Presentations by Björn Thalén, Swedish National Champion 2001 and World Gunboat Champion in 2010.
It’s a really hard line up to pick one favourite from but if I had to pick one it would probably be Tommy Larsson. In the beginning of the 2000’s he did an amazing feat when he won both the 2003 and 2004 national championships and after a dip in 2005 (only 6th place) went back to win again in 2006. He has a silent diplomatic style that really gets inside your head. He hasn’t got as big international merits as some of the competitors but on home field he seems to be very hard to beat.
This is probably Sweden’s most internationally renowned player and a Diplomacy superstar in the late 90’s. Placing 2nd in two world championships (1996, and 1999) and following that up with winning the European Championship in 2000 is not a small feat by any measure. The only reason to not have him as the clear number one is that his merits now is from some time ago and it will be interesting to see what form he is in.
This is the most consistent player invited and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him playing a bad game. Not as big merits as some of the others but a 2nd place in the national championships in 2008 is not the worst. His consistency also places him as 5th overall on the national ranking. According to himself he is the one player in Sweden that can keep alliances, although last time he told me, it was the move before he stabbed me, so I’m not so sure…
The strategic wonder mind that has no fewer than 3 times has gotten a medal in the Swedish National Championships. The 4th national medal he got in 2008 in the German Open National Championships which might even be a bigger feat since it featured not only the top German players but also some top French diplomats. I will expect him to find unusual lines in the strategy as well as sometimes explaining to others why they need to go rogue.
If anyone could match Dennis in international experience it would be Niclas. Placing second in the European Championships in 2001 is only one of his great finishes. He has also won twice in the most prestigous English tournament (ManorCon) and taken a medal at the Irish open National Championship. Niclas is also the reigning swedish national champion, taking home the title in 2009 which was the last held Swedish championship. He is probably the one with the most energetic diplomatic style and is pairing this with great knowledge about the game.
This is the first of two people that has to be considered a challenger to the more merited opponents. Born in England and playing Diplomacy in that scene long before moving to Sweden she does have the advantage of being the only natural English speaking participant. Her biggest merit was when she won the Swedish National Team Championship in 2000, in that team was also Tage but I have no doubt that being former team-mate with a swede only will make them stab each other harder.
Our second challenger that would certainly be a surprise winner of the tournament. That’s not saying he is without experience. He has played in both world, european and national championships but so far without the big finish. He has also been a pillar of the community for a long time and was only 3.1 points from making the final table at the last Swedish championship. And when I say he’s a challenger, he is still ranked 11th in the national ranking, which is saying quite a bit about the competition.