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10.12.2019 : 20:31 : +0100


Saturday's pictures and notes

part 1 - by Zola

The Berlin bughouse gathering is a fixture for lots of european bughouse players and so is the tournament on saturday. Since quite some time the gatherers reside at the hotel Bogota, but this year, the tournament took also place there for the first time.

But it's not really the tournament that makes us come every year again 
to Berlin, it's, meeting all the bughouse enthusiasts, and besides 
bugging day and night also going out for dinner, discussing and 
enjoying ourselves.
Pic 1: The playing hall was nice, although I think it can not hold up with the projected growth in the next years. Thanks for the hotel Bogota for tolerating that noisy stuff and helping us.

Pic 2: The czech always come in a big group. Here, we have Alamar and Wir. Alamar has (as has Skacz) a systematic approach and is very versatile. This contrasts with Wir, who plays for entertainement, always looking for the killing attack. They had lots of fun and Alamar  was laughing heartily. But I am still trying to figure out why (I have  to go to Pardubice to learn czech one day).

In the background, we see Prestin and Kaul, the youngest team. It's  hard for young teams to play in Berlin as they mostly lack experience.  At times they seemed a little bit depressed by the beating. But it was  very nice to see how they enjoyed the tournament anyway. And their 
eyes were glowing when they got their prize for the youngest team.

Pic 3: Another big group is the dutch. Cranith and Wortel discuss here  with MessyEmy who came from the US for the Berlin gathering. She is a  very quiet person with an attacking style in bughouse. Being a piano  student, she showed her class by giving several small performances to  us. For the tournament, MessyEmy partnered up with Wortel who always 
tries to take his opponents pieces (usually with a big "slurp").

Pic 4: Another german team: Yurij from Novosibirsk State University,  now working as a PhD student on accelerator designs (quite similar to  what Ishamael is doing) with his german partner Bjoern. Both were calm  and playing steadily.

Pic 5: Here, everyone is watching the pairings. We see andreufm from  Spain and Architekt from Baerli and Architekt who were able to defend  their title as strongest german team.

Pic 6: Jstriker from Greece is discussing with andreufm, drinkeh and  phuzer, two bughouse players from Belgium. Jstriker is involved in a  lot of hot-blooded discussions in online bughouse, but here, he was  maybe the player with the most relaxed bughouse style. He was also  doing lots of sightseeing in Berlin.

Pic 7: Maras with rezacz playing against Skacz and Fermy.

Pic 8: Skacz talking to his partner Fermy. Skacz is a very passionate  bughouse player who helps a lot to promote bughouse in his native  country, the Czech republic. His energy is sometimes a little bit  irritating and hides his interesting and considerate personality.

Pic 9: Team Jstriker and andreufm watching the game with enjoyment.

Pic 10: Andreufm is one of a lot of mathematics and physics nerds, reminding us of Maxwell's equations.

Pic 11: Masacre and venomous, always teasing each other but teaming up  regularly.

Pic 12: Nisskbb, who won the tournament with LinusO five times. This  year, LinusO couldnt make it because of work commitments and was  replaced by another strong bughouse player (and Berlin and Geneva  regular), Ishamael. They played very fine bughouse and lost the final 
by a very small margin.

It was a very nice gathering and I would like to thank Marv and  Jadranka, the organizers of the gathering, always taking care of the  disorganized bunch of bughouse players. The put an enormous amount of  time and energy into.

They were supported by Suza and Sven from Emrald consulting (who also  contributed some money). Suza did the administration with Marv and  Jadranka and Sven was running the tournament smoothly like every year  with Ralf helping here and there.

Thanks again also to the people at the hotel Bogota (the winning team  gets free accommodation!) for their help and tolerance.

I also want to thank my partner Renevanlent, who came with his family  from Malta. It was very nice to play with him, he was easy going and  we didnt bother about our mistakes, only enjoying the game. We only  narrowly missed the A finals.

Thank you everyone.  I am looking to meet you again in Geneva this  year and of course next year at the same place.

The Berlin Chronicles

Cranith and Firefly (all pictures from saturdays' tournament)
Wortel checking MessyEmy's board (it was a mess)
Zakrzutek and Kiboplaying. Zakrzutek seems to think "Ok now you really wanted this, now see how you get us out of it" while Kibo basically thinks along these lines: "OMG...WTF!"
RezaCZ and Maras
Alamar and Wir, having fun
Gallien and Tiberius, a talented local team
FantasticCat and Horkko, an unlikely but stable and surprisingly harmonic team
drinkeh and phuzer, representing belgium

by JStriker

Chronicle one: Arriving, General Impressions


  After the somewhat depressing icons of East Berlin soviet-era blocks of flats at  Thursday evening at around 07 pm, which I saw from the train, I finally arrived to Charlottenburg...


