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10.12.2019 : 20:29 : +0100


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Tournament impressions

from the perspective of an arbiter and bughouse fan.

 - Since we had to shift locations in the last minute we asked hotel bogota wether we could play our tournament there. As usual the staff was exceptionally friendly and cooperative so we managed to fit the bughouse in there. At tournament day we had 18 teams available.

- While the number of teams was a lot bigger in previous years the quality of the field wasnt. I remember years when every FICS - Team was more or less booked for the playoffs; this year however, teams with FICS ratings above 2000 could not make the cut.

- I noticed very early that the habit of (mostly unconciously) playing with your pieces becomes more and more annoying. Since i wandered from table to table i can probably tell better than anyone how often games ended with this surprised shoutout: "Oh damn, he had a <enter some piece here>". Its disappointing to see a game end like this. We will constantly work on improving our set of rules so that this happens less often.

- Its hilarious to hear Firefly talk to his partner in lolwut speak ("i can haz pawn?"). Works a lot better when MessyEmy does it.

- The routine during the 9 round swiss qualifier is always the same. Play your round, write down the results, hand the sheet over to Sven, our tournament manager. Still, many people rather start to analyze their games with their opps and have everyone else wait for them.

- NOTE: if you order menu A at registration, dont change your mind at lunch break beacuse the food on your neighbour's table looks better. Cost us about 20 minutes.

- At the end of the swiss tournament some strong teams barely missed the playoffs. Some of them had extremely high buchholz ratings which means that they had to face strong opposition throughout the tournament. Some of the teams who could have made the playoffs with a grain more luck were Fermy & skaCZ, Alamar & Wir and Horkko & Fantasticcat.

- The B Finals took too long; that way many interested people could not watch the finals series fully. We will adjust that either by shortening the B finals or delaying the finals series a bit more.

- Another idea for the finals was to give each team a 10 min timeout to take a rest or discuss strategy.

- The finals players need room to play, which is why we have to set up a barrier for watchers. However its really hard to see, understand or film the game from a distance. We will try to solve this by setting up cameras and beamers so people can watch the action tehre. Maybe in a distant future we can even relay the whole thing.

- The quarter and semi final playoff series were pretty clear except for the one between Maras & Rezacz vs. andreufm & JStriker (ended 5:7 in favor of andreu). The match for third place between venomous & masacre vs. andreufm & JStriker however was very close and great to watch. Andreu's team made a great comeback to take the series, which was shortened to "first to 5 wins" format in order to not having to play it out in parallel to the finals. I thought that it was a great achievement for venomous to come back from retirement with such a strong showing.

- The final series between the title defender NilsSKBB - who partnered a very strong ishamael instead of his regular partner for the last five years, LinusO - and challenger Firefly, who had a very competetive partner in Cranith - was even closer. In the first game, there was a misunderstanding involving knocked over pieces, a restarted clock and Firefly, who showed great sportsmanship by resigning the game - i was about to let the players restart it. Later, in a very tense double board sit - and - think - situation, i had to ask Firefly to not hold his pieces in hands, which took him completely out of focus. He lost the game shortly after this. Everything looked like bad luck and a short lack of concentration would cost him another title; at the score of 4-6 in favor of Nils (the format was first to seven), people were ready to applaud and gratulate Nils once again. What followed were three very close games, each decided by a few seconds difference on the clock, and ultimatively a win for Firefly, who got his hands on the trophies once again (he won a few titles with marcusm much earlier). you can see the tournament was pretty entertaining. Its particularily enjoyable to have a field of strong teams who can compete at a high level instead of only one or two very dominant teams. That, besides the great fun everyone would have, should motivate more strong players from other countries to attend the gathering and the tournament. Levon Aronian, who was visiting the gathering on thursday, said that he would really like to play again next year; maybe he can bring some more celebrity GM's with him? It would also be great to have the masters from Israel, Russia, USA and Australia here to really see which team can take it all. Thats why my wish is that everyone who visited the Berlin gathering, enjoyed it and plans to come back, brings one bughouse friend with her/him to make 2013 even better.