Tournaments 2003

The Bristol '50' 11th October 2003

The Winners
2002
2003

Tim Mooring

Steve Ferrer

 

Main

(32)

Name

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Steve Ferrer

John Slattery

Paul Gilbertson

Dave Motley

Uldis Lapikens

Stuart Mann

Julian Fetterlein

Steffen Nowak

Consolation

(30)

Name

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Paul Gilbertson

Simonetta Barone

Paul Watts

Stuart Mann

Martin Barkwill

Steve Hallett

Julian Fetterlein

Dave Motley

Last Chance

(?)

Name
GP

1
2

Stuart Mann

Kevin White

a
a

Steve Ferrer makes major breakthrough in Bristol

Report by Ian Tarr - Tournament Director

Pictures by Rosey Bensley
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Thirty-two players, having pre-paid their £50 entry fees, gathered in the centre of Bristol on Saturday October 11th to contest the second Bristol “50” tournament, a three flight, single day event.

The field consisted of many of Britain’s finest players, together with the cream of talent from in and around Bristol, which can now arguably be described as the nation’s second city of backgammon.

Tournament Director Ian Tarr was pleased to welcome – among others – the new European champion John Slattery, multiple BIBA event winner Julian Fetterlein, multiple BIBA and Gammonitis event winner Peter Bennet, and 2001 BIBA British Open champion Steve Hallett, as well as other BIBA event winners Jeff Ellis, Jeff Barber and Ed Turner, Gammonitis event winners Roland Herrera and Wayne Felton, MSO Cambridge winner Uldis Lapikens, 2002 English Open champion Rosey Bensley, and 2001 BIBA British Open runner-up and new Bristol Premier League champion, Stuart Mann.

Reigning champion Tim Mooring was sadly not present to defend his title.

The format, a step up from the simple two flight one adopted in 2002, was designed to keep as many players as possible in contention for as long as possible, with an 11-point main flight, a 7-point progressive consolation, and a 5-point progressive last chance.

There was even the novelty of a “Lucky Losers 1-Point Shoot-out”, which allowed the first sixteen last chance losers to fight for a single place back in the last chance at the quarter-final stage.

Steve Ferrer, a player who has made a substantial impact on the domestic Bristol scene this year, with five semi-final appearances, scored what was probably the most notable victory of the opening round, despatching highly ranked BIBA stalwart Jeff Ellis into the consolation.

As the results rolled in, there was a good balance of local and national talent moving into the last sixteen.

In round two we had a re-run of the 2002 British Open final as Steve Hallett and Stuart Mann met. This time Stuart managed to turn the tables.

Meanwhile the European champion had been made to fight right to the wire by both Pat Holly and Jeff Barber, before claiming his place in the quarter-finals.

Then Slatts, Paul Gilbertson, Dave Motley and Steve Ferrer booked semi-final places by overcoming Uldis Lapikens, Stuart Mann, Julian Fetterlein and Steffen Nowak respectively.

Paul is the brother of Slatts’ other half, Rosey Bensley, so there was a little added significance in their second half meeting, which eventually went Slatts’ way.

In the other half of the draw Steve, who has appeared jinxed in so many semi-finals this year, chose the perfect time to break the mould, and eased past Dave into the final.

This was to be a battle of some sartorial quality.

Slatts’ fashion sense is well documented throughout the backgammon world. But not quite so well known – yet – is Steve’s style, which owes a great deal to his time living in Mexico.

The final, as was to be expected, was a hard fought affair, but in the end it was Steve Ferrer who clinched the £700 cash first prize with an 11-7 victory, etching his name into the history books as the second Bristol “50” champion.

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Stever Ferrer and John Slattery with Ian Tarr

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There was still plenty of action to be enjoyed, however, as the other flights approached the final stages.

In the progressive consolation, the sixteen main flight first round losers had to fight through three rounds to reach the quarter-finals, Martin Barkwill and Paul Watts coming through.

Simonetta Barone and Steve Hallett were the quarter-finalists to emerge from the next wave of main flight refugees, followed by Stuart Mann and Julian Fetterlein, then finally by Dave Motley and Paul Gilbertson.

The two Pauls, Simonetta and Stuart made the semis for a Bristol clean sweep.

Paul Gilbertson and Simonetta then contested the final, where Paul – enjoying a recent spate of final appearances – came out on top.

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Meanwhile, there was some doubt as to whether the last chance would ever finish! But things came together nicely enough, and the whole thing was wrapped up by midnight.

Uldis Lapikens managed to make two appearances in this flight by coming through the 1-point shoot-out. That was his lot, however, and the final was fought out between Kevin White, who had to overcome six opponents just to get there, and Stuart Mann, who had slotted in at the quarter-final stage.

Stuart won the final, and the second Bristol “50” had been successfully completed with barely a hitch.

From a purely Bristol perspective, the event was very satisfying. All six prize winners had Bristol connections. Steve Ferrer, Simonetta Barone, Stuart Mann and Kevin White have all played their “bread and butter” backgammon in Bristol competition in recent years.

Slatts, of course, plays nearly everywhere, but Bristol is one of his favourite haunts, and he has twice won the Bristol Premier League title.

And Paul Gilbertson is also an occasional, but very welcome, visitor to Bristol Grand Prix tournaments.

Tournament Director Ian Tarr will now be looking to establish the event as a regular fixture in the annual British tournament calendar, possibly finding a home in September. And he will explore the possibility of expanding it into a two day event in future years.

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