   First people there, drinkeh and phuzer, exiting the hotel front door as I arrived. They had  not seen me before,  so they gave me that "now that should be a bugger-otherwise- what-the heck-is-he-doing-at-this-hotel-this-very-evening" look, but I was too tired to introduce myself at that time,so I just passed infront of them and went on to the hotel.


   Later the same night I met along with them most of the guys, Firefly, masacre, Marv, renevanlent, wortel, Cat, horkko, etc... Firefly was the first to introduce himself to me. The czechs had not arrived yet though, I think. Afterwards on FICS I was informed rln was there too, earlier that night, but obviously he was phear to show himself later :-p


   El cabron espanol, aka my tourney partner, had not arrived yet either, though I saw him later standing over my head like a ghost, being too shy to introduce himself! (Or maybe he was watching my game to learn...)


   Tuesday evening was a full bugging occasion, and so were pretty much the other mornings and evenings.... Changed partners, played with/vs good teams. I have to say wortel and Ishamael do not play online much, nor have high ratings, but they are certainly better over the board, very solid.


Now that I think of it, in Berlin, I did not eat a single Wurst, instead went to a vietnamese- where around 20 people took Marvs suggestion for number 14 on the menu btw- :-P ,an indian,-with everything carry-ed pretty good- an american- where england lost to italy- drank only one or two beers, greece lost to germany...hmm.. Some things need to be fixed next time! Just kidding- apart from the football, ofc!


Local team Bärli and Architekt, who improved a lot over the years and soon will be contending for the playoffs
Farbmann and Tscheuschner, another local team
Zola and ReneVanLent
Kaul and Prestin, the youngest team playing. Here things seem to be more or less okay, but more drama was on the horizon...
Cosinus and RalfiZoller. Friends and partners since 1870
A lot of people watching the last game of the round, Maras vs. Bjoern.
Another picture of Baerli / Architekt

 Chronicle Two: Tourney impressions

 by JStriker

    As far as I can tell, things were neatly organized... tourney was time consuming, in the sense that we had to make everything happen in one day, 9 rounds swiss, 8 teams proceed, quarter finals, semi-finals, small/big final... I somehow was under the wrong impression that I could go sightseeing Saturday morning, but tourney started at 11.00 and went on till late evening, with a small lunch break.

Bonus: a fortune cookie! Taken from the lovely second floor living room....

   Not so many teams maybe (I was informed the previous years it has been more - maybe up to 30) but certainly strong teams out there, atleast 10 teams fighting seriously for a good spot.

    We beat the youngest german team for a 4-0 to boost our ego, then went up drawing every team for the next 3 rounds...

   Highlight game that I am especially proud of: First game in the swiss system vs Maras/rezacz, after the break, me and andreu were both upstairs for a few minutes, only to discover Marv had started the clocks... (duh germans and punctuality!) We won that game, despite being 1 + minute down both boards vs a 2300 team! (later we won all other 3 games for a 4-0!) <3 the mating attack vs Maras that game, andreu!

    I respect tournament rules of course, did not complain and played instead... But it felt a bit bitter at the time, and I still think they could wait idk, up to 5 minutes?! Obviously we werent both running away! Official, but still amateur-ish tournament the way I see it, not like money was on the line... props to maras and rezacz, true gentlemen, obviously they had not complained about us being late.

    We were placed 5th after the swiss, losing only to Firefly/Cranith and Nils/Ishamael, then played Maras+rezacz some ecxiting series, having an edge of even 4-1, lost some in the progress and finally won 7-5 after some good attacks by the spanish armada (<3!)

Then we lost 7-3 to Nils/Ishamael, fought decently though, I guess.

    Marv suggested to play first to five instead of first to seven at the 3rd place match,  or it would take too long, nobody argued, so in another close match we beat veno/masacre, oops, sorry, arnoud/lars! 5-4 to the 3rd place.

    Generally people played tough and well, I read what Marv wrote about hidden pieces, I dont think it was such a big problem though... I might have been subconsciously "playing" with my extra pieces, so at times opp wouldnt see all, but after a simple opp question I immediately showed. I dont know what other people did, but did not hear any such complaint becoming a serious issue this year.

