The 5th German Championship was held in Sulzbach (Frankfurt-a-Main) and attracted more than 100 players, who competed in 3 divisions : Beginner, Intermediate and Champions.
Walter and I were keen to participate : it is a comfortable 3-hour drive and the Dorint Hotel was excellent : for 68€/night, you get a great room and a quality breakfast buffet. You can even have a personal omelette made. Parking the car on the hotel premises was free.
The tournament was led by Volker Sonnabend who does an exemplary job : matches start on time and problems are solved in a friendly, no-nonsense way.
In the Champions Division, I lost my first match to Peter Heitmüller (13-15) and Walter lost from a Greek guy called Kristidis. Walter lost an 8-cube after flawless cube decisions.
No luck in the Consolation either, so we were left with the Consulting Doubles. Surprisingly, 25 teams had entered this competition, maybe because the entry fee was affordable : 200€/team.
Walter and I did not get a bye, so we had to win 5 matches (9 points) to win the final. After beating a German team, we were on the brink of defeat against 2 highly inflamable opponents, but Walter found some good dice to save our necks.
In the 3rd Round we faced Karsten Bredahl and his partner. Bredahl is a successful Danish player who lets his attractive wife do the rolling, but makes all the decisions himself. In the opening game we doubled aggressively, got redoubled after some excellent rolls from the opponents, but were finally able to ship the cube to 8 in a bear-off position our Danish friends could not drop. We had 3 men left on 4,3 and 1, while they had 2 left on 5 and 3 : Redouble, Take is clear and fortunately the game went our way : 8-0!
For the first time in the tournament, Bredahl then started to do the rolling himself. He managed to stage a valiant comeback to 8-6, but in the end could not finish it off.
That left Walter and I in the semi-final against Heitmüller and Frank Simon, two successful German players. We managed to win and late on Sunday we also won the final.
The Main Event was won by Kimon Papachristopoulos.
Mark Your Calendar : the next tournament organized by Volker Sonnabend and Rainer Witt : 2nd Backgammon Tournament in Heppenheim. 29 May – 1 June 2014. I played there before and found the playing conditions excellent.