We’ve crunched the numbers from Worcester, the trophy is ready to go off to the engravers, and we can announce the final results of the UK Tour 2018…
It’s no surprise that the 2018 UK Tour winner is Tim Cross… having won three tournaments (Newcastle, Winchester and Manchester) and reached two other finals, he’s set the bar so high it may never be surpassed, and went to Worcester nearly a thousand points ahead of the nearest rivals, with only 400 up for grabs. Although he didn’t add another title to the haul, he did achieve one very notable result – ending Peter Bennet’s record of never having lost a match in Worcester.
Our top 10 feature a number of players who got there by a lot of consistently good results, but no outright wins – while on the other hand, our highest player with only one tournament was only 29th. You have to travel now to do well!
- Tim Cross (3107pts, Newcastle, Winchester, Bradford winner)
- Jon Barnes (2248pts, West Yorks, Blackpool)
- Mark Calderbank (1521, Liverpool)
- Eric McAlpine (1268)
- Aref Alipour (1180, St Albans)
- Radu Ciortan (1142)
- John Wright (1080, London)
- David Brown (1056, UK Open)
- Anna Price (967)
- Neil Foston (944)
This was our first year with an Intermediate Tour and it has provoked a good deal of interest – indeed, I spent quite a bit of time at both Manchester and Worcester being collared by the leaders, curious to know all the permutations of what might be necessary to win, or get a Tour Winners Invitational place… Simon Hopper went to Worcester with a good lead following his win in Bristol and a good score in London, but when I wrote the review blog I wasn’t aware that Ben Owen was going – with Simon’s encouragement! That meant Ben could snatch the title with an appearance in the final if Simon faltered, as well as the chasing pack having the chance with an outright win. Ana, Alex and Cristi all went out early, but Simon could only manage round 2, leaving the door open… but Ben also lost in the semi-finals to finish a close second.
Our qualification criteria require two intermediate results as well as being a member, so our final top 10 is:
- Simon Hopper (994pts, Bristol winner)
- Ben Owen (928, UK Open)
- Ana Mancino (693)
- Cristian Cozos (669)
- Alex Polden (658)
- Richard Halvorsen (557, London)
- Roger Porter (390)
- Sean Jones (364)
- Ian Hedges (328)
- Mike Ireland (286)
Invitations are now heading out and we’ll be able to announce our TWI lineups when people have confirmed their availability. The 2019 UK Tour kicks off in West Yorkshire in March – we hope to see many of you there!
With the success of our Intermediate Tour, we’re also going to expand our online tournaments for members – this year we’ll be running our Online Championship on the EBIF platform with games played on Gridgammon as before, alongside the national championships of many other European nations. There will also be an Intermediate Online Championship exclusively for players rated below 1650 on GridGammon, as well as a new monthly knockout – watch out for signups opening early in the year!
If you don’t have a GridGammon account, we can help you – just drop us a line. It’s the best online community for backgammoners, and while it may take a few days to get set up, it does mean you can be sure you’re going to have more enjoyable games.
Have a very happy 2019!