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2009 World Open

2009 World Tantrix Open    

The inaugural World Tantrix Open was held in Edinburgh, Scotland on 13-14 June. The organizers were Steven Tresize and Julia Schwarz. Forty-six entrants from 14 different countries took part. The tournament was won by Niklas Andersson from Sweden.

1. Place:  Niklas Andersson (SWE)
2. Place:  Attila Mikulan (HUN)
3. Place:  Simon Wright (UK)

Back row: Pellepen/Lennart Aspelin, JMSC/Joe Ruby, SuperBear/Edwin Nieudorp, Tiefenthal/Sven Tiefenthal, DDyer/Dave Dyer,
Mikem/Mike McManaway, 1Kornik21/Marek Reniers, Leslie/László Harsányi, colly89/Michael Collison, Blick/Attila Mikulán

2nd row: Malle/Malin Aspelin, Greenfox/Charlotta Klevedal, IDyer/Irene Dyer, NiklasA/Niklas Andersson, Blackbird/James Carter,
Shunter/Simon Wright, FaFa/Eva Radix, Tizz88/Chris Essex, Ellajolie/Joyce Chavernac, Typo/Neil Jenner, Snuitje/Deborah Husmann,
Reiki/Monique Husmann, Benopi/Ben Polman, Rick/Rick Yagodich

3rd row: Nica/Monica Palmer, Luigi/Lewis Palmer, Humber/Petra Wark, Syagrius/Vincent Auger, Skweeki/Rob Morton, Snuggled/Zoe Andrews, Frogzone1/Eleanor Gordon, Moorehen/Judy Moore, MadMarie/Emily Thomas, Zormac/Zoltán Németh, Retro/Ben Thomas, Steven/Steven Tresize

Front row: Snowy/Robert Mitchell, Grandpčre/Michel Auger, Kcina/Anick Auger, Galca/Galina Ryvchin, Monii/Monika Marx, Bikey/Susi Rieger, Jade/Julia Schwarz, Moorecock/Steve Moore, Bluebear/Chris Watson

Very front: Lenchen/Lena Marx, Pimboli/Eveline Fischer

Tournament Report

The tournament report for the 2009 World Open is in two parts. The first part is a report from Niklas Andersson, the champion. The second part is short moments and memories from the other players.

On Friday the 12th of June Greenfox, Nica, Luigi, Pellepen, Malle and I met at Skavsta airport to get the same flight to Edinburgh. When we arrived there on the evening I was very tired since I had had an very early start in the morning and graduated from upper secondary school on the same day as well. When we finally arrived to the Pollock Halls I just said hi to some people who were there before I went straight to bed.

Finally it starts! In phase 1, I managed to win 5 games out of 7, drew one and lost one. Unfortunately, I don't remember very much from those games. I finished third in my group though, and qualified for the top 18 in phase 2.

The phase 2 group was a bit harder though, in my group I had a WJTC-, WTTC and ETC-champ (Shunter), a SOTTC, ESPOC, GOTC-champ (1kornik21), one of the players that reached the final in the ETC (colly89), ISRO two times runner up and 2000 years runner up from the ETC (leslie).

My first game was against Simon. It turned into a blocked game with about 5 forced spaces around the game that could be filled with the same 3 tiles, so everything was more or less a matter of who drew the right tiles. Today Simon did, which meant he could connect two smaller lines to win by 17-16.

In the second game I played against Marek. I got a horrible start with almost nothing to add to, and got two small lines in my colour. After about the middle of the game I had the opportunity to connect these two lines, but one forced couldn't be filled immediately, a BYB. I knew there was only one of those left in the bag, but I had to take the risk otherwise I could have been lost. Marek pair-blocked that important space, but After filling in a lot of other forced spaces I managed to draw every tile in the bag and connect my two lines. The game ended 25-16 in my favour.

Next game was against Leslie again I can't remember anything of it, but I won by 23-16.

The fourth game was against Michael (colly89). After a start which wasn't that good a lucky draw gave me the opportunity to connect two lines. For a while I also almost had a threat on a 50+ loop, but Michael wasted the tiles I needed very quick as soon as the threat came up. I won this game by 28-19.

My last game was against Galina, (Galca). By now the group was very close, with me on 3 wins and one loss, and then 4 players on 2 wins and 2 losses. Anyone of me, Simon, Michael, Galina and Marek could finish top two and qualify for the final.

I had a horrible game against Galina, a combination of unlucky draws, bad tiles and bad playing from me soon gave Galina a threat on a 28-tile loop. I could find a way to block the last connection by putting it on a controlled side, later on be lucky with the order the tiles came out. Now the game finished as a 13-12 win in Galina's favour, but it could as well have been 28-8 in her favour if the tiles had came out her way...

