Christmas Handicap

The SECOND Christmas Handicap of 2022 took place last Friday, 9th December, the first having been delayed from last year into this due to Covid. And we are getting back to pre-pandemic attendee numbers with a very healthy 21 competitors. The event was played in the Pinewood Centre Bar & Cafe in our usual Thursday night spot, although rather more of us than usual and certainly more Christmas jumpers. (No onesies this year, unfortunately.)

Given the number of players, we had three groups in the group stage, and played to 12.5 minutes instead of the usual 10 or 15 minutes. This worked out about right, finishing as we did around 11pm.

Coming top of group 1 was Shree, closely followed by her sister Saachi and friend Csilla. The three girls between them scored an impressive 14 from 18 – and bear in mind that, allowing for games between themselves, the maximum they could have scored was 15.

Mat was the standout star of the second group with 5 from 6, just a whisker in front of an on-form Louise.

In group 3 Ashton romped home, winning all 6 games, and finishing two points ahead of nearest rivals Christine and Colin.

Ashton continued to power through to meet Louise in the semi-final, at which point we had our first draw in the tournament – and second, third and fourth, before Ashton finally won and went on to meet Shree in the final. In the final game Shree started well but Ashton slowly gained the advantage and eventually won the game.

So, well done Ashton, a new name on the trophy. Well played Shree, your turn will come.

Meanwhile, competing for the wooden spoon was myself and James. James was playing his first speed handicap, and it showed – he actually THOUGHT about his moves and thus was doomed to lose on time, but thereby won a wooden spoon and the customary bottle of wine (although he wisely chose to swap it for a pint of Old Crafty Hen).

All-in-all, a fine 35th Christmas Speed Handicap. Thanks to everyone for playing.