New Year's Honours List
Happy New Year! With the turn of the year, it's awards time, so
Wayne Kelly rounds up the award winners for 2019,
covering titles awarded, highest rated player, most improved player,
prospects for 2020 and a few other stats too!
Firstly, many thanks to Mike Whiteoak and Rachel Bingham for their
parts in the maintenance of the ever-improving ratings database - I do
wonder how we ever managed without it! This is my last year as Titles
Registrar as Chris Hawkins will be handling the title data and updating the
sheets, however I shall still announce the new titleholders and winners
of other awards going forward - many thanks to Chris for taking over
the nitty-gritty work!
At the start of the year, I saw the potential for one new GM (Grand
Master) and one Expert and I am glad to announce that both have clinched
Congratulations to both Dave and Rafal, who have been added to the
Titles & Awards page, along
with all the other award winners for the year.
Looking ahead to this time next year, there are no potential GM awards, but there
is one prospect for Expert status:
One other may have a chance but would need to do better than their current Personal Best.
Only one person made their first foray into the 170+ ratings for the year: Olaiya Kabir (182)
The Highest Rated Player Award is given to the highest rated ABSP Member
on January 1st of each year, provided that they have played at least
30 games in the previous year. The 2019 winner is ...
David Eldar (205) and Nigel Richards (204) had higher ratings, but were not members.
The Most Improved Player award is given to the ABSP member at year
end who had a full rating at the start of the calendar year, played at
least 30 games throughout the year and improves their rating the most.
The player's rating at the end of the year must be higher than any
previous end-of-year full rating. And the winner is ...
Joseph has put a lot of effort into his game this year and has played
up numerous times, taking the bull by the horns. The race to Most
Improved Player was most surely a two-horse race and commiserations go
to Rory Kemp for his impressive improvement of 33 from
90 to 123. Joseph pipped Rory during the final Ilford event. It is
great to see youth players - and young players in general - achieve
Four other players met the criteria for this award of improving by at least
Richard Spencer (+21, 120 → 141);
Angie Brodie (+18, 110 → 128);
Reuben Moisey (+17, 80 → 97);
Paul Thomson (+15, 144 → 159)
Most games played:
Most games played - Colin Nicol (627)
Most prolific GM - Wayne Kelly (338)
Most prolific Expert - Simon Gillam (317)
Unweighted ratings for those with a rating over 150 plus
details of highest games scores for 2019 can be found on the ABSP
Well done to all the winners - and those that missed out - keep trying!
Last updated: 16 January 2020
Ed Martin wins the UK Open
Ed Martin wrapped up victory in the first major of the new decade
with a win against Calum Edwards in the penultimate round to put him
clear of the field with one game to go.
This is Ed's fourth major UK
championship and his first since the 2018
Ed started the tournament strongly, winning his first 14 games before
suffering his first loss. He finished with 23 wins out of the 30,
and a spread of +1440.
Rik Kennedy (21-9, +1361) had a storming tournament as he defeated
defending champion and pre-tournament favourite Nigel Richards four times
out of five over the course of the tournament, including three in a row
in the final three rounds to take 2nd place. Nigel finished in 3rd place
(20-10, +1696) just ahead of Calum Edwards (20-10, +1159) on spread.
Kwaku Sapong won division B with a 22-8, +1480 record, ahead of Paul
Cousins (20-10, +613) and Ian Coventry (19-11, +527) Kwaku had built
up a 735 point spread advantage over Paul to put the result beyond doubt
before the final round. Paul was seeded 15 in a division of 18 players,
so second place is a tremendous achievement.
Adrian Bailey finished top of division C, with a 22-8 +1744 record,
outperforming his initial seeding of 10. Angie Brodie (20-10, +1096)
edged out Syd Berger (20-10, +478) for second place in an exciting tight
finish where the places were up for grabs right until the final round.
The "Lucky Stiffs" and "Tuff Luck" leaderboards from the tournament
(link at the end of this article) are a bit of fun. One unlucky player
stands out, however, as Kadda Mohamed finished in 5th place in division
C despite having suffered three losses by a single point!
Full results: UK
Last updated: 5 January 2020
UK Open Preview
The first major of the year is already upon us just a couple of days
after New Year's Day. Chris Hawkins previews this year's event for us.
This weekend sees Len and Linda Moir's 13th staging of one of, if
not the richest UK event, the UK Open. Once more, the hot favourite is
Nigel Richards looking to win it for the 11th time, and the 5th time in
succession (if you don’t count 2015 when he didn’t enter, in fact
he has won it 9 times in a row in the years he has entered).
Looking to stop him are, amongst others, Ed Martin, Paul Allan
(who won in 2015 in Nigel's absence), Natalie Zolty (who finished
second to him in last year’s Warmup event), Wayne Kelly and Bob Linn,
all 180+ players themselves. There are plenty of others in attendance
who will also be out to give him a run for his money, including Theresa
Camilleri, who has beaten him 5 times (in 21 attempts) at this event
in previous years, Calum Edwards (2 wins out of 8), Steve Perry (5 wins
out of 22) and most infamously of all, Mick Healy who has a 100% record
against Nigel at the UK Open (2 wins out of 2).
Nigel has won 452 and lost 105 of his 557 games at the UK Open (including,
Warmup and Final Fling events) and his best tourney average score was in
2017 when he averaged 490.3 across 30 games on his way to pipping Austin
Shin to the title (24-6 to Austin's 25-5). His all time average for
all his Main Event appearances is 469.7.
You will be able to follow the event round by round from tomorrow,
the appropriate links will be shared as soon as they are known.
Last updated: 3 January 2020
2019 News Archive
Click on the title of this article to access the news archive for the year.
All news article headings are now links to the full news article.
Last updated: 31 December 2019
WESPA Rules Update to version 4
An updated version of the WESPA rules will come into effect from 1st January 2020.
Since the ABSP automatically adopts new versions of the WESPA rules,
this means that the 2020 UK Open will be the first ABSP-rated tournament
to use these rules, although as always there could be league games or
similar taking place prior to that.
The WESPA rules committee, led by Jessica Pratesi, has produced the
updated document, together with the summary of the changes between
version 3 and version 4:
These links are also on the ABSP publications page.
If you have any feedback on the changes, please share this with our
WESPA rep Peter Thorpe or WESPA rules committee directly if you prefer.
Last updated: 31 December 2019