Report by Michael Crane
||There's an old song, I forget who sang it called, "Planes and Boats and Trains" which proved quite apt this weekend; well the bit about boats did! Even though the entire country was water logged, nothing could stop sixty eight backgammon players from playing in the Townharbour Trophy. Gondolas, smacks, clippers, coracles; you name it they arrived in it. Lashings of rain don't deter backgammon players.||
Townharbour Trophy (68:
pos name wins
Of those 68, 23 of them sat down to battle it
out in the Friday Night KO. Main tournament sponsor, Tim Cross cruised his
way through to the final against Geoff Conn. Tim wasn't taking any
prisoners and Geoff fell in Tim's wake as he took the prize money and the
The Doubles KO saw an entry of 17 (it was 16, a nice easy draw until the 'Late Arrivals' arrived to spoil it) but in the end we were grateful for there twenty quid! New ones this time were 'Early Knighters', and they were; 'Never Say Diet' who were thinned out in the first round; 'Who Knows?' and we never know as they went out quickly; 'Optimists' who had to be with their luck; and 'Cunning Stunts' who were anything but.
In the semis, new-comers, 'Prime Busters' were knocked out by 'The Teddy Tubby Twins' who met 'Wolfmann' in the final who had just gobbled up 'Little Boys Blue'. Unfortunately the 'Twins' also proved a tasty morsel for the 'Wolf' and in was the lupine team that came out on top.
So stunning were the 'Twins' that I took a photograph of them whilst they were unaware; see the picture below.
|The Main (68) progressed without incident. On the Sunday, two new members ('though not new players) Wolf Pfieffer and Erik Sorensen had won 3/3 and were favourites amongst the auction bidders. Erik turned out to be the better bet as he sat down to face Peter Bennet - yes, in yet another final. Can he be stopped? On his way through Peter completed 10, 11-point match victories to win the coveted '1000-to-1' Trophy which was a great achievement.|
In the final it was a close match most of the time.
At Crawford 10-9 to Peter, it looked all over for Erik when he was holding onto
Peter's 1-point and facing a six-prime. Although he had a closed board of his
own without one of Peter's checkers on the bar it was of no use. But, this is
backgammon, and, as Peter obliged by rolling 65 and leaving a blot on his
7-point the assembled watchers drew in a long breath through there gritted teeth;
they then held their breath for Erik's roll. Could he roll a six and turn the
game around? Yes. He not only rolled a six then but did so again a little later
to escape his runner; then, with skilled bearing off he took the match to double
match point. As it turned out, Peter's 65 roll in the Crawford cost him the
trophy as at DMP, Erik rolled out the winner during the bearoff. Well done, Erik
and hard luck, Peter.
The Top Intermediate went to Andrew Serjeant; who, after a couple of relatively poor previous turnouts had just dropped into the Intermediate category!
Overall it was a very good tournament and passed without incident - at least in the playing rooms! Unfortunately the weekend was marred by some very foolish and spiteful behaviour from persons 'unknown'. During the early hours of Sunday morning one of our members (a little worse for wear after a few drinks) was assaulted by two yobs that held him down and partly shaved his head leaving him with deep bald patches. Unfortunately, the persons I believe to be responsible are not Biba members; but, as far as I have been informed, their partners are. I shall be expecting a written apology from those involved; unless, of course if they don't intend in playing in future Biba tournaments.