Saturday, February 17, 2018

The old combination

"You don't remember me?" said Matthias Berg, who is a) someone I've met multiple times before now, and b) a really big deal in the world of international othello tournaments. "Of course I do," I lied unconvincingly, "I'm just making sure to ask everyone's name, because you know what my memory's like..."

Yes, it's the delights of the Cambridge International, the awesomest othello competition on these shores every year, attended by a whole host of Europe's finest players! And after the slight awkwardness of me having to get everybody's entry fees and pretend that I know who they are, it's a whole lot of fun! 35 players in all (you can see them all listed below if you want to keep up with the gossip), and other people hanging around but not playing included Adelaide, David Beck, Akke-Lien and assorted other Plowmen and Brend (that's the plural of Brand), making it a crowded gathering in the Old Combination Room at Trinity College.

We've got stylish new trophies, thanks to the generosity of the manufacturer, as well as the perpetual trophy, which needs a tiny bit of updating (the winner of each year is inscribed on a little shield - the winners from 2001-2008 are on temporary paper shields, after that they're not on it at all) but is still extremely groovy!

I was drawn against Erik Johansson, who I genuinely hadn't met before, in the first round, and managed a 40-24 win even though I hadn't played for so long. Then I was comprehensively beaten by Daniel Rößler and Matthias before lunch at the usual really nice university cafeteria. But in the afternoon, I won three out of four; beating Jan de Graaf, Linnea Widman and Marcel Sneek, with the only fly in the ointment being a tremendous thrashing by Takuji Kashiwabara in round 5.

At one point I had a proud 100% win record against Takuji, having beaten him in 2003 and then never getting drawn to play against him again. I don't remember if it was still going until today, but it's definitely gone now.

But that leaves me on four wins out of seven, with another four rounds of swiss to play tomorrow, and I'm just slightly above the half-way point on the leaderboard!

 1:   6.  pts [497]   EKLUND Oskar (150016) {SWE}
               [449]   TASTET Marc (2) {FRA}
  3:   5.  pts [501]   BERG Matthias (5301) {DEU}
               [459]   SCHOTTE Tom (2795) {BEL}
               [458]   WETTERGREN Niklas (150009) {SWE}
               [449]   LEVY-ABEGNOLI Thierry (3598) {FRA}
               [432]   LAZARD Emmanuel (11) {FRA}
               [424]   LEADER Imre (79) {GBR}
  9:   4.5 pts [475]   DE GRAAF Jan C. (4012) {NLD}
               [391]   FREIBURGHAUS Kim (150060) {SWE}
 11:   4.  pts [433]   PRASEPTYO Linda (5159) {NLD}
               [418]   PLOWMAN Guy (320) {GBR}
               [409]   ROSSLER Daniel (70002) {DEU}
               [398]   KYTE Bruce (2078) {GBR}
               [383]   STEENTOFT Benkt (1301) {SWE}
               [371]   PRIDMORE Ben (4019) {GBR}
               [351]   TASTET Remi (50053) {FRA}
 18:   3.5 pts [441]   KASHIWABARA Takuji (839) {FRA}
               [387]   KORTENDIJK Albert (5012) {NLD}
 20:   3.  pts [390]   JOHANSSON Erik (1493) {SWE}
                       SNEEK Marcel (5083) {NLD}
               [353]   KLATTEN Linda (120116) {NLD}
               [344]   WIDMAN Linnea (150055) {SWE}
               [325]   TASTET Sophie (50081) {FRA}
               [321]   BRAND Richard (2341) {GBR}
                       MURAWSKI Stefan (5324) {DEU}
               [317]   PLOWMAN Mark (100027) {GBR}
               [311]   PLOWMAN Luke (2069) {GBR}
               [291]   BRAND Sophie (100026) {GBR}
 30:   2.  pts [336]   JORDAN Yvette (2093) {GBR}
               [285]   BRAND Henry (100023) {GBR}
               [269]   PLOWMAN Jessie (100029) {GBR}
               [253]   PLOWMAN Anya (100037) {GBR}
 34:   1.  pt  [252]   JORDAN David (100040) {GBR}
               [248]   BRAND Lucy (100025) {GBR}

I really need to play more othello. I think I might make this my new project - applying memory techniques to the game, and seeing how much I can memorise! We'll see how it goes...

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