The fourth annual UK Backgammon Open Championship has been hailed a “great success” after it was hosted for the first time at a historic Warwickshire venue.
More than 150 players went head-to-head in the 2017 championships held at Coombe Abbey Hotel – making it the biggest gathering of UK backgammon players for more than 10 years.
Competitors faced off in a number of competitions, or ‘flights’, over the three days, including Masters, Super Jackpot, Advanced and Social Swiss.
Steve Bibby from Widnes came away as winner in the Masters, defeating Brighton-based Yan Kit Chan, a blind player from Hong Kong, in the final.
Other winners included Cristian Cozos in the Advanced flight and Lawrence Powell in the Super Jackpot competition.
It marked the first time the event had been held at the Brinklow-based venue, attracting contestants and spectators from across the UK and from overseas.
This major national tournament was organised by the United Kingdom Backgammon Federation (UKBGF) in collaboration with Tallyho Events.
Fans tuned in from across the globe to follow matches being live streamed on the internet via the official UKBGF Twitch.tv channel.
Peter Bennet, vice-chair of the UKGBF Board and co-director of the UK Open, said: “This year’s tournament at Coombe Abbey was a great success – we attracted 155 players and it was the biggest in the four years since we have been running the event.
“We saw a huge spike in interest with people travelling to play or spectate and, of course, the thousands of viewers who tuned into our live streamed matches from all over the world.
“The historic Coombe Abbey was the perfect venue to host the tournament, the ideal location to play this 5,000-year-old game.
“We’d like to thank everyone at Coombe Abbey for their help in hosting the 2017 Open – and a huge thank you to everyone who took part across the three days.”
Ron Terry, general manager of Coombe Abbey, said: “We were thrilled when Coombe Abbey was chosen to host the UK Backgammon Open and we’re even more delighted that it was such a huge success.
“The competition attracted a large number of players, it has shown tremendous growth in the last four years and we are very excited to have been involved in that.
“We believe that this demonstrates the brilliant versatility of Coombe Abbey as a venue to host a wide range of events to a high standard.”