Preview: Budapest III
Zhang Shen Jia
Gabriel de Tarragon
Martin Toft Madsen
Yeoh Wee Pin
The top 3 players will receive Vista Ultimate, the next 3 players will receive computer peripherals. Players will be ranked by lowest sum of 5 Intermediate and 5 Expert scores. Unfinished games will be penalised.
Who is Going to Win?
Damien Moore (1, WR4) is the top ranked player but has not made a new record for two years. He has the most sub50 games but suffers from wrist problems and is close to retirement. His scores are consistent rather than fast, and he may have an advantage if faster players struggle to complete games. This is his 4th competition, and he has already won Budapest I.
Stevan Gvozdenovic (2, WR6) is an unknown quality. He has the speed, but struggles to complete games. His stats are unknown and he could easily surprise some of the other players. This will be his first tournament.
Elmar Zimmermann (3, WR7) is consistent and fast, but he has not made a record for six months. Then again, it is hard to set records when you are at the top of the game. Elmar has been keeping quiet about his recent stats, and could easily surprise the competition. However, this will be his first tournament and inexperience may be a disadvantage.
Roman Gammel (4, WR8) has already won Budapest II, and he comes back looking for more. He has posted totals recently that easily beat his sums from previous competitions. His talent is perfectly playing low 3BV games, and his weakness may be 3BV/s. This is his 4th competition.
Zhang Sheng Jia (5, WR9) has stunned the world with his quick improvement, advancing from 59 to 43 in the last six months. Zhang is the hottest player at the moment and a favourite to win...if he arrives. At the moment he is still attempting to obtain a VISA for the competition. Another unknown factor will be consistency...he is fast, but can he finish games? This will be his first tournament.
Manuel Heider (6, WR10) won Vienna II fairly easily and is now in even better form. His only weakness is game completion, but this continues to improve and Vienna opened his eyes to the tactics of live competition. Manuel is still in his prime...and Budapest III appears a prime target.
Gabriel de Tarragon (7, WR12) has potential to win, but struggled at his last competition. His playing consistency is unknown, but he has set new Intermediate and Expert records in the past year. Budapest II may have given him the experience he needs to now prove his skill.
Lukasz Malinowski (8, WR14) is the dark horse of the competition. He retired three years ago, but at that time held the world 3BV/s records and was second only to Lasse Nyholm for total sub50 games. It was widely believed he could have been the first to sub40, but does he still have what it takes? This will be his first competition.
Gyula Pap (9, WR20) and Thomas Kolar (10, WR21) are a study in contrasts. Gyula set his records 5 years ago, while Thomas set most of his records in the past year. Gyula has a degree and is married, Thomas stunned the world by getting his first sub50 at age 15. This will be the 4th tournament for Gyula and 2nd for Thomas. Both consistently sub60 and either could be first to get sub50 at a competition.
Martin Toft Madsen (11, WR25) and Dennis Lütken (12, WR29) are the best the NF players that the world has to offer. They have been dueling at a distance for years, in Budapest we will finally watch them compete side by side. Unfortunately the tournament format penalises their style and they have been on the verge of retirement for a couple of years, finishing few games - terrific games, it has to be said! - per year. In the tournament they will be need to complete at least five Expert games in three hours. What tactic will each one of them choose? Will they play it safe or go for glory? Either way it will be a memorable fight.
Yeoh Wee Pin (13, WR65) is the first ranked female to join a tournament! Can she compete with the men? 2-14-53 is a yes...she will finish higher than her seed.
Christoph Nikolaus (14, WR100) and Jonian Grazhdani (15, WR101) are neck and neck in the rankings. How will they fare against each other? Christoph (5th tournament) is experiencing severe hand problems and having difficulty getting sub80, but on a good day could easily be a force to reckon with. Jonian (2nd tournament) will be seeking to improve his world tournament ranking, but struggles to finish games and might be penalised. Both players will feel the pressure to demonstrate that they are among the best.
Bertie Seyffert (16, WR137) will be fighting for a top 10 spot. Coming all the way from South Africa, he has been long been an active sweeper and has recently achieved his best form and broken his records in the past few weeks, a perfect preparation for his first tournament. Will he be able to handle the pressure?
Robert Farnik (17, WR143) and Jan Farnik (21, WR599) are definitely the best brothers at the competition! Jan joined the rankings this year while Robert has steadily been approaching the top 100. It will be interesting to see them fighting for a top 10 spot. Their real talent is Nonesweeper, which will be contested the following day.
Gergely Nagy (18, WR151) will be fighting to beat Gyula for best Hungarian. Experience may be an advantage: this is his 5th tournament and he has organised 3 of them. He broke his Intermediate record at Vienna II and will be hoping to stay ahead of István, Sándor and Dániel.
István Kricsfalusy (19, WR221), Sándor Balajthy (20, WR332) and Dániel Magyar (24, Unranked) complete the Hungarian contingent. István has been penalised in previous tournament for failing to complete games, but could easily break the top 10 if successful. Dániel nearly broke his records at Budapest I and has had two years to improve. Sándor could be a surprise...this will be his first tournament.
The remaining contestants are Steven Marlow (22, WR672), Omar Belbouche (23, WR679), Erin Cederlind (25, Unranked), Daniel Rowan (26, Unranked) and Lukas Spiegelhofer (27, Unranked). This will be the first competition for each of them, and many will be hoping to join the world rankings. The fight at the bottom may be more interesting than the fight at the top.
6 of the best 10.
9 of the best 20.
11 sub50 players.
23 world ranked players.
This will be the hardest competition to win in Minesweeper history. I will keep my guess for the results secret...