When the weekend brings such lovely, warm, sunny spring weather, what better way to spend the day than sitting in a room above a pub in London, playing othello with thirteen other enthusiasts?
Othello returned to its regular London home of the Bath House, just off Oxford Street, and we had a very big turnout for a regional - just about all the regulars and semi-regulars, including the likes of Steve MacGuire and Jeremy Dyer (whose rhyming names make me want to turn this blog entry into a poem), who haven't been to a tournament for quite some time. And a brand-new player (new to real-life othello, anyway, but not to playing on the internet) by the name of Stephen Spencer, too! I've mentioned it on other forums before, but the point is worth mentioning - Stephen Rowe was also at the Bath House today, and I went to primary school with a boy originally called Stephen Roe who changed his name (for some reason I don't recall) to Stephen Spencer. As you all know, I have a history of getting othello players' names mixed up, and this kind of thing really doesn't help me!
Still, the tournament went surprisingly well for me - I lost to David Beck, but he squished everyone he played today, and I also lost to Ian Turner (I did beat Kali in my first game, which was a relief), but Ian then lost to Geoff Hubbard and I finished the day by beating Geoff, so the three of us ended up jointly in second place!
Since David, Geoff and Ian all didn't come to the first regional of the year, and since Iain Barrass, who came second in Oadby, had a bad day today and ended up joint eighth, this gives me a big impressive lead in the British Grand Prix standings! It probably won't last, of course, with three regionals to go and there being so many people who are better than me, and me probably not going to the last one since it's down in Farnborough and getting there is a hassle and it's my brother's birthday the next day, but still, yay for me!
And although it's true that the BGP has a tendency to be a prize for the player who turns up to the most tournaments, the winner does get to play in the World Championship! (If it doesn't clash with the memory one, of course - it's normally in November, and the WMC is currently scheduled for that kind of time...) And there's even a trophy now! It made its debut today, all gleaming and shiny, the George Greaves Memorial Plate, and was presented to last year's BGP winner Iain.
It would be extremely groovy to see my name engraved on it (I've never had my name engraved on a trophy before - the WMC used to have a trophy like that, but hasn't for years now, it's a long story) and who knows, if I get another couple of flukey wins or second places, it's possible...
Also, since I dissed the local Labour/Lib Dem council in my blog recently, I feel I should record that I got a leaflet through the door today from the Conservatives that spells 'sincerely' wrong. Bunch of illiterates, I'm not voting for them...