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Chiotinis Wins Thessaloniki BG Event Sponsored by Play65.com
by Director Manos Mastorakis - 5 October 2008
Kostas Chiotinis
KOSTAS CHIOTINIS
The first tournament of the Greek Backgammon Federation’s second season took place September 13-14, 2008 in Thessaloniki and was sponsored with €1,000 added prize money by the Play65.com backgammon server. Kostas Chiotinis of Athens emerged victorious in the field of 33 players defeating Iancho Hristov of Bulgaria in the Final.

Matvey “Falafel” Natanzon of Israel, the #1 Giant of Backgammon, was our Special Guest at this event and we were all thrilled to have him here with us in Greece.

In addition to playing in the tournament, Falafel gave a seminar to the players in which he showed us some tricky backgammon positions. Everyone enjoyed interacting with him, offering their opinions and listening to Falafel's views on the positions. Since many players do not have the opportunity to travel outside of Greece to international events, this was a great opportunity to meet and talk with the world’s top player, and for some, to even play against him.

 

Falafel later said that he believed there is a lot potential for live backgammon competition in Greece and commended Gammonlife Editor Michael Strato for coming to Greece in October of 2007 to kick-start the new Greek Backgammon Federation and organize their first live monthly event last November.

 

Thessaloniki is such a beautiful city; the people are very kind and their hospitality shines. We had sunny weather and the event was held in a beautiful old-style building owned by some backgammon friends.

They are renovating the first floor and basement of the building so we played on the second floor and roof-top garden which has a beautiful view of the Aegean Sea. Once renovations are completed the building can host an event of 200 players or more, so we will definitely have another tournament here in the future.

 

Kostas Christou, Iancho Hristov and Filomila Karantzali in Thessaloniki

Kostas Christou, Iancho Hristov and Filomila Karantzali in
Thessaloniki with the Aegean Sea in the background.


Ms. Libby Cohen of the Play65 backgammon server in Israel also came to visit our tournament. She handed out free Play65 shirts and hats and added excitement to the event by offering €1,000 in added prize money to the Champion of the Main.

 

Play65 caps and shirts

Players receive their Play65 caps and shirts.

 

The winner was Kostas Chiotinis of Athens who played the 17-point final against a great guy and promising backgammon player from Bulgaria, Iancho Hristov. Kostas added another trophy to his collection and €3000 to his bank account.

 

September’s Champion Kostas Chiotinis with Director Manos Mastorakis

(L to R) September’s Champion Kostas Chiotinis with Director
Manos Mastorakis, Iancho Hristov and the owner of the venue.

 

To get to the final, Chiotinis won against Dr. Chris Groutsos in an exciting semi-final 15-point match while Iancho won against Georgy Balkandjisky of Bulgaria in the other semi.

 

The Consolation final was played between two good friends, both from Thessaloniki, Giatzopoulos and Akrivos. Giatzopoulos won it and was later teasing Simos Akrivos saying that his first place Consolation trophy was much bigger.

 

On Sunday Michalis Manolios won over Antonis Vamvakaris in the Last Chance Final, a match that ended, what for us, was a great two-day backgammon event.

 

Another city where one of our upcoming tournaments will be held is Volos, which is between Athens and Thessaloniki, as we have many players coming to our Athens events from there as well.

 

World Class Backgammon Player Alexandros Kolonias
Alexandros Kolonias (L), a World Class rated player from Volos,
chats with Iancho Hristov of Bulgaria.

 

With 33 players at an entry fee of €150 the prize pool was €4950 plus the added €1,000 prize from Play65 went to the winner. Entry fee for this event was €20.

Prize distribution was:

Main Winner: 40% + 1000 euro added money from play65

Main Finalist: 15%

Main Semifinalist1: 7.5%

Main Semifinalist2: 7.5%

Consolation Winner: 15%

Consolation Finalist: 7.5%

Last Chance winner: 7.5%

 

People had a great time and I want to thank all of them for their sportsmanship and the friendly atmosphere, which allowed me to have an easy job directing the tournament.

 

I also want to personally thank our other sponsors, Eric Guedj and PartoucheGammon.com, for their past support and for awarding the top players on our last season’s ranking list with a free entry to the Nations Cup in Cannes this past July.

 

Thank you also to Play65.com and Libby Cohen for the €1000 added prize money and for their support of backgammon in Greece and we hope to continue working with them in the future.

 

But most of all I want to thank you Michael Strato, for giving life to organized backgammon tournaments in Greece and for constantly contributing to the growth of the Greek backgammon community.

Here is the new ranking list after this first Season 2 tournament:

HELLENIC NATIONAL RANKING LIST - SEASON 2

Rank
Player
Points
%
Wins
Matches
1
Giaitzopoulos
31
87.50
7
8
2
Takis Chatzelis
29
62.50
5
8
3
Costas Chiotinis
28
100.00
5
5
4
Iancho Hristov
26
80.00
4
5
5
Charis Ladis
25
62.50
5
8
6
Michalis Manolios
23
71.43
5
7
7
Sourvas
23
50.00
3
6
8
Dimitris Hologounis
23
50.00
3
6
9
Antonis Vamvakaris
22
57.14
4
7
10
Christos Groutsos
21
75.00
3
4
11
Balkandjiinsky
21
75.00
3
4
12
Alexandros Kolonias
21
50.00
3
6
13
Simos Akrivos
20
66.67
4
6
14
Costas Christou
19
50.00
3
6
15
Nikos Sapountzakis
18
50.00
2
4
16
Thanassis Makris
18
40.00
2
5
17
Sarikostas
18
40.00
2
5
18
Giannis Matsoukakos
18
40.00
2
5
19
Falafel Natanzon
17
50.00
3
6
20
Kyurkchiev
16
40.00
2
5
21
Neculai Draganuta
16
40.00
2
5
22
Michalis Christoforidis
16
40.00
2
5
23
Tzimas
16
40.00
2
5
24
Lazaridis
16
40.00
2
5
25
Vamvakoudis
15
25.00
1
4
26
Pavlos Thanopoulos
15
25.00
1
4
27
Filomila Karantzali
13
33.33
1
3
28
Giorgos Klitsas
13
25.00
1
4
29
Giorgos Stephanopoulos
13
25.00
1
4
30
Kostov
13
25.00
1
4
31
Nikonas Panagakis
10
33.33
1
3
32
Manos Mastorakis
10
0.00
0
3
33
Bontis
10
0.00
0
3

 

Iancho Hristov
Iancho Hristov loves his new Play65 shirt.

 

Photos Copyright © 2008 by Iancho Hristov.

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