Tournaments 2010

CasinoRip Scottish Open 19,20,21 March 2010

 

 

 

The Winners

2010

2007

2006

2005

2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998

Stewart Pemberton

Adrian Jones

Tim Line

Peter Christmas

Rachel Rhodes
Peter Chan
Ray Tannen
Wayne Auty
Lawrence Powell
Sean Casey
Neil Webb

 

 

Main (33)

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Stewart Pemberton
Vaidas Novicenko
Lawrence Powell
Ian Hesketh
Paul Gillam
Uldis Lapikens
Ash Dalvi
Carl Dell

Cons (29)

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Phil Tutchings
Neil Webb
Rachel Rhodes
Martin Barkwill
Paul Gillam
Uldis Lapikens
Ash Dalvi
Carl Dell

Last Chance (32)

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

John Wright
Mark Calderbank
George Hall
Mick Vacarey
Andy Darby
William Spiers
Stewart Wilson
Martin Birkhahn

Haggis (16)

1

2

3/4

3/4

Arthur Wright
Nicky Check
David Phillips
Ann Pocknell

Friday 500 (22)

1

2

3/4

3/4

5/8

5/8

5/8

5/8

Andy Darby
Martin Birkhahn
Richard Biddle
Lawrence Powell
Vicki Pemberton
Jonathan Frame
Vaidas Movicenko
James

Poker (14)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Martin Barkwill
Vicki Pemberton
Jonathan Frame
Lawrence Powell
Phil Tutchings
John Wright
Paul Gillam
Carl Dell

Team (13)

1

Richard Biddle

Beginners (4)

1

2

3

Hazel Brown

Deker Wilson

Angie

GP Points from this event
18.58
13.42
13.41
13.41
9.29
9.29
9.28
9.27
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.19
6.18
6.17
4.13
4.13
4.13
4.13
4.12
4.11
4.11
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.56
2.06
2.06
2.06
2.06
Stewart Pemberton
Vaidas Novicenko
Neil Webb
Phil Tutchings
Lawrence Powell
Ian Hesketh
Rachel Rhodes
John Wright
Uldis Lapikens
Carl Dell
Ashutosh Dalvi
David Phillips
Paul Gillam
Martin Barkwill
Mark Calderbank
Richard Biddle
Stewart Wilson
Vicki Pemberton
Martin Birkhahn
Arthur Wright
Mick Vacarey
George Hall
Bill Spiers
Peter Bennet
Andrew Darby
Kevin Jones
Jonathan Frame
Nicky Check
Jeff Barber
Vicky Chandler
Ann Pocknell
Gareth Timms

#

#

.

.

.

 

Pos.

Pts.
AP
Player

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

20
16
12
12
9
9
9
9
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Stewart Pemberton
Vaidas Novicenko
Lawrence Powell
Ian Hesketh
Paul Gillam
Uldis Lapikens
Ash Dalvi
Carl Dell
David Phillips
Phil Tutchings
Stewart Wilson
Martin Bakwill
Mark Calderbank
Richard Biddle
Vicki Pemberton
Martin Birkhahn

Andy Darby
Ann Pocknell
Arthur Wright
Gareth Timms
George Hall
Jeff Barber
John Wright
Jonathan Frame
Kevin Jones
Mick Vacarey
Neil Webb
Nicky Check
Peter Bennet
Rachel Rhodes
Stuart Murdoch
Vicki Pemberton
Vicky Chandler
William Spiers

#.

.

.

CasinoRip Scottish Open 19,20,21 March 2010

Report by Michael Crane

Well, the Scottish Open returned to Scotland and it was a partial success. The entry of the Main (33) was lower than I'd hoped for and the turnout of Scottish players was also lower than I'd hoped for. The 'south of the border' entries were down due to the hotel not releasing any extra rooms, and to BA's striking cabin crew. The 'north of the border' entries were down because some players found the cost of entering too expensive. For an event that cost around £2300 to stage, I thought the cost of entering reasonable and it didn't cost any more than many other Biba events. Mind you, what excuse did the Beginners (4) have? Theirs' was a free entry event and I added fifty quid as prize money! They're hard buggers to please, these Scots!

The weekend began with the Friday 500 (22) which was a decent turnout, (unfortunately, not all the Scottish entrants returned to play in the Main, which would have made a difference), and it was decided between Martin Barkwill and Andy Darby. Andy had already been 1st and 2nd this year, and Martin proved no match for him as he notched up a second 1st place.

The Main (33) got underway on time and by the Sunday morning we had our four semi-finalists: Lawrence Powell vs Vaidas Novicenko (Lithuania via Dublin), and Ian Hesketh (local, Edinburgh BG Club member) vs Stewart Pemberton. Vaidas and Stewart emerged the winners and it was they that sat down to contest the Scottish Open Championship.

Stewart took the lead 2-0, and then Vaidas leveled off at 2-2; he then increased it to 2-4 and Stewart pulled one back to make it 3-4. The lead then went 3-5, 4-5, and it is at this score that we see Stewart make a big blunder. The match is to 11 points and Stewart is playing as black.