Oh, quick comment about the prizes: (not to be misunderstood because we got third place, it has nothing to do with who was in the prizes...I came for the gathering/socializing/experience mostly)

   It felt weird that first german team got cups, B finals winners got cups, they even had a prize for first Berlin team and youngest team I think... And second-third place in the main Tournament got a piece of paper only. Imho, they should have atleast medals or something... Youngest team prize is promotion, I get it. First german team, reasonable. First Berlin team was too much (I think they were the same guys anyways), because they tend to be rather insignificant. (still the german only prizes would make much more sense if there were say 10 german teams playing, here it was no more than 3-so guaranteed prize for someone)  But still second main tourney team who are obviously a very strong team get a piece of paper, and first german team or B-finals get cups. It just seemed weird... My point is 2nd and 3rd place of the main tournament are first in line (after 1st place) for an award, in terms of their accomplishment, if the organizers decide to make another 4 prize positions.

-> again, the previous have been said with all the good intentions and has nothing to do with my team ending up 3rd...


The Berlin Chronicles

 Chronicle Three: Infamous Quotes

 by JStriker


-"Fix your pieces, in your own time please!"

(venomous, various occasions in casual games :-p)


-"Can I ask you a stupid question? If you're all dutch, why do you speak english?!"

 (venomous, watching masacre, wortel, Ishamael and Cranith playing Metropolis, a card game, around 2 am)


-"Ok, lets go, we HAVE to play Metropolis!"

 (wortel, after Saturday breakfast)


-"With your everlasting energy, you set an example for other people".


(my fortune cookie)


-"Oh, no, you dont wanna do that, not when shes here!"

 (Marv, to me, after touching the piano at the restaurant, in the presence of Messy Emy)


 -"Pion! Pion,pion,pion!!"


(belgian folk song...errr...cry for pawns!.. casual games, by drinkeh and phuzer)



 (old cry, originated in the dutch mountains, but later adopted by spanish individuals, when they have superior positions in bughouse)



-"I think I might have missed some mates there..."

-"You missed a lot of mates there!"

 (me and nils, at a game where I had 3 doubled rooks on the f file, he had 2 rooks at the 7th rank and his king was being chased back and forth 6th 7th 8th ranks, but mate seemed a bit confusing at the time, and I got flagged by a 2 sec difference :-( oh well...I hadnt realized time was so low. )


-"He is like a bot, he probably studied every opening till move...15?!"

-"hmm... I guess thats right!"

 (me-firefly at a casual discussion, with andreu watching, inbetween tourney rounds)


 "Ok, so I'm dead, I sit, you mate him, ok??!"

 (wortel to messy emy in a game where  she obviously could not touch me in any way)


-"Oh no, no, you can't go there, its for players only!"

 (surprised Jadranka, not letting me passing the barrier to the semi-finals when I was playing Nils :-)) After some seconds she realized in terror we were the qualified team and apologized!) (Note from the editor: i tried to kick out venomous from the game for 3rd place as well!)


-"Soo.. How fast are you over the board?!"

 (Cranith, with a puzzled look, checking me out as his part, at a game that seemed likely to be de decided on time...)


 -"I remember you, you had the same plate as last year! I remember all!"

 (mahatma-ghandi like waiter with lots of golden chains and rings, at the indian restaurant, to wortel-Apparently he doesnt go unnoticed!)


-"Why you ask him, don't you see he's got the sunglasses on already?"

 (Sunday breakfast, drinkeh to andreu, who was asking me whether I was going to play the second tourament organized by skacz-Sorry skacz, I was going to do some sightseeing that day!)


-"Well, I cant know what you need!" (with perfect english accent)


(FantasticCat, after seeing me holding my head in disappointment pointing out the fact he had traded half the board that game, when I was sitting opposite to Marv. Indeed I had not spoken but I thought it was self explanatory, that one!:-P) 


"Woo...sacksitter, you are a sacksitter... He is a sacksitter!!" * hands around the mouth*

 (andreufm, in a failed 3rd grade attempt to make me feel guilty for beating him, even with sitting for a couple more pieces...)


 -"Hey horkko, that was... Illegal move!"


(masacre towards horkko, at the italian restaurant, when apparently evil horkko had eaten my poor partner's spaghetti - one of the reasons we did not make first place!-). Andreu insisted on the bolognese, although a delicious carbonara made about 3 rounds over his head by the cunning italian waiter, so he waited maybe another half hour. 




  Ok is is too much?! Thanks dear reader, for having reached to this point! Great to meet you all in Berlin, strong tournament and nice casual games, hope to be there again next year, if possible, and hopefully I'll play/talk more with people that I did not have the chance this time!