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The Eurovision Games

10. World Tantrix Open (2019)    

Back to the Netherlands! The 10th World Tantrix Open was held in Oterleek, a small village in North Holland. The weekend was hosted by Eva Radix and Joyce Chavernac, whose record of organizing fun tournaments enticed 31 players from all over Europe.

Those who arrived early on Friday joined the traditional pre-tournament entertainment. This year: the famous cheesemarket of Alkmaar, followed by glassblowing and all topped off by a fine lunch. Then players were taken to a luxurious mansion that was both accomodation and playing venue. In the evening there was a mystery canal tour, fortunately the loop was closed and everyone got back home.

Other weekend entertainment included "Bowls Swedish style", tree climbing and "Escape", which consisted of trying not to get lost in the vast mansion. Though perhaps the strongest non-Tantrix memory of the weekend was the noise level of passionate "Eurovision Song Contest" fans, emitted during the Sat night live screening. The Netherlands won!

The next WTO will be held in Trosa, Sweden in June 2020 to be hosted by Monica and Lewis Palmer. We hope to see you all again then!

1. Place:  Neil Jenner (GBR)
2. Place:  Niklas Andersson (SWE)
3. Place:  Marek Reniers (POL)

A word from the organizer

Well, there was no word form the organizer, so here are some pics!

A big thanks to everybody involved in finding this wonderful venue and organizing a great event. And to everybody else for turning up!

A Short History of World Opens

The first World Open was organised back in 2009 by Tantrix UK (Steven and Julia) and held at the Edinburgh University Halls. An unexpected 45 players turned up, including 5 non-europeans who travelled from Israel, New Zealand and the USA. After an interesting tournament format which has since been abandoned, 19-year old Niklas Andersson from Sweden emerged the winner, with Blick from Hungary the runner up.

There has been a World Open every subsequent year since, except for 2012 which was skipped for reasons lost in time. Now with 10 WTO's completed, it seems a good opportunity to report on a few statistics. The 10 events have never been repeated in the same city, but there have been 3 country repeats: Hungary, France and the Netherlands. Soon to be more with Sweden in 2020, and Germany in 2021.

A total of 132 different people have been playing in WTO's over the years. The average number of players per event is 37, with the highest attendance in Germany 2014 (50 players) and the least in Guillestre 2018 (20 players).

Leslie, Ben, Niklas and Kcina have been at every single event! Mike, Lennart, Vincent and Monica have skipped one each, Britta and Blick have skipped two. Niklas has won an amazing 5 times, and one win apiece to each of: Mizo, Monica, Typo, Zormac and Britta.

Averaging the results of regular players generates some interesting numbers:

Niklas's long term average is placing 3rd (3.0 to be exact) but his overall average would have been so much higher, if not for a rogue 12th place in Germany in 2014. Blick's average of 3.4 is the next best result, he often came 2nd; his lowest result was 7th in France in 2018.

All the other regulars are a long way back: Mike, Ben and Lennart averaging 12th place. Notably Vincent with an average of 17 has been consistently improving each year.

Trouble the little sugar addict

Who knew the world's most popular little crocodile had hatched a secret plan. When Iris (his guardian at the time) was challenged by Letike during the WTO, Trouble created a scene, causing her to lose her first game. Iris recovered enough concentration to win the second, but it was not enough. So off to Hungary Trouble went!

Recent photos have revealed the reason behind it all: Turns out, Letike's parents own a Lollipop Shop! Now Trouble seems permanently installed on the counter, presumably munching on bonbons all day.

So future challengers be warned - you may need to come armed with an even sweeter temptation! The good news is that Letike is confirmed for Sweden in 2020, so Trouble may well be persuaded to change his loyalties yet again.

View from the bottom

We arrived in Oterleek well trained up (or so I thought) and I had high hopes of a top 10 finish. We had just spent nearly two months at a Greek training camp with some of the best Tantrix players amongst our kiwi friends - Michael, Tamara and Mark. Though most mornings were dedicated to sports climbing, the working afternoons were frequently interrupted by Tantrix games. I was prepared!

But it's often not the expected that happens. Sadly, far from arriving in good shape, it rapidly became apparent that I was in the worst form of my life. To cut a long story short, out of 16 games I won 4 (thanks Britta) and lost 11, finishing up 28th out of 31.

What went wrong? Well hard to say, but here are some theories: Old age for starters! And even though playing regular table games helps, much better are serious clock games! Roll on Trosa.

© Copyright 2019, Colour of Strategy Ltd, Pohara, New Zealand. All rights reserved.
Last update: July, 2019