Black 4 White 5
Black to play 62

Stewart played 22/16, 9/7. Apart from duplicating 4s, this is a non-move; it doesn't do anything and it should. His position throughout is far superior to his opponent's, but unless he gets a white checker back in the race he's perhaps going to lose. He needs to be provocative here and build his home table quickly to take advantage of his spare checkers. This is best achieved by playing 13/7, 6/4. He won't mind being hit and he now has great chances to make a good home prime ready to contain any blots that he might hoover up later. By moving from the white 22-point he also allows Vaidas to play safely past his advanced anchor. Vaidas rolled 64: 13/3, a roll that would (if played), have left two blots on and Stewart rolled 21 and could have picked up both of them! A few rolls later and Stewart is cubed out as the score moves to 4-6 to Vaidas. The score continues, 4-8, 5-8, 6-8, 6-9; and it is here that Stewart ships across a 2-cube trailing 5-away, 2-away!

Black cubes

This is a good cube from Stewart and Vaidas correctly takes. Vaidas is unable to get his lone runner to safety and it is later joined by another white checker resulting in a 2-cube gammon for Stewart as he goes into the lead 10-9 Crawford. About halfway through this game Vaidas makes a blunder when playing a 65.

White to play 65

He deliberates between 7-1, 6/1 and 18/7 for almost two minutes! He is clearly struggling with which move to go with and eventually blunders with the former. His play merely postpones the time when his back two checkers will have to move, and at the moment the 65 is ideal for moving one to safety. Black's home board isn't that hot and he has a blot on the 1-point that only a roll of 66 or 61 will hit and cover. Later he is unable to get one of his runners safe and it is this one that leads to his eventual downfall and Stewart's victory.

It wasn't a classic final, and both players made their fair share of mistakes: Both made 11 blunders (Stewart 7 checkerplay, 4 cube; Vaidas 9 checkerplay, 2 cube). Snowie rated them both Intermediates and had Stewart as the slight favourite - perhaps due to his high luck rate of 17.806! Click here for the Snowie stats.

 

Stewart Pemberton
Vaidas Novicenko

 

In the Consolation (29) Neil Webb (honorary Scot and the first winner of the Scottish Open in 1998) fought his way from Round 1 to meet Phil Tutchings (who entered from the Progressive side) in the final. Unfortunately for Neil - but fortunately for Phil - Neil was unable to add another Scottish 1st place to his trophy cabinet as Phil rolled out the winner.

Neil Webb and Phil Tutchings

The Last Chance (32) was an open draw and finalist, Mark Calderbank didn't waste time (or money) on reentering, he got to the final on his first attempt. His opponent, John Wright, made it on his third! Possibly fired by his extra costs, John went on to win, leaving Mark in second place. During this match Mark made a silly mistake that had the onlookers astounded at what they saw. It's not for me to relate what happened, but if you see Carl Dell or John Wright . . . .

 

John Wright
Mark Calderbank

 

Arthur Wright had a decent weekend; he didn't win the Main or the Consolation or the Last Chance, but he did win the Haggis (16) and the 1-Point Knockout which ran in tandem with the Main. This is Arthur's second 1-pointer final and this time he prevailed by beating Vaidas. In the Haggis he got the better of Nicky Check. Nicky, being the sporting player that he is refused to smile for the photo, hence the sullen look! Arthur, a brand new granddad dedicated his two victories to his new grandson, Harry Arthur Piran Ford. It's only a matter of time before we see young Harry at a tournament, eh Arthur?

 

Arthur Wright & Gilberto
Nicky (Mardy Arse) Check
Arthur Wright

 

As mentioned above the Beginner's (4) was a very poor turnout, especially when you consider the number of eligible entrants that could have entered. However, undeterred we played a Round Robin, then played off for positions and Hazel Brown came 1st with Derek Wilson 2nd and Angie 3rd.

Angie, Derek and Hazel

 

In the Poker (14) Martin Barkwill came 1st with organiser (in Tony Fawcett's absence) Vicki Pemberton coming 2nd and Jonathan Frame 3rd. And in the Team (13), Richard Biddle beat everyone else to be the sole victor - back on form, eh Richard? Richard's route to the tournament was a long and circuitous one, he travelled on his Harley went from west to east on his adventure. Perhaps, when his cold frozen hands are warmed up he might regale us with his exploits . . . frogs included?

Finally. I'd like to thank all those that travelled from the south to enter, and all those that lived on the doorstep and entered! Thanks also to sponsors, CasinoRip and their representative, Gilberto, for the trophies; and finally to Gareth Timms and Hazel Brown from the Edinburgh BG Club for their help and the wine prizes. If you're ever in Edinburgh (or close by) nip in and have a game with them - they've some decent players who'll give you a good game. Find them at http://www.meetup.com/Edinburgh-Backgammon/.
#

#

 

.

