Updated Monday, Dec. 4 12:30 a.m.
Danish champion Dennis Bilde is the unofficial winner of the 2017 Player of the Year title, awarded to the player who wins the most platinum masterpoints in a calendar year. Platinum points are available only in nationally rated events with no upper masterpoint restrictions.
Bilde started the Fall NABC in 12th place among Player of the Year contenders, a group led by Jeff Meckstroth with 576.92 platinum points. He was followed closely by Norwegian partners Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist, both with 572.50. Bilde was fourth with 553.75, 56 points ahead of Meckstroth’s regular partner, Eric Rodwell.
In San Diego, Bilde won the Nail Life Master Open Pairs with Alon Birman, collecting 125 masterpoints, and he scored another 62 in the Mitchell Open Board-a-Match Teams. His final total of 197.89 pushed his count for the year to 751.64, 15.89 points ahead of Brogeland and 18.25 ahead of Lindqvist. Meckstroth is 21.95 points behind.
Bilde won the Norman Kay Platinum Pairs with Justin Lall at the Spring NABC in Kansas City and added a second-place finish as a member of the Lavazza team in the Jacoby Open Swiss at the same tournament and was on the runner-up team in the Spingold in Toronto.
As a Junior player, Bilde earned numerous medals, including several golds, in teams and pairs.
He was a member of the winning team in the 2012 Keohane North American Swiss Teams, the 2013 Vanderbilt. He won the 2012 Silodor Open Pairs with Hans Christian Graverson.
As the Player of the Year race winds down, it’s become a three-man contest. As of Friday, with two days to go, Dennis Bilde is in the lead with 751.64 platinum points, almost 85 ahead of Jeff Meckstroth. The race measures the number of platinum points a player earns at the three NABCs during a calendar year.
Bilde won both the Norman Kay Platinum Pairs in Kansas City with Justin Lall and the Nail Life Master Pairs last week with Alon Birman. As a member of the Lavazza team, Bilde placed second in both the Spingold in Toronto and the Jacoby Open Swiss Teams in the spring. He was also a quarterfinalist in the Vanderbilt and placed fifth in the Mitchell Open BAM.
Lavazza failed to qualify for the second day of the Reisinger, leaving the door open for either Meckstroth or Boye Brogeland, who was third as of Friday and leading the Reisinger going into the final day of the event.
Brogeland had been tied with partner Espen Lindqvist until Tuesday, when he picked up 2.36 points in the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs playing with Carl Ragnarsson. That leaves Lindqvist without a way to catch Brogeland as they play together in the Reisinger.
In fifth place and also eliminated from the Reisinger, Joel Wooldridge is likely too far behind – 158.76 behind Bilde – to make up the difference. In addition to the Reisinger, which pays 200 platinum points, there are two other ongoing platinum-point events: the Keohane North American Swiss Teams, which awards 160 points, and the NABC+ Mixed Swiss, which pays 100 points.
2017 platinum points through Friday:
1. Dennis Bilde, Denmark 751.64
2. Jeff Meckstroth, Clearwater Beach FL 666.86
3. Boye Brogeland, Norway 650.91
4. Espen Lindqvist, Norway 648.55
5. Joel Wooldridge, Astoria NY 592.88
6. Eric Rodwell, Clearwater FL 587.45
7. Eric Greco, Beverly Hills CA 539.16
8. Robert Levin, Henderson NV 512.22
9. Dror Padon, Israel 462.03
10. David Gold, England 460.22