DBN Invitational 2021 Lineup and Rules

The first DBN Invitational brings together the top performers of the 2020 face-to-face Diplomacy season, both in-person and virtual, along with a handful of top performers from the extended-deadline community.  Click here to learn more about the qualification process and to see the final standings.

Code of Conduct

The 2021 DBNI will be governed by the DBN Code of Conduct.  Violations of the Code of Conduct will not be tolerated and may result in disqualification from this and future DBN events.

The Field

Below are the participants in the 2021 DBN Invitational, in seed order. Check out David Hood and Zach Moore revealing the field on Countdown.  
  • 1 Tanya Gill
  • 2 John Anderson
  • 3 Morgante Pell
  • 4 Ed Sullivan
  • 5 Nicolas Sahuguet
  • 6 Alessandro Tavani
  • 7 Christian Kline
  • 8 Andrei Gribakov
  • 9 Tommy Anderson
  • 10 Karthik Konath
  • 11 Maxim Popov
  • 12 Siobhan Nolen
  • 13 Jaxon Roberts
  • 14 Peter McNamara
  • 15 Thomas Mowe
  • 16 Farren Jane
  • 17 Sergey Seregin
  • 18 Hunter Katcher
  • 19 Natty Shafer
  • 20 Matthew Crill
  • 21 Russ Dennis
  • 22 Riaz Virani
  • 23 Conrad Woodring
  • 24 Markus Zijlstra
  • 25 Eustacchio Raulli
  • 26 Ben Kellman
  • 27 Craig Mayr
  • 28 Brad Blitstein
  • A1 Jason Mastbaum
  • A2 Dave Roberts
  • A3 Liam Stokes
  • A4 Claes de Graaff
  • A5 Zachary Moore


  • Round 1: Saturday, February 13, 10a ET (Broadcast begins at 2p ET)
  • Round 2: Saturday, February 13, 6p ET (Broadcast begins at 10p ET)
  • Round 3: Saturday, February 20, 10a ET (Broadcast begins at 2p ET)
  • Round 4: Saturday, February 20, 6p ET (Broadcast begins at 10p ET) 
  • Top Board: Saturday, February 27, TBD
Players are required to check in 30 minutes prior to the start of the round.  Once everyone has checked in, the participant list will be released, and power bids will be due shortly thereafter. 

Tournament Structure

  • Title: The winner of the DBN Invitational will be heralded as the DBN Diplomat of the Year.  No other awards will be given.
  • Seeding: All players will be seeded prior to the tournament according to their place in the final DBNI Standings.
  • Preliminary games and advancement:
    • All invited players are scheduled to play two preliminary games.  If an invited player cannot play their first game, they will be replaced in both of their games by the next available alternate.  If an invited player plays their first game but cannot play their second, they will be replaced by the next available alternate and will be ineligible to advance.  Alternates will be eligible to advance with one score.
    • After the preliminary rounds, the players will be ranked by the sum of their game scores.  Ties will be broken by seed order, with higher seeds ranking higher.  The top seven players will advance to the top board.  
  • Scoring: Individual games will be scored using the OpenTribute system.  To learn more about OpenTribute and calculate scores, click here.
  • Game rules
    • All games are time-unlimited and year-unlimited. 
    • 1901-1910: 15 min for spring and fall, 3 min for retreats and adjustments, no grace periods.
    • 1911 onward: 10 min for spring and fall, 3 min for retreats and adjustments, no grace periods.
    • Draw votes are by secret ballot and must be unanimous to end the game.  Players may propose and publicly veto proposals without limit, but no more than one vote can be held per spring or fall season (and none during retreats or adjustments).  Draw votes are held on the clock.
    • Solos cannot be conceded.
    • Negotiations are not allowed during retreat and adjustment phases. 
  • Power selection:
    •  Preliminary rounds: Blind auction.  See below.
    • Top Board: Paris method, with seed order determined by preliminary round ranking.

Power Selection

In the Calhamer spirit, we have chosen a system for assigning powers in the preliminary rounds that has no element of chance.  It is a variation of a blind auction system that has been around for a while.  Note that, with this method, the highest seeded players can guarantee themselves a particular power once during the preliminary rounds, but they cannot predict which board they will be on.  Note also that for any player to submit the maximum bid on any power, they must give up nearly all of their ability to influence the power selection in their other game.

Check out this demo page to see how it works.

  • Confidentiality:
    • Players are prohibited from sharing their bids with other players or negotiating about their bids prior to the round.  Any negotiation about bids will be considered a violation of the Code of Conduct and may result in disqualification.
    • The participants in each round will learn their opponents for the round shortly before bids are due.
    • The rank of each player’s bid will be made public (i.e., whether they got their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. choice), but the full bids will be kept confidential until the broadcast of the 4th round.   
  • Recommendations:
    • Keep it simple and use the bids to reflect your power preferences.  The system is complex enough that it is unlikely you will find a way to use it to get an advantage over other players.
    • Splitting your points evenly between your games is a perfectly reasonable strategy.  If you feel strongly about getting a particular power at least once, then it makes sense to shift some points to one or another of your games.
  • Bids:
    • Each player receives 200 points to bid on powers for the whole tournament.
    • For every game, each player submits a set of bids on all seven powers, subject to these constraints:
      • Each bid must be no less than 0 and no more than 164 points.
      • The player may not bid the same amount on any two powers (in that game).
      • The player may not bid more than 179 points in total for a single game.
    • Players are not required to use all of their points.
    • Replacement players will inherit the points available to the player they are replacing.
  • Order of resolution:
    • The bid-sets for all players in a given round are evaluated together.
    • The next power to be resolved is always the one with the highest remaining bid.
    • If multiple powers have the highest remaining bid, the power to be resolved is the one involving the lowest seed among those highest remaining bids.  (Note that the #1 seed is the highest seed.)
  • Resolving bids
    • The remaining player who bid the most on the selected power is assigned that power.  
    • If multiple remaining players bid the most on that power, the player with the highest seed is assigned that power.  (Note that the #1 seed is the highest seed.)
  • Board division:
    • Once a power has been assigned for the second time, the two players assigned that power are assigned to boards.
    • The player with the higher seed is assigned to the board with the lowest overall seed average.
    • If the boards are tied in overall seed average, then the player with the higher seed is assigned to Board 1.