Clearly plenty of you have already heard the news, judging by the number logged into Youtube following the final – but for those who didn’t, Raj won an epic final at the Nordic Open against Michael Weile (Denmark) 21-12 after nearly four hours of play. Raj led throughout, grabbing a 6-1 lead very early on, and the gap grew steadily up to 20-10 Crawford. The spectators online were treated both to excellent commentary from Falafel, Mochy and Karsten Bredahl, and also live eXtremeGammon verdicts play by play. The two finalists came out pretty evenly matched on error rates according to the bot – though bots don’t have to deal with the mental discipline and stamina required to succeed at this level. With quarter-finals playing late into the night, 19-point semis starting at 11am and then barely an hour’s break before the final, this is a supremely tough tournament to make it through.
Coming after Gaz Owen’s success in Cyprus last autumn, and our online team’s achievements this winter, this is a superb result and clearly marks a new chapter for UK backgammon at international levels. Congratulations Raj – enjoy the moment, you’ve done us proud!