So, I made it to the final... A all-play-all group with me and 5 other players. The other players were Attila, Neil, Simon, Lennart and Chris.

I started the final by playing Chris. A close game which after some forced spaces in my favour towards the end of the game finished in my favour, 20-16.

Next coming up was my Swedish team mate Lennart. We both got quite long lines, and if I hadn't drawn the right tiles the score would have been something like 48-25 in Lennarts favour instead of the way it actually finished, 27-21 in my favour.

My third game was against 4th seed Neil. I managed to win that as well, but in the next game I lost to Attila (today again....).

Before the last game I was just a few TPs ahead of Attila (even though he had beaten me). Attila needed to get 2 TPs more against Neil than I got against Simon.

My game against Simon was horrible, and it turned out to be the person who picked the very one tile from the bag was the person who won the game. It was my move with 6 tiles left in the bag, and I found a way to waste six tiles in one move to make sure I drew that tile and could win the game by one, 16-15. That meant, since Attila drew against Neil, that I actually did win the tournament...! Of course I was very happy, but I can't really describe the feeling... :-)

This weekend was not only about the Tantrix though, it was a nice weekend in many other ways. The Saturday evning dinner, the evening playing other games, and so on. On Monday I went sightseeing in the town with Lotta, Chris and Simon before I went back home in the afternoon. I travelled with hand luggage only, and I can tell that the guy at the security check looked as if he wasn't sure what I had in my bag.

Thanks to everyone for a very nice weekend, and many many thanks to Steven and Julia for the extreme amount of work they've been doing to make this tournament possible, see you all next year!

Memorable moments

Blackbird: The bit I most remember was my second game against Lenchen - I finally saw a chance to make a nice little loop that would beat her line, and it actually came together, my first of the whole tournament! I was so chuffed, until every tile of Lenchen's locked itself into place to give her a loop that clobbered mine into submission!! I know everyone will have been on the receiving end of this at some point, but it was beautifully done, and it looked nice, too!

Shunter: Definitely the game I will remember most was the last one, against Niklas. After having scraped through phase 2 with a lucky win over Niklas and a 13-tile win over Marek in the last round, I was amazed to still have a chance to win the title with one game to go. After having had the better of the early tiles, I took a lead although we both ended up with loop threats. I found a great block that meant that one end of his line would end up blocked and the other unplayable until the endgame, however Niklas came right back and used the same block at the end of my line.

So the title came down to who would draw the RRBGGB, and, probably justly after the game the previous day, Niklas picked it to win by a tile. It was quite a disappointing way to end, but at various points at the weekend it didn't look like I'd have even the slightest chance of coming third. Congratulations to Niklas on a fantastic and well-deserved victory, and similarly to Attila for his second place.

Tizz88: Undoubtedly the most memorable moment of the weekend (and probably from any Open I have been to) was the ABBA medley that the Swedes did at the end!

From a personal perspective, my weekend was really a story of three crucial wins with a series of mistakes littered amongst them. In the end the former proved the more important and having felt I had an outside chance of a top ten finish I managed to end up 4th! Of the three key games (against the two Bens and Deborah) I think the one against Deb was the most important as it turned out. I ended up just 1.5 TPs ahead of her in second place in the phase 2 group, having beaten her by 20 tiles. She went for a fairly ambitious loop early in the game which allowed me to build a stronger loop threat around it which I eventually completed due to her drawing the red straight I needed almost as soon as I'd created the space for it to fill. This gave me a 36 and it was a relatively easy job to block her and keep her to 16. I think the weekend was defined by a series of these sort of games which really tested everyone's nerve. Clearly, in every sense, Tantrix is a game played in the head!

Mikem: The Edinburgh World Tantrix Open was awesome and Steven and Julia deserve all the credit. The initial WTO has set a high standard for any future similar events. Personally, I had a great time and I highly recommend table tournaments for weight loss, one's brain is forced to process glucose at a furious rate. The tile gods must have been very kind to me though ... how else to explain how anyone over 25 made it into the top ten! There were so many good players there and most of them deserved to finish ahead of me.

GreenFox: Apart from some games that I wish I coulddn't remember clearly I will remember the WTO as time spent with friends. Believe it or not but I wasn't especially grumpy at any time during the weekend! Even though I hardly won a game after Saturday lunch. Perhaps I understand that there are more important things in life than winning *cough, cough*, BUT I think the main reason might be the giggley mood I had all weekend with the grand finale after the prize giving. Oh yes, the modest little swedish girl had a really good time.

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Last update: December, 2012