UK Finals
December 10/12 2000

Tournament Report by Michael Crane

Main (68): Each year we have increased the number of entries to this popular tournament, this year the increase was by one! Nevertheless, it's more than last year.

On the Saturday 60 players sat down to play 4 x 7-point matches of Swiss format with the top eight going through to meet the pre-qualifiers in the Main knockout on the Sunday. We had four players on 4 out of 4 and plenty on 3 out of 4 which meant that we had to decide final placings on their opponent's wins. This worked out rather nicely at 4 players with an equal opponent's wins of 10 and so the eight were naturally chosen:

John Gale, Kevin White, Grant Shortland, Mardi Ohannessian, Roy Hollands, Brian Lever, Tim Vasiljevic, Peter Bennet

In the Main on the Sunday only four of the pre-qualifiers made it into the 2nd round; Jeff Ellis, Dod Davies, John Slattery and Richard Granville; and only one of these made the semi-finals, John Slattery, who was pitched against Peter Bennet. John was joined by John Gale vs Mardi Ohannessian who battled out the other semi-final.

Mardi triumphed as did Peter (continuing his great year to the last) and we all looked forward to a great final. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts Peter was unable to accrue more than 3 points as Mardi out-rolled and out-played him in a match that lasted just over one hour. Mardi's attacking, aggressive play (and good rolls) catapulted him into a 9-0 lead and left Peter and the onlookers reeling. Peter did manage to win a few points putting Mardi off his stride for a while but Mardi soon got back on track and took the title.

In Game Two there was a crucial double that Peter (black) offered Mardi

11 Point Match, White 4 Black 0
Black on roll - Cube action?

According to JellyFish Evaluation Level 7 this is a 'no double/take', but I'm not too sure, it's certainly a take but I think Peter was correct in shipping over the cube here. JellyFish stats are:

w/bg g/bg eqty
White  32.4 5.9
Black  67.6  11.0 0.404
Vol: 0.154

Peter is 27 pips ahead ('though technically this isn't a race) and has very good point distribution; albeit a little flat as far as spare men are concerned. With just one runner to consider, it looks as if he's heading for his first point. But, the Fish knows better! Mardi went on to win a doubled gammon gaining four points taking his lead to 8-0.

The entire final is available as a JellyFish match file and can be downloaded >here<. If you don't have JellyFish you can read the file using Notepad or any other text editor after saving the file to your desktop. It is also available on video from me, just email me for details.

Champion of Champions (8): For the second year in a row now the eight pre-qualifiers battled it out for the Champion of Champions trophy (kindly donated by Roy Hollands - 1999 winner). Erik Sorensen continued his unbeaten record all the way to the final in which he beat Richard Granville at DMP. Richard had fought back from 10-3 down but couldn't quite manage that final point. Although he wasn't aware of the fact, after this victory, Erik was in line for the 1000-to-1 trophy (ten consecutive 11-point match victories) but, alas he was knocked out of the first round in the Main on Sunday morning and never got past nine wins. Back to square one, Erik!

Friday Night Knockout (23): In a final of two Davids it was a safe bet that David would win! However, which one? David Hale or David Nathan? David Hale treid his hardest but it was David Nathan that emerged, beaming with satisfaction winning the pot and the weekend break.

Doubles Knockout (16 pairs): What with 'Yorksire Puddings' and 'Yorkshire Terriers' it looked like a Northern takeover for a short time - but, as with most things Yorkshire, it was just a load of hot air and they floundered in the first round. 'Lul Not Skil' a Chinese entry faired much better until they were confounded by 'Errrrrr's' in the semi-finals. 'Gordon Bennet' faired better, but they were soon despatched by 'Errrrrr's' in the finals. When asked the secret of their success, 'Errrrrr's' said, "err!!"

Conlusions: Overall it was a very good tournament and one which was completely trouble free. I enjoyed running it and I'm sure the entrants enjoyed participating in it. Now we can all look forward to a new year of exciting backgammon in 2001.

Progressive Consolation (64): Usually it's the Progessive side of this tournament that holds things up, but not this time. Although the Main finals (four rounds of 11-point matches) were finished by 4:45pm, the 'finals' of the non-progressive side didn't finish until one hour later; and then we had to play the Consolation final proper. Coming into the final from the Progressive side was Kevin White having beaten Tim Vasiljevic, Erik Sorensen, John Hurst and Roy Hollands. Fighting his way through from the non-progressive side was Leslie Singleton whose 'final' battle against Steve Hallet was a toughie, to say the least.

In the final against Kevin it looked as if it was going to be a walk-over for Leslie. He went to a 5-0 lead until Kevin started fighting back and the scored levelled at 5-5 in the 7-point match. However, Leslie managed to maintain his momentum and emerged victorious. Well done Leslie and hard luck Kevin.

Leslie Singleton, Consolation winner

Kevin White, Consolation Runner-Up

Suicide! (64 open draw): Tournament trophy sponsor, John Gale was determined to go home with one of his trophies this weekend and the finals of this 3-pointer was the only avenue left open to him; so, he did just that! Unfortunately Andrew Sarjeant made it the Runner-up trophy as John fell at the final hurdle and Andrew swept ahead. In the picture below you can see a proud John showing off his magnificent Suicide Runner-up trophy!

Andrew Sarjeant, Suicide! winner

John Gale, Suicide! runner-up


UK Finals 2000 Quick Results: Suicide! (64)
1 Andrew Sarjeant
2 John Gale
3/4 Karen Proto
3/4 Tim Mooring
5/8 Keith Robertson
5/8 Gerry Smith
5/8 Alan Greenwood
5/8 Dod Davies

Champion of 
Champions (8)
1 Erik Sorensen
2 Richard Granville
3/4 Peter Wilson
3/4 Jeff Ellis

Doubles Knockout (16)
1 Errrrrr's
2 Gordon Bennet
3/4 Luk Not Skil
3/4 Diet Hard 2

Friday Night Knockout (23)
1 David Nathan
2 David hale
3/4 Mike Wignall
3/4 Sarah Rosich
5/8 Nigle Coombes
5/8 John Gale
5/8 Peter Bennet
5/8 Tim Vasiljevic

Main (64)
1 Mardi Ohannessian
2 Peter Bennet
3/4 John Slattery
3/4 John Gale
5/8 Jeff Ellis
5/8 Dod Davies
5/8 Roy Hollands
5/8 Richard Granville
Consolation (64)
1 Leslie Singleton
2 Kevin White
3/4 Roy Hollands
3/4 Steve Hallett
5/8 David Nathan
5/8 Uldis Lapikens
5/8 John Hurst
5/8 Richard Granville