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2013 World Open

4. World Tantrix Open (2013)    

The 2013 World Tantrix Open took place on the weekend of 15-16 June 2013 in Trosa, Sweden. The event was organised by Lennart, Nica, Lewis and Niklas, experienced tournament organizers and well known master players. This was also the 10th Swedish Table Championship.

Building on from 3 previous successful tournaments in Edinburgh, Budapest and Amsterdam, the 4th Tantrix WTO was a 3-day extravaganza and showcase of Swedish talent. We were lucky to be taught how to play Brännboll and a full program of entertainment helped us unwind after a hard day over the table.

1. Place:  Niklas Andersson (SWE)
2. Place:  Attila Mikulan (HUN)
3. Place:  Ben Polman (NED)

Standing up: Left to right - Nica, Schwabe, Mikellos, Dashovnik, Kameamea, Lorene, Jora, Bdot, Syagrius, Xylotuba, Icebreak, Greenfox, Rick, Fukkike , Tizz88, Pierre286, Leslie, Francois, Blick, Tommg, Mizo, katzja, Slartiba42

Sitting down: Pellepen, Niklas, Benopi, Lewis, Grandpere, Kcina, Ellajolie, Mikem, Pimboli, Jeedee, Olasparov, Fafa

4th WORLD TANTRIX OPEN - Report from Iris Gil

First Spanish player to compete in the WTO.

Last weekend I had the incredible experience of participating in the 4th World Tantrix Open, the World Table Tantrix Championships. This tournament is the most prestigious in the Tantrix calendar and held every year or two in a different country. On this occasion it was held in Trosa, a small coastal community in Sweden. 34 players from 11 different countries attended with ages ranging from 17 to 77. Among them were 10 of the top 14 ranked table players in the world and 20 players with the Tantrix online "Master" title.

The tournament itself ran on Saturday and Sunday and consisted of a total of 16 rounds in Swiss format. In each round 17 simultaneous games were played. This added up to 11 hours nonstop playing over the two days, a true challenge in concentration. All the games were played between 2 players with time limit of 20 minutes per game and penalties for going over time. The winner is the player with the highest aggregate TP's (tournament points) accumulated over the 16 rounds. Just like online tournaments, TP's are awarded according to the relative size of loop or line between player and opponent.

It is difficult to describe the feeling of a tournament like this. It was very intense, with many things happening over a short space of time and my head still has not assimilated it all. For me it was the first table tournament I had participated after three years of playing online, and it was all very special. To see the face of my opponents while playing them was priceless. To see their nervousness or their desperation when I made a move which disrupted their plans was something I had never before experienced and I believe it has fundamentally changed the way I see the game, but maybe its too soon to say that.

The games were in general very hard. You can't expect anything else at this high level of participants and also playing "on table" is harder than online. I think that nearly all the games that I played have been set in stone in my memory. Eg there were: impossibly hard starts, tiles that never came out of the bag, testing minutes spent analysing all my options and of my opponent, impossible blocks, huge loops, risky moves, overtime penalties and crushing defeats.

However, my main memory of the tournament is of the atmosphere. The silence produced by utmost concentration and tension amongst all the players only interrupted by the sounds of the tiles being taken out of the bag and the odd clock ticking. In this situation it was easy to concentrate. In all 16 games I only remember one moment where my concentration flagged for a few seconds, but listening around me I could easily return to an optimal state of concentration. A truth that is hard to explain, is that I never once felt tired, not even in the final rounds and despite hardly sleeping 12 hours in 3 days.

The 4th World Tantrix Open was not only about playing Tantrix. The event actually began on Friday afternoon with various diverse activities organised as the players began to arrive. We played Brännboll (a type of traditional Swedish baseball) we visited Trosa on a tourist train and later that evening there was a BBQ. On Saturday evening we all boarded a local cruiser to explore the nearby archipelago, dinner was at a local restaurant and some of the players put on a concert. And at night we stayed up late playing games like Set, Swish, Ligretto, Trax, Chess, Qwirkle, 6Nimmt, The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow and The Spoon Game, a classic of Tantrix tournaments.

