It's all about that...
Green and Gold
Ideally, I should write these just after the event, when things are fresh in my mind and not almost a week later. So, I must apologise to both the last winner of the BCL Indy, Gavyn Cooper and now Henrik Stepanyan, winner of the VIII BCL Individual, 3+2, weekly, blitz tournament, for poor articles. They deserve at least a decent write-up, their name in lights – even if it is on a newly formed website hardly anyone is likely to visit.
It was a sunny, Saturday afternoon in late May where thirty-six players with an average rating of 1966 met on lichess.org and played, between them, precisely 250 games of chess.
All were there, of course, for the green and the gold. I’m not talking about anything illegal or even particularly valuable, but, rather, the green and the gold that signifies arena points. The green for a win and then the gold for a winning streak. At least, that’s how it looks for me using the lichess.org dark mode. I have dark mode on everything these days. Even the screenwriting software I use (plug for the free and great Scenarist).
Henrik Stepanyan managed two six-win streaks as well as a four-win streak out of nineteen games, ensuring a very comfortable win, fifteen points behind his nearest rival and second-place podium finisher, Ropie, an LSG player who quipped that it must feel different to not have an LSG player win for a change. I’m pretty sure we’ve never had an LSG winner of the individual. However, should more of their players enter, I’m sure that would change. Ropie had a ropey journey and couldn’t quite find his streak swing. A great performance no less!
Third-place podium finisher, Friarnator, also had a great tournament and obtained a handful of green and gold with, at one point, a seven-win streak. He played fewer games but had an excellent 71% win rate.
Chalah, Finlay, and DagdaTheClt were very close behind 3rd place but couldn’t quite do it. Chalah had an amazing no-loss streak at the end. After losing his first four he didn’t lose again for 12 games. He’s been doing great things lately. Finlay and DagdaTheClt both had an over 50% berserk rate as they sought podium finishes with sheer lunacy. Whenever I think of Berserkers, I’m put in mind of the old Celt warriors who would show up naked to fight, or the Scots who would lift their kilts to terrify their opponents before battle. Well, it would make one think.
Last week’s winner, Gavyn Cooper also had a high berserk rate but couldn’t manage better than joint 7th with Phil Zabrocki – himself a podium-contender.
This week though was all about Henrik. Losing only once (to Friarnator), he smashed his way through all of the contenders, proving himself the best player there. A grandmaster without the need of a federation title to prove it. It’s an honour to have him and players like him smashing us to pieces every week. It’s players like him that show us we still have a lot to learn. Long may it continue!