Orlowski Defeats Tardieu at DMP in St. Amand to Win €25,000 and an Entry to PGT's €100,000 Event
by Michael Strato - 14 June 2007
Jürgen Orlowski of Germany won the Partouche Gammon Tour's St. Amand Trophy event in France last weekend by defeating François Tardieu of France, World Backgammon Giant #3, in a tight battle that ended 21-20.

Orlowski took home €25,000 and secures a seat in the PGT Grand Finale event at Grand Domaine de Divonne-Les-Bains this coming September, in which the top 24-ranked Partouche Gammon Tour players will compete in a no-entry fee tournament with €100,000 in added prize money up for grabs.

Jürgen Orlowski with his BIG cheque from Partouche Gammon.

Eric Guedj, Tournament Director of the PGT and head of the World Series of Backgammon, told GammonLife he was quite pleased with the attendance since this was a first-ever backgammon event at the St. Amand venue (full results of the tournament are below). Eric noted that the level of competition was high and interest in PGT events is growing quickly, and said he is looking forward to welcoming players at the Cannes event in July, which always has a great turnout.

Meanwhile, François Tardieu has been in touch with GammonLife this week and told us that, “the level of play by Orlowski was great and the result was a close call... anyone could have won.”

Tardieu and Orlowski in the final observed by PGT Director Eric Guedj.

Tardieu is also virtually guaranteed a spot in Grand Finale picking up 12 Performance Points (PP) for coming in second at St. Amand, adding it to his 9 Assiduity Points (AP) for attending all of the 2007 PGT events so far – now all he has to do is attend the July PGT event in Cannes and he earns another 8 AP. He is currently ranked #7 on the PGT list.

By the way, Tardieu won the 3rd Aix-Les-Bains Backgammon Open last month in Aix-les-Bains, France. Though not a PGT event, Tardieu continues to show why he is considered one of the world's most phenomenal players.

Orlowski is currently tied in third place in the PGT Ranking list with fellow German Götz Hildsberg while the Danish are at the top with Pia Jeppesen at #1, skipping ahead of previous leader Sander Lylloff (now in second place) by earning points for making it to the semi-finals in St. Amand. While many Danish are delving into Poker these days, Jeppesen and Lylloff are faithfully attending the best backgammon events around... both played in the Atlantis Million backgammon tournament last January and in most if not all the PGT events so far.

Winner Orlowski also played in the Atlantis Million and among his cashes in past live events we know that he won the the 3rd Lucien Barrière Backgammon Open in Enghien-Les-Bains, France in 2005 and was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Open De Mallorca International Backgammon Tournament in Spain.

After the Danes and Germans mentioned above, and just above Tardieu are Marc  Santoroman of  France, fifth, and in sixth is 1992 World Champion Ion Ressu of Romania (now living in Switzerland).

The next PGT event is is the upcoming Riviera Challenge and Nations Cup International Backgammon Festival, to be held July 17-22, at Partouche’s most famous venue, the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes, France, just after the World Championships in nearby Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Cannes is the fourth PGT event of 2007 and the last opportunity in which one can earn points on the PGT Ranking List for a chance to be one of the 24 in the Grand Finale to be held at Grand Domaine de Divonne-Les-Bains in September.

In the Doubles event, the team of Müge Altay of Turkey and Manos Mastorakis of Greece defeated the Italian team of Antonio Iaquinta and Fabrizio LoSurdo.

Iaquinta and LoSurdo (L) versus Altay and Mastorakis in the Doubles Finals.

Mastorakis promotes backgammon in Greece and was the director of the first-ever international backgammon tournament in Greece, the 1st Halkidiki Backgammon Open at the Porto Carras Grand Resort in April of 2005. He has played on the international circuit for a few years, in the Monte Carlo World Championships, Paris Masters & Open, as well as others, and more recently at the 2007 European Championships in Velden where he met his lovely partner, Müge Altay.

Born on the first day of 1980, Müge is a Human Resources Consultant in Istanbul and plays at an advanced level. She has won several online tournaments as well as several live Turkish Backgammon League events organized by Arda Findikoglu. Velden was her first international appearance - she went home with a couple of trophies.

More photos in the St. Amand Pictorial.

Here are the results of the St. Amand Backgammon Trophy of the 2007 Partouche Gammon Tour. There were 53 players plus 11 rebuys for a full bracket of 64:


Winner: Jürgen Orlowski (Germany)
Runner-Up: François Tardieu (France)
Semi-finalist: Pia Jeppesen (Denmark)
Semi-finalist: Mario Sequeira (Portugal)


Winner: Jan Jacobowitz (Germany)
Runner-Up: Ion Ressu (Switzerland)
Semi-finalist: Sami Sallak (Germany)
Semi-finalist: Volker Sonnabend (Germany)

Last Chance

Winner: Christian Fauré (France)
Runner-Up: Pierre Zakia (France)
Semi-finalist: Fabrizio LoSurdo (Italy)
Semi-finalist: Philippe Vouhe (France)

Consultation Doubles

Winners: Müge Altay (Turkey) and Manos Mastorakis (Greece)
Finalists: Antonio Iaquinta (Italy) and Fabrizio LoSurdo (Italy)


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