Inga Vigh Pedersen got the better of her long-time boyfriend Hans-Kristian Mathiesen to win the Betfair-sponsored Portuguese Backgammon Open held in Carcavelos in late August. There was success, too, for Betfair online qualfier Gaz Owen who finished in the money when securing second place in the Doubles event alongside his brother.
The Danish pair, who have been a couple for 8 years, living, playing and travelling together, played the final in a competitive and fair manner: no deals and arrangements were done and the final match was a real no holds barred encounter. Eventually, Inga defeated her boyfriend and qualified for the Grand Finale to be held early next year.
The tournament was held for the 7th consecutive year, under the umbrella of World Backgammon Association (WBA) and part of the prestigious Betfair/EBGT 2012 in Carcavelos, on Portugal´s sunny coast near Lisbon.
The dates were changed from June to end of August and it turned out to be the right choice. 28°C, sun, beach, pool and backgammon action during four days. Many players opted to combine backgammon with holidays and stayed for the full week or even longer.
Around 50 players from 18 nations took part. Among them were around 25 Scandinavians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway and they turned the Portuguese Open into a "Nordic Open going South". Wherever you have Vikings as players, you know what to expect. Chouette sessions by the pool, heavy drinking by the bar, non-stop backgammon action and fun.
The new directors, the "French Dynamic Duo", Scarlett Serrero (President of the French Backgammon Federation) and Julie Thabault (member of the Board of the French Backgammon Federation) managed to run a very fine first international event on their own, using the same format, rules and the spirit of the WBA and the rest of the Betfair/EBGT.
Players lined up to compete for money, fame and glory and to collect valuable Master Points for the EBGT Race, in order to qualify for the Grand Finale of the Tour, featuring €20.000 prize-money.
Betfair's online qualifier winner, Gaz Owen (UK), managed to cash in the Doubles event, coming in second place with his brother.
The Point Race couldn´t be any tighter, as 3 stops still remain. While Yalkin Erk from Turkey took the lead by reaching the semi-finals, French Philippe Vouhé is only a point away. Others have caught up and the Grand Finale is within reach of an of the top 20 in the current ranking.
Istanbul is next 14-17 September, Cyprus Open 6-9 December, and Munich Open 24-27 January are the remaining stops of the Tour.
Dates are set for the Portuguese Open 2013 to be 22-25 August and we're all excited to go back for backgammon and fun by the beach.
Warm up your dice, qualify online and start making travel plans to the remaining tournament of the most prestigious of the European series of tournaments.