Bright 'n' Breezy January 13-15, 2017
No event in 2014
Last Chance (64)
Doggy Paddle (32)
Friday 150 (48)
(to be updated)
Grand Prix points for this tournament
|10.50||Alison van Loon|
NB: See here for Championship listing
Biba Backgammon Tour points for this tournament
|0.50||1||Alison van Loon|
Click here for BBT web page
Bright 'n' Breezy January 2017
Report by Michael Crane
Having moved from the Old Ship (again) we returned to the Holiday Inn and they did us proud with a great playing room. Ninety-two entrants sat down to set about becoming the 2017 Bright 'n' Breezy Champion and only one of them would make it. But, before we get there let's nip over to the Friday Warm-up.
Forty-eight sat down Friday night and in the semis David Nathan beat Frederic Bonard, and Anna Clark beat Paul Plumptre. In the Final (played on Sunday) Anna came out on top and took the lead in the three-event series. It is too soon to draw any conclusions. Mind you, with just two more to come in (the British and English Opens) those at the top have a good chance of qualifying.
Back to the Main. By Sunday morning (after some very late matches had finished (see end of report) we had the last eight: Crispin Duke vs Neil Webb; Tariq Siddiqi vs Tim Mooring; Sean Clennell vs Jon Barnes; and Sidi Shatku vs Tim Parfitt. From each of the fixtures the first mentioned prevailed. In the semi-final Crispin beat Tariq and Sean beat Sidi.
Crispin and Sean sat down to battle it out. Sean got off to a cracking start as the score climbed up to 7-0 in his favour. Then: 7-1, 8-1, 8-2, 9-2, 10-2 Crawford. It’s here we take a look at some of the match. Sean is playing as black.
White starts off with a decent 63: 24/18, 13/10
Black to play 42
Looking for a non-contentious game with the minimum of hits black should have gone with making his 4-point: 8/4, 6/4. Instead he hits: 13/7*. Not a lot to be gained with this. All 6s (apart from 66) and 7s hit back. And ... white comes in with 64: 25/21, 24/18*. Black rolls 61: 25/24, 13/1* and he too hits back off the bar. Another 61: 25/18* from white and suddenly black has four checkers in white's home board!
Then it settles down a bit ...
Black anchors on the white 4-point.
White goes with 21/18, 13/7, 10/7 and makes his bar-point. It looks good but now that white has attached himself to black's bar-point he's going to find it difficult to get them off there safely unless it's with a double. This 33 was a great opportunity to move away from the bar-point with 21/15, 18/15, 13/10. It nicely blocks off 6s for black's 4-point anchor and gets the back runners a little closer to potential safety.
Certainly shifting off the heavy 6-point: 6/3(2) is correct but is offering up a blot with 8/5(2)? Yes, it is. Hitting with a 1 could leave two white blots in the outer board - not a 'bad' gain for leaving the blot ...
... and the 'gain' appears. What a roll! White could have played a tad better than his 18/17*, 17/16, 6/5(2). Instead of leaving two outer board blots on he could have played 18/17*(2). Tidier and no danger. Black then rolled 52: 25/23, 13/8. It's a shame white didn't have that particular 5 blocked off; if he had black would have had to bury a checker 6/5.
Black begins to lose it a bit here. Playing 24/15 is wrong - but not by much. There's not much to gain in leaving on a double shot, 1s and 3s plus 44. What he needs to do here is get a runner moving 24/21 and hitting 13/7*. At the very least (excluding doubles) white will have to use half his roll to re-enter. But ... he's not on the bar for this roll ....
Three across: 13/10*(3) is fine; but then going with 8/5 leaves the back checker facing a double hit 1s and 6s should black re-enter. Playing 18/15 cuts down the chances of being hit and makes it easier for white to get to relative safety in his outer board. Black comes in with 43: 25/22, 8/4 and gets his own blot safe.
Great roll and play from white: 6/3*, 5/3. Black dances with 55, then ...
It's important that black doesn't make a 2- or 1-point anchor, so hitting is correct. However; it's not correct to play 10/5, 7/3 giving black the chance to anchor and make it difficult for white to bear in safely. 10/6, 7/2* is how white should have played it. Black comes in with 44: 25/21, 13/9(2), 6/2 but he's now in desperate need of a few 6s to keep his home board from crunching.
White decides to go with duplication: 5/2*. There's hardly anything in it but if black's going to anchor he'd prefer the 1-point to the 2-point. With this in mind it's better to hit 3/1*, still duplicating but but this time it's 1s. As it turned out black danced with 53 ...
