And not only the World Champion, but also the top two World Backgammon Giants, Mochy (L) and Michy (R).
We are immensely proud to announce that not only will the amazing Akiko Yazawa (current World Backgammon Champion) be playing in the 2014 UK Open, but also the top two Backgammon Giants, Masayuki Mochizuki (“Mochy”) and Michihito Kageyama (“Michy”) as well! Japanese Backgammon Giants seem to have something in common with London buses. You wait patiently for one to confirm his attendance at the UK Open, and then suddenly three decide to come all at once!
Anyone who has either played her, or who watched the nail-biting world championship finals streamed from Monte Carlo, will know that Akiko Yazawa is a formidably strong player – whatever the pressure. The tension of the final was bad enough for me, a mere internet spectator, as Akiko fought back in the deciding match only to find herself in a miserable, busted 2-point game at DMP. From a position in which she had only 5% winning chances she staged a thrilling, dramatic recovery to add the world crown to her growing list of tournament victories.
Mochy hardly needs an introduction. Probably the best known professional player on the world backgammon circuit and currently ranked #1 player in the world, he is a great ambassador for the game and has won far too many titles to list here, including becoming World Champion himself five years ago. Mochy will be presenting his 4th Backgammon Exam and subsequent seminar at the UK Open. More information on this will follow when available.
Michy is also a professional backgammon player and is currently #2 in the world, with a string of tournament successes including World Championship finalist in 2012. Just two weeks ago, Michy claimed top place in the 9th Portuguese Open with an impressive 9 wins from 10 matches.
We are hoping to stage an exhibition match between our guest team of “Japanese Giants” and the strongest UK team we can assemble! At the time of writing we have been presented with the challenge but as yet nothing has been firmly arranged. However, if you want to witness this gladiatorial spectacle at the appropriately-named Ricoh Arena you would be well-advised to arrive early on Friday afternoon!
If you haven’t yet registered for the UK Open please do so NOW by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please supply your full name and state which flight you wish to enter (Championship, Intermediate or Beginners). Full details of the UK Open are available here.
Please note that hotel availability is now very limited. Updates will be posted under the Venue/Accommodation section of the UK Open page. If you do not wish to play, or are unable to commit, you are welcome to visit the event as a guest in order to experience the atmosphere of a big tournament. Once again, please email email@example.com to let us know you are coming.
What are you waiting for? Do it now!