27th St. Moritz Winter Tournament 2001
(Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, Switzerland, March 15th-18th 2001)

Tournament Report by Harald Johanni

Since 1951 they had not more snow at St. Moritz than in this year; but only some more than 50 players gathered for one of the most classical backgammon tournaments in Europe, the winter tournament at the Palace Hotel. Nevertheless, the tournament with the big tradition got the merited finals of two players´ names that are written in big letters in the classical backgammon tournaments history:

Mike Svobodny from New York/U.S.A., World Champion 1984, World Cup Winner 1992 and Nordic Master 1996 had to play Rolf Stern, the German Champion 1981 from Munich/Germany in the finals.

The kibitzers got to see a good and tough fight between the two backgammon dinos and the 21-point final´s score was 19-17 (two away vs. four away!) in favour of Mike when Rolf tourned over a poisened cube (see the position in the diagram).

According to Snowie the position is a double and a clear pass at this match score.

Mike took the cube. But Svobo like Rasputin couldn´t get killed (by the priming poison with many gammons in the position). Soon after the cube action Rolf Stern crunched the position by rolling double threes and Mike hit a crucial shot to go for winning a nice side bet and the 27th Winter Championships in St. Moritz. Congratulations Mike!


The finals: Rolf Stern (left) plays Mike Svobodny (right). Morten Holm is recording the match and Stern´s wife watches the action.


21-point match
Rolf Stern (17) (Black) - Mike Svobodny (19)
(White)
Black on roll. Cube action?!

Results of the St. Moritz Winter Tournament 2001:

Championship (29):
Main: 1. Mike Svobodny (U.S.A.) 2.Rolf Stern (Germany)
3. Gagoua 3. Nino Di Bella (Italy)
Consolation: 1. K.C. Carlston (USA) 2. Leonid Riskin (Ukraina) 3. Di Napoli (Italy) 3.Jörg Weber (Germany)
Last Chance: 1. Mike Golubchik (U.S.A.) 2. Thomas Heidecker (Germany)

Intermediate:
Main: 1. Vasella 2. Hirsch
Consolation: 1. Prangenberg 2. Mels
Last Chance: 1. Ceresa 

Warm-Up:
1. Thomas Heidecker (Munich/Germany)

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