 

 

 


#

#

#

#

An Interview with John Slattery by Sharen Crane. February 8th, 2003

 

Sharen Crane is the wife of Biba Director, Michael Crane. She has been his assistant director for ten years and is very experienced in tournament directing. Michael is grooming her to take over so that he can relax and play.

I first met you at the inaugural Scottish Open in 1998 where you were the Consolation Runner-up. How long have you been playing backgammon and how did you learn?

I have been playing since 1997, 5 years now. I learnt by just watching. In actual fact what I did was summon most of the top UK players to my place in Scotland and paid for my lessons highly! I think £150,000 was what I lost in the first two years. A lot of it to people like Mardi Ohannessian and John Clark. It was like learning to swim by jumping in at the deep end.

Whilst learning, what backgammon books did you read, and have read since?

The first one I read was one of Robin Clay’s; I think it was called Backgammon for Winners. I thought it was a well laid out book, but I would probably disagree with some of the content now, but it was a good grounding. Magriel’s book 'Backgammon' was the second one I read, which gives you a whole set of concepts.

A lot of players use bots nowadays. Do you prefer Snowie or Jellyfish and do you analyse any of your games?

I don’t analyse anything. I am not a big fan of Snowie or Jellyfish because they are computers and people are human and you have to play the person rather than play like a computer, because the computer plays as if it is playing another computer. Humans have emotions, so you build up a repertoire so you know regardless of what Snowie says, when some people should be cubed and when they shouldn’t, just by their own actions. It’s a bit like poker, only you can see what is going on, you get tell tale signs. Very seldom do I give anything away I have a poker face for backgammon.

Over the years which players do you think have influenced you?

David Levy, John Clark, Mardi, Dod Davies. What I felt when I was playing these people is that you can take a little from each of their games, you know there are some good points in each of them and you try and collect all of this. But you could live to a hundred and still be learning.

You have become very successful over the last three years; to what do you attribute this?

I play a lot and certainly the more time you put into it you become more successful. I have always been a bit of a strategist so the game suits me very well.

Every time you come to a Biba tournament (and there have been many since that first Scottish encounter), you always seem to have another board. How many boards do you now own and is there one which you favour over others?

I own 17 I think. I play on them all by rotation. If I have a really bad session, I throw that board to the back of the pile and start with the next one. I’m not all that superstitious to be honest but I do like to rotate them and give them all a bit of use. There is no point in having boards for the sake of having them if you are not going to use them. I may die tomorrow who knows.

Are you planning on having them buried with you?

To be honest I have actually put some bits in my will regarding my boards, but you will have to wait and see.

You play a lot of backgammon. Do you prefer Tournament, Head to Head or Chouette?

In order of preference I would say tournament, head to head then chouette. Chouette last because I like to play backgammon and I think what put me off chouette was that I used to go to Ealing, and play chouette on a Wednesday night and there used to be 11 or 12 players there, so if you got into the box, which first of all you waited about two hours to get into the box, and then all of a sudden all of these cubes are thrown at you and you know if you don’t
take them you have got to wait another two hours for a game, so it then screws your decisions. I don’t mind chouettes if there is a maximum of four people, but to play in big chouettes puts me off.

Apart from backgammon, what other games of chance/gambling have you played?

Blackjack. I don’t so much like gambling, I don’t consider myself so much a gambler, and I like to feel that I can put odds in my favour. So it’s not so much a gamble if you like. Blackjack was my big love before backgammon, I have been told I should be playing Poker because of my poker face but I feel if you diversify too much you dilute your skill and I would rather concentrate on that.

I've heard that you are playing backgammon somewhere every day of the week. You appear to live backgammon; do you ever see a time when you won’t play anymore?

At this stage no, but I could have said the same about blackjack. Things change, I am having fun with it and so long as I am having fun then I will carry on. If I am not enjoying it I will stop and it doesn’t matter if I am making a lot of money. I made a lot of money at blackjack and I stopped because I wasn’t enjoying it, so the money is not the driving force, it is just for fun.

You have become a bit of a celebrity, especially well known for you waistcoats; when did this start and do you make them yourself?

This probably started 10 years ago, I have them all made, I don’t make them myself (laughs) I don’t have the time. I’m not very practical when it comes to these things; I commission people to make them for me. I do design them myself; the people who make the waistcoats know what I am like so I don’t get odd looks anymore. I like to have fun with the whole thing, I am worse than a woman in some cases, I love to dress up and have fun with it.

An addition to the waistcoats, your latest trademark is the trilby. What is the next trademark going to be?

I go off and on with the trilby, I used to wear one before but I went off it, and then came back to it. I have had some new creations done. I will be introducing them at the Scottish Open, the new style. If you want to see it you have to come to the Scottish Open.

Finally, I understand you were in a punk rock band many years ago and that you cut a record is that true?

It is and I have done records yes. Do you have a record player because it’s on vinyl so I’ll look one out for you?

Thank you John.

#

##