Again black leaves on the possibility of a black 1-point anchor when he plays 18/14, 10/6, 10/2. He missed a great chance here to remove the 1-point anchor for good: 10/2, 5/1*(2). With two black checkers on the bar opening the 5-point isn't that bad. Black could well dance for a couple of rolls giving white the chance to get his checkers into a more comfortable position. He's currently big favourite to win the Crawford and as an added bonus he's got decent gammon chances too. Black danced with 32.
And again, white does nothing to stop black aiming at the 1-point anchor as he goes with 14/11. This is a big mistake. He's got to hit 3/1*; he can't afford to let black have his 1-point. and if played with 2/1 he increases his chances of covering the blot with 6s, 5s and 4s; whereas if he played 14/13, 3/1* only 6s and 5s with 43 would cover. But, by playing the way he did white escaped being planted onto the bar when black rolled 32 and danced instead of the hit.
Another chance to stop black but he goes with 11/5, 6/2. As expected another big mistake. He ought to have hit: 11/1*. Black misses again and dances with 52.
At last! He covers 7/1*, 3/1; which was just as well because black rolled the 1, 41: 25/21!
Once more, white gives away chances of winning the Crawford when he plays 7/1, 5/2. A couple of bad rolls for white now; 61 and 64. Playing 8/5, 7/1 duplicates 4s for black (very small risk) but it now means that there is only one bad roll for white, 44 ... which is a very small risk. Black rolled a double-five, and danced. The game moves on and we get to here ...
He doesn't have to take any chances now, the gammon is very likely and is in the bag bar 'mistakes'. Playing 2/0, 2/1 would leave three doubles that could leave a shot, 6s, 5s and 4s. We move further on to here ...
It might be a slim chance but the backgammon is on for white. Playing 18/12, 16/12 could lead to a big double from white and a 1 or 2 from black. It didn't happen; but, as we all know, it does - and when it does we always remember it.
White took the two points for a gammon and the score moved to 10-4. It then moved to 10-8; a game that Sean finally won and took the trophy ... and left behind another WTA Rollover! When ready this match will appear in Games.
Meanwhile, in the Consolation from the non-Prog side Chris Bray triumphed over Anna Price then Chris Hamilton to get a chance at the Final; and Lawrence Powell got past Cato Fordham and then Steve Lee (2016 Main winner) to sit down opposite Chris for a place in the Final against the Prog side. Chris prevailed. From the Prog side Antonio Sgambato beat Steve Bibby, then Tim Mooring to face off against Chris; an encounter from which he came out the winner.
The Last Chance saw 64 players whittled down to the semis: Mike Murton beat Nicky Check and Gaz Owen beat Aref Alipour. In the Final Gaz got the better of Mike.
With dwindling numbers the Doggy Paddle was limited to a 32-draw. The semis saw Peter Ozanne beat Steve Allott and Graham Read beat Dale Taylor. In the Final Peter’s winning streak carried on and he emerged victorious.
Saturday night, those not embroiled in waiting up to two hours for a burger meal (yeah, I know, it’s a burger, not a roast dinner!) were able to play in the Super Jackpot, or the Doubles or the Poker. I wasn’t involved in these side-action events (didn’t get my dinner until 1015!) and I do not have the results to report.
Overall, apart from one major incident, it went well and the timings were spot on (thanks to variable match lengths in the Consolation with 5 or 7 point matches) and all Finals ended within a 30 minute period.
Thanks go to Dexter Gilbertson for sponsoring the tournament and for bringing along his owner, Paul, for a nice walkies; to Deana Fawcett without whom I’d be lost; and to the ninety-two entrants without whom it wouldn’t have taken place.
Finally. Too many players are not completing their matches on time (not even on the day they ought to be completed). Outstanding non-element matches must not interfere with event elements. Players are expected to keep to the published schedule. The event elements (Main. Consolation. Last Chance etc.) have priority. All Main elements on Saturday must be completed on the day if possible. Players must not rearrange to play outstanding matches without the permission/knowledge of the Tournament Director. Should any player be unable to play to the schedule they must inform the TD immediately. Failure to do this will result in penalties to all parties involved.
Also, I spent too much time looking around for players when a match was due. I draw everyone’s attention to Rule 2.1 Place: All matches to be played in areas agreed by the Director. Any player missing from the main playing room when called out in the draw shall incur the first penalty point after an absence of 5 minutes from the start of the match unless they are absent with the Director's permission.