7th Kaiserbrunnen Cup
(Hotel am Kaiserbrunnen, Brakel, Germany, June 1st-4th 2001)

Tournament Report by Harald Johanni
Whitsuntide doesn´t guarantee a high number of participants at a backgammon tournament. This was the sad conclusion hotel owner Herbert Waggermayer and tournament director Andreas Born made at the 7th Kaiserbrunnen Cup. A 32 players´ draw sheet with some qualification pairings for the master´s flight was small regarding the Kaiserbrunnen Cup is one of the three biggest tournaments in Germany.

Nevertheless the kibitzers got to see a lot of interesting matches. Thorsten Haase had a tough draw with a qualification round for the 32 players´ sheet. His first opponent was Manfred Hollederer. But the former German Champion couldn´t beat him like all the following opponents. Leonid Riskin was the last victim to make Thorsten Haase the finalist.

Ronald Reinhardt beat Harald Johanni in the semifinals to get the other finalist.

The finals: Ronald Reinhardt (left) plays Thorsten Haase (right). Robert Höhenberger is recording the match.

The final´s decisive situation occured when Thorsten Haase, leading the 19-point match by 14-13, had an ace to play in the bearoff against the opponent´s 24-point (see diagram).

19-point match
Thorsten Haase 14 - Ronald Reinhardt 13
(Black) (White)

Haase played 4/3 instead of the better 3/2. By 4/3 Thorsten not only risks a double shot by a following roll of 5-4 or 6-4, but also he reaches the inferior bearoff position most of the time after clearing the 5-point. Owning three checkers on the 4-point is more favorable than owning two men on it after clearing the 5-point! If you leave a shot you have more men off, if you had three men on the 4-point.
Haase´s following roll was ... yes, 5-4! - But Ronald Reinhardt missed the 24 numbers´ shot and lost a gammon. Thorsten Haase got an 18-13 Crawford lead and two games later he scored the match.
Thorsten Haase really deserved to win the 7th Kaiserbrunnen Cup by walking a long and tough way to the finals and by playing world class backgammon (overall error rate in the finals, according to Snowie: 2.8!). Congratulations Thorsten!

Results of the 7th Kaiserbrunnen Cup:

Masters (29):
Main: 1. Thorsten Haase 2.Ronald Reinhardt
3. Leonid Riskin 3. Harald Johanni
Consolation: 1. Henning Frick 2. Norbert Hornemann
Last Chance: 1. Dirk Schiemann

Main: 1. Peer Röwer 2. Axel Schürmann
Consolation: 1. Dieter Münster 2. Gerald Richter
Last Chance: 1. Franz Kettler 

1. Torsten Bischoff 2. Ralf Aigner 3. Andrea Habel 4. Eduardo Weber

Blitz 50:
1. Norbert Lisiecki 2. Rainer Witt 3. Jürgen Schettler 3. Stefan Bobenhausen

Super Jackpot:
1. Nodar Gagoua (Russia) 2. Rainer Siebrecht