April 2024 Backgammon Tournament Results

We had a fabulous showing for this month’s tournament – 17 players came out on a sunny and almost warm afternoon to play some gammon. Well, technically 18 players came out, but newcomer Molly was, alas, almost an hour late, and I could not fit her into the brackets. Next time! She did get to play some pick-up with people waiting for their tournament matches to start, so not a total loss.

Joel generously brought his collection of backgammon books to the meetup, and gave them all away! I personally grabbed a copy of a Magriel book that I hadn’t seen before. The pile disappeared very quickly, people were excited about it for sure. Thanks, Joel, for your generosity!

Anyway, 17 made for two 8 person brackets, plus one extra. In the “B” bracket, I had Cam wait for a match to finish as the “play-in”, and took it from there. It all worked out. The first round matches were newcomer Fred (a/k/a Jeremy A’s dad) against Larry C, Bodger against Steve, Jeremy A against Nathan, and Julie against newcomer Luke. In each listing, the first player won the match. Bodger and Steve were the first to finish, and so were punished by being the play-in round. Fred and Jeremy did have to face off at one point as well, much to their mutual consternation. Truly this is the cruelest game. Ultimately Cam won the bracket, over Jeremy, with Luke taking the consolation bracket in a rematch against Julie.

In the “A” bracket, round 1 had Ed against Matt H, Buzz against Dave, Neil against Joel, and me against Mir. Again, the first listed player won that round. In the end, Buzz won the bracket over Ed, with Mir taking the consolation bracket.

This is a position that came up in my second round match against Ed. It’s the second game, only a handful of moves in, and as you can see, it has gotten messy.

Screenshot 2024-04-21 9.16.47 PM

I found myself overwhelmed by the number of options on this one. With the exchange of hits, I was down in the race – at the time I assumed I was down even more than this. Obviously the 2 could be used to cover the blot on my 4 point, but then the 6 wasn’t clear to me. Alternatively, I considered making Ed’s bar point with 24/18 20/18 or making Ed’s 5 point with 22/20 and again being unclear on the 6. Ultimately I went with making Ed’s bar point. Big mistake! Covering the blot on the 4, and then moving any of the back checkers, was the right move according to the bots. The reason I was confused about the 6 was that it didn’t much matter – best was 22/16, worst was 20/14, but 6/4 20/14 is only -0.015 equity lost. Sometimes when you’re confused about what move is best, it’s because there isn’t a lot of difference!

Anyway, it was a fun afternoon, in spite of the gradually dropping temperatures, and we all had a lot of fun. Hope to see you all again at the next one!