Poland’s Maciej Brzeski
is once again victorious in online competition as he defends his Grand Prix Championship
title. Maciej’s winning score of 474 comprised of Golds in Lines of Action and Chess Variants along with Silver in Chess 10+5 and Patchwork. He rounded out his score with a solid 7th place Catan result to finish 31 points clear of his nearest challenger, James Heppell. England’s James takes home the Silver medal with a score of 442. James won the Omaha Poker and supported that with strong finishes in Kingdomino, Lines of Action, Texas Holdem and Chess. Fellow Englishman Matt Tucker claims Bronze with his score of 432. Matt only achieved one Bronze medal in Premier tournaments however he demonstrated the importance of consistency with several top 5 finishes to build his competitive score.
Hong Kong’s Yat Hin Yorkson Cheung has won the Abstract category with four Golds in Go 9×9, Quarto, Icebreaker and Fractal. He finished with an impressive score of 475, some 28 points clear of his compatriot Carman Tang, who came out ahead in a tight battle for second – Yuki Shibata of Japan was only 3 points further back, and 2 points ahead of fourth.
Denis-George Constantin finished strongly in the Backgammon category to take the top spot in a category that saw the lead change hands after almost every event. The Romanian won Silvers in 7pt Classic and Nackgammon and put together the most consistent performance to finish 47 points clear of compatriot Cristian Frisk. Austria’s Sandu Toader Mihai was third despite only competing in four events.
Maciej Brzeski also takes home the Gold medal for the Chess category, having won 4 Chess tournaments to finish up on 479 points and retain the championship. North Macedonia’s Zoran Kuzmanoski led the category until the final week and finished on 467 points. Zoran won an impressive 9 medals, including 1 Gold. Italy’s Riccardo Gueci was third in the category, and won the prestigious Chess 10+5 event.
Mantas Janavicius secured the Draughts category Gold before the final event, with the Lithuanian finishing up 43 points clear of his rivals as he was able to count five Golds in his score of 474! Mantas improves on his second place finish from 2022. Uganda’s Olunya Richard Nyero takes the category Silver after picking up 4 event medals. Sergey Kuropatov wins the Bronze after improving his score on the final day to just shy of 400.
Nicolas Wittmann secured a French victory in the Imperfect Information category, overtaking Matt Tucker in the final week thanks to five medals, including Golds in Alhambra and Barenpark. Nicolas was the Grand Prix’s Multiplayer winner last year and has shown great versatility to take another crown with a score of 450. Matt, who is the 2022 Olympiad champion for Imperfect Information, was the long time category leader, but needed a final weekend Bronze in Azul to secure him Silver in the category. Raphael Tse of Hong Kong was just 5 points adrift and takes the category Bronze with a win in Number Drop proving crucial.
The Multiplayer category was dominated by players representing Hong Kong and had some dramatic late changes at the top. Tung Yat Cheng‘s final day Silver in Castles of Burgundy was enough to put him back on top by less than 1 point from Terry Chan who had previously taken the lead in the category with the Gold in the final weekend’s Takenoko event. Tung counted four Golds in Lost Ruins of Arnak, Great Western Trail, Marco Polo and Tzolk’in to take him one better than his Silver in 2022 Grand Prix’s Multiplayer category. Raphael Tse picked up another category Bronze and rounded out an all Hong Kong podium.
Northern Ireland’s Ben Collister won the Poker Championship jumping all the way from 5th to 1st on the final weekend. He beat out Romania’s Florin Popa by the narrowest of margins – just 0.10 points to retain his title. Ben utilised a second place finish in 2-7 Triple Draw and a final table finish in Texas Holdem to retain his Grand Prix title. Kazushi Kusano takes Bronze for Japan, having played in a phenomenal 60/114 Grand Prix events across all categories.
The battle for top spot in the Nations medal table was a hot topic of conversation throughout the Grand Prix and it finishes with Hong Kong in top spot with 15 Golds, and a high of 45 medals in total! Italy fought them to the last day finishing with 12 Golds, with Great Britain just one Gold further back. Overall 47 countries from 6 continents recorded medals including 33 different countries winning a Gold medal.