The Challengers' League is the penultimate event in the Championship cycle. With Matthew Macfadyen in retirement, there is a new sense of interest in who will win take the title this year - it will definitely be a new name on the trophy.
Eight of the UK's finest players descended on the Nippon Club, London from June 1st to 4th, for the all play all event. In first place, with 6 wins from 7, was Andrew 'the Great Destroyer' Kay. There was nearly a 4 way tie-break for second place, but cream rises to the top, and Nick 'Slowhand' Krempel, played his way to a 5th win, taking outright second.
These two will now meet in the best-of-three Title Match, which will be relayed via KGS. Watch out for more detailed announcements when plans have been finalised. With a mighty 10 titles currently in his possession, Kay must be seen as favourite over last year's defeated finalist, Krempel.
Many thanks are due to Kiyohiko Tanaka, Rippei Hayashi and the Nippon Club for hosting, and Michael Webster and Alistair Wall for sharing the refereeing duties with Jenny Radcliffe.
Thanks to Ian Davis for some of this report