In 2016, we ran our first Online Championship. Seventy-two of you took up the challenge, and after 279 matches Jacek Wojciechowski took the inaugural title, a nice trophy and a free Grandmaster lesson. And now it’s back – and bigger and better!
We started in January with 72 players. Eight-match round robins proved a tough test and 24 players made it through to our knockout phase in March. Gradually they’ve fallen one by one until we reached the final two, Jacek Wojciechowski (niuniuch) and Leo Waters (krakbedouin). Coincidentally the two had been together at the world team championships in Georgia last week, but the busy schedule meant the final was back on GridGammon this evening. A little crowd of spectators joined them for an 11-pointer to bring the tournament to a close, the GG ratings suggested that we would be in for a great game, and Jacek emerged the winner after an hour in which the game swung back and forth.
72 started, 24 remain… the UKBGF Online Championships have reached the end of the first stage.
The tournament kicked off with nearly a third of our membership signed up. I had originally anticipated quite a small field, but with so many taking part they were arranged into eight round-robins of nine each, the top three progressing onwards into the final knockout. I did have a couple of sleepless nights over what size to make the groups – wanting to give everyone a decent amount of play, to have few dead rubbers, to keep things interesting for people to the end of the stage, and to give everyone a shot at qualifying. I’d also originally thought that we would have people playing on a variety of platforms – I myself play on at least five different ones – but there was a clear majority on GridGammon, resulting in a flurry of applications for accounts from the rest. Many thanks to the GridGammon support team for coping with me forwarding so much work!