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Are we #2 or #1 in the UK?

Our regular playing year has ended - 3,198 matches after we started. That makes us the second biggest club by matches reported on UKBGF in 2023, quite an achievement in itself and a reflection of both the number of different players (131 apparently) and the number of repeat visits we've had from a loyal core of players.

But this year has been much more than just quantity - there's been fantastic quality as well. Do you remember visits in April by Michy and in July by Kazuki Yokota and celebrating the launch of Mochy and Marc Olsen's book with Alec Barr who authored it?

We also celebrated the arrival of our very own club boards after much designing and colour selecting, led by Kate Burness and Gavin Anderson. The one pictured seems to be a favourite colour with many players, but all 6 are doing a great job for us, meaning fewer players need to bring a board along and adding a unique feel to BGiE.

Talking of unique - which other club do you go to that has a checker play or cubing problem to solve as a warm-up before play starts? Gavin Anderson has steered us through 27 carefully selected challenges this year, all of which are also available for review on the Solve page of our website. (you're on it right now, reading this) launched in March this year, beautifully themed and designed by Valérie Hayes - it's become our one-stop window on the world explaining who we are, enabling sign up to our tournaments and providing weekly updates via our blog, to mention just a few features.

Our trusted partner and great friend Alfie Kirkpatrick and his website have made our tournament management and recording of results so simple. We couldn't operate the way we do without him, so please support his end of year online tournament coming up on Thursday 14 December at 7 pm.

Most of all though, we've had a huge amount of fun - just think of the monthly grand prix nights, the club head to heads (vs St Albans, Wanstead and Twickenham), the clubs championship in May, our annual 1 day tournament just a couple of weeks ago - and all the regular Monday club nights.

Which brings us to the results for this Monday's play - congratulations to Petar Vidovic for winning the 8 player knockout and to Jonathan Shaul, Valérie Hayes and Henry Keane for winning the 3 Swiss tournaments.

These results mean Jonathan Shaul tops the UKBGF ladder for the club for the year and Tariq Siddiqi achieves the remarkable double of topping both the grand prix leaderboard and the club leaderboard - a fantastic achievement! There will be a further blog explaining the detail of the final positions in the rankings for the numbers 'nerds' shortly.

And so back to the original question - is BGiE #2 or #1 in the UK? What do you think?

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