The first British Othello Junior Champion has been crowned after fighting off competition at the inaugural Championships event hosted by John Adams earlier this year.
Mark Plowman, a 12-year-old student at The King's School in Witney is the first Briton to hold the title. He will now go on to represent Great Britain at the World Othello Championships in Prague on October 9th to 12th.
Plowman was just one of the contenders that competed in the tournament at Trinity College, Cambridge, on September 15th this year, and event that marked the first official British Othello Junior Championships. Each competitor played six head-to-head rounds of the two-player strategy board game, with a 25-minute time limit. The tournament saw board game enthusiasts to absolute beginners taking part, with experts on-hand offering advice in-between games.
The 12 year old was awarded the trophy after winning all five games in the Swiss part of the tournament and the final over the course of the day. He, along with three other players, made it to the final finishing on the same number of points but Plowman took the top place in a tense tie-break – beating his own twin sister.
He will now travel on an all-expenses paid trip to the World Othello Championships in Prague with his father Guy Plowman (a UK Othello player himself) and compete against players from 27 different countries, in the hope of bringing home the coveted World Champion trophy.
He said: “I can’t believe I won the Junior Championships after beating all the other players on the day. I’m a huge fan of Othello and have been playing it for two and a half years with my friends and family.
"We even take the travel version away on holidays. I didn’t think for a second though that I would win and am very excited to travel for the first time to Prague and compete on the world stage. I am going to practice a lot between now and then to ensure I have the best possible chance of winning.”
Lynette Norris, marketing manager at John Adams Leisure Ltd, added: “We were very excited to host the first official British Junior Othello Championships and find our winner to go on and represent Britain in Prague.
"Othello is a firm-favourite family board game having been around for over 40 years. It’s exciting to see a new generation enjoying it and as a result of the tournament four new players have gained the tools and skills needed to set up an Othello club in their own school, which is fantastic. We can’t wait to see how Mark gets on in October – we’ll all be rooting for him.”