Holman wins at the Angel

League 2 got under way last night at The Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds. Steve Holman had lured Neil Foston into darkest Suffolk, but what he didn’t know is that the distaff line of the Fostons hail from the home of British Sugar. This would surely confer an impenetrable voodoo on the idiot from Cambridge, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?

No. No, it wouldn’t.

After a few opening exchanges with the match level at 2 each, there was a swing game. Steve took a cube in a one man holding game, I bore in with mediocrity, then calamity struck – I got hit.


After a chat, we decided I should take, and a little later was 6-2 down. It’s a correct take by 236 stupids, and technically a close no double – but what XG means here is, don’t double ME. Go ahead and double ordinarily mortals who will think about dropping for a few minutes, and might do so on a bad day.

Thereafter nothing much went my way, and Steve doubled well to keep me locked out. Eventually, at 9-3 down, I was faced with one of those miserable decisions familiar to losers of backgammon matches:


Although I knew a gammonless take here required 20% or so, the psychological tug of getting to 9-7 instead of 10-3 Crawford was too much. Telling myself I didn’t really know what my chances were here, I took the bait. Alas, there were only 13% wins hiding in the woods. A good example of why you need to double when leading in these situations – Steve netted 2.6% match chances doing so.

Steve Holman 11 v 3 Neil Foston

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