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2019-04-09

THE INAUGURAL SYDNEY OPEN BACKGAMMON TOURNAMENT

This tournament is a new addition to the backgammon calendar and was run by Gary Stavrou, Tournament Director of the Sydney Backgammoners  which meets every Wednesday night at North Ryde RSL. Please see our website www.sydneybackgammoners.blogspot.com

The amended double-Swiss format had been devised by Gary to ensure that all players played a minimum of six 7-point matches, and a loss in the first three rounds (the Qualification Flight) did not preclude any player from winning the day.

Apart from giving players a "second chance" the purpose of the three Qualification Rounds is to divide the field into two halves.

The top rankers enter the Main Flight and the rest of the field enter the Second Flight. Both flights are run concurrently and each consists of three 7-point matches with everybodys' score re-starting at zero. This system can be run very accurately due to the great computer system that we use that scores every won or lost point. In fact the scores of the winner and runner-up were just one point apart.

Twenty-four players, lots of the regulars plus some we have not seen for a very long time, collected at 9.30am at the Canada Bay Club in Five Dock. Thanks to the club for providing us with such a lovely venue.

After the first two rounds we broke for lunch, with the final match of the Qualification Flight being played after the break.

One of the characteristics of our tournaments is that we don't use clocks but set a generous time limit of 90 minutes for each 7-point match. We feel this is necessary with Swiss tournaments as the next round can't start until all pairs finish playing. Gary agrees that, in the past, the over-time rules were too strict. Now there is a very small penalty involved for unfinished matches.

But this penalty never had to applied on the day as no match went over time, which, considering the number of matches played, is just amazing.

The final results were:

Main Flight:

1st Paul Barnett - $600 and crystal doubling cube award

2nd Arthur Ramer $300

Consolation prize of $60 to the one-match winner with the highest score to David Reitzin

Second Flight:

3rd prize went to the Second  Flight  winner, Pat Halpin, who received $180.

Eva Bitel pocketed the $60 Second Flight consolation.

Thanks to Gary and Kathryn for running the day so smoothly, and thanks to all who participated in what will, hopefully, become an annual event.