All change at the top of the GP leader-board after last week's 6th event (2 hours of 5 mins + 3 secs Blitz). Pre-tournament favourite - and GP leader - Jude Shearsby had a disastrous evening, limping across the line in 5th position to pick up a measly 10 GP points - his worst return in the series so far. School clearly doesn't agree with him! So my first place was enough to send me back into the GP lead, with a 12 point advantage over Jude.
After making the early running, and still leading as the clock passed 90 minutes (our normal playing session), Joshua eventually finished only third on the night, but remains unchallenged in the same position in the Grand Prix. He probably needs to win both remaining events to have any chance of fighting for first place. Though as he hasn't managed to win any of the previous six, you probably shouldn't bet your (or even his) house on that happening!
But I can already sense the puzzlement of all you Blog readers out there. If I won, with Joshua third and Jude only fifth, who on earth could have come second in April's event? Especially with Lionel once again absent? Remarkably, it was that club Colossus Bernard R, who turned in a performance for the ages - well for the year at least - to secure the runner-up spot on the podium, thanks to a last round 4 point win over Joshua that saw him grab the silver medal position by a single point! A massive GP personal best for Bernard, who started the series off in November by coming a dismal 9th, and had never finished higher than fifth in any previous event. Yet this result has somehow rocketed him up to fourth position in the GP standings!
So the circus moves on to May, when the pace of play will ratchet up several gears as we have a first Bullet event - though with a time control of 2 mins + 1 secs, Jude probably thinks this is way too slow. Relative oldsters like Ben, Bernard and Joshua were all enthusiastic advocates of a bullet event, and faced by such a powerful lobbying group, I had no choice but to let them have their way. But be careful what you wish for, is all I will say to them!