It’s been five months in the making and 330 matches long, but the 2018 Online Championship has finally reached the end…
Eighty members started off in the spring playing a group stage, divided into ten groups of eight and giving everyone plenty of play; the top three from each group and two best-losers heading through into the main knockout. On reflection, eight groups of ten would have given us a much easier split – working out the best losers when not every group has played every match by the deadline is a little bit tricky! It was great to see some relatively new names taking part and some of them in the last 32 – Oliver Squire topping group B, and Muriell MacLeod qualifying from a very closely fought group, for example. And one of the advantages of online tournaments, where there’s a lot less scope for disputes, is that the TD (me) can take part!
The Consolation proceeded pretty quickly, up to the final which saw Charles Hill win the larger trophy from Jonathan O’Grady. The main, however, did stall at the semi-final stage as one match couldn’t be arranged – a real shame at such a late stage. Eventually we did get the final scheduled for last Friday, and several kibitzers turned out to watch Paul Whitter – who only qualified from the group stage as one of our two best-losers – defeat Cat Bucur in a really exciting final. One backgammon in a 15pt match is unusual, two (one each side) is rather remarkable, and Paul had two rolls at 3-7 down to win the match with a third backgammon, this time with a 4-cube. A 4-gammon was enough to take a commanding lead, though, and Paul didn’t look back, winning 15-8.
The match file should be available soon in the members’ area… there was almost nothing in it in terms of PR. Many congratulations to Paul and all our winners, and thankyou to everyone who took part! Watch out for our next Charity Challenge kicking off soon.
Would you like more online tournaments? I’m thinking about a monthly members’ Gridgammon knockout, for example. Let us know in the comments! And we’d certainly be able to run more with another online TD – if you have regular email access to collect signups and results, and a bit of time to set up a draw on Challonge every so often, do let us know.