Othello news

The Istanbul 2023 EGP

18 December 2023
Written by Carlo Affatigato

"They've shot a lot of movies in that place!" This is what my friend from Turkey told me when I gave him the location of the 2023 EGP Istanbul, and he was right. While a nicely mixed international community played Othello for two days in a room on the upper floor, a couple of brides were dancing in the main hall, taking pictures, and enjoying the best day of their lives.

It's the first time Turkey has hosted an international Othello tournament. A total of 24 participants, many children bringing a unique passion (It's Rauf Özgen's merit; he's recruiting new players while teaching them the game in schools), and part of the Turkish team who recently joined the World Cup (Erkam Kahvecioglu, Melisa Doymaz, Enis Engin, and Mehmet Yorganci). Plus, of course, the veterans of the European Grand Prix series (Takuji Kashiwabara, Imre Leader and Marc Tastet never miss a chance), a nice return (Claude Brisson, a French player who lives in Istanbul and caught the opportunity to get in touch again with an Othello board), and the extraordinary representation of the Russian team with Alex Zhelezov, who brought his long experience from far away, targeting the first positions of the standings. I was there too, open to any result, curious to see what surprises can happen.

Day 1 went on without huge surprises. Imre Leader and Takuji Kashiwabara lead the standings with six points each (Imre has his loss only with Takuji, Takuji lost his point against Marc Tastet), Marc Tastet and Alex Zhelezov are close after them, and the Turkish team shows off with Okur Beyza, Melisa Doymaz, and Burak Demirsoy right below the top players, mixed with Claude Brisson and Carlo Affatigato, all trying to attack the upper floors of the standings. The surprises started arriving on day 2: Alex lost his first two matches against Marc Tastet and Carlo Affatigato, losing sight of the top positions while the others kept accumulating points. The final standings after 11 rounds have Imre and Takuji both in first position, then Marc Tastet (in great shape after winning the French championship the weekend before), and Carlo Affatigato, again in the top-4 against the expectations. Burak Demirsoy and Alex Zhelezov finish fifth with 7 points.

This time, Takuji dominates the finals with two wins and a draw, winning the tournament. Those following the matches were particularly surprised by the second final, an astonishing draw where they both played a perfect endgame in a complex position, without mistakes.

The third place goes to Marc Tastet, who won 31-33 against Carlo Affatigato in a pretty tough match. With these results, Takuji Kashiwabara wins the 2023 EGP Istanbul, his victory number 27 in an EGP tournament. Imre Leader is the winner of the 2023 EGP series, thanks to his results in Cambridge, Barcelona, and Paris. The tournament ended with the smiling faces of all the children who took the stage at the end of the second day, receiving medals for their promising performances. It has been a lovely way to close 2023: the appointment is now set for 2024, with a new EGP series already in the preparation phase.

The Istanbul EGP 2023 on liveothello

Official European Grand Prix page on WorldOthello: Standings and results

Standings after round 11:

# Name Points MBQ
1. Imre LEADER (GBR) 10 950
  Takuji KASHIWABARA (FRA) 10 898
3. Marc TASTET (FRA) 9 934
4. Carlo AFFATIGATO (ESP) 8 889
5. Burak Nedret DEMIRSOY (TUR) 7 874
  Alex ZHELEZOV (WOF) 7 868
7. Claude BRISSON (FRA) 6 865
  Ismail YALTURAK (TUR) 6 739
  Beyza OKUR (TUR) 6 736
  Erkam KAHVECIOGLU (TUR) 6 707
  Elif OZCELIK (TUR) 6 660
12. Melisa DOYMAZ (TUR) 5.5 773
  Mesut ISIK (TUR) 5.5 676
14. Mehmet YORGANCI (TUR) 5 771
  Enis ENGIN (TUR) 5 722
  Omer Faruk AGLAMAZ (TUR) 5 711
  Aybuke ISIK (TUR) 5 675
  Defne UZUN (TUR) 5 769
  Mehmet TOKAT (TUR) 5 600
20. Yasin TOKAT (TUR) 3 560
21. Ruzgar Burhan YALCIN (TUR) 2 500
  Gunes Deren OZGEN (TUR) 2 468
  Nehir AKKUS (TUR) 2 456
24. Derya SARIKAYA (TUR) 1 459