Club Championship Final

Last night the Golden Hind in Cambridge laid host to the final of the first ever Cambridge Backgammon Club Championships!  Thanks to a gruelling set of groups stages, and then knockouts, the cream of Cambridge Backgammon had been selected:

Fighting in the runners up Final:

Adam Reynolds: Long-time club member, who joined the league when it was first started
Julia Hayward: UKBGF board member, who has dominated the Cambridge Backgammon league throughout 2019

Meanwhile in the Grand Final:

Roger Salmon: Since joining the Cambridge league, Roger has flown up the ranks to the top division, and in 2019 was second only to Julia in overall club results
Neil Foston: Recorder and transcriber of matches, Neil achieved a ‘world class’ 3.77 PR in his 11-point quarter final Championship match against club founder, Peter Booth.

The stage was set!

Julia and Adam shake hands before play

As is becoming increasingly popular, both matches were recorded for transcription into XG. We look forward to seeing blunders laid bare, horrors revisited, and scientific justification added to questionable plays in future articles.  In addition to the Championship final, a number of other Cambridge club members were on site to thrash out league matches, play friendlies, and keep an eye on the progressing Championship scores.  Peter Booth managing an incredible 3 league matches in the evening!

Peter Booth 4 vs 11 Allan Dye
Peter Booth 8 vs 11 Allan Dye
Peter Booth 11 vs 10 Jon (aka the beast of Potton) Ayling

At the midway point, both Championship matches were near deadlock, with no player having a notable lead. Eventually, the runners up match was first to finish, with Julia coming up victorious, and grabbing a prize winning 3rd place!

Final score: Julia Hayward 13 vs 11 Adam Reynolds

The Grand Final, on the other hand, had no intention of ending quickly. Two and a half hours in to the 13 point match, Neil and Roger end up in a classic 2a – 4a score with Roger leading 11-9. During the game, Neil turned the cube, Roger accepted, and the dice duly tortured both players with an endless stream of seemingly impossible positions, and a game that could have gone either way at any time. Eventually Neil won that game to create a 2a – 2a score. Predictably, the cube was turned early making this the decider, but the dice continued to raise the blood pressures of both the players – and the assembling spectators! In the end, following a 3-hour battle, over 10 games, Neil bought it home for the win!

Final score: Neil Foston 13 vs 11 Roger Salmon

Peter Booth presents Neil with the prestigious Cambridge Cup

Championship players, post battle: Adam, Roger, Neil, Julia

Well done to all involved, and special thanks to Steve Holman for his kind donation of the trophy cup!
Did you enjoy taking part in the Championship?  Would you like to suggest any changes to the format?  Post your comments and feedback below.

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