Having been runners up in 2016 and with another strong team we approached the European Team Championships in Iceland again with optimism. Our first round set the trend for the whole tournament when we could only manage a 2-2 draw against Gibraltar. We battled hard with 2-2 draws against Denmark and France but couldn’t really break free from our draws to mount a really strong challenge.
Despite this our UK backgammon team never-say-die attitude led to us being just one win away from the play offs, and in that final match at DMP the dice gods again gave us a kick in the teeth with Raj throwing the 18/1 roll to leave a shot which of course was hit.We win together and lose together so I won’t be reporting individual results. Our final result was exactly mid table with 12 wins and 12 defeats.
There can be no doubt that the great results from 2016 have increased expectation, where once finishing mid-table was seen as positive it is now slightly disappointing, surely this is a sign of our progress. Congratulations go to the winners Norway and runners up Germany, a genuine well done from the UK backgammon team.
The final was drawn 2-2 between Norway and Germany and a consulting team match decided the trophy. The next European Championship will be held in Gibraltar in July 2018.
There were some strong British performances in the individual event; Raj managed to reach the quarter-final of the double-elimination format, while defending champion Chris Rogers, Gaz Owen and Tim Line all reached round 5 or later. Chris also reached the final of the Super Jackpot. Both events were won by Nodar Gagua, who was clearly on top form!
Mate Feher provided the live streaming for the event and you can see a number of matches, including the Super Jackpot final, on his Youtube channel.