Filled with the best memories and emotions, the participants of the 23rd Stratego World Championship 2022, organized in Kalavryta, left. This specific event was described by everyone with the best words, being by far the most impressive and well-organised event ever held.
The main organizational responsibility of the World Championship was the club of Patras Stratego Team and it was supported by the Municipality of Kalavryta, the Region of Western Greece, as it was also under the auspices of the Greece 2021 committee.
For the Greek colors, Gerasimos Karelas won the first place in the main competition category of Senior, leaving behind him all the great names of the sport. At the same time, he won the bronze medal in the Barrage category. Nikos Kouvatsos in his reappearance won the first place in the Open WC Kalavryta 1821 and the Greek team the third place in the category of national teams. In the Junior category, Evangelia Arkoumani stood out in third place, Ermis Metaxas-Mariatos in second and Faidon Kougiemitros won the gold.
The championship took place in the Stone Municipal building (Petrino), in a beautiful room that was designed with the best aesthetic and competitive conditions. The curtain on the games opened with the Barrage class, a class characterized by fast progression as the contestants use 8 pawns each. The specific category was dedicated to Giorgos Saripapas, an important member of the Greek stratego community from Skydra, who recently passed away. The first gold medal of the games went to world number one Pim Niemeijer of the Netherlands. Dennis Baas, also from the Netherlands, was second, while Gerasimos Karelas was third.
The spectacular event opened with the Philharmonic of the Municipality of Kalavryta, who “raised” the audience from the start with original arrangements of well-known musical pieces. The young Philharmonic artists were coordinated by the excellent conductor Giorgos Bambarakos. The baton was taken by the dance program that took us dancing to the regions of Greece that were liberated after the Greek Revolution of 1821 and even the “lost homelands” of Asia Minor. The dancers of the cultural club Skepasto together with dancers of the Municipality of Patras, under the guidance of Christos Giannopoulos, captivated the audience with their perfect figures and impressive costumes.
Afterwards, the sport of Stratego was presented, as well as the rich program of the World Championship with a smoothness as befits the organization by the well-known journalists Christina Vaggali and Dimitris Sarris. Brief greetings were given by the representative of the Bishop of Kalavryta and Aegialia and the deputy regional governor of Western Greece, Andreas Filias.
Andr. Filias: “It is an event that began to be prepared three years ago and the Western Greece Region supported it from the first moment through the collaboration with the club of Patras Stratego Team. Stratego is a sport that deals with the sharpening of the mind and this in itself is important to engage in from young children to older people”
The first three winners of the Barrage category took to the stage for their awards. Afterwards, the president of Patras Stratego Team, Giorgos Trypanagnostopoulos, greeted and announced the start of the games.
G. Trypanagnostopoulos: “We made a great effort with the aim of organizing a tournament that includes all the elements for a complete experience, beyond the high level in the competitive aspect”
Closing the Opening Ceremony was undertaken by the dynamic group Trix, consisting of Vasiliki Sideri, Giorgos Malamis and Pedro Mendes who enchanted the audience with their wonderful sounds.
The continuation of the competition concerned the main Senior category, where the best players in the world took part. From the first round, it seemed that something important was being prepared for the Greek colors, since the Patras’ player Panagiotis Dimakopoulos got a great draw from the 4-time world champion and first in scoring in the world ranking Pim Niemeijer. Afterwards, Gerasimos Karelas also started to perform at an excellent level, where the initial surprise became a consolidation in the first positions of the ranking. Gerasimos Karelas is 16 years old and has been in the Patras Stratego Team since the age of 9.
Based on the results of the first day of the Senior, all the ranking positions were open and an exciting finale was expected on the second day. Something that was confirmed, along with the joy for Greece that Gerasimos conquered the top enjoying the absolute respect and appreciation of all the participants.
Max Roelofs came second and third place and bronze went to Anjo Travaille. Characteristic of the high competition was that from third to seventh place there were former world champions such as Anjo Travaille, Tim Slagboom, Pim Niemeijer and Stavros Sekertzis.
The final day of competition involved the national team categories, the Junior category and the Open Kalavryta 1821 using special edition pawns dedicated to the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Our national team was represented by four best individual players (Senior), namely Gerasimos Karelas from Patras Stratego Team, Stavros Sekertzis from Thessaloniki Stratego Club, Andreas Savvanis from Patras Stratego Team and Giorgos Petroulakis from Athens Stratego Team . Our national team was not on its best day, although it tried hard enough to win the bronze medal. The Dutch dream team took first place, lifting the Atlas trophy high.
Several children from Athens, Patras and Kalavryta participated in the Junior category. The little athletes responded wonderfully and enjoyed every moment. The gold was won by Faidon Kougiemitros from the Athens Stratego Team, while Ermis Metaxas-Mariatos and Evangelia Arkoumani from the Patras Stratego Team came in second and third respectively.
Closing the competitions, the Open Kalavryta 1821, which was dedicated to the memory of Ruben Van De Bild, was won by Nikos Kouvatsos from the Athens Stratego Team in his reappearance, completing a remarkable course in all the categories he took part in. In second place was Dutch great George Franka, the only player to have taken part in all world championships. Third place was also won by Anastasios Koukas from the Athens Stratego Team.
The Mayor of Kalavryta, Athanasios Papadopoulos, participated in the awarding of the winners, handing the first winner’s trophy to Gerasmos Karelas with honor.
Athanasios Papadopoulos: “We are fully satisfied that this event was successfully held in our city. It is the desire of the Municipality of Kalavryta to be able to host Stratego competitions of this level every year. Congratulations to the winners, the participants and the Patras Stratego Team for the perfect organization”
G. Karelas: “I am satisfied that I managed to reach the first place among so many important players”
The recognized international referee Roseline De Boer refereed in collaboration with Ioannis Kosmadakis and Nikos Koulocheras. Nikiforos Manalis was in charge of the technological support and Georgia Athanasopoulou, Katerina Dimakopoulou and Athena Tetradi were responsible for the exhibition and general support.
In addition to the Opening Ceremony, the multi-talented shadow theater artist Christos Kalpouzanis participated in the cultural part, with the performance Karatzas: The Battle in Gerokomitissa, where on Saturday night the square of Kalavryta was filled by a crowd of people. The moving documentary by the Greece 2021 Committee, “by the light of thine eyes: 200 YEARS OF GREECE” in Greek and English, had already been shown on Friday.
Every day there was an open exhibition for the Mind Sports and Stratego public, where everyone could get to know beyond Stratego, the great world of brain sports and games.
Tim Slagboom: “It was by a huge margin the best World Championship ever organized. The competition was high and the games very interesting. The extraordinary effort of G. Trypanagnostopoulos and the Patras Stratego Team will leave us with the best memory of Greece and Kalavryta”
The event was warmly supported by the eFantasy game store, Psychogios publications and Zito!, the Poolevard café, Abelos café&more, the Event café-bar, the Kelari tavern, Leonil Hellas, the Neon café, and the copy25 photocopying center.
Communication sponsors were ERT3 and ERT Patras, Ionian TV, Wave97.4, Kalavryta News and Kalavryta Hour, dytikosaxonas.gr, tetartopress.gr, Peloponnisios and pelop.gr, Kalavryta Press, SpoudaZo.gr, Giornalista.gr, Tempo24.gr, kirix.gr, VPRESS and DytikaNea.gr.
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