Steve Fowles writes:
Mid-July in the UK Backgammon calendar is the traditional slot for the Liverpool Open, and earlier this month a tournament record of 70 players assembled at Leo casino for one of the longest established backgammon tournaments in the UK. The turn-out comprised players from across the UK, Denmark and Ireland including 8 former winners of the Liverpool Open and 3 of the top 5 players from current UKBGF rankings. It was great to welcome such a strong turnout to a new city centre setting, with the new venue allowing us to expand the tournament with more players and expand into the evening with a doubles event on Saturday.
15 players emerged from the Saturday Swiss-format with 4 wins and thus through to the Sunday main-knockout, with Martin Barkwill, the first winner of the Liverpool Open back in 1996, claiming the last slot via a play-off for those on 3 wins. On the Sunday, Rob Perry beat Steve Fowles, Shea Mulhall and Martin Barkwill in the semi to contest the final with Tim Cross who beat Marianne Petersen, Mate Feher and in the semi, Steve Bibby. It was an evenly contested 11-point final from which Rob emerged the winner, to claim his first Liverpool Open title – well done Rob!
Paul Barwick claimed the Consolation (Liver Trophy), beating CJ Uttley, who was also defeated in the consolation final last year, whilst the Last Chance 3-point resulted in a northwest league final with Kev Jones beating Steve Lee. Perhaps the most delighted winner was Mike Levi winning a trophy for the 1-point Nackgammon beating one of the Danish players, Marianne Petersen in an exciting final. All the finals finished on schedule in a flurry of activity between 5.30 and 6.00pm, so thanks to everybody for keeping things moving at a decent pace on the Sunday which is always appreciated by tournament organisers. And finally, the inaugral doubles winners were Tariq Siddiqi and Richard Furborough who beat the Liverpool club pairing of Steve Fowles and Christoph Deiter in the early hours of Sunday morning!
Thanks again to all those who attended for making it a great weekend of backgammon on Liverpool’s waterfront. An e.mail has already been sent to the players asking for feedback comments about the tournament and new venue, but equally we are keen to hear from anyone in the backgammon community with comments about casino-based tournaments whilst we plan for next year – please e.mail Liverpoolbackgammon@yahoo.co.uk. Details of next years tournament will be circulated soon and we look forward to welcoming everybody back to sunny Liverpool in July 2018!
– The Liverpool Open Organising Committee
The UKBGF Tour reaches half way
With six events gone, it really is all to play for in the Tour and you can see the latest standings here. Tariq added a strong showing in the main event and to his doubles title in Liverpool, and extends his lead a little while semi-finalist Steve Bibby moves into second place overall. Unsurprisingly our six title winners are all high up the leaderboard, but neither Tariq nor Steve has won one outright – this year, having a series of consistently good scores is proving to be the winning formula!