The Paris EGP 20239 September 2023
Written by Carlo Affatigato
When you decide to join an Othello EGP in Paris, you typically know what to expect. Two days in the city center, surrounded by the lively dynamism of a city that never stops. But most of all, a tough tournament, with some of the strongest players in Europe joining from several countries: the French team was obviously solid, with Marc Tastet, Takuji Kashiwabara, Samuel Clinton, Pierre Butin, Marc Bertrandias, and many other top players from one of the countries with the most diverse composition. And the competition also welcomed some presences from the rest of Europe, with Imre Leader coming from the UK, George Ortiz and Elisabetta Vecchi representing Italy, and Carlo Affatigato from Spain.
|It's apparent since the first games that this tournament will present a lot of surprises. There is a group of players that were theoretically destined in the middle part of the standings, but they have all intentions to break expectations, and that leads some of the top players to collect some unexpected losses. At the end of round 3, we see names like Marc Tastet, Pierre Butin, and Binsta Andriani in the second half of the rankings, whereas the first half shows the presence of Carlo Affatigato and Elisabetta Vecchi. Affatigato collects two heavy victories against Takuji Kashiwabara and Marc Tastet in the first two matches, but the most exciting game is the one between Marc Bertrandias and Imre Leader in round 2: Bertrandias will win the game with just one second left, forced to flip ten discs in nine seconds with his last move — a rush of adrenaline!|
Once all players are aware of the general level of the tournament, everybody is aware that every game can be lost. The real battle is in the longer term; the players who stay on top are the ones able to reach more consistency. Day 1 ends with five players tied at the top with 5 points: Clinton, Affatigato, Bertrandias, Leader and Kashiwabara. If they were able to see the future, they would already know: the finals will be made of four of them, and all they need to do is win enough games on day 2.
The only one who will keep the full score on day 2 is Leader, ending the tournament in the first position with 9 points. Kashiwabara is second with 8.5, and his draw is the most fascinating match of the second day: a perfect draw sequence played with Pierre Butin in round 9, a game ended after less than 10 minutes while all other players were just out of the opening.
Therefore, the finals that will decide the winner of the Paris EGP are a classic: Imre Leader vs. Takuji Kashiwabara. Both are able to show an incredible gameplay made of knowledge, experience, and the ability to surprise the opponent when the match requires it. Imre will succeed in winning both finals 41-23, becoming the winner of the Paris tournament and - most likely - of the 2023 EGP in general. The other final for the 3rd and 4th places is played between a pleasant confirmation, Samuel Clinton, and a huge surprise, Carlo Affatigato: Clinton will conquer the third place after a tight battle ended 31-33, with Clinton choosing the same color he already played against Affatigato on day 1 and applying some clever change in the opening.
In the general standings of the 2023 EGP after Paris, we see Imre Leader stably on top with 430 points and Takuji Kashiwabara right under him with 257 points. There is still another appointment planned this year in the fascinating context of Istanbul, and then we'll know who performed bets in 2023 among the players involved in the European Grand Prix.
Standings after round 11:
|1.||Imre LEADER (GBR)||9||828|
|2.||Takuji KASHIWABARA (FRA)||8.5||862|
|3.||Samuel CLINTON (FRA)||8||848|
|Carlo AFFATIGATO (ESP)||8||806|
|5.||Pierre BUTIN (FRA)||7.5||797|
|6.||Marc BERTRANDIAS (FRA)||7||803|
|7.||George ORTIZ (ITA)||6.5||787|
|8.||Marc TASTET (FRA)||6||762|
|10.||Elisabetta VECCHI (ITA)||5||664|
|11.||Bintsa ANDRIANI (FRA)||4.5||704|
|Sandry ANDRIANI (FRA)||4.5||668|
|13.||Remi TASTET (FRA)||4||702|
|14.||Dominique BETIN (FRA)||2||604|
|15.||Karine LOMBARD (FRA)||1.5||509|