2014 Geneva Tournament: Euro-Fives at its Best

John Reynolds and Ronald Pattison report:

The annual Geneva Fives tournament took place last weekend 7/8 June 2014 run by the old boys of the Alpinum Lyceum Zuoz and properly called the Benny Oei Tournament after the late founding spirit of the Old Zuozers EFC.

Four Brits jetted off last Friday to take part – Old Citizens John Reynolds and Mark Jacobs, Old Carthusian Ronald Pattison and Old Stoic Michael Leon along with respective better halves Kathryn Reynolds, Rachel Douek, Louise Pattison and Brenda Leon. Other Brits included Old Citizens Martin East (resident in Bonn) and Alex Kasterine (resident in Geneva).

The final was won by Old Carthusian stalwart Ronald in partnership with Swiss teenager Alex Heuberger (Heubi) who beat Geneva resident Alex and event organiser and Lausanne resident Filippo Variola. The contest swung one way and then the other before Ronald's return of cut and Heubi's steadiness under pressure decided the issue, outweighing Alex's ferocious cut and Filippo's home-court knowledge.

The trophy attracted some 24 players from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey and the US.

The third place play-off match was won by Swiss pairing Alex de Singer and Jan Porr, who won an entertaining and very high quality game against Dutchman Roland Knapp and German Christian Hoffmeister.

Curt Schmitt, who teaches at the Lyceum, brought a party from the mountains comprising colleague Peter Suess and students Pavel and Edoardo and managed the event magisterially. The venerable Rüdiger von Maltzahn presented trophies.

The tournament's formula involves a series of all-play-all matches on the Saturday. The results of those matches on the concrete courts of the City Green sports club in Veigy were used to decide the pairings for Sunday's play-offs.

Brenda, Kathryn and Louise joined Rachel on court for a post tournament game on the Monday, some two years after Rachel made her Eton Fives debut at the tournament.

Sunny weather meant that we could take our lunches al fresco.The social highlight of the weekend was a splendid dinner on the banks of Lac Leman, just by the spectacular Jet D'Eau.

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