Rutger Beijderwellen won the Surbiton Advanced Tournament with eight wins out of 10.
Six World Championship Contenders were among 26 players who enjoyed easy conditions (43% of scores had 'letters') and the usual fine food and drink of Surbiton on Easter Sunday and Monday. In the flexible swiss there were plenty of games for those who wanted them and who played fast enough.
The first day saw Rutger, Mark Avery, James Hopgood, Marcus Evans and a resurgent David Openshaw performing as expected, near the head of the leader board. However, the trophy holder, Samir Patel, initially disappointed and Jamie Burch - not in the Worlds squad - was clearly there for the long game, planning a later peak: possibly to win the Reigate Club Championship later in the season. Having said that, Jamie had the unusual distinction of either winning with a TP or losing to one in all of his nine games by the end of the event.
The sensation of the tournament was not among these names. Sam Murray, a fast improver from the Surbiton Club, needed persuading to enter off his 3 handicap. He won his first three games - becoming the only unbeaten player overnight - then put in a faultless display to beat the manager, so he was then pitched against the best available. David Openshaw beat him, then he lost narrowly to Dick Knapp. In the last game of the tournament Sam played Rutger who put down an SXP, letting Sam in. He went round, Rutger missed the lift and a really major upset was on the cards. Rutger scrambled a win but it needed all his concentration and skill to overcome Sam and hence secure the trophy.
Top three placings:
1. Rutger Beijderwellen 8/10
2. Mark Avery 7/9
3. James Hopgood 6/8