Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 9:58

Tournaments 2013

British Doubles Championship, 4-6 October, 2013

 

 

 

 

The Winners

2012

2013

Paul Plumptre & Chris Humphries

Rachel Rhodes & Mike Murton

 

 

 

Main

1

2

Rachel Rhodes & Mike Murton

Peter & Paul Christmas

Consolation

1

2

Deana Fawcett & Paul Barwick

Paul Plumptre & Phil Tutchings

Last Chance

1

2

Sharen Crane & Mick Vacarey

Arthur & Valerie Wright

Friday 500 (9)

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Rachel Rhodes
Peter Christmas
Michael Crane
C J Uttley
Mardi Ohennessian
Deana Fawcett
Mick Vacarey
Paul Christmas
Poker

1

2

Mike Murton

Mick Vacarey

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Grand Prix points for this tournament

34.55
34.55
28.51
28.51
22.48
22.48
17.55
17.55
13.00
13.00
10.50

Rachel Rhodes
Mike Murton
Peter Christmas
Paul Christmas
Deana Fawcett
Paul Barwick
Paul Plumptre
Phil Tutchings
Mick Vacarey
Sharen Crane
Arthur Wright

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Doubles Championship, 4-6 October, 2013

Report by Michael Crane

Not the biggest field we've ever had but that didn't deter those that had turned out; no matter the number of entrants the £300 was guaranteed, and that and the title was enough for them.

By the Sunday we had two clear leaders on 3-3; Rachel Rhodes & Mike Murton and Peter & Paul Christmas. By the time it came to the Final they were still the leaders on 4-4 and it was these that sat down to battle it out for the 2013 British Doubles Championship. Peter and Paul had been here before, last year they were second to Paul Plumptre & Chris Humphries (Paul entered this year with Phil Tutchings but they could only make the Consolation this time) so was 2013 their year?

The 7 point match was played with clocks. Rachel & Mike are playing as black in the positions below.


White 0--------------------------------Black 0


White to play 52

There wasn't much discussion about this move, it was agreed quite quickly to play the double-hit, 8/3*, 3/1*. Doing so Paul says, "started the blitz already." Famous last words! It gets better than this but soon black anchors on the white 3-point and white anchors on the black 5-point and it's here that black makes their first error.


Black to play 54

Three plays: 8/3, 6/2; 13/9, 13/8 and 8/4, 6/1 . . . and black settled on the last one - XG's least favourite. I was a little surprised they played to the 1-point for I know that both Rachel and Mike don't like burying checkers. XG goes with 8/3, 6/2 and has a go at making two points rather than one, the 1-point.

Things go along without too much drama until black makes a decent blunder here ...


Black to play 32

There's no doubt that hitting 8/5* is correct but then playing on to make the 3-point isn't, or so XG tells us. It prefers 3/1 leaving a 5-point blot but one that can be covered sooner, perhaps, than a 1-point blot. As it turned out white danced with 63 but escaped next roll with 65 and safely got to the 14-point: 25/14.

A while later white were looking good to win (65%) when black came out with a devastating 66 and ran round past all white's checkers: 21/10(2) to go well ahead @ 81%! White came back with 44 and, thanks to some very good rolling were able to cube black out during the bearoff.

In Game 2 things were trundling along nicely until black made a blunder.

White 1--------------------------------Black 0


Black to play 33

No discussion here at all with the play 13/7(2). Admittedly it stops direct 6s escaping but it strips down the mid-point. XG went with 6/3(2) and then shifted points 4/1*(2) making a good solid four-board and putting white onto the bar. White's next roll of 31 would have danced nicely.

Black soon makes the white bar-point, which they later clear with a good 33 and a tad later cash in a dropped cube to get onto the score board.

Game 3 was littered with the discarded chip papers of errors and blunders from both sides. It starts with a cube ...

White 1--------------------------------Black 1


Black cube action

Although they both agree (Rachel and Mike) that it's an easy take they deliberate a long while over cubing before doing so. Peter and Paul snatch it up as XG screams out, No Double/Take!

We then get to the first blunder - and it's a good sized one, too.


Black to play 51

Rachel confidently calls "hit?", and Mike agrees with 8/7, 6/1*. XG wimped out with 13/7. Black had the last laugh when white danced with double-two . . . and then with 62, and we come to an error from black ...