On Sunday evening, once all 16 rounds were complete, it was time for the prize-giving including a trophy for the winner and medals for the first three. The winner of the 4th World Tantrix Open was Niklas Andersson of Sweden, who won for the third time. In second place was "blick" Attila Mikulán of Hungary and in third place Benopi, Ben Polman of Holland. There were also diplomas and small Swedish gifts as prizes for all the participants. The evening continued with a Solitaire puzzle competition organised by Mike McManaway, the creator of the game. Also there was another organised dinner, and an attempt to establish a world record for the largest flower made from Tantrix tiles, and a memorable session of games that lasted until 3 in the morning.

For me, participating in the 4th WTO was an incredibly positive experience for various reasons. It was great to be part of a group so diverse by age and background, but also with such a strong passion. The resulting atmosphere was really good and though the weekend was competitive, what really dominated was the spirit of "doing your best" - play to win but don't worry about losing; because above all we were there to enjoy ourselves. I think this was the key which kept my mind calm and focused during the 16 games we played, and helped me achieve a great 14th place result of which I am more than proud.

   Original report by Iris (in Spanish)   

Report from Alexander Mistrukov

First Russian player to compete in the WTO.

“This was not the first battle between us; each of us won and lost several times. The first movements were successful for one side allowing to fill advantageous spaces. It was believed that the lines of the opponent were blocked. Due to miscounting two lines managed to connect into a medium large line. The other side started to use the main tactic sparing vital material of the opponent. The other party had to seek for a chance to start another line to connect with. That was in vein so finally a constantly growing strong line won against a weakened line.”

Sounds like a report about a Tantrix game?

In fact, it is a brief description of the interaction of Russian and Swedish fleets in 1719 and the battle around Trosa. The Swedes waited for help from the British while Russian raids devastated towns, ironworks and threw away wheat into the sea...

About a hundred years ago one Russian poet said ”There will be a time when people fight only in board games instead of causing harm to each other”. Maybe it seems idealistic but what we met in Trosa during WTO 2013 was a model of such a world. Opponents from 11 countries fought during 2,5 days and their only weapons were gumption, wit, imagination, concentration, patience, and humor! It was really unusual to be part of a bunch of such open, acute, active, friendly and a bit crazy guys! People of very different age, size and characters endlessly played all sorts of games! Thanks to all to make us members of this talented community of “Homo Ludens”!

We do hope that the hosts of all these battles were not so devastated this time Everything was thoroughly calculated beforehand and worked perfectly, even the weather! The rocks of Trosa Alps, the archipelago, the sea, the cute houses (that were luckily restored after the raids), the big Palmer family and their warm house, Lennart’s clocks and quiz and certainly ABBA Mix band and Tantrix orchestra all made the Swedish Open tournament an unforgettable event. Great thanks!

Colour Markers

We won't forget the markers! Never before have they been so eco-friendly...

Just when we thought we'd seen it all - coloured mats, buttons, triangles, not to mention spray painted smurfs - the organizers added to the ambience with another Tantrix-first: The use of colour-coded pot plants as player colour markers. No, please don't google "swedish pot plants" or you may get the wrong idea!

One of many little surprises of the tournament.

Trouble in Trosa

Yes, everybody loves a Muppet but Niklas's close relationship with Trouble was taking things too far. Trouble had been in his hands for so long, he was beginning to sound like the Swedish Chef. Not a good thing!

To stop Trouble from becoming completely impossible to understand, we hatched an evil plan to "challenge Niklas ad infinitum" until the poor croc was rescued. And so it came to pass.

Nevermind that on Sunday evening Niklas successfully defended one more game against Rolf. Soon he would be told about the endless list of challengers still in the queue. Totally exhausted from a weekend of playing Tantrix, he could only surrender - and decided to hand Trouble over to the next most deserving player. Trouble ended up with Benopi. Mission accomplished - no more Trouble in Trosa!

   Who is Trouble?   

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Last update: September, 2017