Charis writes "
Once again this year I travelled to the UK Open in Bolton - better
at Horwich Parkway near Bolton. The weather was outstanding - warm, blue sky,
sunshine. I never had better weather here!
But the weather had a big disadvantage too - in the Reebok
stadium it was even warmer then usually, it was disagreeable warm and the hugh
number of spectators made it even warmer. It was crowded more crowded then the
last years I felt and it was almost impossible to really follow the matches.
Only the matches on the main stage could be seen from every where. It would
have been important to secure yourself a place in front on one of the boards
but I was too late for this and only was able to follow the Preliminary Round
matches of Bernd Roith and Maik Langendorf from row 5 or six. Both had no
problems at all and were cheered by several German fans. I fought my way
further on to watch Tomas Seyler who played not successful at all against
Jason Wilson. Beside I followed the close match between Conan Whitehead and
Roland Scholten on the main stage and saw how James Wade on one of the
neighbouring got an easy win against his first round opponent.
Langendorf - another German Player - after that looked quite dominant
against BDO player Gary Stone, who was shaking his head all the time because of
his performance. Might be he had to fight the same problems as Tomas Seyler. As
he told me he was really distracted by all the noise, the heat and the lights.
Beside he only reached his board just in time - it's not easy to find there in
the venue - the UK Open are no easy tournament for the players especially when
you are a debutant.
When I returned Phil Taylor played his match against Kevin Dowling on the main
stage - quite a one-sided affair. All German/Austrian players with the
exception of Jyhan Artut were already out of the tournament - Artut won his
second round match against Scott Coleman. I stayed at the boards five to eight
because those were not as crowded as the rest and saw wins by John Henderson,
Jelle Klaasen and Terry Temple.
After all those matches I escaped to the press room to do
some updates - that's a lot of work and needs some concentration on the first
evening of the UK Open.
After the first evening 28 of 32
amateur qualifiers were out of the tournament. I didn't see many upsets - might
be the early elimination of Dutchman Vincent van der Voort who really is out of
form at the moment. Other players like John Henderson, Kevin McDine, Ted
Hankey and Dennis Smith seem to regain some form. Something special in this
year's tournament is that we've got three pairs of brothers in the event: Joey
and Lee Palfreyman, Tony and Steve West and Ronny and Kim Huybrechts. While
both Palfreymans survived the first evening and the Huybrechts will only start
their tournament in round three. Tony West fell victim to Jake Pennington in
first round and was revenged in round two by his brother.