay off in future benefits to future events.
Equally impressive was the speed with which the post-event reports were posted on the internet! By the time I returned home from my trip, the early results were waiting in my email box.
I think Jean-Louis himself identified the key reason for the success of this year's event. It was the first WDC ever in which the host country did not dominate the play. This is of great significance in the development of WDC. Now, perhaps the Belgians would have preferred otherwise....
So why wasn't Namur an ideal WDC? I'll discuss that at another time; when I'm not in such a good mood.
Thanx for the Namuries!
I hope you enjoy this photo essay from WDC IX. For photo impressions of my travels in Belgium and the Netherlands use the link below.
For More Information about WDC IX, and past and future World DipCon's, visit The WDC Shrine.
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