Roy Hollands Trophy
September 2000

Tournament Report by Michael Crane

Main (40 / 8):
Despite the large sum of 'added' prize fund money the turnout of just 40 was a little lower than I'd expected. This didn't bother the forty entrants as it still meant that with the prize fund entries of this year we had a first prize of £710.00 going to the winner. Not bad for a small turnout.
As usual with the 'Roy Hollands' we played a Swiss format qualifier on the Saturday of 4 x 7-point matches and the top 8 went through to battle it out in a Sunday Knockout.

Those 8 were:
Steve Hallett vs Michael Proto
Paul Barwick vs Ralph Eskinazi
Peter Wilson vs Paul Watts
Kevin Stebbing vs Steve Rudall

In each match the first mentioned went through to the semis and the latter dropped into the Consolation.
Paul Barwick had a hard match against Steve Hallett but he managed to pull through to his second consecutive final this year (Runner-up to Richard Granville in the SAC Trophy). Peter Wilson played his way through Kevin Stebbing to make his first ever Biba final. Peter joined Biba via Roy Hollands after being taught the basics by Roy on a Caribean cruise that Roy went on a few years ago in my place - something that Sharen will never forgive me for; she wanted us to go but I was too busy and so sent Roy and his wife instead!

Peter Wilson - Main 1st

Paul Barwick - Main 2nd

Meanwhile, back at the final. The match swung back and forth with no-one really pulling ahead more than a couple of points until it went to 9-9. The next game was soon doubled for DMP (double match point) and after a few moves the pivotal roll of the match was this:

How would you have played this roll? Play safe: 6/1 or 6/2 3/2 or 8/3; or hit and cover with 8/4* 4/3?

Paul decided that hit and cover with 8/4* 4/3 was the best move. This left black (Peter) with just 3 rolls, 5-3 and 4-4 to re-enter and hit. Not many shots, just over 8%; but, if the fly-shot comes out it's the match lost not the point. Peter prays to the dice Gods and they deliver; 5-3. Peter re-enters, Paul sits on the bar and Peter eventually lets him in during the bearoff. Paul can't recover and loses the tournament..

11-Point Match
Double Match Point
White (Barwick) to play 41

Was Paul's move correct? Certainly it provoked mixed comments from the spectators. According to JellyFish it was the correct move by far with an equity of 0.402, well ahead of the next roll of 6/1 with just 0.205. But, many argued, myself among them that to risk the match on this move was unnecessary. Playing safe now MIGHT have led to difficulties next roll but that was an unknown factor; better to keep it safe and see what comes next. Had Paul played it safe he would have had 10 rolls next time that left a blot, four of which left an indirect shot off the bar. Surely it's better to wait and see? The odds were that he'd roll one of the 26 good rolls and thus have an excellent chance of winning the tournament. Although Paul's play was technically "correct", from Peter's point of view it was the chance he'd been waiting for . . . and he took full advantage. Well done, Peter and hard luck, Paul
David Nathan
Consolation 1st

Ralph Eskinazi
Consolation 2nd
Consolation (36):
With a field of forty and eight already playing in the Main this made my job easy as far as the Consolation went. I made provision for the Main 1st round losers to join in and we had an eventual field of 36. From the non-progressive side (last 8) Jeff Barber beat Gerry Carolan and David Nathan beat Paul Gilbertson. From the progressive side Michael Proto beat Paul Watts and Ralph Eskinazi beat Steve Rudall. In the semis Ralph knocked out Michael and David knocked out Jeff. In the final David fought back from being 6-2 down post-Crawford to steal it away from Ralph who seemed to have had a loss of concentration and made (as far as the onlookers were concerned) some very poor checker plays in the last DMP game. David was delighted with the victory and Ralph took defeat graciously.

David Nathan
Suicide 1st

David Nathan
Suicide 2nd
Friday Knockout (18 plus re-entries):
I think I might have at last found my forte; Friday Knockouts! Again I got to the final, this time against Jeff Barber but, as usual against Jeff, I lost to the better man.

Doubles Knockout (12 teams plus 4 buy backs):
Anyone new? Yes. 'Don't Run Away, We Are Your Friends' proved to be no-one's friends by defeating all before them in their journey to the final; 'Proto Types', Licquorice Allsorts' and 'Teddy Tubbies' being their hap- and help- less victims. Mind you, they couldn't overcome 'Blood, Chouette and Tears' in the final and had to settle for second place. Of all the team names we've ever had my all-time favourite has to be BCT; it's a classic. I'm not 100% sure of the originator as two players have laid claim to it but to whoever thought of it; well done.

Suicide! (64 open draw):
With an open draw of 64 the pool money in this 3-point knockout is always a good one and this was no exception. Through sheer good luck and grit I managed (once again) to get to the semis but was cast aside by Robert Bush whilst Uldis lapikens suffered the same fate via Jon Sharpe. In the final, Jon emerged the winner leaving Robert with the Runner-up trophy.

It was a great weekend but tinged with sadness over the news of the death of Emmanuel di Bona's wife, Keren at the age of 52. She died after a short illness on Thursday 24 August. She had been a suffer of MS for about 15 years but her death was due to an unrelated medical condition which arose suddenly and unexpectedly. As a measure of their affection and sympathy for Emmanuel in his tragic loss, players collected the sum of £152 which has been passed onto the MS Society via the Funeral Directors. Emmanuel has many friends throughout backgammon and on their behalf I offer their condolences to Emmanuel and his children.

Results Roy Hollands Trophy:
Main (40):
1 Peter Wilson
2 Paul Barwick
3/4 Steve Hallett
3/4 Kevin Stebbing
5/8 Michael Proto
5/8 Ralph Eskinazi
5/8 Paul Watts
5/8 Steve Rudall
Consolation (36):
1 David Nathan
2 Ralph Eskinazi
3/4 Michae Proto
3/4 Jeff Barber
Suicide (64 open draw):
1 Jon Sharpe
2 Robert Bush
3/4 Michael Crane
3/4 Uldis Lapikens
5/8 Connor Dickinson
5/8 Michael Damaniou
5/8 Dave Motley
5/8 Daphne Smith
Friday KO (18):
1 Jeff Barber
2 Michael Crane
3/4 David Nathan
3/4 Rosemary Bensley
Doubles (16 open draw):

1 Blood, Chouette and Tears
2 Don't Run, We Are Your Friends
3/4 Teddy Tubbies
3/4 25%