Black to play 31

With white still on the bar and a blot on his 5-point the actual play of 13/9 isn't really taking much advantage and it would have been more productive to have added an extra point builder with 13/10, 7/6. This blunder meant that white's roll of 54: 25/16* turned out better than it might have been.

There follows a rapid blot-hitting frenzy and we get to here ...


Black to play 61

Rachel wanted to play 25/24, 20/14 but was talked out of it by Mike as he explained that the blot on the white 5-point could be useful if their blot on black's 8-point was hit. XG agreed with Rachel. White danced with 61 and then with 63 after black made the 3-point. A second white checker was pushed to the bar by a pick&pass play but re-entered immediately to find us here ...


Black to play 64

Rachel wanted to make the 14-point (error) and Mike wanted to run 20/10 (blunder); they went with the 20/10 but they didn't consider XG's play of 18/8. It leaves the back checker in situ to harry any ideas white might have about shifting a spare 1 from the 6-point and lets 5s and 6s be moved across white's side of the board with 3s to hit the white blot sitting on the 5-point.

Mind you, white danced with 61, and then twice more until ...


Black to play 54

Mike play 18/9 and asking for validation, "all the way?" Rachel replies, "correct." It wasn't. It'd be better now to get the back two checkers away from the difficult task of clearing the bar-point and move them both 18/14, 18/13. It didn't matter much. By the time white came in with both checkers black was safely bearing off and in the end white needed double-six to save the gammon and instead rolled double-four and lost four very valuable points.
.

Game 4, or as I can now call it, the last game, was marred by a couple of blunders (one from each team). White went first ...


White to play 33

The brothers both agree 8/5(2); Peter then suggests 13/10, 24/21 - a blunder. It lets black have some good high doubles to escape. No other combination is discussed; which is a shame because they could have done better. 8/5(2), 7/4(2) an error that left a blot or better still, 13/4, 7/4 keeping it tidy and making a home-board point.

The reply was also a blunder ..


Black to play 43

No discussion but it is clear Mike (rolling) wasn't happy with his play 13/6 - too stacky, but he was less happy with hitting either one or both of white's blots in his home board bemoaning the fact they didn't have anything to keep white on the bar. XG just couldn't play ultra-stacky and went with the double-hit, 8/4, 6/3*. Had the blots been hit I reckon Peter and Paul would have been disappointed with their roll of 52 off the bar.

From hereon white has great difficulty getting their checkers round safely and soon there are two of them on the bar. They eventually rally themselves to occupy the black 1-point and it's here that they have a big decision to make ...


Black cube action

XG rates this Too good to double/Pass but Peter and Paul, after a lot of humming and harring take, they throw it back to a 4 next roll and then look for the life-saving hit. It comes at the very last chance when all they needed was a 2 . . .


.... and they roll double-six!

So, once again The Christmas brothers are second for the second year running and we have new Doubles Champions in Rachel and Mike. Peter and Paul can take some small comfort offered to them by XG - he rated them World Class and their opponents Expert - though I reckon they'd have swapped if they could. Click here to see the whole match online or downlaod (when available)

 

Main: Mike & Rachel
Main: Paul & Peter

 

Meanwhile in the Consolation Final Paul Barwick & Deana Fawcett triumphed over Paul Plumptre & Phil Tutchings ....

 

Consolation: Deana & Paul
Consolation: Paul & Phil

 

.... and in the Last Chance, Mick Vacarey & Sharen Crane (my better half) got the better of Arthur & Valerie Wright.

 

Last Chance: Sharen & Mick
Last Chance: Arthur & Valerie

 

Saturday evening was a casual affair, some played backgammon, some played poker (too few for Grand Prix status), some went to the opera and some went to bed!

The Friday 500 faired better. Mardi Ohannessian returned from his long holiday but failed to make an impression going out in the first round to the eventual winner, Rachel (her third consecutive win!) after she beat Peter Christmas in the Final. With just one more Friday 500 to come there's still a chance for changes to the Top 16 and a crack at the £500 first prize in December . . . so get yourself to Daventry for next month's Townharbour Trophy to see if you can qualify . . .  oh, and don't forget the £315 Double Rollover Winner-Takes-All and £200 added prize money to the winner from the sponsor, Tim Cross. [see here]