107 Players Competing in WBF 19th European Championships:

Main Flight Brackets Now Posted!

by Michael Strato - 12 May 2007



VELDEN, Austria: May 12, 2007 – A total of 107 players from the around the world are here at Casino Velden in Austria to compete for the title of European Champion in three categories of the Worldwide Backgammon Federation’s 19th European Championship and 6th Velden Open.

After the Thursday night’s arrival of 60 early birds that played in the Warm-Up and Sperti Trophy side events (see updated brackets on these in the Tournaments section) another 47 competitors arrived Friday afternoon and evening and to register to play making the total attendance only four players less than at last year’s event.

“It’s a great turnout and it more like 110 when you count the ladies playing in the Ladies event,“ Director Marco Fornasir remarked. “What’s very surprising is that there are so many new faces. Figure it out yourself, some 60 of the 111 that attended last year are not here this year! So where are all these players coming from?”

Hopefully Marco, this is a sign that reflects the growth of online backgammon over the past few years, and possibly a sign of good things to come for our game.

Othmar Resch, Director of Velden Casino, greeted the WBF players in a Welcome Cocktail ceremony yesterday evening and then invited them to a splendid buffet right in the tournament room as the WBF’s tournament staff held the public draws in the three main flights.

After the meal, backgammon action got underway in all flights - Masters:36 players, Championship: 37 players and Intermediate: 34 players - and by around 3 a.m. this morning the competition reached the Final 16 players in each of the main flights (see the new brackets on these in the Tournaments section).

Some of the better known world-class players were eliminated from the main of the Masters last night, including 2006 World Champion Philip Vischjager of The Netherlands, defending European Champion Michel Serrero of France and 2004 Caribbean Open Champion Nodar Gagua of Russia.

2006 World Champion Philip Vischjager of The Netherlands last night.
Walter Jarc of Canada in action - rare to see a Canadian playing internationally.

Other strong competitors that are still alive and who we consider favourites to win are Rogier van Germert of The Netherlands, Zibigniew Szczerek of Poland and Ricardo Malas of Spain - but watch out for Werner Schmuck of Austria, who I believe has reached the European Champion Masters final twice, and if I am not mistaken was beat both times by Francois Tardieu of France, who is not attending here this year. Oh, and Piergiorgio D’Ancona, Champion of Italy is also still alive hmm...

Play will continue today and since we hope to be very close to an Internet connection we will be updating the ladders every few hours.

We have plenty of photos from yesterday in the Pictorials area of this event’s coverage in the Tournaments section.

Meanwhile here are images of the Prize Money that will be paid out in each division as well as the name of the members of the Tournament Committee:




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