Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:04

Tournaments 2015

The English Open, 10-12 July, 2015

 

 

 

The Winners

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Peter Bennet

Brian Lever

Peter Chan

Julian Fetterlein

David Startin

Jon Barnes

Peter Christmas

Eric McAlpine

 

Eric McAlpine 2015 English Open Champion

 

 

 

Main

1

2

3/4

3/4

Eric McAlpine
Graham Read
Deana Fawcett
David Pritchard

Consolation

1

2

3/4

3/4

Paul Barwick
David Pritchard
Nick Dawson
Paul Gilbertson

Last Chance

1

2

Michael Crane

Richard Biddle

The Grammy

1

2

Michael Crane

Richard Biddle

Friday 250

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Richard Biddle
Eric McAlpine
Graham Read
Sharen Crane
Deana Fawcett
Michael Crane
Wayne Felton

Tim Cross

.

.

.

Grand Prix points for this tournament

For latest Championship table click here

55.70
41.78
36.72
30.77
27.16
23.76
23.76
23.76
23.52
23.52
20.05
17.55
16.51
15.74
13.00
10.50
Eric McAlpine
Graham Read
Richard Biddle
Deana Fawcett
Paul Barwick
Michael Crane
Tim Cross
Wayne Felton
David Pritchard
Nick Dawson
David Motley
Paul Gilbertson
Robert Perry
Sharen Crane
Craig Hale
Mardi Ohannessian

NB: Includes award from Friday 150

 

 

.

BBT points for this tournament

For latest table click here

19.95
16.94
13.93
13.93
13.93
9.97
9.97
8.92
8.92
5.98
5.98
4.91
4.91
4.91
Eric McAlpine
Graham Read
David Pritchard
Deana Fawcett
Paul Barwick
Nick Dawson
Paul Gilbertson
Richard Biddle
Tim Cross
David Motley
Robert Perry
Craig Hale
Mardi Ohannessian
Wayne Felton

 

 

 

 

 

The English Open, 10-12 July 2015

Report by Michael Crane

At first I thought we were down on last year but it turned out we were exactly the same. Being a full, double elimination (everyone gets two chances in the main and all but the two Main Finalists get into the Progressive Consolation) there was plenty of backgammon to play.

By late Saturday afternoon we had four undefeated in the Main: Deana Fawcett vs Graham Read and David Pritchard vs Eric McAlpine; encounter from which Graham and Eric emerged the victors. From their match (1030 am Sunday) Graham lost to Eric and consequently dropped into the Fighter's bracket.

Fighters, Deana Fawcett and David Pritchard were both unable to get past their first match losing to Nick Dawson and David Motley. Nick prevailed over David but then lost in the next round to Graham - and Graham went back into the Main final to face Eric for the second time.

Being undefeated so far, all Eric had to do was win one of a possible two matches - he did it in one. It was a longish 9 point match of 11 games in total and the scores stayed very close throughout. Both Eric and Graham made several blunders (XG 1296 rollout) and I have selected a handful, more of which will form a later article in Bibafax #137.

In the position below, Eric is playing as black.

Game 1
White 0 ............................... Black 0

18/14, 18/13

Graham is out-boarded and this roll is crying out to help rectify this imbalance with 6/1, 5/1. Once he moves off Eric's bar-point not only does he give Eric's 13-point checkers the freedom to move safely he's also leaving an unnecessary blot on. Even the duplication of 2s won't worry Eric too much. If hit he's massive favourite to re-enter.

Eric's reply was 65: 21/10 ... which would have left Graham with a 3-shot.
-

Game 4
White 2 ............................... Black 2


24/21, 8/7

More often than not the 5-point is more useful than the 7-point; and that 'rule' applies here. At the moment black doesn't have a board so a 3-prime right now is very handy.

Sadly for Graham, Eric rolled 41: 8/4*, 6/5*; Graham comes in with one checker, 63: 25/22 and then . . .


13/8, 5/4

I'm surprised Eric didn't go for the more aggressive but far superior 10/5, 4/3* placing two on the bar with 10s, 7s, 5s and 3s to cover his 3-point blot. But, this is backgammon and everything can turn on a roll of the dice. Graham rolls 33 which would have been very bad for Eric!

Game 6

White 4 ............................... Black 2

8/5, 6/5

Anyone else had the words, 'stable', 'door', 'horse' and 'bolted' in mind? Making the 5-point isn't anywhere near as useful as getting (and hopefully retaining) the white bar-point checker on the bar. When your opponent has just one lone checker trying to escape to freedom you've got to keep knocking it back.

Eric rolled 41: 18/17*, 17/13, pick & pass.

Game 7

White 4 ............................... Black 3

13/8

If white anchors next roll (either point) he'll be a pain in the arse for ages. The best play here is the double-hit: 4/2*, 2/1*. I'm surprised Eric was so passive with this roll. It would have been a great play to make - Graham rolled 66 followed by 33, two dancing rolls.

Game 11
White 5 ............................... Black 7

13/8, 11/7

Eric's play looks very good, but, if Graham rolls one of the seven that hit off the bar (61, 52, 21, 11) it could prove costly. Safer, and almost as good is 13/8, 13/9. No jokers to hit from the bar and the 6-prime still looks doable.

Graham punished the blunder ... 11: 25/23, 13/12*(2)

Later, with the score at 7-6 to Eric, Graham had an awful game and it wasn't long before he had two checkers closed out on the bar. By the time Graham re-enters it's clear he can't save the gammon and he finally conceded. Eric then added the English Open to his previous outing, the British Open. Well done, Eric and hard luck Graham. This match will appear soon on Games courtesy of Eric who kindly transcribed it.

Unfortunately (for everyone except Eric) Eric took home the WTA. So it's back to square one next event.

Overall the PRs were 7.71 for Eric and 10.56 for Graham. Mind you Graham's PR for the final game was astounding at just 0.06! It's hard to play badly when you're constantly on and off and on the bar.

Main: Graham and Eric

Everyone except Eric and Graham dropped progressively into the Consolation. In the semi-finals Nick Dawson lost to David Pritchard and Paul Gilbertson lost to Paul Barwick. In the Final Paul's run of victories since Round 1 continued as he emerged the winner.

Consolation: David and Paul

In the Last Chance semi-final, I beat Deana Fawcett and Richard Biddle beat Mardi Ohannessian. In the Final I got the better of Richard to come out the winner. In the Grammy, Richard had a chance of revenge when we met yet again in the Final. Sadly, for him, he was not successful. Recordings of both Finals reveal me to be very lucky. You can't beat luck! ;-)

Last Chance and Grammy: Richard and Michael

NB: I was a bit miffed to make it to and then win the Grammy Final. In memory of Grahame Powell who died eight years ago this very weekend I had forgotten to bring my tee-shirt to celebrate his life. Never mind, here's what it looked like ...

 

Mind you, Richard's weekend got off to a good start when he beat Eric in the Friday 150 Final; a consequence of which was qualifying for the November Play-offs for the £150 (see here for list of qualifiers).

Just in case players didn't have enough backgammon to play we also had a 1-pointer Rounders' in which 8 entrants played 5 matches gaining points for wins, gammons and backgammons. Tim Cross pipped Robert Perry to the post in the last round.

Finally. Thanks to everyone who turned out to play; and thanks to Deana and Sharen for helping out . . . and to Doctor's Orders, a local micro-pub which served a good few of us with a variety of good beers over the weekend.

 

 

 

 

TOP