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Poland Versus Austria in Masters Final Today at the WBF European Backgammon Championships
by Michael Strato - 13 May 2007
ZIBIGNIEW SZCZEREK
It’s Poland versus Austria today in the Masters Final for the title of Champion of Europe, Turkey against Germany in the Championship division and Italy versus Turkey in the Intermediates.

Zibigniew Szczerek (Poland), who has attended these European Championships faithfully for some years now, knocked out Ricardo Malas (Spain) in one of yesterday’s 19-point matches in the Masters Semi-Finals, while in the other, it was Werner Schmuck (Austria) defeating Tassilo Rzymann (Austria) for what will be Werner’s second or third attempt at the title – he’s definitely determined but will he finally do it?

Well, it is known that Zibigniew Szczerek studies backgammon strategy from books and online information sites as well as trains and analyzes himself regularly with the GNUbg program. He won yesterday’s final of the Warm-Up, for the second consecutive year, and was excited to the point of joyous upon reaching the Masters final. Zibigniew appears quite prepared mentally... meaning confident... which is always a plus.

WHO WILL BE THE 2007 CHAMPION OF EUROPE?

 
Zibigniew Szczerek
Werner Schmuck

Good luck to both these very strong players in what will probably be a 21 or 23-point match. Since Zibigniew’s son Karol is a match recorder, hopefully we shall get the match file of this interesting final.

In one of the Championship Division Semi-Finals, 15-point matches, Feza Diyarbekir (Turkey) took out well-known player and former Seefeld tournament director Peter Winkler (Austria), and in the other, Oliver Schneider beat fellow German player Raimund Specht.

Feza Diyarbekir of Turkey said he was happy, and proud, to reach the final.

The third final to be played later today, that of the Intermediate Division, will be between Stefano Sinopoli (Italy) and Sureyya Sertasi (Turkey). Stefano reached the final by trouncing his fellow Italian Lorenzo Rinaldo, while in the other 9-point semi, Sureyya defeated Elfi Fritz-Winkler (Austria).

We’re still waiting for the results of the Sperti Trophy Final between Martin Barkwill (UK) and Hormoz Shahrokhshahi (Germany) - either they played it very late last night or will play it today as the result was not posted on the bracket sheet when we last checked. We’ll also pick up the results from the Consolation and Last Chance flights from each of the three divisions as soon as they are available.

Meanwhile, Seda Koc of Turkey is the Championess of this year’s European Championships Ladies Tournament. Sixteen women competed in the event, and as destiny would have it, Seda had to player her good friend Muge Altay, also of Turkey, in the 9-point final. Here is an image of the bracket sheet for the Ladies event:

A €500 Super Jackpot is underway, and Piergiorgio D’Ancona of Italy has already secured his place in the final and is waiting for his opponent as we see in this bracket sheet:

The competition comes to an end later today but there will be plenty of fun and celebration in the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony tonight. We’ll have lots of photos for you from that, if we can get them in on time (got to fly back to Canada Monday morning), otherwise they will be up sometime Tuesday. However, we will announce the winners of all divisions later today after the matches are completed.

Here are some images from yesterday:

Consolation and Last Chance action.
Consolation and Last Chance action.
Consolation and Last Chance action.
Dr. Chris Groutsos of Greece - a good friend and a great player.
As the event winds down, the tournament staff get to play a few games too, here is Veronika Fornasir, daughter of Director Marco Fornasir and....
...Assistant Tournament Director Antonio Pierratelli.

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