Dave Pritchard writes:
2016 Birmingham Open Champion – Julian Minwalla
Thirty two players ranging from Newcastle in the north, London in the south and Bristol to the west, competed in the 2016 Birmingham Open. It was a strong field comprising a host of players with claims to recent tournament successes, both domestic and international.
Defending champion Julian Fetterlein made it to the 9-point Main final, where he met Julian Minwalla. A very close fought match reached DMP, with Julian Minwalla shading it.
The 7-point Consolation final was contested by Eric McAlpine and Kev Jones. Eric took and early lead, Kev pegged him back but Eric came through at the end.
The 5-point Last Chance was up for grabs between Birmingham’s Andreas Sophocleous and London’s Anna Price, who came from behind to win a close match.
This was our fifth annual tournament, organised extremely well by Mike Wood, ably assisted by Rose Pfeffer-Ward. A special mention must be made of the splendid buffett provided by Mike Wood, which drew effusive compliments from all.
Simon Barget wins the St Albans Open
The first St Albans Open proved to be a highly successful tournament with a full house of 64 playing. The format new to some, with seeded round-robins of four on the Saturday feeding into the main knockout and consolations on the Sunday. Chris Purchase oversaw a whole range of events over the weekend and we have plenty of winners to congratulate:
Main: Simon Barget; runner-up Dave Pritchard
Consolation: David Nathan; runner-up Peter Christmas
Last Chance: Dave Dennis; runner-up Jerry White
Super 8: Sean Williams; runner up Andrew Fotiadis
Not-quite-so-Super 8: Antonio Sgambato; runner-up Bob Young
Group Auction Winner: Jon Barnes/Cat Bucur; runner-up Eric Maillebiau
8-player Jackpot #1 winner: Neil Smith; runner-up Emad Salib
8-player Jackpot #2 winner: Eugene Pritchard; runner-up Ann Pocknell
Andrew Pinkus High Cube Winners: Andrew Gibson / Alex Pascu
In addition, there are Bad Luck Awards for the first person to report one or more of the following mishaps – commiserations are due to the following, and we hope a little memento will make up for them!
- Lose a match to nil: Kyle Freeman
- Miss a triple direct shot: Jon Barnes
- Dance against a one-point board: Emad Salib
- Lose a match after leading Crawford: Antonio Sgambato
- First to Qualify for the Last Chance flight: Alex Pascu
- Opponent hits 3 or checkers in a single move: Laurence May
- Opponent re-enters 3 or more checkers in a single move: John Ingamells
St Albans is of course also the second stage of the UK Tour. The updated standings are here – no surprise to see Simon and Dave moving up towards the top, along with semi-finalists Richard Furborough and Danny Cohen. Paul Plumptre also squeezes into the top eight, with a quarter-final at St Albans plus points from Brighton, and a sizeable pack follows behind them. On to the Ricoh, then, where with a field of 85 or more promises plenty more points up for grabs.