Czech Open II

(Renaissance Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic, 19th to 23rd July 2000)

More than 100 players gathered for the 2nd Czech Open at the Renaissance Hotel of Pargue, the capital of the Czech Repuplic. The hotel lies round the corner of the Municipal Hall stamped by the nouvel art like the whole center of the city.

Michael Meyburg with his staff leaded by his wife Gayana did a good job and the tournament including auction, quarter entries, seminar by Paul Magriel, consultation doubles and team event ran well according to the time table.

Denis Jersov (links) - Mario Sequeira (rechts)

Muncipal Hall Prag

After a win in the quarter finals against the Russian Denis Jersov, who eventually won the consolation, the European Champion Mario Sequeira had to play Kent Goulding from the States in the semi finals

left: Kent Goulding

Die Letzten 16 der Czech Open II

Mike Corbett Jersov Sequeira Goulding Goulding
Denis Jersov
Mario Sequeira Sequeira
Werner Hertel
Ronald Reinhardt Granstedt Goulding
Jörgen Gransted
Bob Wilensky Goulding
Kent Goulding
Kristian Stegenborg Levermann Levermann Levermann
Johannes Levermann
Diego Heidenreich Ternel
Chris Ternel
X-22 Pappas Pappas
Dimitrios Pappas
Stevan Hammond Hammond
Hugh Sconyers
The knock out tournament was played in a best of three mode with chess clocks. In the semi finals between Mario Sequeira and Kent Goulding the third match had to decide who will get to the finals.

Kent Goulding had by far the better checker play (according to Snowie 3) but blundered by his cube actions. However, Kent´s blunders tourned out to be winners.

Here is one example: Pos. 1

Kent Goulding, leading the decisive 11-point match by 9-7 had to decide on a cube offered by Mario Sequeira.

Black leads the race by 22 pips (146-168) and has only one man back while White has two. Black hits with fives or threes a third white man back and has the better positional substance by owning the bar. In a money game double-take is the correct cube action, but at the current match score Black´s gammon wins win the match after double-take. Not owning an anchor, White loses about 20% of the games gammon and he needs almost 40% winning chances to justify a take. White is able to win about a third of the games - not many enough! White has a clear pass!

Kent Goulding took the cube and in the end he won the race by rolling 6-6 and double fours with the last roll, needing at least double fours. So Kent was qualified for the finals.

Pos. 1: 11 Point Match
Kent Goulding (9) (White) - Mario Sequeira (7) (Black)
Black on roll. Cube action?!

In the other semi finals Johannes Levermann had to play Dimitrios Pappas.

After winning the first match Dimitrios Pappas offered Johannes a 7% match equity gift in the second match and Levermann equalized in matches.

Pos. 2: 

Owning some market losing sequences Johannes Levermann correctly doubled this position. Dimitrios Pappas needs 31.5% winning chances to take the offered double, because this is the match equity he keeps by passing the offered cube. White owns the better board in the problem position and is able to win about 39% of the games. 

Dimitrios Pappas

Johannes Levermann

Gammons don´t count and therefore White gives up about 7% of his match equity by passing the cube.Pappas passed the cube and lost this match.

In the decisive match Pappas was leading by 7-6 when Levermann offered a double. Double-take was the correct cube action and the Greek correctly took. Levermann jokered twice (by 1-1 and 5-5) and won a backgammon to win the match.




In the finals Kent Goulding again showed that his checker play is superb (Snowie error rate for the moves in the first match 1.6!), but his cube handling blundered a lot. However, like in the semis the errors turned out to become the winners of the match.

Pos. 2: 11 Point Match
Dimitrios Pappas (9) (White) - J. Levermann (9) (Black)
Black on roll. Cube action?!

Pos. 3: 

Black has to roll an ace and a six to leap the prime with his back checker. Almost all his game wins are gammon wins. But he is only a small favorite to win this game (about 52.5%).

With 48% cubeless winning chances White is able to redouble to 8 too often, if Black doubles now. Black should keep the cube. Sometimes Black immediately rolls an ace and is able to play on for the gammon. If bad things happen it is not a big loss in terms of match equity, because Black only seldomly loses a gammon. If good things happen he wins 4 points. So after keeping the cube most of the time the score is either 5-0 or 1-2. But after redoubling the score is either 1-8 or 9-0 most of the time. The risk isn´t worth the gain! By redoubling Black gives up about 4% of his match winning chances.
Kent Goulding redoubled to 4, rolled 6-1, won a gammon and soon afterwards won the first 11-point match.

Pos. 3: 11 Point Match
K. Goulding (1) (Black) - J. Levermann (0) (White)
Black on roll. Cube action?!

In the second match Johannes Levermann, leading 2-1 doubled too early and was punished by losing 4 points.

Pos. 4: 

Even if White succeeds in closing out Black´s back checker, he doesn´t win many gammons because Black´s three remaining outfield checkers are already placed on the 7-point. Black leads the race by 27 pips and is therefore a clear favorite to win the race if he succeeds in escaping with his back checker. White´s 3-point board is not sufficient to make a double the correct cube action.

Johannes Levermann doubled, lost 4 points after redouble-take and never catched up Kent Goulding´s lead.

Kent Goulding won the Czech Open II by performing absolutely fine checker play. Congratulations Kent!

Pos. 4: 11 Point Match
K. Goulding (1) (Black) - J. Levermann (2) (White)
White on roll. Cube action?!

The results of the Czech Open II:
Champions (86)
Main: 1. Kent Goulding (USA) 2. Johannes Levermann (D)
3. Dimitrios Pappas (GR) 3. Mario Sequeira (POR)
Consolation: 1. D. Jersov (RUS) 2. Rageb Shadallah (CUB)
Last Chance: 1. Gianni Bizarro (ARG)

Intermediate (28)
Main: 1. Gerhard Fabian (D) 2. Peter Winkler (A)
3. Birgit Scheuerling (D) 3. Kazuku Numazawa (JPN)
Consolation: 1. David Asplund (SWE) 2. D. Schmitt (D)
Last Chance: 1. Kenneth Straarup (DEN)

Beginner (13)
Main: 1. Carmilla Plum (DEN) 2. Thomas Rückert (D)
3. Himoto Kidokoro (JPN) 3. Marlene Hansen (DEN)
Consolation: 1. Yunilda Esquivel (CR) 2. R. Wladasch (D)
Last Chance: 1. Martin Schwartz (D)

Warm-Up (59)
1. Karsten Nielsen (DEN) 2. Mike Senkiewicz (USA)

Superjackpot (16 - 2.000 DM):
1. Michael Higatsberger (A) 2. Mike Svobodny (USA)

Consultation Doubles (25)
1. Danielle Bastarache and Mike Corbett (USA)
2. Francois Tardieu and Moshe Elbaz (F)

Team (16)
1. Kenji Shimodaira (JPN), Kazuhiro Shino (JPN), Rageb Shadallah (CUB)
2.Phil Laak, Elliott Winslow and Jeremy Bagai (USA)

Lady´s Cup (12): 1. Louisa Dahlin (DEN) 2. D. Hansen (DEN)